Glass businesses are always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of their operations, and many exhibitors this year at glasstec 2016 are offering solutions.
Ron Crowl, president and CEO of Ohio-based Fenetech, says he’s excited to see a focus around the internet of things and the connectivity that is possible on the shop floor. He adds that he’s upbeat about software in the industry overall.
Fenetech is discussing its FeneVision ERP manufacturing software with attendees. The software covers both the production and business aspects of a fabricator’s operations.
Exhibitor A+W, based in Germany, has responded to demand for mobile services with its sales and delivery applications. It has also taken the mobile approach to the factory with Dashboard, its shop-floor monitoring “to go” app. The app displays key production figures in real time, with information on individual production areas such as cutting, insulating glass lines and processing.
“A production manager in a glass factory is always on the run,” says Dr. Michael Kuttner, senior manager of communications. “This allows them to see everything that’s going on from one side of the plant to the other.”
He adds that “as machines have more and more electronic parts, we’re able to get more information from them … If we can work with real-time data, we can work more efficiently.”
New Zealand-based Smart Builder is introducing its new Smart-Glass cloud-based program, which was released two months ago. Users of the software can design and price glass quickly with a simple interactive drawing.
Additionally, glass suppliers can assign login accounts to their customers so the customers can design, price and order glass directly. David Brennan, managing director of Smart Builder, says this benefits both sides, as it removes some of the responsibility on the supplier of ensuring an accurate order is entered, and it allows the customer to get real-time pricing so they can design and adjust the glass accordingly.
Meanwhile, measurement machinery and tools also continue to improve efficiency, and most importantly, quality.
LiteSentry, from Minnesota, is at glasstec showcasing its Osprey 7, the latest upgrade to its machine that inspects distortion and flatness. New features of the system include quality thresholds for coated and non-coated products, size measurements up to plus or minus 3-mm, and a web browser application to monitor operations from a tablet or smart phone.
Eric Hegstrom, vice president of technology, says another key feature is that the machine now comes standard with a bar code scanner to track each part to quality data.
Finland-based Sparklike is also showcasing its measurement equipment, which analyzes insulating glass (IG) gas concentration on double and triple glass units. The company last year introduced its laser measuring technology, and the device comes in standard hand-held and portable types. It also can be integrated to an IG line for automated inspection.
“More complicated glass types need new developments in measuring,” says sales director Mauri Saksala.
Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for continued coverage of glasstec, which runs through Friday.