Newsletter for the Rotary Club of Geraldton Greenough - Issue No.: 553 Issue Date: 9 Dec, 2019

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Vocational Visit to Glass Co

Todd West told us that Geraldton needed a glass processing facility where cutting, edging and toughening could occur. Their factory is the only one that does this in regional Western Australia. The business also has branches in Broome, Dongara and Perth.

The last four years have been financially difficult but the NW is starting to pick up again and the Perth business is now busy with several school builds. Glass Co employs one hundred people – forty in Geraldton, forty five in Perth and fifteen in Broome.

The workload generally in the last few years has dropped and Todd West (Glass Co) says he is always trying to understand the changing dynamics of the market. One of the major problems the business deals with is being captive to deliveries from Perth. Glass is always delivered from Perth.

There is only one glass manufacturer in Australia, Pilkingtons, but their furnace and equipment is old. More and more product is being sourced out of China. A lot of the specialist equipment that is needed to produce product in Geraldton is built overseas.

Front Entrance

An attentive mob!

Their core work is still windows. Initially when the business started out it was mainly working in the retail sector, now much of it is domestic. It is 50% of their business. The nature of windows is also changing. In the future thermal rating will become important as Australians look to reduce energy costs. In an Australian home windows account for 4% of expenditure compared to the UK where it is 30%. The reason is double glazing. Another feature of double glazing is that it can also be a noise suppressant.

Todd still remembers the 'Geraldton Riots' of 1991 when many shops windows in Marine Terrace were smashed. It was one of the biggest jobs they ever had.

Apart from all things glass, Glass Co is also the agent for Luxaflex blinds. They are also in the trucking business sending a truck north every two weeks.

Author: Grant Woodhams

Published: 3 March, 2019

 


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