Pilkington picks up major engineering award

Date: 1 December 2004
Source: Pilkington
Pilkington plc has won an important award under the prestigious Engineering Heritage Hallmark Scheme (EHHS) for the invention of the Float Glass process.

The award, presented by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), which has Her Majesty The Queen as its patron, describes Float as “the major glass innovation of the 20th Century” which has had “enormous” social impact. "Almost all the glass that the public sees or looks through today is Float Glass," says the impressive citation.The IMechE launched the EHHS in 1984 to recognise landmark developments in mechanical engineering and to raise the profile of the profession. Only 36 awards have been made so far and previous winners include the Harrier jump jet, the Rolls Royce RB 211 engine, the Thames Barrier and the Jubilee Extension Line. The Float Glass process was invented by Pilkington in St Helens in 1952 and announced to the world in 1959 after seven years of secret development work. The process is now the world standard for the manufacture of high quality glass production, with some 300 float plants in operation, under construction or planned around the world.Pilkington Group Chief Executive, Stuart Chambers, received the EHHS plaque from IMechE President William Edgar CBE at a special presentation ceremony at the company’s St Helens HQ on 22 November.Commenting on the award, Mr Chambers said: “This award is really a credit to all those Pilkington engineers, and production employees, who worked on the Float Glass project over weeks, months and years without ever knowing whether it would be a success. Their commitment to an objective, despite the set backs on the way, was genuinely outstanding and reflects the best traditions of British engineering.”

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