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Global Glass Leader Focusing on Innovation
Glaston Corporation, headquartered in Tampere, Finland, is an international glass technology leader known for its pioneering glass processing technologies, machines and services. Glaston’s successful products include Bavelloni pre-processing machines and tools, Tamglass and Uniglass safety glass machines, and Albat+Wirsam software solutions. Glaston now operates in 20 countries and has production facilities in four countries on three continents.
Arto Metsanen, President and CEO, joined the company a year ago to help Glaston cope with the effects of the global economic crisis. He explains, “When business is down, you have to use the time to improve your internal efficiency – articularly when it comes to innovation and product development. Therefore we have put a lot of time into research and development, creating new products and services that will definitely provide more added value for our customers. We aim to speed up the innovation process even more.”
While the European market remains slow, Glaston has achieved a strong growth in its business in China and in South America, particularly Brazil. Arto Metsanen also foresees strong growth for Glaston in new EU member countries, where aging buildings are being torn down to make way for modern structures requiring the kind of expertise in which Glaston excels.
Solar panels, insulated windows
Renewable energy represents a key growth area for Glaston, particularly concerning solar energy. “We are already working closely with customer companies that are the global leaders in the solar energy sector, finding ways to make the glass in solar panels more efficient,” Arto Metsanen points out.
Glaston is also working to expand the market for insulated windows to be used not only in colder countries to retain heat in buildings, but also in hotter countries to keep buildings cooler. “We could achieve a 60% saving in cooling expenses in Rome, for example, by using such windows,” Arto Metsanen says.
To promote innovation, Glaston organises a “Glass Processing Days” event in Finland every other year to bring together global leaders in its field to participate in discussion sessions. Glaston organises similar events in China and Brazil and plans to launch one in India. Arto Metsanen aims to promote even more co-operation among companies in Finland’s solar energy sector. He says, “We should create a solar energy cluster, a Finnish organisation of companies in which all benefit from our common knowledge and which allows us to bid together for major projects worldwide. Finland can demonstrate business acumen as well as innovation.”
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