Now a breakthrough has been established by the leading Polish automotive glass supplier Saint-Gobain Sekurit HanGlas Polska, who have found that the installation of a high-accuracy Water Jet Sweden cutting machine at their Zary Plant has enabled them to cut-out any size or shape of area easily and economically. * Traditional method - traditionally, automotive safety glass is cut to size by first using automated profiling machines with diamond wheels to slit or score the surface for subsequent snapping off by skilled workers.
Straight-line work is easy, but contours and geometric shapes call for greater skills.
It has also long been possible to make holes in glass of reasonable diameters.
What has not been so practical, until now, has been the ability to produce internal cut-outs of any desired size or complexity.
The breakthrough has come about with the advent of water jet cutting equipment.
* Simple solutions - the Zary plant took delivery of the WJS NC3020S machine 18 months ago and technical director Marek Sulik with Wojciech Lipinski's project development team immediately set about making the process suitable for their particular needs.
Glass, by its very nature, shows up any defects that would probably not be evident no matter if present in other materials and so surface finish is of the utmost importance.
It was found, for example, that the conventional knife-edge 'wave formation' table normally recommended for use on the machine caused 'ricochet' marks on the underside of the glass and so a lot of thought and energy was put into finding an alternative means of support for the glass while being cut.
A highly-satisfactory solution was found that appeared delightfully simple in retrospect.
The table-top is positioned below the water level, but the glass sheets are supported well above it by a large number of freely positioned spacers in the form of rubber collars mounted on top of large-diameter plastic tubes.
This simple idea was immediately successful as it is now possible to quickly position the supports clear of the cutting path for any desired profile with the result that products are totally unmarked every time.
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