Glaston Inaugurates New Factory in Tianjin
|Mike Seitovirta, president and CEO of Glaston
Group, left, officiated at the official ribbon cutting ceremony
along with local and industry dignitaries, as well as Finland's
ambassador to China.
Glaston Corp. officially inaugurated its 13,000-square-meter production
plant in Tianjin, China on Friday, May 18. More than 300 people,
including local dignitaries and Finland's ambassador to China, attended
the ceremonies. The company had chartered two flights from Shanghai
to bring current and potential customers to the facility for the
Petri Makinen, managing director of the plant, said that the particular
day was a lucky one in Chinese culture. "It is a day that is
connected with prosperity and a lot of people get married on this
day," he said.
The Finnish company (known as Kyro Corp. until the official name
change on June 1 and the parent of known-name companies Tamglass
and Bavelloni) used China Glass as occasion to hold the ceremony.
The plant opened last summer and is already operating at full speed.
Mika Seitovirta, the Tampere-based company's new president, said
the facility is the first Glaston plant to offer both equipment
and tools, which combines the offerings of Tamglass and Bavelloni.
This is a major part of the company's One-Stop-Partner philosophy.
|As part of the program, the 300 attendees
toured the facility and got information about the machinery
being produced there.
"The Tianjin facility houses the production of pre-processing
and safety glass machines and lines as well as Bavelloni Tools'
operations for the growing Chinese market," Seitovirta said.
"Being close to clients and offering shorter delivery times
for both machinery, tools and spare parts is appreciated by our
Chinese customers," Makinen said.
Tamglass, which has been supplying the Chinese market since the
1980s, has more than 300 lines operating in the country.
In a press conference on Thursday, the day before the inauguration,
Seitovirta pointed out that Glaston's sales are primarily in Europe
but 29 percent is in the Americas and 15 percent is in the Asian
Pacific area. "Asia has the biggest growth potential for us,"
he said. This, he said was because of its active construction market
and the growth of low-E glass. "Energy is driving developments
in this market," he said.
Seitovirta also reported that for the first quarter the company's
gross sales were up 26 percent over the same period the previous
year (to 42.5 million euros). "Business is good everywhere
except in North America where housing is lagging," he said.
Glaston has also reorganized its structure and Jack van Meerbeeck
is now head of North American sales and service and Raimo Nieminen
holds the same position for South America.