Glass is being specified by architects more than ever due to the many benefits it provides, and the key to quality glass is the way it’s processed. At the 2019 Glass Processing Automation Days (GPAD) Conference in San Antonio, presenters focused on how automation and Industry 4.0 are improving glass processing.
Hermann Frey with LandGlass spoke about the evolution of tempering ovens from pure radiation furnaces to high convection furnaces. He said that one benefit of automation is the reduction of human error. Advances in technology have allowed for glass to be scanned in real time as it’s loaded into the tempering furnace. The furnace control system can adjust the furnace settings according to the scanned information.
“You also need to know about what comes out, not only what goes into the furnace,” said Frey. “At the end of the day, the system determines if the glass is good.”
Glaston sales director Kimmo Kuusela explained that in a traditional line there is a separation of different glass types which leads to waste due to overheating and operator mistakes. He said that Glaston’s line allows for mixed production which increases productivity and reduces waste and energy consumption. The major parameter that must be consistent when using this line is that the thickness of the sandwich must remain the same.
VIG Technologies president Martin Bracamonte’s presentation, “Vacuum Insulating Glass (VIG): Where the Window Becomes the Wall,” focused on the benefits of using VIG. He explained that tempered glass also has a perimeter seal of 11,000 psi, whereas VIG’s perimeter seal is 50,000 psi, meaning that companies can guarantee a 25-year warranty. VIG glass includes 0.3-mm pillars which prevent the thin glass lites from touching each other.
Bracamonte then compared traditional insulating glass units (IGU) with VIG. He said argon-filled IGUs can achieve and R-value of 4 while triple IGU with argon can achieve R-5.2. A VIG can achieve R-15.4, according to Bracamonte. VIGs also retain their R-value when vertical or horizontal. Hybrid VIGs can achieve up to R-18.3.
For more GPAD coverage, check out the articles, “GPAD Conference Opens in San Antonio with Focus on Industry 4.0” and “GPAD Focuses on Reducing Labor Costs through Automation.”