Dave Miller of Cyncly’s business development division explained to GPAD attendees that for fabricators to remain competitive, they must stay on top of technological innovations and remain ahead of technology adoption.

Dave Miller of Cyncly’s business development division opened Glass Processing Automation Days (GPAD) on Tuesday with a dive into how artificial intelligence (AI) will change glass fabrication. GPAD was hosted by the Omni Nashville Hotel and organized by the National Glass Association.

Miller explained that for fabricators to remain competitive, they must stay on top of technological innovations, be proactive when anticipating tech trends and remain ahead of technology adoption.

Craig Morris, global vice president of products for Cyncly’s Windows, Doors and Glass Business unit, added that AI adoption is a win-win for fabricators. It’s proven to help reduce scheduling times (hours to minutes), improve efficiency, lessen stall times and increase output. AI can also lower energy consumption, enhance precision and improve material yields.

Morris said Cyncly’s vision of AI for the glass industry includes adopting software featuring real-time data analysis and automatic manufacturing planning, allowing for flexible course correction, predictive optimization and recommended daily reporting.

How to Ensure Your Equipment Launch is Successful

Syndi Sim, vice president of marketing and business development at DFI-Diamon Fusion International, said that 75% of glass fabricators surveyed will invest in capital equipment in 2024, while 54% will launch new product lines. She explained that most fabricators interested in acquiring new equipment do so to capture new customers, differentiate their business, increase revenue streams and create new value.

Of course, obtaining and launching products is not always easy. Sim said two main pitfalls befall companies once they purchase and implement a new machine: ineffective sales and poor marketing strategies, leading to poor sales.

What is the best way to launch a new product? Sim said it’s vital for fabricators to first look for a strategic supplier.

“Your suppliers should be your partners,” she said. “…They should be constantly giving you ideas.”

She explained that fabricators must look for partners who work directly with their teams and provide in-depth training for management and sales teams.

There are three launch phases of equipment adoption:

  • Pre-Launch: Sim said this is the most important step. It’s an opportunity to do market research, identify the target audience, train and ensure operational readiness;
  • Launch Day: Communication with the industry is critical to highlight the benefits of the new equipment. Communicate through emails, social media, press releases and the media.
  • Post-Launch: Companies need to conduct a 150- to 180-day post-launch review. When feedback arrives, implement the suggestions.

Sim said it’s also essential to maintain momentum. New products don’t end with launches. She explained that companies need to promote the product and its benefits continually.

Graph courtesy of Viprotron.

Accurate Measurement of Glass Tempering Distortion

Ric Schmidt of Viprotron dove into the company’s new Temper Scanner 5D technology designed to minimize distortion via precise measurements. Schmidt said the scanner uses up to five independent inspection channels, including a roller wave, brightfield channel transmission and reflection, edge kink, anisotropy and haze.

Schmidt said that the benefits of the roller wave, for example, lead to a decrease in visible optical distortion and 100% documentation of quality. He explained that Viprotron uses proven line cameras to combine the new roller waves control function with the known functions of anisotropy measurement, haze localization and detecting optical defects in the brightfield and reflection channel.

Depending on the requirements, only the roller wave test or all other functions can be used separately or in any combination behind a furnace.

Schmidt said that the types of glass that can be tested are tempered glass made of float, tinted, low-E, sun protection and more. The system can test glass up to 20 millimeters.

Nate Huffman, director of sales and support at LiteSentry-SoftSolution-Strainoptics, added that when it comes to distortion testing, peak-valley measurements do not measure what the eye sees, which is why millidiopters are a better way to measure optical distortion. The higher the millidiopter reading, the greater the curvature of the glass surface and the higher the visible distortion.

Read USGNN and visit www.usglassmag.com on Monday, March 11, 2024, for more news from GPAD.

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