A Look at the Latest in Glass Machinery and Equipment

Glass processing and handling machinery is the foundation of any fabrication plant. While glass fabricators and manufacturers are unable to explore the latest innovations in processing technology in-person this year, USGlass magazine is offering a way to discover the newest machinery offerings.

A New Series of Washers

Yalos Bavelloni HW is a new series of horizontal washing machines for flat glass. The washers are available in various models with standard maximum working widths of 1,300, 1,600, 2,200, 2,600, 3,000 and 3,300 mm. All machine parts (including frame and covers) are in stainless steel and the glass transport rollers, driven by maintenance-free transmission systems, are made of vulcanized NBR rubber for wear and tear resistance. The washers come standard with two pairs of segmented brushes (stainless steel shafts with replaceable segments) with high density bristles. The upper part of the machine can be lifted to adjust to the glass thickness and for easy maintenance. The company adds that the electrical panel positioned next to the fan is a space-saving solution that avoids the hindrance created by conecting cables on the floor. Telescopic legs allow the washers to be integrated with any horizontal machine.


Quick Wash and Dry

Benteler Glass Processing Equipment offers a range of washing/drying machines, all of which are available for different manufacturing requirements. For individual customer needs, the company offers modular washing/drying machines. Modules are assembled according to the requested cleaning tasks and in accordance with requirements. The Benteler coating washer/dryer prepares the glass for the coating process. According to the company, a combination of high-performance polishing, cleaning, rinsing and drying zones provide consistent high-cleaning results.


Billco Cleans Up

Billco Manufacturing Inc. offers engineered in-line cleaning processes for glass suface preparation prior to different coating technologies. The in-line cleaning processes involve methods of surface agitation, such as cylinder brushes and oscillating scrubbing pads, slurry abrasives and abrasive impregnated brushes and pads. They also include contactless in-line ultrasonic cleaning for edge and perimeter particle contaminate, elevated pressure impinging sprays and high-volume flood lines for flushing suspended particulate across large substrate surfaces.

The Billco Data Acquisition and Water Quality Monitoring System monitors any glass washer processes. According to the company, the standard monitoring system is capable of trending washer metrics such as temperature, pH, conductivity/TDS, flow and totalized volume, glass in process, water and air pressure, and washer status indication such
as solenoid valve on times. Ambient conditions, including atmospheric pressure, relative humidity and local air temperature, can also be monitored. By reviewing process trends, warning and alarms can be established to alert maintenance and engineering when limits are exceeded, locally at the washer, or via e-mail or SMS text.


Erdman Unloads

One of Erdman Automation’s latest products incorporates a robot to unload the Erdman Dura and Super Spacer High Speed insulating glass (IG) line. The unloading robot reduces the chance of injury from unloading large, heavy IG units, according to the company, and can be designed to unload all IG units and reduce the operators on the line from three or four to two or three. The addition of a robot is another technological addition to Erdman’s Dura IG line. The company says its Erdman High Speed Dura Line produces IG at a rate nearly twice as fast as a traditional IG line. Total labor for the Dura High Speed line is three to four operators per 1,000 units per shift versus eight to ten operators for 1,000 units on a traditional line. The robot also is available for flexible foam lines.


Laminating Efficiently

Casso-Solar Technologies LLC offers a complete line of combination convection and infrared laminating equipment. A combination system provides a fast process as the infrared energy penetrates into the glass laminate compared to convection systems that heat the surface only. Convection allows the heated air to be circulated with the system reducing process losses, according to the company. Heated air is introduced through plenums with nozzles above and below the glass. The process is controlled with a menu driven, non-proprietary, PLC control system. Presses are designed with oversized rolls to provide more contact time than similar systems.


Vertical Profile

The CMS Vertical Production Line utilizes both the Profile and the Vertec with optional loading and unloading robots that can be integrated with the line for material handling. The Vertec is a vertical milling and drilling machine with 6 interpolated axes + 2 tool change axes. This machine is used mainly for milling notches, drilling holes and countersinking on rectangular and shaped glass. The CMS Profile is a full CNC work-center that can seam, grind, polish, mill (including large knee-wall and corner cutouts), drill, countersink, etc. When configured as a production line, the fabrication operations are split and optimized, which helps reduce cycle times, according to the company.


Robot Glazing

Ergo Robotics Solutions’ Plumbline-10K, a below-the-hook glazing robot, can lift up to 10,000 pounds of glass and curtainwall to a fully vertical/plumb position, according to the company, it can do so from either an on-edge position, or from a flat position. It has a 180-degree rotation feature as well. Ergo says users will have no need to pull on the bottom of the glass to straighten it because the machine handles that as well, completely hands-free, via a wireless, pressure-sensitive remote control. It includes a fully reconfigurable suction cup array that can be adjusted on the fly for various glass and curtainwall sizes. Customization is also an option.


The Express Treatment

The FuseCube Express has all the capabilities of the original FuseCube, within a 5- by 6-foot footprint and with cycles less than ten minutes. It’s designed to keep pace with any sized glass processor through quick run cycles, small load capacity (treats up to five lites) and unique design components to serve manufacturers of any size. The FuseCube Express fuses Diamon-Fusion onto both sides of the glass through a proprietary chemical vapor deposition process—transforming it into a high-performing, water-repellent surface, according to the company. The invisible chemical bond created prevents water stains and preserves glass.


Diamond Belt Seaming

Glassline has introduced a new diamond belt edge seaming line to its product offerings. The cross-belt style machines can be used for wet or dry operations, and include features such as pneumatic pressure control, indexing seaming belts and vacuum conveyor belts. Optionally, the seamers can include edge deletion heads with servo wear compensation. The seaming line can be manufactured in different sizes based on users’ needs.


Fire-Rated Washing

Offered by Glass Machine Sales, the Triulzi model VFP vertical washer for fire-rated glass has been specifically designed to remove resin residue left behind after saw cutting fire-rated glass with special interlayer laminate material. The VFP closed-top washer is available in sizes ranging from 1,600 to 2,200 mm and can process fire-rated glass thicknesses up to 60 mm. The washing section is equipped with inverter controlled, purpose-designed cylindrical brushes. It is coupled with a drying section that utilizes optical sensors to automatically control the movement of a vacuum head that dries the edges of the glass laminate.


A Continuous Monitor

From the Hegla New Technology innovation center is the V-H 150 Seculift, a new generation of the V-H suction device used for lifting, setting down and manipulating glass. Rigorous safety requirements were integrated into the V-H 150, so that the entire work cycle—from lifting, moving, tilting and setting down—is monitored continuously by the integrated safety control. Suction pads that cannot build a vacuum are automatically switched off. As soon as the glass element is lifted, it is weighed. If its weight exceeds the permitted weight for the number of active suction pads, movement is stopped immediately and operators receive unmistakable visual and acoustic signals. In such cases, it is still possible to set down the glass element. Unintended blow-off is blocked during transport and can only be activated for setting down by two-hand operation, which Hegla says saves more than 75% compressed air during normal operation while creating a noise-free movement.

With the optional IoT connection, the V-H150 Seculift can feed information such as current status, daily load cycles (number of manipulated pieces of glass), alerts and the results of safety checks into the company network.

Hegla also offers the Shopfloor Assistant app, a mobile solution for viewing the V-H 150’s current information from any place at any time. The documentation required for training and maintenance purposes is stored in the app.


Clean as Can Be

HHH Tempering Resources provides a glass cleaning solution with its glass washing and drying machine. This washer can process glass ranging from 48 to 120 inches wide, approximately 0.11 to 0.74 inches thick, at speeds of up to 32 feet per minute. The prewashing section is complete with an independent water tank, cylindrical brushes with top and bottom spraying zones and one low-E brush. This machine features three removable water tanks with pump and heating, and three pairs of air knives. The blower has a frequency converter to reduce energy consumption and a light inspection device is included in the discharge section. An optional PLC system is available.

The company has also unveiled an ultra-high-pressure waterjet cutter that is manufactured specifically for glass use. It offers more precision, efficiency and power than standard high-pressure waterjet fabrication technology, according to the company. The waterjet cutter features separately mounted cutting tools for reduced vibration and cantilever design for cutting glass pieces larger than a worktable. It makes no restrictions on cutting directions and can accommodate a variety of glass sizes.


Tempering Innovations

New tempering furnaces from Mappi are built to implement Siemens MindSphere and the features of Industry 4.0. In addition, the company’s ATS 4.0, the flagship of the Mappi range, incorporates all of these latest innovations. ATS 4.0 processes all types of low-E glasses, and manages distribution of convected air separately in lower and upper chambers, modulating the pressure of the air in single areas. Computer-controlled movements allow precise heating and air temperatures for high quality production, according to the company, adding that ATS 4.0 is user friendly and efficient. It maximizes the production cycle with relevant energy savings, and simplifies operations with only one hour needed before operating after startup.


Automatically Flexible

Lattuada has developed several solutions within its cyberAL project to automate activities increasing production flexibility, including robotic solutions for any need/application, according to the company. The product needs only one operator and offers energy savings and competitive pricing, according to the company. In addition to being easy to use, it creates reduced downtime with high speeds, according to the company. Automatic machines are also available from Lattuada, and its special packages of options (i-AL) can be requested on all the company’s edgers, including A-WR System for the automatic pre-setting “ZERO” procedure of diamond/resin wheels and automatic recovery of the polishing wheels’ wear.


Fabrication Solutions

Several equipment lines for a variety of glass fabrication needs are available from Matodi. The company’s Neptun Rock with AWA is a straight-line edger with a new option that automates the management of the wheels on the edger, including diamond, polish and arris wheels. An advantage of AWA is that no operator wheel adjustment is required, according to the company, which says it assures consistent production and quality regardless of the operator’s level of experience. It also features a wear compensation management system that notifies the operator to replace worn-down wheels at the end of their shift. The Rock has an IP67 rating meaning this machine is built to last in the shop environment.

Matodi also offers the Quick 2 T8 from Neptun, an all-in-one automatic vertical CNC milling and drilling workstation. It can drill, countersink, mill and execute notches and portholes on flat glass sheets in dimensions of up to approximately 5 by 10 feet. It features an open top for working with lites up to a height of approximately 8 feet. It also has an automatic double tooling carousel with eight front and eight rear positions.

The Keraglass Leader Lami Combi system can be used for the lamination of flat and bent glass in various sizes, shapes and thicknesses. A kiln divided into two separate chambers can also laminate glass/marble and glass/ceramic combinations. The Leader Lami Combi can be used for drying laminating materials.

In addition, the GlassInspector offers defect detection in double glazing lines. It can detect bubbles, fingerprints, scratches, coating defects and more. The machine can be used independently or it can be integrated into an insulating glass production line. Its software identifies and classifies defects by severity, providing statistics and reports.


A New Kind of Arc

A large arc bending furnace has been installed in the Tianjin NorthGlass facility. Built in 2018, the bending furnace can process arc lengths up to 8 by 4 meters bent tempered glass and, according to the company, is the only one of its kind.

The tempering furnace model is AG-22Z8017 with top and bottom convection. It can accommodate a bending arc up to 4 meters and a bending length between 1.7 and 8 meters.


Robotic Integration

Salem Flat Glass and Mirror offers robotic automation with its Denver CNC line. Denver’s robotic integration allows efficient loading, unloading and continuous production with reduced labor, increased safety and increased production output, according to the company. The line also decreases rejects/reworks due to efficient handling of the glass. Denver provides robotic integration solutions for the vertical Advance Plus, the horizontal three-axis Krea Fit, ¾-axis Quota and even five-axis Digit.

Salem also announced that, through its partnership with Qcomp Technologies, it offers flexible glass handling systems for virtually any routine loading/unloading or transfer task within a glass fabrication environment. This includes solutions for insulating glass lines, glass washers, seamers, lamination lines and more. These systems also provide social distancing options.


Lift and Install Large Lites Safely

Built for large-glass lifting with a maximum capacity of 2,800 pounds, the MRPT16 from Wood’s Powr-Grip (WPG) is the company’s largest standard vacuum lifter featuring rotation and tilt capabilities. Additionally, the model also includes recent innovations designed to enhance efficiency and safety. These include an optional integrated counter-balancer that adjusts the hang angle of the lifter or load as needed for each job, and a built-in load sensor that prevents any release of an unsupported load, according to the company. Intelli-Grip, WPG’s technology package, monitors the lifter’s vacuum and power systems and simplifies inspection and maintenance, according to the company. The Intelli-Grip app can be downloaded for remote monitoring.


A Pro in Fabrication

The VMC-820 and HMC-9000, are Pro-Line Automation System’s newest developments in CNC-controlled window wall fabrication machinery. Both machines share the same frame and external appearance, preload station and feeder system, but the spindle arrangements and orientation are configured based on the application.

The two machines are capable of completely processing window wall vertical or horizontal members two pieces per cycle. According to the company, this significantly reduces cycle times while increasing accuracy and consistency when compared to other methods of fabrication.


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