Houghton County manufacturer adds jobs, production

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - A company in the Houghton County Airport Park is growing and improving its production.

OcuGlass started five years ago with four employees and now has 30. It makes acid-etched glass for large companies.

"It's kind of a hard thing to explain because no one in Michigan even does this," said Brant Ryynanen, OcuGlass Production Supervisor. "We're the only ones that do this process in the United States."

OcuGlass ships glass pieces that are about 80 square feet each. The large shipments totalling 15,000 to 25,000 square feet go to major glass fabrication, lamination and tempering companies.

"They use them in garage doors, as far as skyscrapers, a bunch of different projects," said Jared Peryam, an OcuGlass Production Shift Lead.

Primary customers are in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, North Carolina, Arkansas and New York.

"Really big in elevators," said Ryynanen. "Offices are using it in glass office rooms, tables."

The company started in 2013 as D.A. Glass America with four employees. Now OcuGlass, there are 30 employees, with 24 full-time and a plant operating 24-7.

"We've made a lot of changes and hired the right people," said Ryynanen.

He says its OcuWrite product is innovative and growing in sales.

"Basically if you write it with an Expo marker, it will wipe off with just a cloth," Ryynanen explained. "But if you use a permanent marker, you can write on it, but it won't wipe off with a cloth, but it will wipe off if you use anything like Windex, it will wipe right off. That's our highest value product."

Company leaders say consultants, the MTEC Smart Zone and area college interns have helped make this expansion possible. It's growth employees are happy to be a part of.

"It's always a fun time," said Peryam. "I mean it's tough at times, but you have something to work for."

OcuGlass says it expects sales to grow more this year. The company has also just launched a new website.

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