PaneraTech has been working with Cardinal Glass to successfully rebuild its Durant, Okla., furnace using its SmartMelter technology.

SmartMelter combines two patented sensors with digital mapping to collect precise data about furnace health, according to a release from PaneraTech. The technology measures the actual residual thickness of walls and helps manufacturers determine the timing of overcoat, identify early stage glass infiltration and optimize rebuild dates.

“It was imperative that we keep operations on schedule to fulfill our orders,” says Kelly Busch, vice president of technology at Cardinal Glass. “However, we had to do this safely. We were able to operate with confidence because we were sure of the condition of the furnace bottom through SmartMelter mapping.”

The first measurements were taken in April 2016 by the PaneraTech team on-site in Cardinal’s plant. SmartMelter requires a one-time mapping of specific areas of the furnace to enable proper tracking of each refractory inspection, according to the company. Advanced radar technology was then used to take accurate measurements of the residual furnace bottom thickness.

After this initial set-up and training, the sensor was shipped to Durant for regular monitoring. Beginning in June 2016, the Cardinal team took monthly measurements with guidance from PaneraTech to monitor the progress of glass infiltration at the bottom. The plant was able to continue operations through January 2017, the scheduled date for rebuilding.