79th Conference on Glass Problems

(This is a sample article from the latest issue)

 The 79th Conference on Glass Problems (GPC) takes place on 5-8 November in Columbus_Ohio_USA

Robert Weisenburger Lipetz previews this year’s Conference on Glass Problems for Glass Worldwide, exclusive official journal. The event will combine an extensive technical programme with short courses, a symposium and an exhibition.

The 79th Conference on Glass Problems (GPC) takes place on 5-8 November in Columbus, Ohio, USA. For more than three quarters of a century, the conference has been the leading forum for the exchange of ideas to address shared challenges for glass manufacturing professionals. It is at the GPC that the world’s leading technical experts address current problems in manufacturing, with solutions citing real-world examples. It also provides an exhibition platform for solutions providers to share their innovations that deliver high participation by manufacturers.

Philip J Tucker provides this assessment: “As a senior glass research engineer for Johns Manville, the annual Glass Problems Conference provides the perfect mix of presentations on technical advances in all areas of glassmaking, as well as solutions to operating issues that many of us face in our day-to-day work. It also provides a good atmosphere for meeting and engaging with colleagues, suppliers and customers so for me, it is simply the best all-around glass conference to attend.

The Conference on Glass Problems is organised by the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council (GMIC), the trade association bridging all segments of glass manufacture and Alfred University, the USA’s leading glass research institution. The American Ceramic Society endorses it, with Glass Worldwide as the official journal.

The GPC programme content is directed by an industry advisory board and is composed of invited papers and submitted abstracts, with the proceedings distributed electronically and published by John Wiley & Sons. Speakers providing practical, take-home information are given preference.

In addition to the extensive two day technical programme, the conference provides hard to obtain technical education. Two excellent technical short courses are offered on ‘Fundamentals of Batch and Furnace Operations’ taught by C Philip Ross and ‘Combustion’ taught by Neil Simpson. Of particular note is the full day symposium entitled ‘Asset Durability and Cost Control for Glass Manufacturing Furnaces’. This abundance of value for time invested in a few days is what sets the Conference on Glass Problems apart from other trade shows and conferences.

To be presented at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and the Hilton Columbus Downtown in Columbus, Ohio, the conference programme at the time of going to press includes:

Short courses

On 5 November, C Philip Ross, (President of Glass Industry Consulting International) delivers an introduction to the principles of commercial glass production employed in batch and furnace operations by US glass producers. Raw materials, glass technology and properties, melting furnaces and environmental issues will all be touched upon.

A separate course devoted to combustion and delivered by Neil Simpson (Independent Consultant, Simpson Combustion and Energy Ltd) will review the basics of air fuel and oxy-fuel combustion and their application in glass melting. Under port, side port, through port regenerative and recuperative burners will be covered, with a view to furnace optimisation for energy and emissions. Finally, oxy-fuel and advanced control will be discussed.

GPC sessions

Held on 6 and 7 November, the main GPC programme include a series of six plenary presentations, followed by sessions devoted to melting and combustion, refractories, forming and the environment. This involves the following speakers and papers:

Plenary presentations

  • Mathieu Hubert, Senior Development Scientist, Corning Research and Development Corp - Challenges and progress in understanding glass melting.
  • David Rue, Consultant - Cullet supply issues and technologies.
  • J W McCamy, Sr Scientist/Group Leader Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, Vitro Flat Glass - Glass surface modifications for new products in the 21st Century.
  • Luke Kutilek, Research Engineer (retired), PPG Architectural Glass - Flat glass manufacturing before float – thru archival images of glass manufacturing.
  • James Nordmeyer, Vice President Global Sustainability, OwensIllinois Inc - Towards the path to decarbonisation and legislative challenges.
  • Lynn Bragg, President, Glass Packaging Institute – North American container glass segment year in review.

Melting and combustion

  • Andries Habraken, Team Leader Process Optimisation, CelSianGlass & Solar BV - Glass melt quality optimisation by CFD simulations in practice.
  • Erik Muijsenberg, Vice President, Glass Service Inc - Model predictive control and monitoring of the batch coverage and shape and its effects on the crown temperature: Can this be correlated to the overall glass quality and stability in a glass furnace?
  • Mark D’Agostini, Senior Research Associate and Manager, Combustion Technology Development, Air Products and Chemicals - Optimisation of energy efficiency, glass quality and NOx emissions in oxy-fuel glass furnaces through advanced oxygen staging.
  • Gaurav Kulkarni, Development Specialist, Combustion R&D, Praxair Inc - Staged, oxy-fuel wide flame burner for glassfibre furnaces.
  • Mark Bennett, Glass Sector Lead, AMETEK Land and Neil Simpson, Independent Consultant, Simpson Combustion and Energy - Industry 3.9 thermal imaging using the Near Infrared Borescope (NIR-B).


  • Stefan Postrach, Head of Technical Marketing, RHI Magnesia REFMEX - Development of a quick method for evaluating the performance of thermal regenerators.
  • Emile Lopez, Sefpro Application and Customer Service Engineer, Saint Gobain CREE - New diagnosis approach for glass furnace post mortem analysis supported by 3D scan.
  • Bryn Snow, Manager, Applications Technology, Glass Industry, HarbisonWalker International - Digitally mapping the future of glass furnaces with lasers.