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USGNN Original StoryGlenny Glass Co. Expands Fabrication Capabilities

The Glenny Glass Co. in Cincinnati may have been distributing architectural and flat glass products since 1851, but the company continues to keep up with the times by adding on new fabrication capabilities. The company recently added its first tempering furnace.

According to Braxton Smith, owner of the Glenny Glass Co., the decision to begin tempering was a response to demand for heat strengthening high performance glass products. In addition, he says, "It's more of a litigious society these days so people are thinking let's just have this glass tempered and so if we have a school kid or somebody run through it, they won't get hurt."

After considering several machinery options, Smith opted to buy a high-convection furnace from Cooltemper, the first such product that the United Kingdom-based company had installed in the United States.

According to Smith, the product "is basically meant to temper high-performance low-E products and the high reflectance products out on the market."

From Smith's point of view, high-convection tempering is the most effective way of working with these coated products. "The newer, higher performing low-Es are . sputter coated. And those are very efficient," Smith says. "The problem is, the more thermally efficient low-E coatings-in the older [radiant] furnaces, they're trying to heat the glass on up but it's reflecting the heat back out. In the new high-convection furnaces, you're getting air pressure on the coated side of the glass and it's forcing that hot air into the coated surface to temper it."

According to Smith, this can prevent overheating the glass, a problem he says can lead to roller wave distortion.

Knowing that he wanted a convection furnace, he visited a number of existing Cooltemper installations in the United States and the completion of extensive soft-coated glass trials at the company's manufacturing facility in Taiwan. While the quality and throughput of the machine were both important considerations, so was service. Although the manufacturer is based overseas, it has a service center in Tennessee.

"They have two full-time service techs, and they fully stock parts here in the United States," Smith says, an important consideration for fabricators looking to purchase new machinery.

Installation can be another critical consideration.

"They actually had five technicians in here for about five weeks installing the furnace from really the day after Christmas up through about the first week of February. It was a turnkey operation. They installed inline an 84-inch washer, along with the infeeds to the washer and the infeeds to the furnace. So they did pretty much everything turnkey," Smith says.

CLICK HERE for more questions to consider when purchasing machinery, and be sure to look for the Annual Guide to Equipment and Machinery in the September issue of USGlass.

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