A Silver Lining
For the Silvering Line
Sherwin-Williams delivers high-quality mirror coatings that reduce applied costs for seasoned mirror producer, Virginia Mirror Company.
Virginia Mirror Company began producing mirrors for furniture manufacturers in Virginia and North Carolina in 1913. Now, it’s a prominent supplier of fabricated and stock sheet mirrors for residential and commercial construction throughout the southwestern region of the U.S.
As a leading producer of stock sheet mirrors, Virginia Mirror sells the majority of its products through distributors in the after-paint market. As an added layer of service, the company delivers all glass products to their customers directly, using its own fleet and loading process. The company’s most popular offering is its 42x120-inch sheets.
“Virginia Mirror is known for its quality, craftsmanship and service,” said Lloyd Brigman, director of operations for Virginia Mirror Company. “From producing exceptional products to paying invoices and delivering products on time, these basic principles have been the foundation of our stability. They’re what set us apart from other mirror producers.”
NEW & IMPROVED SILVERING
Throughout the 2000s, Virginia Mirror sourced its coatings from a paint supplier that eventually discontinued its mirror coatings portfolio, leaving Virginia Mirror in need of a new supplier. At the beginning of 2019, with quality, craftsmanship and service top-of-mind, the long-standing company chose Sherwin-Williams as its primary mirror coatings provider.
“The kickoff discussions with Virginia Mirror centered around the quality of our silvering chemicals and paint,” said Tim Reilly, Sherwin-Williams mirror coatings technical sales manager. “They wanted to learn as much as they could before moving forward with our chemistries.”
For quality, performance and application assurance, Virginia Mirror tested the Sherwin-Williams coatings on its production line.
“After initial testing, we saw less rejection on the line,” said Michael Fain, plant manager for Virginia Mirror Company. “The chemicals just ran better. They were higher quality than the previous coatings we used, and the technical support we received from the team played a tremendous role in choosing them as our supplier.”
Mirror Coatings in Action
ACHIEVING THE LOWEST APPLIED COST
Sherwin-Williams provides Virginia Mirror with silver, tin and copper chemistries for various applications throughout the production process. The quality of these chemistries is critical to keeping applied costs in check. Unlike glass coatings that have more consistent price points, the cost of applying mirror coatings fluctuates based on the price of the metal chemistry in the finish – elevating the stakes on a seamless production.
“We want Virginia Mirror to achieve the lowest applied cost when using our chemistries,” said Reilly. “Silver is too expensive to waste, which is why we conducted a thorough line audit and process analysis to identify where cost savings could be gained.”
TACTICAL TECHNICAL SERVICE
Virginia Mirror’s silvering line is roughly 500 feet long – one of the longest in North America. In mirror production, the longer the silvering line, the more time each stage of the process has to run, which results in higher quality mirrors at the end of production.
By the end of 2019, the Sherwin-Williams team, spearheaded by sales representative Brian Wagemann, helped identify an opportunity to improve the line by replacing the silvering console, which pumps the liquid chemistries onto the glass substrate. Wagemann and his team found an external engineer to manufacture a custom console that saves Virginia Mirror about a half-gallon of silver every day.
“Not only did Sherwin-Williams help us optimise our silvering line, but they also provided recommendations on how to improve processes that didn’t revolve around their products,” said Brigman. “They’re genuinely concerned with our overall success, and with them, we feel confident about our next 100 years.”
Not only did Sherwin-Williams help us optimise our silvering line, but they also provided recommendations on how to improve processes that didn’t revolve around their products. They’re genuinely concerned with our overall success, and with them, we feel confident about our next 100 years.