Dr Nick Kirk, GTS Technical Director, explains:Glass continues to play a leading role across a truly diverse range of industries and applications and for GTS this means a continually evolving service offering in order to support companies throughout the glass supply chain – from raw materials to finished products.It also sees us involved in a range of exciting, cutting-edge, innovation, research and development projects, which are revolutionising products and processes across the industry and continually identifying new applications due to the truly unique benefits and properties of glass.
Listening to client and industry needs
As those of you who regularly read our column will have seen, the past two years have seen a substantial and ongoing expansion of our service offering, backed up by our core technical consultancy, specialist knowledge in glass and our comprehensive technical and administrative accreditations.
These continual improvements and developments are driven by our close relationships with clients - listening to the issues that they face and the challenges they must overcome – combined with our ethos of helping clients to succeed – your success is our business!
Closely monitoring changes in market demands, product standards and regulatory requirements, enables us to continually refine and expand our offer, introducing new services. In the past two years alone these changes have included expanding our foreign body analysis to non-glass objects, becoming a Notified Body to provide Initial Type Testing for flat glass products with thermal, solar and impact performance, FEA modelling and simulation, ICP trace analysis, updates to our durability and pharmacopoeia testing and the launch of a delamination assessment service.
Growing demands upon glass manufacturers and processors as well as increased engagement with a range of designers and brand owners across container, tableware and architectural applications have seen an increasing demand for our in-depth design critiques, FEA simulation, chemical, mechanical and performance testing – providing essential due diligence data for manufacturers, brand owners, retailers and installers.
Energy efficiency and environmental standards
This past month, our specialist team have introduced a flexible Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme Regulations 2014 (ESOS) assessment service to help clients meet their obligations by December 2015. Building on our comprehensive environmental experience and management of glass sector climate change agreements and emissions trading schemes we’re providing a flexible assessment service, using our unique specialist knowledge in glass, to help them to achieve compliance - without duplicating existing effort or expense. Further information is available at www.glass-ts.com/news/gts-launches-esos-energy-audit-and-assessment-service.
To innovate, evolve and succeed
With grant funding in the past two years topping £3.6 million and grant applications achieving an astonishing 100% success rate, our team is keen to continue to develop further, innovative projects and build new relationships and partnerships. There are a wide range of funding opportunities for both existing and new clients to explore, develop and commercialise their ideas.
...grant funding in the past two years topping £3.6 million and grant applications achieving an astonishing 100% success rate..
Our most recent projects see us continuing to work in partnership with traditional glass manufacturing sectors and glass processing, but also bringing the unique benefits of glass to entirely new sectors and applications - including energy, shale gas, nuclear waste, medical devices and orthopaedic applications.
In one of the most recent collaborations, we are leading a consortium of academics and commercial organisations to develop new glass processing technology in the “Bright Slice” project, which will use a novel laser technique to provide faster, safer and low-maintenance processing, cutting and engraving of glass. Read more about this project at www.glass-ts.com/news/laser-glass-processing-gts-at-the-cutting-edge-of-technology.
This past month also saw our team joining an international consortium of experts for clean shale stimulation research and development. The addition of our team to the ecorpStim research consortium is important to furthering ecorpStim’s goals of advancing proprietary concepts for the use of silica, the raw material with which glass is made, in the environmentally sustainable development of shale hydrocarbon production. More information can be found at www.glass-ts.com/news/gts-joins-clean-shale-stimulation-research-and-development-consortium.
All of these service expansions and innovative projects, of course, must be governed by strict adherence to technical, environmental and administrative standards. Again, we have seen success across all of our accreditations and are delighted to have scored highly across all technical (ISO 17025), administrative (ISO 9001) and environmental (ISO 14001) performance audits, including making major extensions of scope to our comprehensive technical UKAS accreditations and only this month successfully completed our full UKAS (17025) re-accreditation.
Your success is our business
The glass supply chain continues to present us with exciting opportunities - whether to verify quality, improve processes, develop new technologies or investigate and troubleshoot issues – from raw materials to finished products; it is an ever-changing and developing challenge.
GTS provides analysis, consultancy, testing and research and development support to all parts of the glass supply chain – from raw materials to the end consumer. GTS prides itself on its confidentiality and independence and is accredited to ISO 9001, 14001 and 17025 standards.