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PPG Industries’ Wigan fibreglass plant in the UK is proposing to transform its manufacturing processes and work force to direct its focus on the European market for single-end, direct-draw rovings.
According to Steve Verdin, Wigan plant manager, the proposed restructuring involves significant streamlining of the facility’s manufacturing processes at the site and, at the same time, a reduction of approximately 100 jobs by the end of March, 2007. The transformation’s objective is to enable the Wigan facility to be more competitive in select European markets,
“Our entire two-furnace operation will be geared to meeting European customers’ growing needs in the wind energy, long-fibre thermoplastics, and high-pressure pipe industries,” Verdin said. “We intend to invest approximately $5 million in automated, state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities to provide our customers with high-quality, direct-draw product at competitive prices.”
As part of the process, PPG will be shifting manufacture and supply of chopped strand fibreglass mat to the PPG Sinoma Jin Jing Fiber Glass Zibo, Ltd., joint venture in Zibo, China. Manufacture of gun rovings has already been transferred to the Zibo site.
“PPG will continue to provide our European customers with consistently high-quality, competitively priced products and services from both Wigan and the PPG Sinoma Jin Jing joint venture,” said Hein Gaarenstroom, Sales Director, Fiber Glass, Europe. “We will be using our global network of manufacturing assets to service our customers in the most cost-effective way.”
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