From ashes to flagship FC Series

In January 2021, Custom Glass in Liverpool, UK, placed an order for Glaston’s FC Series tempering furnace line, which will be delivered to the factory in early June this year. Although Custom Glass has had positive experiences with three Bystronic glass, now Glaston, IG lines over the years, this is their first investment in a Glaston tempering line.

An unexpected turning point occurred for the company in 2019, when a fire broke out at a neighboring pallet processing facility. The fire spread rapidly and engulfed one-third of the Custom Glass factory.

“This severely affected our production and turnover at the time, along with our ability to grow and develop,” recalls Jeff Hooson, Managing Director of Custom Glass. “Although we struggled in the beginning to rebuild, the fire forced us into a position to invest in new cutting and tempering machines. We could either shrink back or take the opportunity to become one of the largest IGU processors in the UK.”

Today, Custom Glass has two fully robotic Bystronic Insulating Glass lines and refurbished existing equipment. The company was eyeing 20–40% growth in IG units, but simply did not have the capacity to temper them all.

“The FC Series is the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle for me,” Hooson says. “Glaston is a brand that has been around for a long time and has an established history. I genuinely believe they are masters of what they do. And the technology they provide is what we need.”

Hooson explains that the new FC Series tempering line will allow his company to produce the high optical quality that is required for today’s tempered glass. “We’ll be able to produce better quality glass and win projects where high-tempered glass quality is a requirement,” he emphasizes. This will allow Custom Glass to better serve both domestic and commercial glass jobs more professionally.

Despite the pandemic, the IGU market in the UK has continued to enjoy strong demand, and the window and glass industry has been largely unaffected. “Is it a good time to invest?” Hooson asks. “There’s never a right time to invest. Instead, you just need to take the next step. We have a loyal customer base. By increasing our toughening capacity, we can now serve them better and move into the premier league.”

Jeff Hooson, Managing Director of Custom Glass