Software key to Birchdale advances
"With the assistance of Clear Thinking, we have now moved our production capabilities to the next level....".
Birchdale Glass of Uxbridge in West London, started manufacturing double glazed units in 1992 and were based in a 7,000 sq ft. factory with little more than a manual cutting table, a vertical glass washer and a two-part polysulphide applicator.
Having steadily grown and expanded into additional factory space over the next 18 years, the decision was taken to move the glass processing and aluminium window businesses from under one roof. In December 2010/January 2011 the move into a nearby 45,000 sq. ft. factory unit was completed.
Alongside this, a 32 metre long Forel line for sealing and gas filling insulated glass units was installed, enabling Birchdale Glass to increase the volume of insulated glass units and argon gas filled units manufactured.
As part of this growth strategy, Paul Deanus the Glass Operations Manager had realised that they would also need to upgrade their existing software to manage the increased volumes and called upon Clear Thinking Software as their approved software provider.
“Clear Thinking with their vast experience in glass production software and systems were able to look at the specific requirements of Birchdale Glass and their production capabilities, and were able to reconfigure the existing software to better optimise the cutting, improve scheduling of the cut glass though the various processes and reduce energy requirements by optimising the glass through the toughening furnace.”
“In addition to the above savings through better optimisation and scheduling, we are also able to reduce our carbon footprint, by not only reducing the energy requirement in the toughening furnace, but also by having all insulated glass units manufactured in a sequence to minimise our transportation.”
Forel sealing line (above)
“Of course, software is not the panacea to all production issues. We have had to work hard and change a number of our working practices to get the best out of the software and machinery, but it has definitely been worth it. It has always been our goal to continually improve our production capabilities and customer satisfaction.”
Paul concludes, “With the assistance of Clear Thinking, we have now moved our production capabilities to the next level. With the continuing support of Clear Thinking, we need to look at how the production software can be used to improve the interface and information provided to our customers."
Article first appeared in Glass Times - August 2011
© 2012 Clear Thinking Software