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Written by Rebecca Castrejon, Editor
Produced by Ana Cardenas, Director of Projects at WDM Group-LATAM
Interviewee Christian Daes, Co-founder and COO for Tecnoglass
Global Operation with Barranquilla as the Starting Point
Tecnoglass' operation has experienced exponential growth. From being a modest workshop run by 14 individuals, 20 years later it became a 5,000-plus employees operation. Its portfolio of world-class products include: window, aluminum profiles, glazing, tempered and laminated glass, stained glass, curved glass, among other products, ready to fulfill the needs of the residential, commercial and construction sectors.
"In 1994 we started our own glass factory, starting Tecnoglass. Back then we purchased glass from third parties, as the company evolved, our portfolio's size increased," Christian Daes said after reminiscing when they first produced impact-resistant windows and aluminum alloys.
Tecnoglass' initial success prompted other industries in Barranquilla and vicinities to experience a growth of their own, too: iron producers, the metal-mechanic industry and other current suppliers for the glass factory.
To optimize its productivity and quality of its output, Tecnoglass relies on cutting-edge machinery and use of licensed products from industry giants Dupont, PPG Industries, Pilkington and Nokimis, among others, with the recently-acquired Francesca FC 1600 workstation becoming a turning point for the company's timely delivery and product quality.
"We have recurred to these materials for years, and thanks to them we are a leading enterprise within our trade," the executive added.
Compliance at Every Level
In order to supply goods within the boundaries of environmental-friendliness, Tecnoglass follows through with every guideline there is to manufacture and supply the highest quality, eco-friendly products, from ISO:14000 certification to employee training for carrying the best practices, including SGCC (Safety Glazing Certification Council) certifying for tempered and laminated glass, and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) regulations compliance. Pollution levels have reduced by reducing solid and liquid waste.
"Our policies are focused on our care of the environment, that's also our company's main purpose: to care for our surroundings," Daes stressed.
Giving Back to the Community
As a display of gratitude to the working community in Barranquilla and vicinities, Christian Daes conceived the ESWindows - Technoglass Foundation, officially in operation since July 2005. The foundation's community programs have resulted in 10 years of an important contribution to the population's development. These endeavors include educational workshops, healthcare and nutrition assistance programs.
Employees from Tecnoglass, affiliates and related companies volunteer for the foundation's activities. Important projects are in sight for Tecnoglass during the next five years in neighboring Latin American countries and in the United States. The company's $45 million investment, which resulted in a new soft-coat glazing manufacturing plant, is set to open during 2015.
Expansion plans imply consolidation in the western U.S., projecting to double the company's exports. Plans for Latin America foresee the introduction of new products for the Peruvian, Bolivan, Ecuadorian and Caribbean markets.
"Our desire is to double -at least- our sales and manufacturing capacity during the next five years," Christian Daes summarized.