Glass Fabrication 2006 Begins in Orlando

Glass Fabrication 2006, sponsored by the Glass Association of North America (GANA), began today at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport Hotel in Orlando, Fla.
The two-day program is designed to educate those who are relatively new to the glass processing industry and focuses specifically on insulating, laminating and tempering fabrication processes.

The session began this morning with a presentation from Pilkington's Scott Hoover who talked about float glass technology. Hoover gave a timeline of the history of glass. He said the first discovery of natural glass was in 5000 B.C. By 650 B.C. the first glass manual was written; this was tablets that had instructions for making glass. 1000 A.D. saw the first sheet glass, which was made through the cylindrical method; by the 1600s the French had developed plate glass. In 1905 the vertical draw sheet glass production method and in 1910 laminated glass were developed. All of this lead to the development of Pilkington's float glass production method from 1959-1960s.

Since that time glass has seen numerous developments, from the addition of colors (1960s-1970s); reflective and low-E coatings (1980s) and spectrally selective glass (1990s). Today numerous developments continued to be introduced, including self-cleaning/low-maintenance, scratch resistant and others.

Chuck Beatty of Edgeworks discussed automated glass cutting and edging techniques. To cut glass, he explained, you need a crisp, clean, fine score; you need to drive a fissure into the glass; and you need to put the fissure into the tension area of the glass.

"This allows you to run your cut and breakout the glass easily along the score line," he said. "You never want to destroy the glass." He also advised, when processing glass, that the working surface beneath it be supportive. He said glass will be firm and flat with a rigid work surface, but if the surface is pliable it will become soft and uneven. He also talked about different types of wheels, which should be used for different types of glass.

Mitch Edwards of Guardian discussed proper techniques for handling coated glass. Some of his tips included checking for coated glass, which should be done when opening incoming packaging, when moving material and before any processing steps. Ways to check for coatings include using an ohm meter or commercial coating detectors. He also reminded everyone to keep the number of times hands touch the coating to a minimum when processing coated glass.

Bob Lang of Billco followed with his presentation of glass washer maintenance, which focused on the importance of keeping the washing machine clean. Some of the proper maintenance procedures he offered included following good safety procedures, tightening fasteners, electrical connections, greasing the machine and conducting a proper motor rotation after the first week of the washer's operation; conducting a weekly maintence (cleaning tanks, checking air filters, lubing the pinch roll drive gears, etc.); cleaning immersion heaters; conducting regular maintenance at 250 hours of operations followed by maintenance checks at 500 hours.

"This is an important event in any good maintenance program," said Lang. "The machine should be opened up as completely as possible to perform this extensive list of maintenance items." The check list should include a thorough inspection, checking to see there are no glass ships and no stickers on the rollers, cleaning the rollers, cleaning the spray pipe, etc.

Lang advised, "If the inside of the washer is dirty it cannot produce clean glass."

This afternoon three breakout sessions will take place covering specific, detailed topics for the different fabrication procedures, insulating, laminating and tempering.


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