Architects Guide to Glass, USGlass

A Month’s News–In a Week

Last week was a very busy one in the glass and metal news business. Late on July 31, the news that Kawneer’s parent, Arconic, was seeking to sell Kawneer and its Building and Construction Solutions (BCS) business was announced. And that’s just the beginning.

“Obviously, we are at the very beginning of the process, but I wanted to let you know that our commitment to you, our valued customer, remains unchanged by this news,” said Arconic BCS president Diana Perreiah in a letter to customers. “For our team, it’s business as usual and we will continue our focus on delivering for our customers through continued investments, innovation and service.”

The BCS includes Kawneer, Reynobond and Reynolux. The Arconic website details these brands as well as Arconic Wheels as being part of the transportation and construction segment.

This segment had revenue of $562 million, an increase of 12 percent year-over-year with a segment operating profit of $97 million. These profit levels were $26 million higher than the previous year and the company cited higher volumes in commercial transportation and building and construction for the increase.

There’s already a good bit of speculation in the industry on who the new owners will be. And no matter who they are, the Kawneer of the future will be quite different than the Kawneer of the past.

This potential sale isn’t the only recent news. On the heels of announcing its name change from Glass Dynamics to Press Glass, the Polish company announced that it was opening a $43.55 million, 280,000-square-foot architectural glass fabrication facility in Henry County, Va. Construction is expected to begin near the end of 2018 and production is scheduled to begin at the end of 2019.

Press Glass was founded in 1991 and employs 2,100 across its 11 manufacturing operations, and this new plant is expected to add 212 employees. At its plant in Stoneville, N.C., which recently changed its name from Glass Dynamics to Press Glass, the company fabricates insulating, laminating, decorative and digital printed glass, as well as all-glass entrance systems. We are very excited to welcome these new neighbors to our home state of Virginia.

And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s still more late-breaking news. Word came at the end of last week that C.R. Laurence chairman and CEO Don Friese would be retiring in September. We plan to focus on Don’s career and legacy in the next issue of USGlass magazine. So if you have a great story or a fond memory about working with him, please email me at or post them as a comment below. No one more embodies the American success story than Mr. Friese and no one has had a larger reach of influence on it in the United States. Congratulations to him on an amazing career. Please let me know your thoughts about Don and his amazing career.