In January 2021, Walshs Glass in Western Australia began using their Glaston RHC upgrade, enabling them to improve glass flatness and optical quality. “Today, we’re positioned to take advantage of the rapidly changing glass processing demands in Western Australia,” says Steve Cuff, Executive Operations Manager at Walshs Glass.
Walshs’ first experience with Glaston was with a second-hand HTF furnace from the US that had been decommissioned in 1998. In 2008, the company commissioned a Glaston ProE furnace. The furnace was upgraded in 2019 with iControL software.
“We wanted to give our operators an easier way to use the furnace, and the earlier control system was simply out of date. With iControL, our operators have been able to create their own recipes with the ease of the touchscreen,” Steve says.
After that project went very well, Walshs began to explore ways to enhance the glass flatness and optical quality of the glass from the furnace. The use of soft and hard glass coatings in the market had increased significantly. Steve and his team met numerous times with Glaston to talk – onsite and at industry events.
“The Glaston team was very clear about the results we could achieve,” Steve says. “We’d be better able to meet the high roller wave standards using heat control that could be accomplished with an RHC upgrade.”
“The upgrade was installed on December 28 and was successfully commissioned by January 7, 2021, even while we were experiencing two of the hottest days of the year in Perth with scorching temperatures of +44 °C,” Steve recalls.
Walshs is now seeing a significant reduction in glass breakage in the quench. Output has increased as the changeover time has been minimized. They can now switch easily between glass thicknesses without losing time. Plus, the RHC is helping them save significantly on power consumption, as the heaters do not always need to be on.
“Our customers have commented particularly on our optical quality and glass flatness. Since we are certified to produce soft coated glass by Guardian Oceania, and Saint-Gobain, we now have the measures of flexibility to ensure the best optical output,” Steve says.