As the only specialist in the market offering a complete range of energy-saving, triple silver-coated glass products, flat glass manufacturer AGC is keenly aware of this. At AGC’s industrial complex in Klin, Russia, AGC Glass Europe and Interpane Entwicklungs- und Beratungsgesellschaft mbH (Interpane E & B), the R&D and Engineering center of Interpane, commissioned a new coating plant in 2013, which will use magnetron sputtering technology. The glass plant now supplies high-caliber materials to customers in the construction industry with a commitment to sustainable building practices.
AGC coated glass plates are used in projects across the globe, such as in Frankfurt’s MyZeil shopping and leisure center. (All photos: AGC)
Getting it right the first time
“Establishing this new plant was the first collaborative project between Interpane E & B and AGC Glass Europe,” explains Eric Martin from AGC Glass Europe, which is headquartered in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. “What mattered to us was that the new installation would have standardized hardware and would be able to fall back on a global support network.” For Martin, this clearly meant having Siemens as a partner. This was the first time Interpane E & B, AGC Glass Europe and Siemens had worked together to convert a plant to Siemens components. A feat of this magnitude called for a systems integrator with vast experience in Siemens solutions. The ideal candidate was found in on/off group. “The Process Control System Simatic PCS 7 forms the nerve center of our process automation, yet we were completely unfamiliar with it – as was our trusted OEM partner, Interpane,” recalls Martin.
Efficient engineering: the components and modules were designed so that they can be reused in future projects – a tried-and-tested formula in mechanical engineering.
Smooth teamwork requires integration
Once the systems integrator had installed the Simatic PCS 7, Siemens was also able to contribute a wide array of invaluable products and solutions to the project. Firstly, Siemens provided a solution for power distribution (medium-voltage distribution based on Siemens NXAIR, low-voltage distribution based on Sivacon 8 PV switchgear). Secondly, a range of different Siemens divisions worked together in a global team to coordinate the migration to Siemens technology, which included project management, hardware and software engineering, cabling, installation and commissioning. Other vital additions were the decentralized Simatic ET200M module with Safety Integrated, and Profibus Network or Profinet Network connections for all components. And finally, Siemens also delivered a global solution based on Simatic PCS 7 Process Historian, which covers the entire glass coating line and products from a range of OEMs (Interpane, Hegla, Benteler, Grenzebach). Martin sums up the experience with following words: “We were more than satisfied because we had found precisely what we were looking for: expert standardization and global support.”
About AGC Glass Europe
Based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, AGC Glass Europe produces, processes and distributes flat glass for the construction, automotive and solar industries. As the European branch of AGC Glass, one of the world’s largest producers of flat glass, AGC Glass Europe employs some 14,000 staff members at nearly 100 locations across Europe.
Support from systems integrator on/off
- Compilation of an operation manual and technical specifications
- Computer hardware, PCS 7 software, network and 8 control units
- PCS 7 software development for 4,300 test points
- Development of PCS 7 special components
- Drive technology integration
- Batch tracking and archiving
- Cathode tracking with PCS 7 UserArchiv
- Commissioning and site acceptance test in Russia