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PPG Joint Venture Fiberglass Plant Begins Operations

  • Friday, 19th September 2003
  • Reading time: about 4 minutes

A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday celebrated the lighting of the furnace for a fiber glass plant serving the world’s largest integrated printed circuit board manufacturing campus.

PFG Fiber Glass (Kunshan) Co. Ltd., a 50-50 joint venture of PPG Industries and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. of Taiwan, began operations at a plant that will supply fiber glass yarns to Nan Ya’s fabric weaving, copper clad laminate and circuit board printing operations next door, all on a 210,000-acre site west of Shanghai.

“This new plant symbolizes our commitment to the fiber glass industry and being a global leader,” said Victoria M. Holt, vice president, fiber glass, for PPG Industries. “Being part of a campus that goes from sand to circuit boards also illustrates our commitment to generating solutions for our customers.” Holt said the PFG plant will have a minimum annual capacity of 30,000 metric tons. She added the plant can accommodate additional furnaces, bringing annual capacity in excess of 120,000 metric tons that can serve the electronics yarn and reinforcement industries.

“Through its PFG joint venture, PPG is not only well situated to meet Nan Ya’s needs, but the needs of the entire Asian market as well,” said Terry E. Fry, general manager of global electronics and leader for PPG’s fiber glass business in the Asia/Pacific region. “Our investment in Kunshan is a clear signal that PPG is serious about meeting the requirements of the global electronics market.”

Another PPG-Nan Ya joint venture, PFG Fiber Glass Corp., has produced fiber glass electronic and specialty materials yarns and reinforcements at Chia Yi, Taiwan, since 1991. “At Nan Ya, growth is based on customer requirements, and the addition of the PFG fiber glass plant to our Kunshan campus ensures we can meet customer standards for quality and assurance,” said C. F. Lee, vice president of Nan Ya.

Nan Ya is a member of Formosa Plastics Group, which is the largest publicly owned industrial corporation in Taiwan. Nan Ya manufactures primarily plastics, fiber and electronic materials, with sales of US$3.0 billion in 2002. Formosa Plastics Group’s 2002 sales were US$20.1 billion.

Victoria Holt also announced a new organizational structure that she said “underscores PPG’s commitment to the fiber glass industry, and to being a global leader and an innovator of customer solutions.”

Terry E. Fry, previously general manager of PPG’s fiber glass unit for electronics and specialty materials, has been appointed general manager of global electronics and leader for the fiber glass business in the Asia/Pacific region. Fry, who is relocating from Pittsburgh to Shanghai, China, has more than 25 years of experience in PPG’s fiber glass business, including five years as general manager of Asia while based in Tokyo. He will be responsible for sales and manufacturing for electronics customers worldwide and fiber glass customers throughout Asia.

Bernard J. Ouimette, previously general manager, fiber glass reinforcements, has been appointed general manager of the global general industrial segment and regional leader for the Americas. Sample of end-uses in general industrial include wind energy, automotive, insect screening, aircraft laminates and medical casting products. Ouimette joined PPG in 1985 and held management positions in PPG’s coatings businesses in the United States and Europe before joining the company’s fiber glass business in 2000.

Horst R. Koch has been appointed general manager of global thermoplastics and regional leader for Europe. Koch, who will remain in Europe, joined PPG in the company’s acquisition of BASF’s packaging coatings business in 1997, becoming European director of manufacturing and technical services for industrial coatings. In 2000 he was named director of purchasing and distribution in Europe.

“Though PPG will continue to set strategy globally, the new regional leadership provides strong local implementation of our business plans,” Holt said. “By situating our leadership at key locations throughout the world, we are now closer to customers and better positioned to meet their needs. This, in turn, will enable us to generate the innovations that our customers demand and expect from a company that has been in this business for more than 50 years.”

To assure PPG maintains its tradition of high quality, Holt said Joseph D. Stas, previously director of global operations for PPG’s automotive coatings business, has been appointed director, strategic operations, for fiber glass. Stas, a 25-year PPG employee who has held manufacturing leadership positions at the plant and corporate levels in the United States and Europe, will be responsible for global manufacturing, engineering and supply chain management.

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