20th December 2010
Viridian NWG - A Short History
Viridian New World Glass is a 21st Century brand with 19th Century lineage. CSR launched the Viridian brand in 2007 following the acquisition of Pilkington and DMS glass, creating Australia's leading producer of performance glass. CSR is one of Australia's oldest companies, with a 155-year heritage dating from its formation in 1855 as a sugar company. Pilkington has Australian roots of similar vintage. In 1856, Pilkington's first shipment of glass arrived in Geelong, Victoria and by 1879 it had established its Melbourne office. CSR Limited CSR is one of Australia’s leading manufacturing companies with operations throughout Australia, Asia and New Zealand. CSR is a leading supplier of building products with a proven record of consistent returns and strong cash flow. A leading supplier to the construction industry, with a nationwide distribution network, CSR manufactures and supplies a wide range of building products including Gyprock plasterboard, Cemintel fibre cement, PGH bricks, Monier rooftiles, Bradford insulation and Viridian glass with 35 wholly owned or majority owned manufacturing plants in Australia and operations in New Zealand and Asia. Glass Heritage In 2007, the Viridian brand was launched to bring together Pilkington and DMS Glass in Australia and New Zealand. Pilkington's history is synonymous with the history of glass in Australia. From humble roots with the first shipment of glass into Geelong in 1856 through a growing manufacturing presence and sequence of innovations over the following one-and-a-half centuries. In the 1930's, Pilkington was producing sheet glass in Sydney and automotive glass in Geelong. In 1972, Australia's first float glass production line was commissioned in Dandenong, Victoria. See our earlier article on Manufacturing Float Glass for more information. Contemporary Innovation The DMS Glass story may be shorter in years, however it is equally rich with innovation. In 1985, Don Mathieson and 24 colleagues formed a glazing company in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton South. In 1989, DMS Glass commissioned a toughening furnace, followed in the 1990's with high-tech cutting and laminating lines. In the years immediately preceding the acquisition by CSR and the launch of the Viridian brand, both Pilkington and DMS Glass commissioned further innovations in coatings, laminates and glass production technologies, including the precursors to today's high-performance energy efficient glass products. An historical perspective is given in our earlier article on Glass Manufacturing in Australia. Viridian New World Glass In 2007 the Australian and New Zealand operations of Pilkington and DMS Glass became part of CSR's Building Products business and the new brand Viridian was launched. The history of these Glass business as progressive and innovative market leaders in Australia has continued to flourish and expand under the Viridian New World Glass brand. In 2008, the Dandenong float glass plant was upgraded, in 2009 a CVD coater was installed and in 2010 further innovative performance glass products have been introduced to meet market demand for superior glass solutions. In 2011, more stringent energy-efficiency provisions come into effect within the Building Code of Australia, and Viridian's wide range of high-performance coated glass products allow easy access to energy efficient glass solutions from an Australian manufacturer. Find out more about Viridian's history with our time-line on the Viridian website and please register your email address (above right) for notification of subsequent GlassTalks articles.