Sustainable growth by optimized production organization


Sustainable growth requires cost efficiency and continuous optimization of processes. Sometimes, it even requires a disruptive change within organization.

A limiting factor in growth and optimization in a variant type of production has always been the Lot-Size-Conflict (flexibility against optimal use of resources). A+W SmartFactory, a just-in-time control system suited to highly complex flat glass manufacturing and processing environments, is offering a disruptive change in organization easing for the first time the LSC!.

By consequently applying the socalled “Pull-Principle” which is the core of an A+W patent originally established using an automated sorting system, the system turns the traditional “Push-Principle” more or less “upside down”. Following Just-In-Time planning results, the system offers the ideal counterpart by controlling production flow based on the need of the respective next production cell in a chain.

Production lots, therefore, are computed “on-the-fly” in almost real-time based on the respective needs at the current point in time taking into account all required changes or other influences. The resulting optimization on the spot results in best possible use of material and other resources which is key in reducing the CO²-emission generated by material waste and further energy requirements to a minimum.

Implementing this type of production control is a breaking change – but it is more than worth the effort!



Mobile digitizing at ease


Digitizing templates has always been cumbersome. Templates are used quite often to define non-rectangular (shaped) glass sheets. Unfortunately, they cannot be used directly for production but need to be converted into a digital representation (typically a sequence of arcs and straight lines). To do so, they are quite often transported long distances to a production facility.

A joint development by Viprotron and A+W combining image processing and mathematical (geometry) knowledge resulted in a new digitizing method at ease: Using mobile devices like mobile phones or intelligent scanners to take pictures from templates in combination with reference objects.

The advantages are multifold. Using standard devices at hand plus some specific reference objects, pictures may be taken anywhere. Processing takes place in the cloud and the final geometry is derived in the production facility.

There is no need any more to send templates around reducing transport costs and speeding up processes.



OPC 40301: Standardization of machine interfaces for flat glass processing


At GPD2019, we announced the constitution of our OPCF – VDMA – joint working-group for defining an OPC/UA Companion Specification (CS) for flat glass processing machinery. Now, four years later, we can look proud on established standard communication for flat glass. Ambitioned, we continued to further develop the standard focused on harmonization of recipe structures for different types of glass processing machines as well as machine feedback, allowing compliance with KPI Standard such as ISO22400.