Reshaping the glass industry – Glaston making glass processing smarter
During Glasstec, Glaston is once again showcasing the latest glass technology development. Digital solutions for improved performance is a key theme showing how artificial intelligence and augmented reality is used in glass processing and services. In addition, the next step in smart glass evolution is introduced together with Heliotrope Technologies.
As environmental awareness increases, markets are driven towards sustainable buildings and construction investments. Emerging technologies, such as smart glass, enable smarter and more energy efficient societies. “Smart glass has an enormous potential and the smart glass market is expected to grow significantly in the next few years. As a frontrunner in glass processing technology, our aim is to be the industry developer and accelerator for emerging technologies. By doing so we can combine commercial targets with societal needs,” says CEO & President Arto Metsänen.
Glaston’s Emerging Technologies unit offers consulting and planning services for smart glass and energy glass windows production as well as solar energy applications. The unit also sells and delivers the production lines in question. “We are actively involved with our Emerging Technologies unit in developing new glass technologies and their practical application. With smart glass we are able to increase the living comfort and safety of buildings as well as save or generate energy, which supports the needs for more environmentally sustainable and energy efficient solutions,” Arto Metsänen continues.
Since late 2015, Glaston and California based Heliotrope Technologies Inc. have been working closely towards commercialization of Heliotrope’s colloidal nanocrystal-based NanoEC™ technology for dynamic glazing. With the project advancing on schedule, the companies prepare for the commercial launch of the first pilot line in spring 2019.
Securing next generation innovations
The glass industry is currently undergoing significant change. To promote the development of the industry and find new innovations, Glaston will in June 2019 organize the Step Change glass industry start-up event in connection with Glass Performance Days conference.
Launched in 2017, Step Change aims at promoting development of the industry as well as meetings between new innovators, potential partners, customers and investors. “Typically industry start-ups do not have the channels to access the right people. GPD offers great networking opportunities for the start-ups as the conference is attended by industry’s leading people and top experts. Our target for the 2019 event is to establish Step Change as the go-to start-up event of the glass industry,” says Sasu Koivumäki, SVP, Glaston Machines business area.
With its dedication toward the development of the glass industry via education, the main theme for GPD/Step Change 2019 is Smart Cities and Smart Buildings.
Digital solutions for real life
With extensive investments and R&D, Glaston is heading towards automated processes and real-time customer support. During the exhibition Glaston will be showing how artificial intelligence and augmented reality is used in glass processing and services.
“Our progressive solutions, like Insight Assistant, give operators their own assistant to automatically achieve the best furnace settings based on measured glass information. And Insight Reporting enables glass processors to monitor their machinery online, improving production from anywhere in the world”, Sasu Koivumäki explains.
Technology releases at Glasstec
Glaston’s most successful premium tempering line in history, the FC Series, has taken another leap forward with even more advanced features. The new version, with high levels of automation and intelligent process control, is actually a masterpiece in intelligence. The performance of this latest generation of the top-of-the-line flat glass tempering furnace is presented daily at the LIVE tempering demonstrations.
At Glasstec 2018, the centerpiece of the Glaston’s product roll-outs is the Jumbo Series machine for sophisticated, jumbo-sized architectural glass. The Jumbo Series is built on the reliability and experience of 50 years of delivering high-end tempering lines worldwide.
At the trade show, Glaston will be showcasing its latest developments also in lamination technology that enables glass processors to reach an ever-higher level of productivity and performance. During the exhibition, it is possible to dive into Glaston’s lamination technology with the help of AR.
Interest in Glaston’s advantageous ProL-zone upgrade solution has been growing briskly. Over the last few years, Glaston has carried out numerous ProL-zone upgrades worldwide. “The upgrade cuts the cost of modernizing an existing line and reduces downtime, while enabling higher productivity and significant energy savings as a final result”, says Artturi Mäki, SVP, Services business area.
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