Staged at Grenzebach headquarters in Hamlar, Bavaria, the Coating Competence Days event brought together experts from all over the world to discuss glass coating for the present and the future. Participants discussed new technology requirements and learnt how revision times for production lines can be designed more efficiently with digital capabilities.
A jumbo glass coater is available at the Hamlar site for research and development as well as for other laboratory-driven tasks. The coating laboratory is ready to handle jumbo size glass substrate widths for all major application areas and the relevant coatings for high end products. Starting with dielectrics (eg Si3N4 or TiO2), ultra-thin metal and barrier coatings (eg Ag and NiCr), up to coatings for special applications in the display and solar industry, as well as transparent conductive coatings (ITO, ZnO, ZnMgO). The Coating-Lab, type GB 3300 for jumbo size glass offers all properties of a production plant and is equipped with leading edge technology of today’s large area coating industry.
Strengthening position within coating sector
“With the new Coating-Lab, we emphasise the strategic meaning of the coating sector for our company” commented Renato Luck, Grenzebach Group CEO. “With the application of the most recent technologies and ongoing development, we continuously strengthen our leading position within the flat glass sector. Our experts in the Coating-Lab are available to our partners and customers to answer difficult questions, as well as to provide training. With Soleras Advanced Coatings with its headquarters in Belgium and Advanced Energy Industries with its headquarters in the US state of Colorado, we have strategic partners with extensive experience and technology knowhow to drive forward innovative technologies on an international level.”
During the Coating Competence Days last October, 30 industry visitors took a closer look at the potential of the lab coater, discovering how large area coating can be further optimised and how the latest innovations can be implemented for energy conservation purposes.
Testing advanced hardware components can be undertaken on the equipment, as well as samplings. Furthermore, Grenzebach offers a professional training environment for all who are interested. “Together with Soleras Advanced Coatings and Advanced Energy, we can utilise our new lab to look into coating technologies of tomorrow”, says Egbert Wenninger, Senior Vice President Business Unit Glass.
Use revision times even more efficiently
The team around Dr Jens Ellrich, Head of Coating Technology at Grenzebach, demonstrates the immense influence of efficient revision procedures and shortest possible maintenance times on the efficiency of coater lines. SERICY, the digitisation platform developed at Grenzebach, opens more avenues. Furthermore, with the use of digital instruments, the performance of coating lines with regards to quality and quantity can be developed further.
Into the factory of tomorrow
With SERICY, Grenzebach has developed a platform that allows digital solutions and advanced features with tangible added value for customers; solid steps towards the factory of the future. Via the IIoT platform, all sequences in production, the warehouse and the shipping department can be controlled; equipment parts and devices from numerous manufacturers can be integrated.
Data management and analysis enable users to continuously develop production based on their own information. The integration of data of the coating line provides extensive process control, which in the future will also allow almost complete automation within the field of coating technology and set standards in economics. Only the implementation of the most recent methods for data logging, saving and analysis allows this quantum leap. Grenzebach experts indicated how digital technology helps to improve the process performance of coaters in the chambers and coating stations.
With apps that rung on the SERICY platform, a series of assistance systems for employees to use in the coating sector are possible. The spectrum extends from the Maintenance Manager for planned system maintenance to the Settings Manager saving machine settings and providing a time stamp.
Upgrades and handling technology
The fully automated PVD coating equipment from Grenzebach allows the production of all demanding coatings required by today’s market for large area glass products - from sun protection applications to high quality insulating glasses (low-e coatings).
For global customers, Grenzebach experts continuously push developments within the field of PVD coating and take care of the installation, commissioning and production start of new coating lines. Aside from the core of the equipment, the coater, Grenzebach implements conveyor, cutting and handling technology. Needless to say, comprehensive upgrades for existing systems are also part of the company’s portfolio.