Rapid deployment force for glass production

As float glass production plants must run reliably around the clock, Grenzebach provides its customers worldwide with seamless service to make this possible.

Rapid deployment force  for glass production

In hardly any other industry does the motto ‘time is money’ hit the mark as much as in glass production. Plants run around the clock 365 days a year. This demands absolute reliability because every hour of downtime costs a huge amount of money. Maximum availability is therefore an important expectation for any plant operator.

For this reason, it is essential to have a partner on hand who can restore availability immediately and smoothly in the event of a malfunction or plant shutdown. Grenzebach, headquartered in Hamlar, Bavaria, has built up an internal service infrastructure to solve problems of any kind as quickly and effectively as possible. Customers are offered a service partnership over the plant’s entire lifecycle – with everything you could possibly expect from it. These are, first and foremost, constant availability thanks to a hotline and professional support from specialised technicians.

24/7 readiness

The Grenzebach service team is available around the clock, seven days a week for customers worldwide. If there is a malfunction or any other challenge, everything is immediately set in motion so that the plant is up and running again as soon as possible.

The fact that this comprehensive service promise is kept is shown by statements from customers who have experienced Grenzebach’s service in action and have nothing but high praise for it. In 2021, for example, Saint-Gobain Stolberg were surprised by a flood and needed immediate help from Grenzebach:

In 2021, we had an immense flood in Germany,” says Dr. Christoph Schmitz, Plant Manager at Saint-Gobain Glass Deutschland GmbH in Stolberg (Rhineland). “The water was 50cm deep in our control cabinets. We were forced to shut down our production. The Grenzebach service team was on-site very quickly to assess the damage and took action immediately afterward: motors were replaced and other spare parts delivered. After the repair, the plant was back in operation in only five weeks.”

Erwin Schwertberger, Service Manager at Grenzebach, who looks after this customer, recalls: “It was a pretty disastrous situation for Saint-Gobain, but our people did everything they could to restore production capability in the shortest possible time. I’m proud of the team.”

Dedicated service

Each customer has a Personal Service Manager – an experienced expert at their side to provide long-term individual advice. In this way, glass producers are protected against breakdowns and prepared for changing market requirements or necessary modernisations due to discontinuations.

The Grenzebach service team can be reached quickly and reliably from any part of the world with the phone hotline. Since the technicians have remote access to each plant, problems can often be solved directly and immediately. The current guaranteed standard response times for Grenzebach service contract customers are one hour until the technician calls back and a maximum of two hours until he or she remotely accesses the plant. In the vast majority of cases, the process is even faster.

Depending on the type and severity of the problem, a three-level process is applied:

  • 1st level: The service technician solves the problem on the first call via remote access. Around 90 percent of service tickets can be successfully handled at this level.
  • 2nd level: If, contrary to expectations, level 1 support does not resolve the issue, Grenzebach Engineering intervenes with additional expertise and, if necessary, the deployment of specialists on-site.
  • 3rd level: If the engineering department is unable to resolve the issue, the customer receives support from Grenzebach’s development department.

Spare parts and digital support

Much depends on a smoothly functioning spare parts supply. Grenzebach takes care of this with smart warehousing with lean, system-supported processes that enable high spare parts availability and short delivery times in most areas of the world. Due to a new ‘Fast-Lane,’ critical spare parts can now be delivered to any location in just a few days.

The service customer portal my.grenzebach.com will provide customers with a digital hub for service in the future. On this central platform, users can find an overview of their glass production plants, exchange information, make inquiries and obtain quotes. They can post service tickets, upload images, and view current status and a history of service tickets. Also included is a digital spare parts catalogue and a ‘document repository’ for instructions, documentation and video tutorials. Grenzebach offers video tutorials that illustrate the design and operation of the systems and components for various technical topics, such as changing conveyor gearboxes or graphite blocks in a tin bath.

“Everything can be improved”

Florian Nagler, Vice President, Sales Business Unit Glass at Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH summarises the situation: “My colleagues and I see accompanying our customers as journey partners throughout the entire service life of a plant as a sporting challenge. And we want to do that better and better, even though the production lines already have very high availability. Everything can be improved, so we take every available opportunity for technological progress to help our customers even more effectively.”

The Grenzebach service offer is reportedly very well received by the company’s clients. Currently, most of these customers in the glass industry have opted for the service contract with the 24/7 hotline.

Jens Schmidt, Process Engineer, Cutting Line at AGC f | glass GmbH in Osterweddingen, Saxony-Anhalt, also has high praise for the Grenzebach service: “High plant availability is extremely important to us, which is why we [decided on] a service contract with regular maintenance on the cutting technology and stacking technology – including a 24/7 hotline and training for our personnel. The result has been a very high availability since the plant was commissioned in August 2009.”

Further Information: 

web: www.grenzebach.com


* The full version of this article appears in the May/June issue that has been mailed globally. The digital version of this issue can also currently be read free of charge in its entirety alongside back copies in the Digital Archive (sponsored by FIC) at https://www.glassworldwide.co.uk/Digital-Issues. To receive the paper copy, all future issues and a free copy of the new Who’s Who / Annual Review 2022-23 yearbook, subscribe now at https://www.glassworldwide.co.uk/subscription-choice

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