It’s said that strength comes from adversity. If that’s the case, then Vitro’s float glass plant in Carlisle may be more powerful than ever.
Nearly a year ago, a glass leak in the Line 1 furnace set off a chain of events that caused extensive damage, rendering the line inoperable and causing a significant loss of production. Today, after a complete cold repair of the line, production is now resuming and the plant is returning to its full capacity again—640 short tons of production daily.
“The entire Carlisle team is thankful for the support provided by Vitro management, our employees, suppliers and industry partners following the incident last August,” said Tom Abbas, Carlisle plant manager.
The shutdown of Line 1 had wide-ranging ramifications. To meet demand, glass was sourced from Vitro’s other production plants and, in some cases, from Vitro’s competitors. The engineering team was immersed in a full cold repair of Line 1. The sales and customer support teams worked closely with fabricators to meet their needs.
Collaboration was the key, according to Abbas. “The response by our other Vitro plants, Vitro engineering in Pittsburgh and in Mexico was excellent, providing resources to expedite a full cold repair on Line 1,” he explained. “Many of our contractors provided on-site help immediately and continued to provide resources throughout the recovery and cold repair activities. Many vendors supplied equipment and materials starting the day of the incident based solely on the relationships they had with many Vitro employees.”
In addition to the cold repair, the plant also made some environmental and production improvements, such as infrastructure updates and the installation of a new defect-detection system, which will provide greater efficiency and consistency.
Carlisle employees—and Vitro’s customers—are excited about this news. With Line 1 initially focusing on running low-iron Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass, the Carlisle plant is definitely back and better than ever. “I’m very proud of how everyone at Carlisle rose to the occasion to keep employees safe, maintain the integrity of the plant and expedite the cold repair,” said Abbas.” It’s great to have the plant at full capacity again.”