In 1997 with the fusion of Schüller Qualitätsglas and Isoglas Nordhorn, Semco was founded. Today it has 1,500 employees in 18 locations. Semco has a revenue around 217 million euros. The company covers a large range of products, from basic glass to safety glass, from functional glass to curved glass. It is a leader in Germany’s glass market, and strengthens this position through an intelligent and constant investment plan.
In the last 10 years, the owners have invested over 150 million euros. A slice of this is Made in Italy, it’s Made in Mappi: tempering furnaces for flat glass which are universally recognized as being among the best for ease of use, quality of tempering, energy consumption.
Let’s hear the feedback of Semco about their new Mappi furnaces:
“We are very pleased with these toughening machines. We achieve results that enable us to lift the performance of our toughening plants onto a higher level.”
Semco has chosen a Mappi tempering furnace for the Nordhorn plant. It is a Jumbo Series furnace, capable of handling large glass sheets.
If we asked, what are the main strengths Semco has encountered in Mappi tempering furnace? Is it the quality of tempered glass, or reduced energy consumption, ease of use, simplicity in maintenance, or something else?
“We do observe a number of features on these plants. The quality of tempered glass from our Mappi toughening machines, with respect to flatness and surface quality, is very much improved against our other toughening machines. We carefully monitor energy consumption, and have verified the energy consumption ratings given by Mappi.”
Sounds really good. Any other plus?
“A big bonus is that the Mappi toughening machines can be switched off when not being used, further helping us with energy savings. On Mappi ATS 4.0 maintenance is aided by the possibility of removing the lower part of the furnace sideways. This allows for easy access to heaters, protective nets and thermocouples, and enables fast inspection on the insides of the furnace in general.”
When switching to a new type of machinery, adaptation problems may occur. How did you find yourself with Mappi?
“The user interface provides very good control over all features of the toughening machine. Simple glass pieces and bed layouts can be done by processing according to a recipe system, where – when processing more complex pieces - an experienced operator can easily optimise all parameters on the fly.
Finally, we were very happy with the installation of the toughening machines into our site. The Mappi engineers did an excellent job during installation, commissioning and training, and completed all installations well on time. We certified these machines though an external auditor, and passed these certifications without issues.”
Your company is very focused to the quality of life of the people who work with you. One of the aspects we take more care of is making the Mappi furnaces "user friendly". Have you verified this quality in your experience?
We certainly have verified this from three perspectives:
A) Operator/user interface and training was done by very experienced and qualified staff, which took a flexible approach. If, for example, translations were required to match specific expressions closer to our understanding of the process, these were implemented on the same day. This in particular enabled us to implement a toughening plant into a site that had no toughening experience, allowing the site to run this machine on their own within a matter of only a few weeks.
B) Maintenance – the plant layout is optimised to provide easy access to all parts requiring regular maintenance. Labelling guides our staff to very quickly find the parts for service.
C) Operation – the recipe system allows for easy operation of standard glass pieces by our operators. For more complex workpieces, e.g. with large cut-outs and screen-prints, our experienced operators can easily modify all relevant parameters in the user interface to provide best quality glass.
Semco stands out for continuous innovation, what do you think of the fact that, first in the glass industry, Mappi tempering furnaces are "powered by Siemens" and can dialogue with the entire production structure through Mindsphere?
“Semco actively implements innovative production concepts over a breath of different machines. We are very positive towards data structures that allow us to analyse our processes in depth. In particular we gain from optimised throughput and predictive maintenance.
In our view improvements in information data structures will allow us to bring our experts even closer to our processes, and enable us to optimise these in detail. Our challenge is to integrate our operators into this process, so that we all together can use such benefits. This will accelerate Semco further forward, technically as well as economically.”