Two leading providers for flat glass production technology have united their strengths, following the Grenzebach Group’s acquisition of CNUD EFCO GFT, the float and container glass business unit of the BMT Group. “In the past, we frequently built our cold end following the tin bath and annealing lehr from CNUD and one could clearly tell that both companies stand for high-tech and quality”, says Egbert Wenninger, Senior Vice President Business Unit Glass at Grenzebach.
Worldwide, there are over 300 flat glass production lines with Grenzebach cold end equipment. CNUD EFCO GFT offered solutions for annealing lehrs, tin baths and accessory machinery, enjoyed a positive reputation and a leading position within the market and contributed to the installation of 300 production lines. CNUD EFCO GFT has several international locations in Belgium, Germany, Romania and China and going forward, will also profit from the Grenzebach locations in China and the USA. “Together with integrated solutions, we are a unique partner for our customers worldwide” says Dennis Schattauer, CEO of GFT GmbH. “The daily exchange within the Grenzebach Group with automation and digitalisation experts is readily available to us” he adds. “This will push our team even more.” With a common strategy, glass production technology will be further optimised and automated.”
Higher quality, more sustainability
One-cast solutions for increasingly complex float glass production lines, joint technological improvements and the latest developments, the creation of additional values with innovation for the digital glass industry and a focus on energy efficiency: The close co-operation between Grenzebach and CNUD EFCO GFT will bring advantages to customers for product quality, economic efficiency and sustainability.
Integrated control system and inspection technology can be realised with knowknow collected from several decades. CNUD EFCO GFT has extensive experience in the thermal processes of glass lines, upstream from the cold end, where the quality of the glass ribbon and therefore the customer’s profit is decided.
Data record of the complete production line
These empirical values and the process knowledge from CNUD EFCO GFT are combined with data resulting from Grenzebach’s inspection solutions. With SERICY, the digitisation platform developed by Grenzebach, future data can be collected on the complete float glass production line and be available for optimisations at the glass manufacturers, up to detailed recommendations for equipment operators, as well as solid indications for the quality manager. For example, sheet thickness is measured at the beginning of the annealing lehr, in order to be able to react early on should production neglect the admissible thickness tolerance range.
In a second example, at the cold end, Grenzebach measures the glass ribbon tension profile, ie the tensions within the glass along a measuring line across the glass ribbon, which is created during the cool down process. With Grenzebach’s IIoT platform SERICY, it is possible to adapt the annealing lehr settings directly to achieve the optimum tension curve. With this integrated approach, significant improvements can be realised. “In the future, we are able to detect, analyse and achieve all relevant production parameters of a campaign or even a single sheet along the complete line for subsequent follow-up” says Egbert Wenninger.
Consistent control system, optimised usability
For the tin bath and the annealing lehr in the forming area, as well as for the cold end, a consistent control system with less interfaces and improved usability will be possible. These examples show the increased potential of co-operation in terms of digitalisation. The digitisation of flat glass production lines is one of the innovative drivers within the glass industry.
All from one source
From the tin bath to the annealing lehr and the cold end, plus the transport of final products to the warehouse, Grenzebach is now able to offer the complete equipment. Synergies derived from design, common development and planning from the integrated production lines allow for the smooth realisation of projects, with a clearly reduced, co-ordination effort for glass manufacturers.
Energy efficiency improvements
Reduction of the energy consumption and the output of emissions, such as CO2, are fundamental challenges for the glass industry to achieve climate targets and to receive future operating permits. The experts from Grenzebach and CNUD EFCO GFT work together to build improved heat recycling systems for flat glass equipment.
“The improvement of energy efficiency of flat glass production technology is an important item on our joint agenda” says Dennis Schattauer. “Last but not least, we are able to prove that it is possible to significantly reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions with digital means.”
Grenzebach is a leading automation solution provider for the global glass, building material and intralogistics market. In addition, the company constantly develops application areas like friction stir welding, the automation of industrial additive manufacturing or digitalisation. The digitisation platform SERICY allows customers to develop their own future-proof digital knowhow.
Grenzebach ranks among the global technology leaders in its markets. The global manufacturing footprint with production sites in Germany, the USA and China, as well as additional worldwide locations, ensure customer support on-site. More than 3000 installed plants in more than 55 countries testify quality and reliability. Since its creation 60 years ago, the company has been owned by the founding family. With an export ratio of more than 90%, Grenzebach is a global player.
CNUD EFCO has been building annealing lehrs and tin baths roofs for the float glass industry since 1957. High quality technical solutions are offered in terms of engineering and equipment. The company enables its clients to successfully introduce new products and applications and to develop a higher profile in an ever-increasingly competitive global glass market.
CNUD EFCO works for all leading glass manufacturers around the world. The goal is to offer reliable equipment and to guarantee a continuous efficient process. The company’s success is based on a strategy of innovation. Its ambition is to be a beacon of knowledge its customers can always rely on.