Demand for advanced, USA-made fire rated glazing “RAISES THE ROOF”

With architects specifying full-vision, code-compliant, 60 and 90 minute, temperature rise doors for exit stairwells and other code required applications, we found this as an opportunity to expand our product offerings.

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November 20, 2019 |
Bill O'Keeffe

In the last couple of months, SAFTI FIRST has embarked on an ambitious, $8M expansion to upgrade our fire rated glass, systems and door manufacturing capabilities in Merced, CA. This includes the addition of two new structures, a bigger door facility that houses state-of-the-art automated equipment and increasing SAFTI FIRST’s SuperLite production facilities.

With architects specifying full-vision, code-compliant, 60 and 90 minute, temperature rise doors for exit stairwells and other code required applications, we found this as an opportunity to expand our Titan Metal Products (a division of SAFTI FIRST) built GPX Builders Series Doors. With SAFTI FIRST/Titan having tested and listed door sizes up to 10 ft. in height with multiple finishes including painted, aluminum clad (our most popular), and stainless steel clad, combined with having the most flexible hardware options including concealed vertical rods, card readers, etc., we see this as a great opportunity to provide the fastest turnaround times for this rising demand for code-approved, full-vision, 60 and 90 minute rated temperature rise doors.

To accomplish this goal of fast turnaround and meeting the demand for full-lite glass doors with all our fire glass options while maintaining our high product quality and fast lead times, we have added a new 17,000 sq. ft. building to our existing 50,000 sq. ft. door fabrication facility.  We’ve also added automated seam welders, automated door sanders, new paint booths and additional door hanging bucks to ensure that each door that we fabricate functions as it should in the field before we send them out to the job site.

 

 

As I write this, we have also started construction on our glass fabrication facility to double its size to 130,000 sq. ft. by adding a new 45,000 sq. ft. building to our existing fire rated glass manufacturing facility.  The demand for the new SAFTI FIRST SuperClear 45-HS and SuperClear 45-HS-LI products as well as increased glass sizes for our 60-120-minute fire resistive SuperLite II-XL and SuperLite II-XLB products have dictated that we “raise the roof” to accommodate this growth.  I will elaborate some more on these updates – which includes new product development and testing – in my next blog.  Stay tuned!

These investments are being made to increase our production capacity while maintaining the safe working conditions which we are very proud of. We are also proud to be the only USA-owned and based, fully vertically integrated, single-source fire rated glass and framing manufacturer here in the USA.  This is what distinguishes us from other fire rated glass and framing suppliers that import their products from overseas.  When you specify or purchase a fire rated glass and framing assembly from SAFTI FIRST – whether its a window, door, storefront, curtain wall or floor product, you can be assured that it is made in SAFTI FIRST’s facilities here in the USA.

It is amazing to think that when we first moved our manufacturing facility to Merced, CA in 2002, we started out with just one manufacturing facility that housed fire rated glass, fire rated framing and O’Keeffe’s Inc. manufacturing under one roof.  Fast-forward to 20 years later, and we now have 5 facilities and 300 employees.  I attribute much of this growth to the architects who have embraced advanced, USA-made, fire rated glass systems in their designs, and continue to push the limits of what fire rated glass systems can do. So many thanks to the architectural community for being our valued partner over the years, and we look forward to all the innovations and growth that lie ahead!

Bill O'Keeffe
SAFTI FIRST Fire Rated Glazing Solutions

About the Author: Bill O’Keeffe is the President and CEO of SAFTI FIRST Fire Rated Glazing Solutions, a leading USA-manufacturer of advanced fire rated glass and framing systems.  An industry veteran and innovator with over 45 years of experience in architectural glazing, he was first to introduce and manufacture clear, fire resistive glazing products in the US.  He is also a safety advocate who exposed the dangers of traditional wired glass, which lead to code changes and fire rated glass products that are safe, affordable and clear alternatives to traditional wired glass.  Today, Bill continues to develop building products that enable architects to create beautiful, safe and energy-efficient spaces with advanced glazing systems.

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