Use of safety glass is more widely spread and increasingly popular

Demand picks up with revised safety regulations and a stronger emphasis on safety perspectives USE OF SAFETY GLASS IS MORE WIDELY SPREAD AND INCREASINGLY POPULAR Use of safety glass is currently seeing a tremendous growth, and through its new uses it is becoming better known and more familiar to consumers. Demand for safety glass, in other words laminated and tempered glass, has picked up by some 15-20 percent a year. In some countries, safety glass already accounts for more than 50 percent of all glass used. It has become more widely used in buildings, vehicles, furniture and domestic appliances. This development has been fuelled by changes in the functional role of glass, changes in safety regulations and a strong emphasis on safety and security. Safety glass has traditionally been used in the architectural and automotive industries. However, with the clearly growing popularity of glass construction and larger glass surfaces in vehicles, safety glass has gained an increasingly large share of all the glass used. More and more often the major element in buildings- public buildings in particular- is glass, usually tempered glass. Tempered glass is roughly five times as strong as ordinary glass. If, despite its strength, tempered glass happens to break, it crumbles into tiny, harmless bits. Car windscreens have, for a long time, been made from laminated glass which stays in its frame when it breaks. Laminated side windows are becoming more and more common; this is to improve safety and security, to reduce break-ins and to make cars more soundproof. The growing popularity and diversity of safety glass has an effect on the business activities of the technology and machinery supplier, too. The number of orders received by Tamglass, member of the Kyro Group and the world's leading manufacturer of safety glass machinery and production lines, between January and May 2000 was 90 percent higher than a year earlier. This is a clear indication of the powerful growth in the use of safety glass. "Safety glass has become much more wide-spread and new uses appear all the time," says Mr Pentti Yli-heljo, President and CEO of Tamglass Ltd Oy. "This reflects on the R&D activities for safety glass machinery and production lines; we are constantly looking for new manufacturing methods for safety glass. Our objective is to produce more versatile glasses for construction, vehicles, households appliances and furniture without compromising durability and safety." The 30-year-old Tampere-based Tamglass Ltd. Oy has grown to be the market leader Tamglass started out in 1970 as a manufacturer of windscreens for vehicles, and also launched machinery manufacture in the first years of operations. The company developed its first flat glass tempering machine in 1975. In the early 1990's, Tamglass reorganised its business activities and focused more sharply on the manufacture of safety glass machinery and production lines. It rose to a market leader position in 1995. Over the years, Tamglass has catered to the needs of the safety glass market and widened the selection of machinery and production lines from flat tempering and laminating machinery to bent glass tempering and laminating systems. Tamglass has an extensive sales and after sales network in 11 countries. Every two years, the company organises the Glass Processing Days conference to explore the latest developments in the glass business. This conference is the biggest event in its field, and last year it attracted more than 800 experts from approximately 70 countries. Tamglass designs and manufactures safety glass machinery and production lines for the architectural and automotive glass industries. Safety glass is made from either tempered or laminated glass. Tamglass has sales offices, production plants and after sales units in several European and Asian countries and in North America. In 1999, Tamglass posted net sales of FIM 450 million and it employed some 400 people. During its 30-year history, Tamglass has delivered more than 1,100 safety glass production lines to over 70 countries. Tamglass is a part of the Kyro Group, which operates in the safety glass industry, data communications, and energy. Kyro's business groups have a total of 20 customer service and production units in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. The Group is quoted on the Helsinki Exchanges. For further information, please contact : Tamglass Ltd., Pentti Yli-heljo, President and CEO, tel +358 3 372 3100 or Pentti Salin, Vice President, Sales, tel. +358 40 514 4114 ------------------------------------------------------------ Please visit http://www.bit.se for further information The following files are available for download: http://www.bit.se/bitonline/2000/06/28/20000628BIT00150/bit0001.doc http://www.bit.se/bitonline/2000/06/28/20000628BIT00150/bit0002.pdf