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Vitro Architectural Glass Selects Wichita Falls, Texas, For $55 Million Expansion

Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass) selected its Wichita Falls, Texas, plant to be the site of a new jumbo magnetron sputtered vacuum deposition (MSVD) glass coater, expected to be the largest of its kind in North America.

The $55 million investment, which is expected to be ready for construction by April, will include a 200,000-square-foot building and several ancillary projects. The facility will enable the Monterrey, Mexico-based manufacturer to produce high-performing, energy-efficient low-emissivity (low-e) glasses in the larger sizes desired by today's building designers.

According to company officials, sand and raw materials are melted to create glass at Vitro Architectural Glass's plant in Wichita Falls, Texas.

"Current architectural trends favor the use of oversized glass on many office, commercial and multi-story residential projects, which requires glass sizes over 12 feet tall that our existing coater cannot accommodate," said Bill Haley, Wichita Falls plant manager, Vitro Architectural Glass. "The new equipment will enable us to cost-efficiently coat jumbo-sized glass, which will further increase demand for our products."

Dick Beuke, President, Vitro Architectural Glass, said the coater will strengthen Vitro Glass's position as an industry leader, innovator and architect resource. "As building codes become more stringent and building designs more complex, architects and building designers are driving glass manufacturers to provide higher-performing products, greater cost efficiencies and increased technical support. This new machinery, along with our expanded sales and service staff, positions us to meet those demands."

As an incentive, the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corp. approved a $3 million incentive package in mid-January to provide local support for the project. The coater will expand the number of jobs for one of the city's largest employers and create new work for local contractors when the building is constructed.

Vitro Glass considered all four of its U.S. manufacturing facilities as sites for the new coater before selecting Wichita Falls. The company also has operations in Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Fresno, California and Salem, Oregon.

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