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New technology key to glass firm's growth

Post Time:Nov 16,2015Classify:Industry NewsView:355

Prime Minister John Key has come face-to-face with new printing technology that allows a Kiwi company to provide photo-quality images embedded in glass.

Key was at the official opening of Glasshape's new plant, at its base in Warkworth.

Glasshape manufactures, designs and supplies specialist glass solutions domestically and internationally. At its premises today were pieces of curved glass destined to form revolving doors in Sydney.

The $750,000 glass printing machine is part of Glasshape's wider upgrades of its manufacturing capabilities.

Managing director Rick Forrest said he expected Glasshape global sales in 2016 to be up about 40 per cent on this year.

"That figure represents growth of more than 200 per cent over three years ago and thoroughly supports our development strategy in partnership with NZTE," Forrest said.

It is one of the few companies in the world that can print, curve, laminate and toughen glass.

The new printing technology – marketed by Glasshape as VisionInk – provided for "unprecedented" graphics impact and durability, he said.

It can be used in residential and commercial settings - including on superyachts, where printed glass can give a lightweight impression of a slate fireplace.  Forrest said it could turn balustrades, partitions and facades into works of art.

"Our success has been forged by focusing on complex jobs that just can't be delivered by most other industry players, curving being the main driver."

Key said to compete in the international marketplace, Kiwi businesses had to be better than their competitors, have new technology, produce a high-quality product and offer great customer service.

He said the recently-signed Trans-Pacific Partnership made international opportunities more accessible.

"It gives access to markets with almost 100 per cent elimination of tariffs."

Glasshape now has offices in Seattle, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, Glasshape has achieved export levels of more than 75 per cent of turnover in recent years.

It received a grant from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's International Growth Fund, which partly paid for the establishment of its North American operation.

Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/business/7402Author: shangyi

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