Going beyond standard
“Everything is based on the quality that a glass company can offer,” Roberto Pastore, owner of Italian glass processing company Vetrodomus, said. “Superior quality allows you to connect with higher-level customers and access higher-level orders.
“How do you achieve quality? On the one hand, you rely on the skills and know-how of your company and employees, and on the other you capitalise on the tools you use.”
Vetrodomus was established over 50 years ago, and is now one of the leading European companies in the large pane processing sector. With over 70 employees and a production area of 13,000m², the company specialises in the production of glazing for facade applications and shipbuilding.
Vetrodomus was among the first companies to invest in Forel’s ‘No Limits’ IGU line project, which led to the development of insulating glass lines capable of processing extra-jumbo sized glass sheets.
“We needed to increase our productivity,” Pastore said, “by adding a new insulating glass line to the two existing lines. Our top priority was for high performance (the ability to handle heavy weights and support significant thicknesses and offsets) to correspond to a good level of labour productivity.
“We were familiar with Forel because we had already purchased a vertical edge processing line (grinding, milling and drilling, washing machine) and part of an insulating glass line, so we decided to work with them to explore a system that could go beyond the standard formats.
“Having made the decision to invest, we opted to do so by opening ourselves up to new possibilities. This led us to the No Limits line. We considered this choice carefully and in the end it proved to be a winner. The line entered into production two years ago and has been advancing quickly. It has superior performance characteristics and has given us access to substantial orders.”
Maurizio Capello, production manager at Vetrodomus, said: “We are very scrupulous in the evaluation of the machines that are proposed to us. We were looking for a flexible solution that could assemble units for the international facade market.
“Our customers, mainly groups that operate internationally, are very demanding in terms of accuracy and quality of the finished product. As for Forel, we have always appreciated the robustness stemming from the monoblock structure that distinguishes their products. And the fact that they are made in Italy is synonymous with quality.
“Having made these preliminary considerations, we then compared the performance and functionality of the ‘No Limits line with the other lines on the market; we conducted a detailed analysis that demonstrated that the Forel brand had made significant progress from a technological point of view. We decided to put our trust in the No Limits line and we made the right choice.”
In a competitive and increasingly technologically advanced glass market, what strategies must a company implement to excel?
“In order to become suppliers of certain customers, you need to invest on different levels and work towards continuous improvement,” Roberto said. “To be a true leader requires efficient and effective management of the company’s business processes and ongoing cultivation of staff know-how through suitable training.
“Vetrodomus, in addition to the certification of its quality management system, has always worked in this direction by implementing its own quality controls on products and processes. Likewise, the company is diligent in adhering to customer protocols, which are increasingly specific and demanding. Obviously, all this is complemented by the machinery.
“By investing on both fronts, Vetrodomus has increased its productivity and raised the bar on its objectives, enabling the company to approach a very high-level clientele now.”
Vetrodomus’s Forel No Limits insulating glass line includes a coating remover to remove low-emission coatings, a washing machine, an inspection and frame application conveyor, a coupling flat press with gas filling, and a sealing robot.
The line can process jumbo units (6,000mm x 3,300mm), with a capacity per linear meter of up to 350kg for single panes and 550kg for assembled panes, with thicknesses up to 40mm for single panes and 100mm for the IG units. It can assemble units with up to three chambers and is able to handle offsets up to 250mm on the horizontal side and 1,000mm on the vertical side thanks to the dynamic support of the coupled panes. Each machine within the line is equipped with devices developed specifically to handle large dimensions, substantial weights and any non-planarity throughout every phase.