Automatic for the people
Double R Glass and Roofing Systems improved its sealed unit manufacture with its vertical Super Spacer automatic hot melt IGU line – the quickest of its kind in the world. Managing director of Double R, Ian Sims, explains how this level of automation is directly benefitting customers.
A smart factory is only smart if it’s managed and operated by skilled people. While automation offers a whole host of benefits to customers, people like dealing with people so retaining a personal touch is also important. However, there is no denying the fact that the right automation can offer customers a far superior end product and service.
When we were looking into commissioning the world’s fastest vertical Super Spacer Automatic hot melt IGU line, we spent months talking to machinery suppliers and then working with For.El and Promac to tailor our chosen machine to our needs. We invested this time in getting it right to ensure it would deliver the very best for our customers.
As a result of the up-front investment in time and resources, the line consists of some of the best engineering I’ve ever seen: it’s superbly built and its speed is driven by the mass of IT technology built in, with computers talking to one another to maximise the space on the line to ensure that the next unit is always ready to progress. Batching software also ensures ultra-efficient use of the line.
Aside from the speed, it’s the quality assurance that allows our customers to stand out in a crowded market. The line includes an intelligent washer that ensures there is no damage to coatings when the glass goes through this process. It includes a quality scanner that can detect even the smallest of scratches. We still employ our own quality checks throughout the whole manufacturing process, but this level of automation gives our customers an advantage because they know they can rely on us for quality units.
The Super Spacer applicator on the line is also run by the latest technology to ensure the spacer’s application is consistently accurate for a high-quality finish. Meanwhile, the integrated gas press makes sure that precisely the correct amount of gas is inserted into each unit, every time. The latest double headed sealing robot provides a high-quality seal to give customers even more confidence in the life of the unit. The line also houses two separate methods of applying Georgian and duplex bars to ensure the accuracy of fitting.
Every aspect of the line is driven by the latest software to ensure speed, quality, accuracy and consistency. All of these benefits don’t rely on having your best workers on a particular station in the factory – every single element provides benefits consistently across all shifts every day.
With this level of automation, you have to consider all eventualities, including what will happen if something goes wrong. The emphasis on proactive fault diagnosis within our For.El line is impressive: the IT informs us what and where the problem is and displays images of faulty parts to assist engineers in making the necessary repairs. The work that For.El has put into the diagnostic areas offers peace of mind for us and our customers.
I am proud that the future of automatic sealed unit lines has been shaped by Double R, and it emphasises our focus on offering the very best solutions to our customers.