Reducing Labor While Increasing Production & Profit In the Glass Industry, Five Tips to Best Fabrication Optimization

October 12, 2014

MACHINERY.....Labor is expensive, reduce it by planning and choosing the right equipment. Be sure that the machinery will give you a decent return on investment and will reduce labor, handling and waste. Today’s world of fast changing technology has finally come to the glass industry. There are many new ways to accomplish a goal of solid return while increasing production and increasing profits. Thanks to several electronic suppliers, like seimenns, today’s machines can do various applications and processing only dreamed of a few years ago. New ways of grinding and polishing, new ways of drilling and milling, new ways of laminating are just three examples. Research always and remember to buy from a company that can support the machinery. Also, always call at least five references. Go to see the equipment and if possible go see the manufacturers facilities. Your good due diligence will pay off. Wise machinery purchasing is a must and the right ones will dramatically reduce labor, handling and waste.

TOOLING.......believe it or not, there is new technology emerging in the tooling side of the fabrication process. Drilling tools that require no dressing are now a reality. While break in must be done carefully, these new drill will save a minimum of 50 percent of your drilling expense. Life of these new tools are greatly extended with report of sometimes four times the life. This technology will soon be shared with a large range of grinding tooling including diamond milling bits, fining wheels and countersink. Another great new innovation is tooling where the base plate of drill shaft stays on the machine and only the consumable part is replaced saving lots of expensive time spent changing tools. As mentioned above, always check references and then start saving money, start increasing profits while reducing labor and waste. The right tools will increase production and profits while reducing labor, handling and waste.

LUBRICANT (coolant) coolants are necessary when grinding glass. Most coolants for glass have been adapted from the metal industry. Today a glass fabricator can find special coolants designed and engineered just for glass. There are so many advantages to finding the right one such as increase working speeds, increase tool life and easier to clean up tanks and machines. Find the right coolant and always be sure not to add to much. Coolant does not evaporate like water and too much coolant will cause the tools to not perform. Always check your coolant percentages.

CERIUM OZIDE.....this is always a difficult subject due to the huge increase in the cost of this product. About 95 percent of cerium comes from Asia and they have all but completely owned this market. More mines are opening up in other parts of the world but it may be years before we see the price coming down to reasonable levels. Optimizing this product is essential. Learn how to mix in just the right amount. Despite the automatic reaction by operator that more is better, " it isn't. Use a hydrometer and cylinder and check this daily. A lot of money's wasted in this area of fabrication.

HANDLING....to reduce the problem of back injuries, as well as reducing labor costs, look into new ways to handle glass. complaints of back injury are frustrating in that the manager finds it difficult to find the exact source of exactly where the injury took place. New designs with some actually from a Chiropractor who specializes in back injuries are now out in the market. Pneumatic manipulators and crane manipulators are much improved and a good bet. The great thing about these new handling options is they almost always reduce labor and waste while protecting against muscular skeletal injuries.

WATER.....clean and recycle. There are many ways to do this. Some prefer a chemical solution, other mechanical solutions...both work but try to find a solution that is affordable with little maintenance and reduced steps. They exist today. This solution will save big money and if done right will also bring you extended tool life, a savings on spare parts and longer machine life. It will also take a big potential government problem for emerging. City and towns as well as state and federal agencies are watching out and the last thing you want is some government official coming in and causing problems. Find the best solution for your budget but be sure to make it a top priority.

SOFTWARE.....be very careful but explore options as there are many new products available. Only work with very reputable suppliers with lots of support. Be sure you do all the due diligence and check several references. The right software is a major contributor to saving labor, handling and waste.

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