Good economic signs in ceramics and glass? | The American Ceramic Society

Good economic signs in ceramics and glass?

These are a drop in the bucket, but it is still nice to see business reports like these for a change.

Carbo Ceramics Inc. approves  construction of a fourth production line at Toomsboro, Georgia proppant manufacturing facility

President and CEO Gary Kolstad commented, “Carbo is the world leader in providing high conductivity ceramic proppant to the oil and gas industry, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to grow our manufacturing capacity in order to support and improve the investments of our clients. The newly approved production line is designed to increase our capacity by an additional 250 million pounds per year. When combined with the incremental capacity of Toomsboro line three (anticipated completion before the end of the year 2010), our global capacity should increase nearly 40 percent from our current level, to approximately 1.75 billion pounds annually. We anticipate completion of this fourth line before the end of 2011 at an estimated cost of $62 million.”

Maryland Glass & Mirror Co. and Flat Glass Distributors make capital investments

Take Maryland Glass & Mirror Co. in Baltimore, for example. It recently invested about $1.75 million in new equipment. While the company typically operates on a cash basis—“If we can’t pay for it, we don’t buy it”—officials felt strongly that an investment in new equipment was necessary to grow the business. The addition of a tempering furnace, in particular, enabled the distributor/fabricator to offer its customers a more extensive choice of products. And although it required a major cash outlay, it will save the company money in the long run. “We’re our own largest customer,” said David Dalbke, president. “We have purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of tempered glass products from other sources. Now, we have control and can produce a quality product in a just-in-time delivery fashion.”

At Flat Glass Distributors, Jacksonville, Fla., the decision to invest in capital equipment was part of its effort to “redefine customer service” through improved turnaround times and higher product quality. So far, it’s paying off, said David Cates, vice president of sales and marketing.