Date: 27 October 2017
Enhancing its flat glass lamination line by replacing outdated components with new technology, Malaysia-based Crystal Safety Glass turned an expensive problem into an unexpectedly positive experience.
The move was not easy, but it helped bring the processor’s existing line back up to date with an impressive list of value-added features.
For the plant operators, the upgrade lowered the cost of modernizing the existing line and provided less downtime, higher productivity and significant improvements in energy consumption.
Founded in 1998 in the city of Klang in Malaysia, Crystal Safety Glass (CSG) is not an unknown name in the region’s glass industry. CSG quickly achieved fame across the Asia Pacific region, winning multiple awards for excellence in glass manufacturing. It expanded business from Malaysia to Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and further.
Today, Crystal Safety Glass has one of the region’s biggest factories, supplying construction companies with everything from ultra-clear glass to tempered, Low-E, wired, tinted and laminated glass.
STRIVING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
To keep up with growing market demands, Crystal Safety Glass made a commitment to provide its team with state-of-the-art technology and equipment. CSG is also well-known as an advocate for a greener environment.
Thanks to innovative technology, glass supplied by the company is energy efficient. And since running such a huge facility requires lots of energy, using power-efficient and sustainable machinery is a top priority.
Still, time is one of the biggest enemies of sustainable machine operations. CSG imported technology from China to boost production capacity. Over time, though, machines inevitably become less productive, delivering off-quality products while their energy-conserving qualities degrade.
ONE OBSOLETE UNIT HINDERS ALL
Frank Tan, Group Managing Director at Crystal Safety Glass, says: “Gradually, we started to notice that the line’s capacity could not meet the required production demand. Increasingly more often, the glass came out burnt. We observed that the edge lift was becoming unacceptable and the formulation of bubbles was making the situation even more critical.”
“We knew the root cause for all our quality issues was the line’s pre-pressing unit and its heating chamber that were quickly becoming outdated, causing troubles for all the production. Buying a new lamination line could be one solution to resolve all our problems. But truth be told, we really wanted to avoid this as we were more than satisfied with the line’s other parts, including its washing, loading and unloading units.” Luckily, there are options today – only the machine’s obsolete part needed to be upgraded while leaving the other components unchanged.
ALL SPEAK FOR AN UPGRADE
Frank and his team decided to go with Glaston’s ProL flat glass laminating zone to replace their outmoded pre-pressing unit and heating chamber. Not only is the technology new, but it includes a wide range of features.
In particular, the full convection technology of the new ProL seemed ideal for providing much more accurate and optimized heat transfer, therefore enabling consistently high glass quality. The promise of a quick turnaround also helped.
It was essential for CSG to minimize production downtime – with numerous customers expecting orders all across Asia Pacific. “It took only seven days for Glaston’s installation team to dismantle, install, integrate and commission the new parts,” Frank recalls. “The transition was so smooth, in fact, that it barely interrupted our production schedule.”
90% CAPACITY INCREASE AND SO MUCH MORE
CSG’s decision to make this upgrade had a very positive impact on the entire production process of the company. All the earlier issues were resolved – no more edge lift, bubbles or burnt glass.
Output quality reached its highest level ever. A month after the upgrade, the customer reported great performance improvement and even an unexpectedly considerable production increase.
“We are really pleased with the results we are seeing now,” Frank comments. “We reached over 90% in capacity increase, which was unexpected and really an impressive figure. The upgrade resolved a lot of our issues and improved our yield significantly.”
“What we especially like about the new machine is that it’s nice and easy to operate. All our operators agree. The machine is not fully dependent on skilled workers, so practically anyone would be able to run it,” says Frank, relieved that no time-consuming training was needed to regain production performance.
Glaston ProL is basically recipe-free. Operators only need to input one parameter, and the furnace takes care of itself. And since CSG is as ecologically friendly as possible, the full convection technology of ProL enables better control over the chamber temperature, which eliminates heat loss, reducing energy use considerably.
RAISING THE BAR WITH GLASTON PROL
“We are very happy with the Glaston ProL upgrade,” adds Sam Cheong, Marketing Manager. “We are confident this upgrade will help us meet and exceed the production requirements of our ever more demanding Asia Pacific region.”
In 2008, CSG became the first glassmanufacturing company in Malaysia to be certified with the ISO 9001 quality management standard – a guarantee that the company’s products and services consistently meet customers’ requirements.
Additionally, upgrading an old glass lamination line with Glaston ProL-zone is very much in line with the company’s commitment to performance improvement. And it’s great when such improvements can be made without requiring too much time or money.
“Now that one simple upgrade has already proved to considerably raise the bar of the company’s overall performance, we hope it can help Crystal Safety Glass reach even higher product and service quality levels and expand its list of well-deserved awards,” says Sam.