We received a message through our website the other day from a glass industry company we’d never worked with before:
Today’s process industry is comprised of many intelligent control systems, connected via some wired or wireless network to allow process information to be viewed and controlled by an operator interface. Earlier this month, Optimation participated in a Process Solutions User Group put on by Rockwell Automation located in Houston Texas. This event consisted of over 1000 colleagues and software and equipment experts, who joined together for this event to discuss where they are going with new products, and solicit feedback from users regarding successes and challenges faced in current releases.
Every type of manufacturing process has its own set of limitations or parameters that you need to work within, especially when planning a shutdown, maintenance, or equipment installations. Glass manufacturing is no exception. There are a few rules when working around glass. You need to work safely, if you don’t you will get burnt or cut. You need to respect the glassmaking process.
Rockwell hosted a recent webinar highlighting its batch technology. It introduced the new capabilities of FT Batch V13 which were summarized as follows:
When manufacturing companies in the processing segment are faced with having to solve their varied production problems and challenges, they may find due to resource constraints within their own organizations that hiring in some outside help is required. Manufacturers in these situations frequently have qualification steps to go through to ensure that the potential supplier can provide the level of service necessary to solve the problem at hand. This is equally true whether the company in need requires replacement of a failed part, regulatory guidance for a new chemical to be introduced, or installation of a new piece of process equipment. The varied disciplines within a process based company that may be serviced by contractors is broad and varied. Businesses that look to suppliers for assistance should be able to understand and verify the skills and capabilities of their suppliers, on a project by project basis, to ensure a successful outcome.
Glass manufacturing is a science, but there has always been a bit of mystery to it, and it is often treated like an art with touch of black magic and a deep rooted theme of “this is how things have always been done.” The glass industry is one of the most conservative that I have seen. It tends to be slow to change and no one wants to be the first to try something. Glass melting is a 24/7 operation; you cannot stop the flow of glass without impacting the quality, and what you want is consistency, so you really don’t even want to be changing flow rates. This leaves little time for maintenance, whether it be preventive or dealing with some type of catastrophic failure. There is much planning involved when a line or furnace is to be shutdown. It is a window of opportunity and you must accomplish as much as possible when it occurs.