The Superglass

Superglass Insulation started life in 1987 at what is still its main manufacturing site in Stirling, Scotland.

In 2005, following a management buy-out, Superglass became the UK’s biggest independent manufacturer of glass mineral wool insulation products. Two years later the business joined the London Stock Exchange.

View our timeline below for a more detailed overview of our company’s growth, from independent manufacturer to global innovator in insulation technology.

1953 Image


Cape Asbestos Company, William Kenyon & Sons and Grunzweig & Hartmann first discuss manufacturing rockwool insulation in Britain. Cape will erect the factory, Grunzweig & Hartmann will supply the manufacturing system and Kenyon will market the product, known as Rocksil.

1953 Image


The first furnace is fired at the new 100,000 sq ft factory in Stirling, Scotland, with the first batch of Rocksil produced in December of that year.

1954 Image


Official opening of the Rocksil factory, attended by the Duke of Argyll, Earl of Elgin and many other Scottish dignitaries. The new enterprise is backed by Sir Alec Douglas Home, who describes it as ‘a great and new asset to the country and to the Highlands’.

1961 Image


New operating subsidiary Cape Insulation & Asbestos Products Ltd introduces Rocksil-K, a fine fibre development with half the weight of the original. This allows the creation of insulation mats with no need for pinning.

1961 Image


Overseas sales increase substantially each year, particularly for air conditioning, cold temperature insulation and solar heat insulation.

1964 Image


With JL Geddes as manager, the plant is in continuous production 24 hours a day to meet demand.

1965 Image


During a visit to Scotland, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II tours the factory in the company of Lord Clydesmuir.

1977 Image


By 1977 the plant employs nearly 700 people, but the combined impact of increased energy prices, industrial relations problems and the rise of glass mineral wool as the dominant insulation material all begin to affect production and the market for Rocksil.

1980 Image


Cape acquires Newalls Insulation Company Ltd of Washington, Tyne & Wear, in order to increase its market share and expand the range of materials and products it offers.

1984 Image


Cape Insulation in Stirling is bought by Pilkington Brothers for over £8million, and the Washington plant closed with the loss of 360 jobs.

1987 Image


The Stirling plant is acquired by new company Superglass Insulation, a subsidiary of insulation specialists Encon Ltd of Halifax, to manufacture glass-fibre insulation. Several former members of Cape’s management team (including Alan Sanders, Douglas McKerracher and James Geddes) are involved in the £2million venture, which opens in September creating 70 jobs.

1991 Image


Superglass launches Multi-Roll insulation. The insulation loft roll with perforated sections designed specifically to fit between the joists in lofts.

1997 Image


Managing Director, John Smellie, initiates Superglass ‘Customer Service Initiative’.

1997 Image


3i, Europe’s leading private equity company, backs a Management Buy-Out of Encon by a team led by Douglas McKerracher. It goes on to deliver consistent growth for the next eight years from its two principal businesses, Encon distribution and Superglass insulation manufacturing.

2000 Image


Superglass start manufacturing ‘Blown’ insulation, supplying 2,000 tonnes to Insta.

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Company achieves record output of 52,000 tonnes.

2005 Image


Following 3i’s sale of Encon to Wolseley plc, Superglass is sold to NBGI Private Equity for £37.5million to effect a Management Buy-Out and make Superglass the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of glass wool insulation products.

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Superglass makes a significant investment in new packaging and palletising machinery.

2007 Image


Superglass floats on the London Stock Exchange.

2013 Image


Superglass invests £9.2million in creating a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Stirling, together with new products and innovations aimed at safeguarding British jobs. The new plant also safeguards the environment by recycling both aqueous waste and fibre waste, with advanced melting processes reducing energy use.

2015 Image


Superglass open new Innovation Centre in Stirling and launch Superwhite 34 blown cavity wall insulation.

2016 Image


Superglass is purchased by TN International, a global building materials group. This partnership with a respected construction products leader enables a future vision of transformed scale, presence and international reach.

2017 Image


The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) signs the first Sustainable Growth Agreement with Superglass based on six environmental commitments. They include reducing water usage, waste and CO2 emissions, as well as working with local community groups on economic and social matters.

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£37million investment in the manufacturing site at Stirling, doubling its capacity to 60,000 tonnes and creating new jobs in the area. The investment marks a new horizon for Superglass and its ambitious growth plans for the future.

2019 Image


Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, officially opens Superglass’ newly upgraded factory in Stirling. The significant engineering and building works within Superglass’ existing site are being carried out while the original production area continues to operate. Superglass reports its return to trading profit a year ahead of forecast with revenue growing by 39%.

2022 Image


Chief Financial Officer Theresa McLean reports that Superglass has delivered record product volumes and financial results.

2023 Image


Superglass is acquired by the Etex group, a global manufacturer of exterior and interior products and systems.