DA Glass opening delayed

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP – Delays in getting line equipment from Europe have pushed back the opening of DA Glass America’s facility at the Houghon County Memorial Airport to this fall, the company’s owner said Thursday.

When DA Glass’s expansion to the Copper Country was announced in April, the timetable was to start production by the end of July, and to have a significant amount of production going out of the door by this month.

The culprit is custom-made line equipment being shipped from Europe.

Based on the schedule he’s been provided, DA Glass co-owner Steve Williams said the opening will start sometime between late September and early October.

“I’m guessing we’re probably looking at another six to eight weeks before we get equipment, then it takes a couple weeks to get some of the equipment installed so we can start production.”

Aside from the line, construction on the DA Glass facility here was completed ahead of schedule, Williams said.

“The building’s ready, but the equipment’s not there,” he said.

Once the equipment arrives, maintenance-level people will be hired to install it, then production workers will be hired as it progresses, Williams said. An additional storage building will also be attached to the facility, Williams said.

As a condition of its loan from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., DA Glass committed to adding 102 jobs and investing $10.5 million within three years. Within five years, there could be as many as 200 jobs, Williams said in April.

Williams said the later start won’t hurt the scope of the project, he said; it may even expand.

The plant chemically treats plate glass to reduce the amount of solar energy lost to reflection. The main customers are in the greenhouse-horticultural industry. The company is also developing products such as self-cleaning glass.

“Local people have provided a lot of support here, and due to a lot of their efforts, the state got off their hindquarters and got their end done,” he said. “The local people have done a great job of supporting this project.”