SOFTWARE FOR GLASS
“Our confidence in Clear Thinking has definitely paid off. Their team has helped enormously…. through their expertise, that has been gained in other glass factories, they have contributed to our success”
Clear Thinking Software – experts in software for glass – were called in by Bloomsbury Glass of Birmingham at the end of 2007 to assist them with a number of issues facing them, but in particular they needed help to improve their efficiency and streamline their workload and management activities.
Bloomsbury Glass, based in Greet on the south east side of the city are glass merchants and providers of single toughened panes, and initially had Clear Thinking’s Glass Office program installed. More recently, Bloomsbury Glass invested in a new Bystronic auto loading cutting table and a new Seam Max Automatic horizontal arrissing line was delivered by Steve Ashton and his team from Ashton Industrial Sales. Bloomsbury Glass wanted all this to be controlled by their software.
Jas Singh, Director of Bloomsbury Glass comments, “From health and safety and production efficiency aspects, we were keen to keep the glass horizontal and minimise manual handling throughout the production process. Subsequently, we now have the perfect working situation, where a batch is created in the Glass Office software that is based on orders required. The optimised glass cutting patterns are then transmitted across our network to the Bystronic automatic loader and cutting table, where the cutting takes place.”
The break-out sequence is shown on the ‘Byshow’ break-out monitor, which is controlled by the software. As each piece of glass is broken out in the correct sequence, it is then moved horizontally on coasters onto the Ashton automatic arrisser, where it is laser etched then arrissed, washed, and fed into the furnace for toughening.
As it comes out of the furnace, the laser etched rack number is read by the operator and the glass is quickly and easily sorted into pairs for the correct delivery route sequence. This procedure ensures that the glass is never written on during the production process and the label only needs to be attached once when it comes out of the furnace.
To ensure that it can be transported safely from Bloomsbury Glass to the customer, the glass is then sorted into job and descending size sequence. As it is already paired with it’s partner piece (eg. Clear and K), sorting has been eliminated for customers when the glass is received, so it can immediately be made into units.
Jas Singh comments, “We have used colour coded labels for each customer, job and route to ensure that everything is delivered correctly to our customers.”
Laser marking with the Domino laser from Ashton means that Bloomsbury Glass obtains a perfect, readable image in under 2 seconds, which is permanently etched into the glass surface. This can neither be smudged nor removed, and it stays visible on the glass through the wet arrissing process and even through the furnace.
Bloomsbury Glass chose the following information to be lasered onto the glass for their glass production: glass size, batch and racking information and job number, as well as their kitemark and logo.
Jas Singh concludes, “Eighteen months ago we didn’t have the Clear Thinking solution, however, we’ve found it to be the catalyst that makes our huge investment in Bystronic and Ashton equipment function as effectively as possible. Now we have an efficient and productive environment which is incredibly safe and fast. We are able to manufacture a complex variety of products that our customers require, all of which are produced on time and in a way that eases our customer’s lives.
The Clear Thinking solution was competitively priced, and it has proved to be a great investment for us. Our confidence in them has definitely paid off. Their team has helped enormously, visiting us on-site many times and helping us to evaluate the best methods to cope with the conflicting demands of customer and production, for the machinery that we have installed. Through their expertise, that has been gained in other glass factories, they have contributed to our success.”
Malcolm Searle, of Clear Thinking Software comments, “I like to think we provide businesses with the right solution and help them to improve their overall efficiency.”
Article first appeared in The Gl@zine – 7th October 08