Gornja Radgona in northern Slovenia, near Bad Radkersburg and the border to Austria at Stiermark, is the main headquarters of REFLEX d.o.o, What began as a small glazier shop is soon to celebrate its 30 year jubilee and has, thanks to the energies of owners Daniela und Robert Krempel, become one of the most successful and efficient flat glass production facilities in southeastern Europe. REFLEX today is a highly efficient, full-assortment supplier, offering the entire spectrum of products and services surrounding flat glass. From the IG and safety glass production to their demanding processing techniques right up to the installation and assemblage for their end customers, the REFLEX team carries out the entire production and delivery process quickly and reliably. In addition to architectural glass, fully-automatic, serial glass production for furniture and refrigerators is an important part of their business. 2 million glass sheets for appliances are scheduled for production here in 2007. Their customers are by and large from Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Austria; many of them have been with REFLEX for years.
The two main production facilities, housing the IG production, the fully-equipped grinding centre and the tempering and toughening facilities, are found alongside the main headquarters at Gornja Radgona. The construction of a completely new laminated safety glass facility is now in planning. At the finish of construction next year, the REFLEX operations will reign over nearly 9,000 m² production space. With the recent opening of their new facilities in Poljčane, REFLEX has begun manufacture of aluminium products. This new business area includes the design, planning, and production of, primarily at the moment, facades. In harmonic combination with glass, steel and other high quality materials, REFLEX has created building elements of aesthetic, function and durability worthy of international comparison.
Their acquired know-how in combining glass and aluminium profiles has opened up two new fields of endeavour for REFLEX: the production of shower cabinets and refrigerator doors. Today, REFLEX sell about 2,000 shower cabinets per month. Their product palette ranges from serial production to special orders, including on-site calculation and end-installation. The appliance doors, constructed with aluminium profiles, are glazed with IG units from REFLEX’s own production. The outer panes can be transparent, patterned or opaque enamelled; both panes have usually been tempered. The entire production and business process – from the receipt of raw materials to final dispatch and installation -- is carried out under one roof.
The impressive machine park at Gornja Radgona is REFLEX’s answer to perfection and best customer service. This begins in the CNC guided cutting area, where a modern crane portal and two CNC cutting tables guarantee uniform and expedient production flow. The larger of the two cutting lines is controlled by XOPT-ON, ALBAT+WIRSAM’s optimization and cutting control system, which enables the operator, even after initial optimisation has been completed, to adjust the run as necessary: the XOPT-ON control station can link, split and re-bundle runs, integrating rush-jobs and breakage re-cuts at any time.
The cut sheets are usually processed further on the IG line or in the grinding centre. And what a centre! The enormous array of processing technology at REFLEX is waiting to find its equal: as well as a grinding line for right-angles, faceting machinery, CNC processing machines for model shapes and free forms and CNC drilling machines, REFLEX also has facilities for modern opaque enamelling and translucent coatings in silk-screen.
Two IG lines maintain a daily production rate of up to 1,800 IG units; a smaller line is available for the production of specialty jobs, such as heat-function units. At the grinding, tempering and IG facilities, rectangular sheets measuring up to 2500 x 4500 can be accommodated.
With all this first-class technology, it shouldn’t be forgotten that, more than all else, it’s the attention to quality and exceptionally trained REFLEX staff which guarantee the high quality standards of their products. Without the necessary care and know-how – not to speak of a precisely defined and executed Quality Management programme – high-tech is useless!
Complete, All-Round Concept
The REFLEX team have established themselves, with their great energy for innovation, an attractive spectrum of products and full dedication to quality, in Europe’s major flat glass league. The many aesthetic and technically exemplary reference objects as well as their steadily growing list of customers within and beyond Slovenia’s borders attest to their extremely promising future.
The high-tech installations at Gornja Radgona and Poljčane underscore the high standards and enormous potential of this family-run company. The new laminating work will increase their delivery capacities even further. Owner and Managing Director Robert Krempl sees it this way: „the networked production with ALCIM has markedly improved the production process at REFLEX. ALCIM has not only raised our quality and efficiency, but improved our customer service, as well. The shortening of our production times, avoidance of production errors and the flexibility to react to situations individually allow us to deliver punctually, completely and error-free“. For our part, we’re certain of REFLEX’s continual growth and innovation in the years to come!
Networked thinking – saving costs: Control units control high-tech production
Comprehending the enormous possibilities of networked production starts at order entry. At REFLEX, it has been – since 1997 ALBAT+WIRSAM's order processing system ALFAK – the best-selling commercial software for the flat glass industry.
In a modern, fully networked company like REFLEX, the commercial and technical data entered in ALFAK and are directly available in all business areas – for commercial controlling as well as for con¬trolling CNC machinery.
The production planning and control system ALCIM, an essential tool for production scheduling at REFLEX, imports the order data into the production database. The production scheduling department compiles the items in production jobs and controls – by allocating racks in the cutting area – the pro¬duction process of every single sheet. The jobs are optimised for cutting and thus released for production.
This is where networked production shows it power: By pressing a button, the data are transferred to CNC machines and control units throughout the company. Cutting line and spacer bender are con¬trolled automatically while the monitoring system XTV controls breakout and stacking. In the IG department, the control unit ProdTV IG at the start of the two big production lines is supplied with data: Sheet structure, position of the coated side, reference edge – ALCIM knows all the details and offers them to the operator at the start of the line via ProdTV Monitor.
But there is more: Another button pressed, and the sheet is registered at the PackTV control unit at the end of the line which shows the rack, rack number, and change of rack. And because networking works both ways, there is an automatic report at the end of the line via PackTV - „IG production completed“ which changes the status of the sheet in the ALCIM database and in ALFAK. Customer’s enquiries can be answered without having to check with the people on the shop floor.
Tempered Glass Production – Automatic with ProdTV and PackTV
ALCIM also supports the tempering process. Scanning the sheet’s barcode label at furnace entry, the furnace manager receives a detailed, true-to-scale technical drawing at the ProdTV monitoring station; letting him re-check the sheet’s parameters, as well as the accuracy of the processing work which has already been completed. The rest follows automatically: by releasing the sheet to the furnace, the sheet has been simultaneously registered at the furnace exit. Here, the freshly hardened sheet is registered „finished“ by PackTV, and receives a freshly-printed label and is dispatched – without detour! – to its pre-designated rack.
All this information is simultaneously available in both the ALFAK and production databanks. At REFLEX, everyone, everywhere, at any time knows just where each sheet is, in what stage of production and when it will be completed with which machinery. With ProdTV and PackTV, lost sheets and missed or faulty processing steps are as good as out of the question!
ALBAT+WIRSAM Software AG
Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 15, D-35440 Linden - GERMANY
Phone: +49 6403 970-0
Fax: +49 6403 64390