Cardinal IG Facility Expansion for Jumbo Glass Manufacturing Line

February 27, 2023

Cardinal IG - Tomah, Wisconsin

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Project Features:
Production Facility Renovation and Addition, 400,000 SF, Equipment and Processes for New Insulating Glass Product Line, Intense Power Requirements for Production Process


Renovation of glass manufacturing company

The Challenge

Cardinal Glass Industries, a management-owned S-Corporation leading the industry in the development of residential glass for windows and doors, required an expansion of their Tomah, Wisconsin, facility to meet rising demand in glass products. Cardinal sought to expand an existing facility that previously served another division of the company. The facility’s renovations required the design and build around new equipment and processes for producing a new product line as well as an increase in the size of the facility to account for long-term production line layouts. An additional requirement included a newly designed quench room with robust automated control to provide quenching air at a consistent temperature to their glass tempering furnace. Previous systems were either manual or difficult to implement automatic systems, leading to a less consistent product.

The Solution

ACS held the design-build contract for the design, engineering, and construction of the major addition to the Cardinal IG facility in Tomah, Wisconsin. ACS gutted the 250,000-square-foot building previously used by another division of their company first. Using their “inside out” approach to design, which focuses on the process requirements first, the new design and build addressed new product line goals by adding 170,000 square feet of manufacturing space, offices, maintenance areas, and a connector from the remaining manufacturing plant to the new and renovated spaces. The addition increased the total manufacturing area of Cardinal IG at this location to approximately 400,000 square feet. The expansion includes one new jumbo glass manufacturing line, with the space and infrastructure to accommodate three additional glass manufacturing lines to be added in the future.

The new facility features a virtually touchless insulating glass process that increases safety and produces high-quality products. There is dedicated capacity for raw glass storage, cutting, and sorting equipment, along with a Glaston furnace for shake-and-bake glass tempering. ACS designed and built space for (3) 1200hp+ high-pressure blowers used by Cardinal’s glass quenching process. The quench room was designed to move 180,000+ cubic feet per minute (CFM) against pressure drops less than 0.25” water gauge (WG). To address the intense power requirements for this process, the facility is outfitted with medium voltage distribution along with (7) transformers to feed (7) 4,000 amp substations that handle the entire facility’s power needs. ACS supported Cardinal in installing and commissioning mechanical and control devices for automatically controlled HVAC systems. ACS provided a programmable logical controller (PLC) in lieu of a typical building automation system (BAS) to allow Cardinal more flexibility with troubleshooting and reprogramming in the future.

The Outcome

By contracting the entire design, bid, and construction of the building to ACS, Cardinals’ internal resources were able to focus on procuring, installing, and commissioning the new production lines. The resulting 400,000 square foot facility has provided Cardinal IG with both the present and long-term capacity to sustain product line growth plans.

Key Features

  • Renovation and building addition (400,000SF total) for jumbo glass manufacturing
  • Three 1200hp+ high-pressure blowers for glass quenching process
  • Quench room moves 180,000+ CFM against pressure drops less than 0.25” WG
  • Quench room with robust automated control provides quenching air at a consistent temperature to glass tempering furnace
  • Intense power requirements met with medium voltage distribution along with seven transformers to feed seven 4,000 amp substations that handle the entire facility’s power needs

ACS Services

  • Held design-build contract for the design, engineering, and construction
  • Supported Cardinal in installing and commissioning mechanical and control devices for automatically controlled HVAC systems
  • Provided a programmable logical controller (PLC) in lieu of a typical building automation system (BAS) to allow Cardinal more flexibility with troubleshooting and reprogramming in the future