How to factor in efficiency

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell met owner of Bedford-based Vetroseal Eric Falisi to discuss the importance of machinery – including the latest cutting and laser-marking equipment from Bottero – in maintaining a modern business.

Vetroseal’s owner and managing director Eric Falisi left school at 16 and started making glass units at a local sealed unit manufacturer.

“I’ve basically grown up with glass,” he said. “The careers officer pointed me in the direction of the nearest glass processing company, which was hiring, and I’ve not looked back since.”

Today, 19-year-old Vetroseal has a loyal customer base, including one 2,500-frame-per-week fabricator which has been with the company from the beginning.

Having spent his whole career working hands on with glass, Eric knows it is very easy to get carried away buying machinery that doesn’t add value to your business.

However, when Eric talks about how machinery has made a positive change to how Vetroseal is run, and the benefits it brings to the company and his customers, you sit up and take notice.

Vetroseal makes glass units. One part of the factory is dedicated to cutting and processing soft coat glass, and Eric has already invested in the necessary leading machinery – including furnace and gas press – to make that an efficient well-run operation.

However, like many businesses of this size, Eric recently had to make a decision on laminate glass: to continue buying in, or bring the whole process in house.

“We found we were taking on more and more jobs that required laminate glass,” he said. “Initially, we were buying in cut size, but costs started to rise, and we had little control over delivery times. However, since buying the Bottero 363EVO/515LAM cutting table we’ve become far more efficient on that side of the business, and we are handling the glass far less.”

The Bottero cutting table is a float/laminate combination table with laser marking that gives full traceability throughout the manufacturing process.

“The fact that it is cuts both float and laminate glass allows us to cut the patterned glass as well,” Eric said.

Steve Roberts, area manager at Bottero, said the upgrade at Vetroseal is reflected elsewhere in the industry.

“We are continuing to see a significant increase in market demand for our combination float and laminated glass cutting systems, particularly from IGU manufacturers who at one time would have outsourced their supply of cut-sized laminated glass,” he said. “However, they’ve had to respond to a huge increase in demand driven by recent changes in building regulations.

“Furthermore, customers are switching to paperless manufacturing and investing in our fully automated marking solutions for both internal traceability purposes and for certification marking. With our CO2 laser marking and PPL label printing systems, each cut size is fully identifiable and traceable even before leaving the breakout station.”

For Eric, this flexibility is perfect for his customer base, which is typically made up of window fabricators and installers within a 60-mile radius of Bedford.

“We use vans rather than HGVs, and we are flexible on delivery times,” Eric said. “which means the more control we can exert over the manufacturing process, the better.”

Choosing Bottero as a supplier has also paid dividends, according to Eric. For example, the cutting table was installed over a weekend, and was fully operational from day one.

“The quality of machine is very good, and it is competitively priced,” Eric said. “Yet it is more versatile than more expensive alternatives.

“It’s important to invest in machines that take your business forward, and not become another liability.”