HEGLA - masters of efficiency

Steve Goble Hegla UK, Managing Director, looks at ways to improve efficiency and take positive steps forward during difficult times.

With the eurozone in political crisis, the new Greece being Spain and China having too much export capacity it can be hard to have a positive and certain outlook regarding market direction and trends let alone individual requirements.The words ‘double-dip recession’ hardly inspire positivity in Britain, while the Bank of England sets the key interest rate, with the aim of keeping inflation at a set target rate we are all looking for ‘the next big thing’ that will kick start the economy.Without doubt it is a worrying time but perhaps the British economy might just pull through.

The bigger global picture does affect us all tremendously and we have to find the means to increase turnover and yield profit or at the very least keep afloat. The fact is that the world is changing as never before and investors need to change their strategies in the wake of the financial crisis. Who could have predicted that the Bystronic Group would stop making architectural glass cutting equipment and enter into a partnership with the Hegla Group on a Worldwide basis? Even window and sealed unit manufacturers are merging to become stronger.

Future Growth

Achieving growth is naturally the target which comes from investing in real assets that will not only pay for themselves but that will last beyond both the fiscal crisis and any new legislative measures that are introduced which may add pressure to the production floor.

Evaluating the efficiency of a working facility is the first step to improving methods and cutting costs. Fully understanding customers’ manufacturing requirements and developing tailored plans accordingly is the key to success for the Hegla team as well as its customers.

After developing and preparing factory layouts with spreadsheets for justification, a dedicated team of experienced specialist engineers in the UK and Germany ensures that installation, commissioning and start up of the equipment is an easy transition that runs smoothly to meet the demands of the customers.

Ensuring that a manufacturing facility can run at peak performance is a critical part of any Hegla evaluation. Introducing faster methods of production that drastically reduce handing times and material loss such as the ReMaster will guarantee to improve both output and margins.

Getting It Right

If the existing equipment “Does the job” then how can the equipment be changed?. For a company like Hegla which is a specialist supplier with a proven record and one that offers intrinsically one type of machinery, it has to constantly evolve and improve its products to sustain market share, particularly if funding is limited or simply not available. This is a justifiable position, however, when equipment has come to the end of its useful working life the next purchase is extremely important.

Emerging markets are important so being able to build on years of experience the company understands what customers need and particularly when the industry has to absorb change.

Over the last few years , for example, there have been a number of developments with the introduction of Soft Coat Edge Deletion on cutting tables, the launch of Re-Master, Laser Marking and Sorting Systems for full automation, but importantly, there are continual small additions to the range made each year that improve efficiency and accuracy which all give payback. Ultimately these give substantial advantages over the competition for the user.

Gaining Ground

Gaining advantages in a fiercely competitive industry is of paramount importance – sales come down to more than price in such a world. Performance and reliability are vital components.

The Hegla Re-Master System for example has been on the market for over 10 years, and from then on virtually all 6 x 3 Hegla installations around the world have a Re-master. Simply it was developed to solve the problem of very large off cuts which up until then had to be manually removed from the cutting table and “theoretically” manually put back on the table to use the sub plate. In reality time was wasted, the product was damaged by multi handling, and in most circumstances the product tended to get buried under many other off cuts?

The major benefits of the system enable manufacturers to cut what is wanted, when it is wanted with the absolute minimum of handling. This is of major benefit in a market that has seen a large growth in product types as previously it increased the problem.

Software companies have seen the benefit as well. Although all the software houses supply super efficient systems, Re-Master is the missing mechanical handling device that adds versatility to production software. Indeed, if only two products are used in production there would be minimal benefit and therefore very little payback but in an architectural environment where there are numerous float and laminated products in many thicknesses, approximately 80% of all useable off cuts can be automatically used within the system.

The Re-Master eliminates double handling, along with any surface damage to sensitive surface glass. The system also stores the glass with use-by dates so that surface sensitive glass cannot go out of date. This without doubt increases output and saves material which all provide major financial benefits.

Hegla have not stood still with the development of Re-Master System. The original system was for float glass which works with automatic breakout, which was then followed by the laminated system which further developed to a universal system that can be retro fitted to Hegla tables or other manufactures tables. The latest release allows several pieces of glass per slot. Originally there were 20 slots, then depending on the height of the factory there were 25 and up to 35. Additionally, if space is available two storage parts to the system were introduced with one lifting section giving up to 70 slots. Today it is now possible to have up to 5 pieces per slot all operated fully automatically. The growth of fully automatic sorting systems linked to insulating glass lines have also benefited from this unique invention.

In line with the continuous research and development Hegla as a company is already preparing innovative designs and new ideas for GlassTec 2012 in Dusseldorf to be held in the Autumn.

For more information on the range of products in the Hegla range that could improve the efficiency of your business, then please call 00 44 1908 261933.

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