To be able to provide their customers utmost quality and delivery capacity, the owner-run family business currently performs huge investments in High-Tech equipment and software. The most recent innovation step has been the installment of a fully automated 6m x 3m Hegla cutting system including two cutting tables, concertina racking, remaster storeage and gantry loading, on a new 15000 sq ft bay. The system, fully controlled by ALBAT+WIRSAM optimization software XOPT-ON, is the first of its kind in the UK.
The highly sophisticated cutting environment was handed over at the turn of the year and has been successfully used for four months now. The £1.2million investment was the second stage of a five year development plan which started with the introduction of ALBAT+WIRSAM processing software during the summer of 2010.
Dual Seal Glass Managing Director Geoff Hancock: “The investment maximizes our potential for growth in a diverse market and the introduction of 6m x 3m stock glasses allows Dual Seal Glass the opportunity to supply the latest High Performance products as they become available.”
Moreover, for DualSeal, cutting and processing 85 mostly high-quality glass types, many of them laminated glass and softcoatings, yield becomes an important cost factor. That’s why the DualSeal work preparation department was trained and intensely using their ALBAT+WIRSAM high-end cutting optimization system even before the installation of the new cutting equipment.
OperationsDirector Steve Larvin: “We have been using ALBAT+WIRSAM’s XOPT-ON cutting control successfully for more than half a year now. There is no production batch at DualSeal that is not optimized with XOPT-ON. Our staff knows perfectly how to use the system and we highly appreciate its performance and efficiency. Fully integrated with the HEGLA system, especially the two Remasters, it provides us utmost flexibility and the best yield we ever had.”
Processing 6 x 3,21 m plates using the Float-and Laminated-Remasters, DualSeal’s operations scheduling team is now able to prepare larger optimizations with better yield. XOPT-ON allows to link jobs as well as split large jobs and rearrange them. The just-in-time integration of breakage or “late comers” into the run, even when fed with residue plates, means less down-time and fewer late starts for the subsequent processes in IG and tempering department. Before the installation of the new system, handling of leftovers used to be time- and space consuming. At the end of the day, many of the residue plates were simply thrown away – an expensive method of gaining space. Nowadays, the valuable residues are stored in the Remasters vertically over the cutting table according to XOPT-ON instructions - they remain at the production line for immediate access. XOPT-ON “knows“ which glass type and size is stored in which slot of the Remasters utilizing the residue plate before using a new stock sheet. This way, even rarely used “exotic” glass types can be optimized with minimum waste.
Renewing cutting equipment was the second but definitely not the final step in DualSeal’s innovation plan. Steve Larvin: “Next step in software will be the implementation of a sophisticated barcoding system as another most important module of ALBAT+WIRSAM’s PMS-system ALCIM. As for machinery, we will extend our tempering capacity, improving our capability and quality of tempering new High-Tech glass products.”