“Integration is always the biggest risk when combining sections from two different manufacturers,” says Andrew Smith, Group Manufacturing Manager at Independent Glass. Speaking about his company’s recent upgrade, he continues: “The entire upgrade project with Glaston’s ProL-zone went very smoothly. We’ve now been able to increase our laminating capacity, run the line with flexibility and ease – and lower our energy consumption.”
Glaston is no stranger to Independent Glass. For over a quarter of a century, the laminating and glass toughening company has been investing in lines from Glaston for its three sites in Glasgow, Scotland, and the one in Mansfield, England.
In late 2016, the company decided to upgrade the lamination oven at its Mansfield location – which focuses on structural glazing, architectural glass and balustrades – to better serve the growing needs of their market. “The first question was whether to retrofit the oven or to upgrade,” Andrew explains. “We looked at several options alongside of Glaston, but in the end, we decided to go with the advantages the ProL technology could offer, rather than an infrared retrofit solution.”
Integration of the new machine was a key concern for Andrew and his team, since the existing laminating line was from a different manufacturer. So he went to see another ProL-zone in Denmark with Glaston’s UK representative Steve Brammer. The trip offered exactly what Andrew wanted to see: Glaston’s ProLzone working seamlessly with another manufacturer’s laminating line.
Andrew says that his company has been receiving benefits from the upgraded machine since day one. The machine has been operating in an extremely reliable manner. The new line has achieved increased capacity, greater flexibility and ease of running.