Thread: cullet shortage
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:53 AM
Andreea Virag Andreea Virag is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Germany
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Originally Posted by Pete VanderLaan View Post
Well, I talk to a lot of people, including distributors and manufacturers. This has been coming for some time and has to do with why I keep suggesting that the price has to go up. - a lot. Several suppliers are now out of Spectrum ( Really SP87 cullet) entirely which happened a little more quickly than anticipated. Olympic hoarded it and has the remaining supply. Phil went and raided Cristalica since he's not an idiot, getting Cristalia to violate its exclusivity agreement with Spruce Pine. Given Spruce Pine, that did not surprise me. I would have done something similar.

The only trouble with this scenario is that Dobern has a furnace that can't make enough cullet to supply America, let alone Europe. Dobern , last time I checked had no plans to change out furnace productivity even though they are in a giant building occupying a small corner of that place. What I have gleaned is that they plan to push the current furnace with no maintenance plans and that could well crater in a few years. They already had one unanticipaed shutdown two years back. Even so, it still comes up short five tons a day with demand. What do you suppose happens when demand vastly outstrips supply according to Keynes ?
Eveline and I have talked casually about starting a cullet supply. We looked at it a few years back and did all the math and figured out the supply chain across the pacific. Then, Spectrum resurfaced like Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction". We bagged it and invested in bringing Cristalica to the US through Spruce Pine. I really tried on that one, got the exclusive and had a lot of difficulty with the melts coming clean. Coupling that with biz practices I could not cope with, I withdrew from that partnership with SP taking Eveline with me.
The Spruce Pine furnace had already failed spectacularly with apparently no desire to actually do it over right. That was too bad in my mind but it is what happened. There have been hiccups surrounding a restart but I think it would take a massive change in thinking and managing and a cash infusion of about 500K. I'm 67. I make my own glass. How do you get by? I don't need it certainly.

Now the line I'm seeing is one I have been concerned about for some time. I got news last night from one furnace maker that the Cristalica is eating the liners for his furnaces. I'm not surprised by that based on the borax/barium content of the goop. I offered Dobern a change in the formulation to affect the problem. They passed, which I expected. They have too much invested in Kuchinke and I get that. What I expect to hear next is that the pots are dissolving as well. The stuff is really very similar to Sys96 but has a higher expansion, around a 97. Sys96 was actually a 94.1.

If it was me as a small studio glass blower, , I'd suck it up and melt SP87 batch. Ever so much harder on the absolutely spoiled glassmakers of today. I currently know of no other startups even considering the issue. Oceanside next year is no answer. I don't particularly want to bring Eveline and the Shanghai group on right now although we have the capacity for raw glass now. . I'm tired of the way they get treated. In this community, China is viewed suspiciously. i know better. You get what you pay for. Just look at how many clear cullet makers have failed.

I may hold a class just based on making your own clear. I bet it would fill right up. Takers?

Hello Pete,
and hello to everyone,

As Pete knows me, but the others in the thread might not, I must mention that I work for Cristalica and handle the sales worldwide, so I can get some direct info about the current situation. 😊
What Pete explains about production capacity was absolutely true for that past period of time when he knew of our furnace directly.
At this point, I also want to thank him for introducing us to the US market and the vast array of clients we are now happy to supply, via either Spruce Pine, or Olympic Color Rods.
I want to give an update to that, i.e. that since Pete and us have spoken directly, the larger furnace in Germany has been fired up to meet demand. During the past year, in parallel with Spectrum not producing any more, we have noticed a higher demand and this being said, we want to also take the opportunity and inform you of an increased production capacity (which we will gradually keep raising) and a renewed guarantee that our capacities are planned long-term so as to ensure that our Premium product is accessible and available to all the artists we admire. As such, we want to ensure you our existing and possible future clients that we will meet the demand for glass without problems, as we have planned.
About the borax issue, as Pete mentioned, we have discussed this at that point in time. As in Europe and in other parts of the world, this issue has never arisen before, we are now again looking into what we can specifically do for clients encountering this problem. Please kindly forward any such photos, questions and description of this to our direct distributors, Olympic Color Rods and Spruce Pine, so we get word of any questions you may have and see further steps in this respect together with our partners on the US market.

We hope you do enjoy working with our cullet and look forward to seeing you all in la bella Italia, at the GAS Conference in Murano!

Glass is magic.
Andreea Virag
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