Glass International’s March issue is out now!


In this month’s issue, Neutral Glass & Allied Industries discuss its recent furnace investment and acquisition by German glassmaker Gerresheimer.

This new furnace investment means that the company can continue producing high quality pharmaceutical and cosmetics glass as well as being environmentally friendly.

Elsewhere, we review the recent successful Glassman Asia container and hollow glass event in Bangkok, Thailand, which included a conference focused on Industry 4.0.

Phoenix Committee Chairman Graham Womersley highlights the organisation and how it selected an individual who had made a substantial contribution to the glass industry.

In addition, Paneratech’s CEO discusses how SmartMelter technology has been expanded to monitor high zircona refractories.

Experts from Stara Glass explore how, within the Prime Glass project, two techniques were developed to contain NOx in regenerative end-port furnaces.

Other technical features include articles from the likes of Tiama, Burkert, CelSian Glass and Furnace Solutions.

All this plus our usual history page from Prof John Parker as well as the round up of industry news.

Furnace Solutions 2018 announces programme


The SGT’s Melting Technical Committee is hosting another interesting and informative Furnace Solutions Conference and Training Day.

The emphasis of this two-day event is for presenters and delegates to share experiences and propose practical solutions to the glass melting challenges of today in an informal atmosphere. 

You will network with fellow glass producers, in order to mutually benefit the industry. Each year delegates also enjoy socialising at the Geoff Evans Memorial Dinner which will be held on Wednesday 6th June.

As well as the trainers and speakers already confirmed from Allied Glass, Flammatec, Eurotherm, Ardagh Glass, Land Ametek, Stara Glass, Sefpro, Glass Service, Air Products, and FIC there are also papers from Neil Simpson at Land Ametek (NoX), Frederik Aker at Sorg (SORG 340S+ Forehearths, Improvements and Operational Data) and Mattias Hagen at LTB (Luft- und Thermotechnik) Bayreuth (Ecopure Catalytic Candle Filter -  The New Alternative for Flue Gas Treatment).

The 2018 Furnace Solutions will have speakers travelling from Germany, Holland, Italy, France, the Czech Republic and the USA

Lucideon, in Stoke-on-Trent, UK, will again host the conference on the 6th and 7th June.

For more details about the conference and to register please visit

Russian company will invest $1m to upgrade Grodno Glassworks in Belarus


Russian company Triton will invest $1 million to upgrade a pattern glass line at Belarusian glass manufacturer Grodno Glassworks.

The agreement between the two companies was signed in the Belarusian Architecture and Construction Ministry on 7th March.

Yuri Skripko, Grodno Glassworks’ Director, said: “We are going to make an improved-quality pattern glass.”

“Triton will buy half of the output for making shower booths in Russia.”

“The contract allows the Russian company to consequently buy $9 million worth of glass.”

“We are going to sell the rest at home and abroad.”

“This glass is not only used for making shower booths but for making furniture, industrial glass panes and greenhouses.”

Oleg Kornoukhov, Glass Projects Supervisor at Triton, explained that the investment would help the company to increase its shower booth production by approximately one third.

Anatoly Cherny, Belarusian Architecture and Construction Minister, said: “Today the pattern glass line is not used.”

“It has no future.”

“This project has given the pattern glass line a new lease of life.”

“Apart from shipments to the Russian Federation, the glass of the upgraded line will be used to close the domestic market against imports.”

Triton’s cooperation with Grodno Glassworks will not be limited to investments. Both companies will be expected to share the best practices for improving glass treatment technologies.

Source from:

Vesuvius takes action to protect intellectual property rights


Vesuvius, a global manufacturer of fused silica refractory rollers used in glass tempering, glass forming, solar and metallurgical industries, has taken legal action to protect its intellectual property rights associated with Smartly Driven roll patents and end cap attachment technology.

Vesuvius has identified several patent violations associated with fused silica roll technology, specifically employing mechanical end cap attachments. 

OEM furnace builders have been alerted about the infringing companies, and that if rollers fitted with such end caps are incorporated into a furnace, both the OEM and the end customer could unknowingly be infringing Vesuvius’ patents. 

Such infringement, even if inadvertent and resolved amicably, could result in significant expenses for replacement of infringing rollers, in addition to unnecessary disturbance of customers’ operation.

Veolia opens £10 million recycling facility


Knauf Insulation and Veolia have opened a 60,000 tonnes/year glass recycling facility in St Helens, UK.

Veolia’s facility uses technology to sort and separate glass at a micro-level, delivering an ultra-pure glass cullet. 

The machinery includes vibrating screens for size sorting, magnets to extract ferrous materials and eddy current separators for non-ferrous materials.

The facility enables Knauf Insulation to secure its glass supply and maximise the use of recycled materials instead of virgin minerals.

The proximity of the facility will save approximately 375,000 miles of road journeys.

The glass collected equates to over 350 million bottles thrown out yearly – which could otherwise end up in landfill or pollute the environment.

With a £10M investment and a decade long commitment from Knauf Insulation, both companies are demonstrating their dedication to sustainable and circular manufacturing.

John Sinfield, Managing Director at Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, said: “We have been using recycled glass in our manufacturing process for some time already.

"As well as securing our glass supply, the quality and consistency that we are getting now from the new facility will enable us to increase further the percentage of glass cullet we use in the manufacture of our glass mineral wool insulation solutions, taking us one step further in our sustainability journey.

 Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President at Veolia UK & Ireland, said: “To see our site officially open today is a vote of confidence in our technology and the quality of cullet we produce. By using a significant amount of this glass in its manufacturing process, Knauf Insulation is setting the standard for other manufacturers to follow – making use of recycled material mainstream rather than niche.

 “We want to see this first-of-its kind partnership pave the way for others; where waste is seen as an indispensable commodity and given a completely new lease of life.

"It would be fantastic to see more key industry players follow Knauf Insulation and incorporate circular economy thinking into production.”

Soliver to re-open this year after £32 million investment


Lebanese glass container manufacturer Soliver will reopen its factory in Bchamoun in mid-2018. 

According to a report in the project will include a $32 million investment to upgrade its machines.

Soliver's production capacity is 70,000 tons of glass containers per year. Production of coloured (green and brown) glass is around 10,000 tons per year. It provides its products to 15 domestic manufacturers such as Interbrand, Pepsi, and Kassatly Chtaura, among others.

More information from

Gerresheimer expands Wackersdorf development centre for glass


Gerresheimer Medical Systems is to expand its Technical Competence Center (TCC) in Wackersdorf, Germany to include glass.

The company will create 3,000m2 of additional space for the development and industrialization of glass products, such as syringes and carpules.

The task area of the centre will be expanded beyond the previous area of focus of plastics to include the additional material of glass.

Construction began recently, and the project should be completed by the end of the year.

Glass products, such as pre-fillable syringes and cartridges will be prepared for series production there in the future.

The establishment of glass competence in the TCC will expand the technology portfolio at the Wackersdorf location.

A total of 25 new jobs will be created by 2020.

One focus of the expansion is the establishment of small batch production for pre-fillable glass syringes and cartridges.

The focus is on syringes and cartridges for sophisticated, biotechnologically manufactured medication, clinical samples for approval, or prototypes for process and technology development.

At the same time, glass competence is also being established in the Automation Systems area (special machine engineering) in order to develop technologies for glass forming and automation.

New generations of glass forming lines for syringe production will in future originate in a cooperation between Gerresheimer’s Bünde and Wackersdorf locations.

“We should also focus on large batch production at our location in Bünde, which previously had to be interrupted at considerable expense and effort for development projects and start-ups for new products,” said Manfred Baumann, Global Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing, Administration & TCC, Management Board, Gerresheimer Regensburg.

Pictured: Artist's impression of the expanded centre.

Vertech’ upgrades hardware for SIl solutions


Vertech’ has upgraded its hardware for its SIL analysis solutions.

The company’s SIL solutions provide a clear view and analysis of production data in real time.

The cornerstones of SIL are the software and its database, the services provided by SIL experts and the hardware, which must be reliable, robust, and resistant to extreme factory conditions such as heat and humidity. 

SIL interfaces and data exchange rely on hardware and equipment such as thin clients, industrial mice, moxas, displays, servers, acquisition units, shoe boxes and counting cells among others.

Its R&D team is continuously testing new equipment and technologies to guarantee solutions for clients.

This work ensures the SIL capability to integrate demanding server technologies and keep up with regular OS updates and licensing policies.

The hardware upgrades are a new SILAcq 2018 acquisition unit with Fanless Shoebox. It is smaller and lighter than previous SILAcq versions and this new unit has improved input terminal blocks and a new layout that allows a faster wiring.

The new SILClient micro terminal for hot end, cold end, laboratory and manager workstations. Vertech’ said it is ultra compact and ultra light and the micro terminal takes up little space and has lower transport costs.

Thin clients are on stock in each Vertech' branch in order to quickly provide customers with spare parts.

Schott forms joint venture with Zhejiang Crystal-Optech and T.Best


Schott has formed a joint venture company called Zhejiang Crystal-Schott  Optical Technology Co., Ltd.

It said the new company connects Schott’s expertise in optical materials and thin glass with the processing and coating knowledge of its Chinese partner Crystal-Optech and T.Best.

The joint venture company will be part of Schott’s Advanced Optics business unit.

After the approval from antitrust authorities, it will focus on developing and manufacturing high-end optical components for various applications.

Customers will profit from the combination of Schott’s 133-year leadership in optical materials and its Chinese partners’ excellence in components manufacturing for optical, optoelectronic and semiconductor applications.

Schott will supply its optical glass and thin glass products – the joint venture will assemble the materials into glass substrates and glass wafers with optical performances and optimised geometrical properties.

“Jointly with our strong and valued partners, Crystal-Optech and T.Best, we will grow the joint venture company to be a major player serving the Chinese, Asia-Pacific and Western markets”, said Dr. Frank Heinricht, Chairman of the Board, Schott.

The joint venture’s production will be set up on Crystal-Optech’s new production campus in Taizhou city, Zhejiang province. It is expected to quickly grow to several hundred employees.


AFGM 2018 to take place in Indonesia


The 42nd edition of the annual Asean Glass Conference, which will be hosted by the Indonesia Glass Manufacturers Association (IGMA), is to be held on the 24th – 27th September 2018 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

The theme of the conference will be 'The Colourful World of Glass: Shaping the Future and Breakthroughs to Excellence', the conference’s Organising Committee have announced.

Harris Hendraka, Chairman of the Asean Glass Conference Organising Committee, said: “We are delighted and looking forward to hear about what you all would like to share about the technology advancement and its impact on our industry, efficiency, as well as our everyday lives.”

The annual industrial glass conference will put emphasis on the growth of technology, protection of the environment, maintenance of competitive edges, sustainable growth and maximising efficiency and resources.

Participants will be given the chance to broaden networks, market brands and products, as well as socialise with stakeholders of the glass industry both in the ASEAN region and worldwide.

The Asean Glass Conference is open to glass companies, researchers and academies all over the world who would like to present their papers and research.

This year’s conference will include various social events, including the annual AFGM Golf Tournament, Cultural Night Dinner, Dance Night Dinner, City Tour Programs and the AFGM Day Tour Program for all delegates and spouses. 

Mr Hendraka said: “We are open to sponsorship for those events for all your reputable companies to get the right exposure and prestige in our annual conference.”

Pictured: Delegates at last year’s Asean Glass Conference in Vietnam

Smart Glass will be a key topic at glasstec 2018 in Germany


A key trend among exhibitors at glasstec 2018 in Germany will be Smart Glass, which is to be used as part of buildings.

Smart Glass is used in everyday products such as smartphones and premium or luxury vehicles. It is currently still neglected in architecture and buildings, even though so many functions would be feasible today. This new glass technology is to be discussed on the 23 - 26 October at this year’s edition of the glasstec trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Currently, engineers are developing Smart Glass to be used in the building sector. For example, wall-mounted switches and remote controls could be used so that users can select between transparent and non-transparent partition walls.

Prof Dr Ulrich Knaack of TU Darmstadt said: “There are many interesting things under development including display glass and OLEDs.”

“As soon as we introduce these into the building skin, façades will become more active and will be able to contribute more to the function of the building.”

New lighting technology such as OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) is also being developed. Unlike conventional LEDs and all other light sources, OLEDs emit their light across the entire surface.

Prof Dr Knaack explains: “You could imagine that not only partition walls are controlled but the façade itself, thereby turning into a display and, hence, part of an office.”

“Like the desktop that people are working on and not only as a screen for communication and information but as a workstation – comparable to PC screens today.”

Buildings, unlike consumer goods, come with high expenses and correspondingly complex development and production. They must ‘work’ for a long period and meet high safety demands due to their size and possible consequential damage.

Prof Dr Knaack said: “Looking at glass in isolation you can say that it has made enormous leaps in terms of material development, integration in energy generation and control as well as in design terms.

 “Hardly any other material has achieved this.”

“But this is only the beginning and new themes are already on the horizon with an impact we can only guess.”

When incorporated into façades, Smart Glass is capable of reducing energy costs, providing an alternative to mechanical shutters and saving space.

Engineers are also working on special coatings that make glass glare-free and self-cleaning. These coatings can increase the performance of solar cells and thereby substantially increase the generation of solar energy.

Vitrum 2019 themed pathways with logos will guide visitors through stands


The 21st Vitrum trade show will introduce 12 ‘Vitrum Specialised’ themed pathways with logos, which will provide greater visibility of exhibitor stands and access for professionals.

The ‘Vitrum Specialised’ descriptive themed pathways will include logos attached clearly to exhibitor stands, printed in the Vitrum 2019 catalogue and on the show maps.

Dino Zandonella Necca, Vitrum’s President, said: “Throughout the 2017 edition, we paid attention to the needs expressed by the participants – exhibitors, trade professionals, visitors, associations and institutions – and we carefully analysed the feedback that came in after the event.”

“Driven by the findings in this review, we agreed it was time to focus on some specific themes: themes that we can transform into exciting opportunities for greater visibility for all exhibitors.”

The themed pathways with logos include: Vitrum Flat Glass, Vitrum Hollow Glass, Vitrum Fenestration, Vitrum Solar, Vitrum Automotive, Vitrum Printing & Coating, Vitrum Environment, Vitrum Testing, Vitrum Research, Vitrum Software & Control, Vitrum Associations and Vitrum International Press.

The aim is to leave a mark and innovatively represent the categories in which the exhibitors operate, in which they can use to identify their own specialisation(s). Each exhibitor can choose to use one or more logo.

The maps will show the designated themed pathways to help visitors plan their itineraries inside the show, based on their specific interests.

Campaigns will promote widespread circulation of the initiative, including press releases and newsletters.

This year’s Vitrum international trade fair will take place on 1st – 4th October 2019 at Fiera Milano Rho in Milan, Italy.



Ardagh develops Tiche water bottle


Ardagh’s in-house design team has developed Tiche’s Lithuanian 750ml mineral water bottle.

 The bottle was produced at Ardagh’s Gostyn, Poland glass manufacturing  facility.

The new, larger 750ml bottle features the Tiche crest, embossed with its ancient Nymph, carrying crystalline water straight from the heart of the Earth.

The embossing was optimised for the Narrow-Neck Press and Blow (NNPB) production method, which also reduces the weight of the glass packaging by 32%, helping to reduce environmental impact.

 A key requirement was for the bottle to withstand a high carbonation pressure of 7g per litre, which was a challenge with the thin wall production method.

Barbara Macialczyk, Marketing Manager at Ardagh Group said: "The combination of two critical requirements – thin glass walls and high durability - was achieved using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) technology. 

"Our sales and design teams have achieved an elegant and curvaceous bottle with a tapered label panel.

"It features the symbol of the Tiche Nymph and is embossed with the number ’689’ on the opposite side, indicating the depth of the source from which the water is extracted.

“We're delighted with how we’ve achieved a premiumised look through the embossed crest, whilst retaining strength in this new, lightweight bottle.”

AGC patterned glass is Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold


AGC Glass Europe has been awarded Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold for its patterned glass.

The flat glass manufacturer, based in Belgium, became certified in January for its range of patterned glass. It includes the largest portfolio of certified products under the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Programme with no fewer than 6 ranges.

The Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Programme recognises the sustainability of products throughout their life cycle. AGC’s patterned glass products, including Imagin, Imagin Sandblasted, Imagin Wired and Oltreluce, have been awarded Platinum standard for material health and Gold for the five other criteria taken into account in this certification.

AGC has already obtained Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver for its float and magnetron coated glass, as well as a Bronze for its range of decorative products (Mirox MNGE, Lacobel, Matelac, Lacobel T, Matelac T and Matelux), its laminated glass (Stratobel and Stratophone) and its insulating glass (Thermobel and iplus/ipasol Insulating Glazing).

This new accreditation is the latest step in AGC’s sustainable development policy, which is aimed at constantly raising the environmental performance of its products and production plant.

LiSEC develops Austria’s first laminated glass line


The Austrian flat glass processor, LiSEC, has delivered the country’s first laminated glass line.

The line was manufactured in LiSEC’s Competence Centre for laminating. It is a U-shape solution for a maximum glass size of 2600 x 5000 millimetres.

Marco Bügler, LiSEC’s Head of Business Unit Laminated Glass said: “This glass laminating line, which was completely constructed in Austria, provides the starting signal for the next chapter in the business segment laminating.”

“I am delighted and proud that the team here on the site have integrated this complex technology into the overall range in such a short time.”

The line has been sold to Al Hadi Glass Industries in Kuwait. The glass processor factory chose LiSEC because the new technology was tailored to its needs and it included a high-precision pressing force, pre-lamination system and full convection system.

Mr Bügler said: “For a few months now we have seen a growing interest.”

“We have carried out very promising negotiations and in the meantime, we have shown the ‘Made in Austria’ laminating technology to several customers here in our facility in lower Austria.”

The technological development stages can be adapted to the customers’ requirements, quality and automation standards.

LiSEC’s laminated glass line is also in demand in Australia, Mexico and Vietnam.

Wiegand-Glas in €50 million Glaswerk Ernstthal investment


Glass container manufacturer Wiegand-Glas intends to invest more than €50 million in its Glaswerk Ernstthal plant in Thuringian, Germany over the next two years.

The investment, announced in December, will include a new melting furnace which will have a daily capacity of 360 t/d. Investments will also be made in production and inspection technology.

With new emission control technology, the glass plant will drop even further below new and strict emission limits.

Two new halls will be also be built. One building will be used as a warehouse for produced goods, which will reduce the transport to the current warehouse in Neuhaus.

The other hall is going to be built in three floors to accommodate packaging facilities as well as offices and social areas for employees. The project will be finished in the first half of 2019.

Wiegand-Glas said the investment means it will strengthen its market position and can react even more flexibly to customer requirements. In particular, small series and individual containers in high quality flint colour are produced.

The company forecast problems in being able to recruit new employees for the Thuringian locations in the future.

“Due to demographic change, fewer and fewer people are available to the labour market,” it said.

Anchor Glass appoints Human Resources chief


Anchor Glass Container Corporation has appointed Wendy Larrison as Chief Human Resources Officer and Vice President at the corporate headquarters in Tampa, FL, USA.

Larrison had previously held positions as a human resource leader and executive with Triad Retail Media and Gerdau Long Steel North America. 

Larrison brings over 20 years of expertise as a transformational leader through aligning people, culture and business strategies to elevate and execute the company vision and plan.

Anchor Glass CEO Nipesh Shah said: “Wendy has extensive experience in creating performance driven culture in a manufacturing environment. 

“I am confident that Wendy will help us advance our Human Resource capabilities and leverage global best practices to ensure that Anchor has the right talent and culture to progress our objectives.”

Applications open for the 2018 Pilkington award


The Society of Glass Technology is accepting applications for the 2018 Pilkington award. 

The SGT-Alastair Pilkington Award is designed to encourage and recognise excellent work in glass research or innovation achieved by someone who, like Sir Alastair, has come relatively recently into the field of glass studies.

This Award is not restricted to hard science or engineering – it spans all dimensions of glass studies, creativity and research; glass art as well as glass science, conservation and museum studies as well as engineering, history and design as well as molecular dynamics.

 Eligible applicants will be within seven years of joining the glass industry and the winning candidate will receive €1500 and support in attending the ESG Conference in Saint Malo, France, in 2018, where the award will be presented.

He or she will also receive a smaller replica of the iconic glass Pilkington sculpture, to commemorate the occasion.

Applications should include three named referees and up to three published, peer reviewed, papers. The applicant should normally be listed as the sole or first-named author on each paper, or be demonstrably the primary author. A statement clearly defining the applicant’s contribution to each work should also be provided.

Please e-mail to discuss your application.

Further information on the criteria of the award can be found at

The deadline for applications is 16th March 2018.

FalorniTech secures Mexican and Iran contracts


Glass melting is one of the most important and energy intensive processes in the manufacturing of glass products, consuming 60 to 70% of the total energy used in glass production. 

The melting furnace must run as a clock and to do that, the design and engineering of a melting furnace are key points. 

Recently Italian furnace provider FalorniTech has concluded the engineering design process for Grupo Pavisa in Mexico and Azar Mehr Co of Iran.

Each project had different situations with various goals managed by the Head of the Technical Office, Mr. Biagio Bifano, and his team.

Both projects had the same approach: first of all understand the problems by an accurate preliminary study, then begin the design process with creativity in generating new ideas that may solve the problem much more than just a systematic application of rules and theory.

Mr Bifano (pictured) said: “With regard to Grupo Pavisa, we rebuilt the melting furnace designing the entire furnace and the gathering bay system with particular solutions aimed to assure maximum homogeneity of the temperature to avoid defects in response to the high quality glass of customer.

"In regards to the Azar Mehr project we supplied a design for a flexible furnace which was easy to use as it is provided with a single production line as per the customer’s choice. 

“But the design is already set for implementation of the second process line if the customer would like to have it in the future”.

Brazilian beer market helps improve Verallia sales


Verallia reported a sales increase of 4.5% last year – thanks in part to the Brazilian beer market.

The French container glassmaker reported revenue at €2,473.7 million for 2017 with adjusted EBITDA of €504.1 million, up 7.9% year-on-year.

In South America its revenue increased by 11% thanks to an increased level of activity in Brazilian beer bottle volumes.

It added that the negative impact of the Argentinean Peso depreciation was partly compensated by the appreciation of the Brazilian real against the Euro.

In Europe, revenue increased by 3.7%, supported by higher volumes in France and Spain in particular as well as an improved manufacturing performance, which partly offset the production costs inflation.

Registration opens for German Glass Society conference


Registration is now open for the 92nd meeting of the German Society of Glass Technology (DGG), which is being held in conjunction with the Annual Meetings of the Czech Glass Society & the Slovak Glass Society.

The event takes place between May 28 and 30 at the Arvena Kongress Hotel, Bayreuth, Germany.

The conference theme is Science meets Technology and conference language is English.

Individual sessions of the 92nd Annual Meeting of the DGG are composed by experts in the respective fields; and are devoted to the following topics:

S1: Functional Glasses (Chairs: Dusan Galusek, Alexander Dubcek University of Trencin; Peter Simurka, Slovak Glass Society, Lednické Rovne, Slovakia; Lothar Wondraczek, OSIM, Jena)
S2: Glasses in Healthcare (Chairs: Aldo R. Boccaccini, Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen; Delia S. Brauer, OSIM, Jena)
S3: Electrical Melting (Chair: Jaroslav Klouzek, University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague)
S4: Hot Forming, Secondary Manufacturing, Quality Control (Chairs: Michael Kellner, Heye-International, Obernkirchen; Gesine Bergmann, VDMA, Frankfurt)
S5: Energy, Environment and Glass Furnaces (Chairs: Bernhard Fleischmann, HVG, Offenbach; Karlheinz Gitzhofer, HVG, Offenbach; Christian Roos, RWTH-GHI, Aachen)
S6: Laser Application on Glass (Chairs: Jens Bliedtner, Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule, Jena;
Martin Kahle, ifw – Günter-Köhler-Institut für Fügetechnik und Werkstoffprüfung, Jena)

Registration is available via the conference website

Vidrala benefits from Santos Barosa acquisition


Spanish container glassmaker Vidrala reported sales of €822.7 million in 2017, a 5.1% increase from the year before.

Operating profit, EBITDA, was €195.4 million, an increase of 14.5% over the figure reported last year.

It stated that the growth in sales was a result of the development of the business in line with its strategic guidelines as well as a positive contribution of the immediately accretive acquisition of Santos Barosa.

Vidrala acquired Portuguese glassmaker Santos Barosa in October last year.

In its financial report for the year 2017 Vidrala stated there is a growing trend among consumers for glass as the packaging material of choice.

As a result, it expects earning to grow in 2018, thanks also as well to management priorities that are focused on internal actions aimed at improving customer service, progressing in manufacturing efficiency and materialising the synergies expected from the recent acquisition.

Vidrala has manufacturing plants in Spain, Portugal, Italy and UK.

LiSEC installs cutting line and loading system at Australian glass processor


LiSEC has installed an automatic cutting line with a loading system at the newly formed glass processing company, Glass 360, based in Queensland, Australia.

The Austrian machinery supplier has installed a cutting line for laminated or float glass and a moveable double-sided loading system with four stations.

Phil Norman, Glass 360’s CEO, said: “Glass 360 was conceived to cater for small to medium sized glaziers, requiring a fast and reliable turnaround service.”

“I was aiming to reinvest into our industry and gain tangible assets in a company with genuine growth potential, founded on quality machinery and superior customer service.”

LiSEC's cutting line is a compact size and will increase the independence of external suppliers. Its cutting table will be able to meet Glass 360’s immediate or future production requirements and handle jumbo sheets of up to 3m x 6m.

Mr Norman explained: “For this major long-term investment, we required a machine offering value for money at a reliable end of the scale – we definitely didn’t want knock-offs.”

Glass 360 was looking to install machinery and equipment with the capability to deliver maximum automation, accuracy and efficiencies for a diverse range of jobs throughout the manufacturing process.

Mr Norman said: “The combination cutting line capable of processing both laminated and plate glass was nominated.”

“We chose LiSEC because it had features that other machinery simply didn’t offer.”

The machinery has the ability to interface into Glass 360’s existing software. LiSEC offers the support of locally based technicians who will carry out regular maintenance checks and a sizeable stock of spare parts.  

It also has the ability to address work health and safety concerns. After completing a Risk Assesment, Mr Norman found out that the LiSEC automatic loader would substantially reduce crane movement of glass and the specialised lifting arms on the breakout table would reduce manual handling concerns.

Picture: LiSEC cutting line

Ardagh’s US sites achieve food safety certification


Ardagh’s Pevely, Mo., and Sapulpa, Okla., glass manufacturing facilities in the United States have achieved FSSC 22000 Food Safety System Certification.

The FSSC 22000 Food Safety System Certification provides a framework for effectively managing an organisation's food safety responsibilities.

It is fully recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and demonstrates that a company has a robust Food Safety Management System in place.

“FSSC 22000 Certification is a direct reflection of Ardagh Group’s commitment to driving continuous improvement in food safety management systems within our facilities for the safety and well-being of both our customers and consumers,” said Mike Fair, Vice President of Quality for Ardagh Glass, North America.

The Pevely and Sapulpa facilities were required to demonstrate they had effectively implemented a robust food safety management system based on FSSC 22000 requirements, in order to achieve certification.

There are now a total of eight Ardagh glass manufacturing facilities in North America that are FSSC 22000 certified.

In addition to Pevely and Sapulpa, Ardagh Group's Burlington, Wis.; Dunkirk, Ind.; Henderson, N.C.; Lincoln, Ill.; Port Allegany, Pa.; and Ruston, La., facilities are FSSC 22000 Certified.

Vitro Flat Glass receives funding for furnace project


Vitro Flat Glass is working on a project to reduce industry cost and energy use by developing a neural network model for glass furnace operations.

The goal is to enhance its reduced-order model for glass furnace operations with real-world production data.

According to the project details of Vitro’s proposal, a machine learning approach will be used to identify the boundary in operating space between good and poor-quality products.

Vitro is one of seven companies participating in the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office’s (AMO) HPC4 Manufacturing programme.

The DOE will provide $1.87 million in total funding for the initiative, which uses the DOE’s high-performance computing (HPC) resources and expertise to advance US manufacturing and clean energy technologies.

Vitro Flat Glass will partner with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to ‘develop real-time glass furnace control using a neural net-based reduced order model of a CFD simulation of molten glass flow in a follow-on project titled ‘Advanced Machine Learning for Glass Furnace Model Enhancement.’

The proposal states: "The enhanced model will enable fast and accurate control of furnace operations.

"Similar models, if deployed across the glass industry, could improve operational efficiencies and reduce overall costs and energy usage by 3.5 trillion British thermal units per year.

"These reductions will help maintain US global competitiveness in this industry.”

Schott awards American glass scientist for research


Prof Dr C Austen Angell will be presented with the 15th Otto Schott Research Award by Schott this year.

Glass scientist Prof Angell from Arizona State University was chosen to receive the award and a €25,000 endowment for his pioneering, lasting scientific contributions throughout his influential research career.

Prof Kathleen, a member of the Schott's Board of Trustees, said: “Professor Angell has managed to remain constantly active and visible as a researcher.”

The technology group's board voted in unanimous favour of Prof Angell’s work on dynamics and processes in liquids.

Prof Tanguy Rouxel, a member of Schott's Board of Trustees, explained: “He has published many influential scientific papers as a first and even sole author.”

Prof Angell made many contributions to the glass science industry. For example, 100 of his 523 essays to date have been cited over 100 times. Angell’s publications have also been cited nearly 58,000 times of which 17,500 came from within the last five years. Angell holds a remarkable h-index (ratio for a scientist’s global reputation in professional circles) of 64; his entire career registers 106.

The American scientist has focused particularly on the classification of viscous fluids, as well as the description of cooperative processes for liquids in the form of an “energy landscape for cooperative processes in liquids.”

Charles Austen Angell was born in Canberra, Australia in 1933. He studied Chemistry and Metallurgy at the University of Melbourne.

He joined the Arizona State University in 1989, where he now serves as Regents’ Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

The award will be presented at the 15th International Conference on the Physics of Non-Crystalline Solids in conjunction with the 14th European Society of Glass Conference in St. Malo, France, on July 9, 2018.

Pictured: Prof Dr C Austen Angell, winner of this year’s Otto Schott Research Award


Verallia appoints Didier Fontaine as CFO


Verallia has appointed Didier Fontaine as its Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Planning Director.

Mr Fontaine will be responsible for the French glass packaging manufacturer’s finance, purchasing and IT duties. He will also become a member of the Executive Committee.

Michel Giannuzzi, Chairman and CEO of Verallia, said: “I am delighted to welcome Didier onto Verallia’s Executive Committee.”

“His financial and industrial expertise and experience will make a valuable contribution to the deployment of our company’s business strategy.”

Mr Fontaine began his career in corporate and project finance in 1987, while he worked in the banking sector in Canada and Brazil.

In 2012, Mr Fontaine was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer and Head of Purchasing and IT at Constellium, where he successfully led its IPO on the New York and Paris stock exchanges in mid-2013.

In late 2016, he was appointed as the Administration and Financial Director at Zodiac Aerospace, where he also oversaw IT and Legal. 

During his time at Zodiac, Mr Fontaine had a leading role in driving the merger with Safran, as well as reorganising and deleveraging the company.

Mr Fontaine graduated with a degree in Tax and Finance from Sciences Po Paris and holds a Higher Diploma in Econometrics from the University of Lyon.


Horn Glass Industries appoints business unit leaders


Horn Glass Industries has appointed Ulrich Imhof and Ekaterina Firsova as the leaders of its two main business units.

Mr Imhof and Mrs Firsova (pictured) were appointed as business unit leaders of the globally expanding company on 1st October 2017.

Mr Imhof is now in charge of the container and speciality glass business unit. He began his career in the container glass industry in 1989 and joined Horn Glass in 2012. He then became the sales director and was responsible for the Asian division. 

Mrs Firsova is now responsible for the technological glass plant business unit. She has valuable experience in the development of turnkey plants, the float business unit and many roles including project manager.

Horn Glass Industries will continue to be led by its CEO and Managing Director Stephan Meindl.

Orora agrees Gawler Glass renewable energy deal


Australian container manufacturer Orora has signed an agreement to have wind-generated electricity supplied to its Gawler Glass facility.

It has signed the long-term power purchasing agreement with global renewable energy provider Pacific Hydro, to supply wind-generated electricity for the South Australian (SA) operations.

 The energy will be supplied from Clements Gap Wind Farm (pictured), for a volume equal to Orora’s total electricity demand in SA. The agreement also includes risk-sharing arrangements to protect Orora’s exposure to variable market prices in South Australia.

Orora CEO, Nigel Garrard, said:, “Orora operates energy intensive businesses and is continuing to actively investigate a range of options to manage higher energy prices and safeguard supply for the Australian operations.

“Renewable energy represents a competitively priced and sustainable energy source and this agreement provides our operations with greater energy price certainty over the long-term.”

The Gawler facility recently completed an AU$42 million (US$33.8 million) expansion project, as published in Glass International’s November 2017 issue.

Mr Garrard added that the Gawler facility has implemented a number of process improvements with the focus on safety.

The installation of a world first trial of automated swabbing technology will allow Orora to improve safety and optimise process stability on an ongoing basis.

The operator’s time is redirected from manual swabbing to focus on process quality.

In addition, mould laser cleaning technology was developed and commissioned at the plant, reducing manual handling of over 20 tonnes each day and improving the quality and life of moulds.

In its half-year financials, it said glass volumes were ahead of pcp driven by continued industry growth in bottled wine exports that offset a marginal decline in beer volumes.

He added that the business had purchased land, including two previously leased warehouse facilities adjacent to the Gawler site. This will enable further improvements in supply chain optimisation at the site.

Related Glass Industry News

Verescence and Industry 4.0 in latest Glass International issue


Verescence's General Manager for France, Hélène Marchand, discusses the company's recent €30 million investment at its Mers-les-Bains plant in France, in the February 2018 issue of Glass International.

Elsewhere, six glass experts discuss how Industry 4.0 will effect glassmaking in the future. Five leading suppliers from Tiama, Iris Inspection, Glass Service, futronic and Heye International and Stoelzle Masnieres Parfumerie glassmaker highlight the benefits and the disadvantages of this new concept in glassmaking.

Digital glassmaking is currently a hot topic and Heinz-Glas recently unveiled an industry first: a flacon with a digital screen. It discusses the creative procedure behind the bottle.

Find out more here

Vertech’ introduces services and software maintenance for glass manufacturers


Vertech'  has introduced services and software maintenance for SIL system users in the glass industry.

The software company, which specialises in production monitoring, offers a range of services to ensure a smooth installation when glass manufacturers invest in or replace another monitoring system with an SIL system.

The services consist of pre-installation audits (to ensure a complete understanding of a client's requirements like machines to be connected, equipment to be supplied, specific adaptations of the system according to the plant configuration as well as provide engineering and wiring specification documents) customisations and fine-tuning (installation of the system by highly trained and experienced engineers/technicians to provide a tailor-made like solution for the plant) and the on-site training of operators, technicians and managers, as well as client support during commissioning.

Vertech' also offers a yearly maintenance service to optimise the long-term use of SIL systems. The maintenance contract includes an annual on-site upgrade, which is carried out by a company expert.

This will guarantee a high-performing system, make an audit check of the correct use of the SIL system to avoid deviations and provide training on new features.

As a result of the company releasing an annual version of the SIL system, it will now interface with any new inspection equipment or devices on the market at no additional cost. It also strives to ensure quick response times to clients with remote technical support during office hours with the option of a 24/7 service for any SIL related issues. To reach its target, Vertech' constantly follows up on its internal KPIs, available in SILX.

The new support reports with analytics are available for either plants or corporate contracts.

CelSian’s UK glass course takes place in three weeks


CelSian’s five-day National Committee Netherlands Glass industry (NCNG) course in the UK takes place between March 12-16 at the Society of Glass Technology/British Glass building in Chapeltown, Sheffield, UK.

The course is open for the employees of the glass producing industry and related suppliers.

This in-depth course covers many aspects of glass and glass production from raw materials to formed product, including glass structure and properties and mainly concentrates on glass melting technology.

The course is meant for experienced engineers in the glass industry to receive a more detailed understanding of the glass production, entrants in the glass producing industry and related suppliers and young glass technologists and scientists. Level: high technical and academic.

Originally started in 1990, CelSian’s courses have that take place around the world been attended by more than 1500 employees from the global glass industry. It is the third consecutive year the course has been held in the UK, following on from two previously successful events.

For further details on the course please follow the link below:

$375 million glass plant opens in Turkmenistan


The largest glass manufacturing company in the Central Asian region, Türkmen aýna önümleri (Turkmen glass products), has opened in Ovadandepe, 25km north of Ashgabat.

The company will produce float glass and containers for the food and medical industry. Investments in the project amounted to $375 million and created 800 new jobs.

“At the initial stage, 15 types of products are planned to be produced here, the assortment will increase with time, and some part of the output will be exported,” Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said at the opening ceremony.

Berdimuhamedov noted that the enterprise will y produce 3.95 million m2 of transparent glass, 1 million m2 of tinted glass, 300,000 m2 of tempered glass and 100,000 m2 of laminated glass a year, as well as 400,000 m2 of high-quality double-glazed windows.

He addeded that 70% of raw materials for glass manufacturing are currently produced in Turkmenistan but aims to increase this to 100%.

Berdimuhamedov stressed that Turkmenistan, which has embarked on industrialisation, will give priority to the construction of high-tech industrial enterprises, which will allow the state to ensure high rates of economic development.

O-I’s Containers Achieve Cradle to Cradle Certification


Owens-Illinois (O-I) is the first food and beverage packaging company to achieve a gold rating in material health on the Cradle to Cradle Product Scorecard.  

The Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program is a sustainability certification for products around the world and across industries.

"The certification provides brand owners, consumers, regulators, and shareholders tangible validation of our company's ongoing commitment to sustainability," said Jim Nordmeyer, VP, Global Sustainability at O-I.

"It's an important baseline and helps us identify next steps to improve our environmental and social performance."

Nearly 90% of O-I's glass operations were certified across product categories and for certain container colours in the beer, non-alcoholic beverage (NAB), spirit, wine and food markets.

The certification is based on five categories: material health, material reutilisation, water stewardship, renewable energy use, and social fairness.

"Achieving a gold rating in material health strongly reinforces the benefits of glass," said Nordmeyer. "Glass is safe for repeated food contact and endlessly recyclable. It's virtually impermeable to oxygen so it protects the freshness and taste of consumers' favorite food and beverage brands." 

O-I collaborated with an environmental consulting firm, MBDC, to conduct a product assessment of the company's beer, food, NAB, spirits and wine platforms.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognises C2C certification as a top-tier product sustainability standard in its new federal green purchasing guidelines.

Christoph Jatzwauk leaves Horn Glass


Mr Christoph Jatzwauk has officially retired from the Executive Board of Horn Glass Industries after 18 years of responsibility as a Managing Director and member of the board.

He officially retired from the Executive Board on September 30, 2017 and will leave the company on February 28th at his own request in order to face new professional challenges.

During his work at Horn, he contributed significantly to the development and success of the company.

Horn said that although the separation was mutually agreed it greatly regrets the departure of Mr. Jatzwauk (pictured).

Ardagh commissions Heye International technology in furnace project


​Ardagh’s plant in Neuenhagen, Germany plant has completed one of the company's largest furnace repair projects.

A 370 tonne furnace with its feeders has been rebuilt and hot end and cold end technology installed.

The site now uses Industry 4.0 technology. As well as the furnace furnace repair the company now runs two Heye 12 Section 5 1/2’’ DG SpeedLines as well as Heye inspection equipment at the cold end.

The two lines started production with 750ml Bordeaux bottles and 500ml wide neck jars.

“This major furnace repair is an important step towards future and secures production success for the next two decades”, said Plant Manager, Hartmut Treichel.

The implemented closed-loop technologies include latest Smart Plant features, such as the Heye Process Control, that monitors the pressing processes of all plunger mechanisms of the IS-Machine and enables the machine operator to recognise malfunctions at the earliest moment.

Less critical defects are produced due to self-optimising invert end position cushioning. This Ecomotion equipment automatically adapts to different containers, weights and pressure ratio.

Reduced oil consumption is achieved by the implemented multi-zone central lubrication. This patented temperature-guided lubrication interval control considers temperature deviations at the lubrication point and allows automatic adaption and optimisation of the lubrication demand.

All the installations, merged into a smart closed-loop strategy, ensure high yields for the plant.

This is also thanks to the good cooperation between the committed Ardagh people on site and the comprehensive installation service of the Heye team, that trained the production team to reliably operate the hot end and cold end equipment. 

Pic: Heye SpeedLine in operation at Ardagh Neuenhagen

Xpar Vison: Container glassmakers can achieve 25% better than today


Xpar Vision contributed to the discussion about the future of the international glass industry, with a keynote by CEO Paul Schreuders at Glassman Asia in Bangkok, Thailand, last month.

In Schreuders' presentation, titled ‘Container Glass Forming in 2020/2025: Dark Factory’, he addressed the need to focus on improving glass forming process stability and at the same time on reducing human dependency in order to improve efficiency, quality, weight, speed, price and profit. 

Dramatic improvements are necessary in order to remain competitive with other packaging materials, according to Mr Schreuders.     

Mr Schreuder’s keynote presentation was part of the Future Glass Forum, that focused on Industry 4.0 in container and hollow glassmaking.

“Although we work and live in the twenty-first century, the container glass industry seems to be stuck in the past, caused by conservatism and the fear for new developments and/or changes in general,” said Mr Schreuders.

“As a result, as of today and especially in comparison to other industries, the container glass industry is not nearly effective enough and is slowly losing its competitiveness to other packing materials.

“Only a clear and convinced focus on sensor technology, closed loops and robotics, especially in the hot end forming phase, can improve the industry.

“I am convinced that the container glass industry can do up to 25% better than today: making better bottles, being less dependent on employees, using less energy and less raw materials.

“My plea is not about future developments: we are doing this right now, in several factories in the world already. It is all about proven technology.” 

Pictured: Xpar Vision CEO, Paul Schreuders, presents his paper at the Future Glass Forum in Bangkok

AGR celebrates opening of Dutch research facility


Glassmakers including Verallia, O-I and Can-Pack celebrated the opening of American Glass Research’s (AGR) new facility in Delft, Holland.

More than 50 people attended the grand opening, which included two seminars, welcome speeches and a celebratory opening by sabering a champagne bottle.

Peter de Haan, AGR senior scientist will manage the Delft site alongside colleagues Jennifer J. Hu-a-ng, Samantha Beyersbergen van Henegouwen, and Laura van Delft.

AGR’s CEO, William M. Dimmick Jr and the company’s Director or Research, William G. Slusser travelled from the United States to attend the event.

They carried out the sabering of two champagne bottles to officially open the site in front of local dignitaries.

The site opened late last year and includes modern analysis and testing equipment. The lab can be used to carry out a range of testing services, including performance testing of glass packing.

The lab will also be used for fracture diagnosis, proof-of-design testing, dimensional evaluation and analysis of label, decoration and closure issues. 

The Agr testing laboratory is also suitable for evaluation of coating performance, audit of glass plant operations, filling line audits, glass technical consultancy and training and seminars. 

The company moved into the site late last year. The location was strategically chosen due to its proximity to a number of European glassmaking sites and breweries.

The location is a former children’s nursery, which was completely revamped by Mr de Haan and his staff.

Other companies to attend the grand opening included Sisecam, Unilever, Campari and Celsian.

Pictured: Peter de Haan with his colleagues from the Delft office, Laura van Delft, Samantha Beyersbergen van Henegouwen and Jennifer J. Hu-a-ng.

futronic appoints Frank Ebersbach as Head of Development


Frank Ebersbach joins futronic and fills his predecessor Wolfgang Lachmann’s shoes as Head of Development in Germany.

Mr Ebersbach will be responsible for all of futronic’s software and hardware development in the container glass division, as well as automating customised applications with embedded systems. 

Managing Director of futronic, Michael Preuss said: “We’re convinced that Frank Ebersbach is the right man for the job.

“He’ll step into those [Wolfgang Lachmann’s] footsteps very quickly and get the company ahead from both a strategic and a technology point of view.”

The 38-year-old’s duties include the further development and optimisation of successful controls and drives for the container glass machinery and equipment. For example, drink bottles, glass jars or perfume bottles.

He said: “futronic is one of the leading suppliers in this field.

I want to help secure our company’s cutting edge in the long term in the face of global competition.”

He will oversee projects to automate customised applications with so-called embedded systems. The aim is to create even more new and innovative products under his aegis.

Mr Ebersbach was born in Leipzig and grew up in Tettnang. He has been actively involved in animal welfare issues in the local region for many years now. When he’s not helping to protect animals, he likes to spend his spare time out and about in the countryside.

After launching his career at a producer of special-purpose machines, he then spent ten years working as an engineer at a major international supplier of sensor and automation solutions based in Tettnang.

He started work at futronic on 1 December. Since joining the firm, he’s been learning the ropes of the business and getting to know his team of 13.

In addition to his extensive development, manufacturing and quality assurance know-how, which he gained during both of these periods, he can also draw on experience in technical sales and leadership positions. These skills will stand him in good stead in his new assignment dealing with customers and production.





Furnace Solutions calls for papers


The organising committee of the Furnace Solutions conference is calling for papers to be presented at this year’s event.

The organiser has always looked for interesting and informative presenters to help glassmakers to make incremental changes to improve the efficiency of glassmaking and the quality of glass.

This year is no exception and the theme for this years’ Furnace Solutions is Furnace Optimisation.

To keep the conference fresh and relevant we are always keen to welcome new presenters. 

The committee is interested to receive offers to present on the 7th June at Lucideon in Stoke-on-Trent, UK.

A title and brief abstract of a paper should be forwarded to Christine Brown at

Pictured: Delegates at last year's event

Şişecam acquires flat glass plant in Italy


Europe’s largest flat glass producer, Şişecam, has submitted an offer for the acquisition of Sangalli’s Manfredonia factory in Monte Sant’ Angelo, Italy.

Professor Ahmet Kirman, Şişecam’s Vice Chairman and CEO, said: “We expect strategic benefits in terms of our European flat glass operations by acquiring the Sangalli Manfredonia plant, which enjoys a favourable geographical location and offers an annual production capacity of 190,000 tones/year.

“If we finalise the acquisition operation for the Sangalli Manfredonia plant, we will further consolidate our European leadership while doubling our flat glass production capacity in Italy.”

Sangalli’s flat glass plant operates a 4 million m2/year lamination line, a 4 million m2/year coating line, and a 1.5 million m2/year satin line. This will be Şişecam’s second flat glass plant in Italy, after acquiring the Sangalli Porto Nogaro plant in 2016 for around €85 million.

Mr Kirman continues: “We are aware that we cannot achieve our strategic targets through organic growth only. Thus, inorganic growth is important for us, especially outside Turkey.”

Şişecam produces flat glass, glassware, glass packaging, glass fibre and holds soda and chromium compound businesses. As it’s investment policy focuses on sustainable growth and high performance, it will continue to seize inorganic growth opportunities, new investments, acquisitions and joint ventures.

Mr Kirman states: “The planned acquisition of the Manfredonia plant will further improve the competencies of our Italian flat glass operations.

These lines will allow us to expand our product range, and become the largest architectural glass producer in the Italian market.”

Moulds company launches website


Turkish mould supplier Glassymould has launched new websites.

The sites, and went live earlier this week.

It said the goal of the websites was to provide visitors and customers an easy way to learn about its products and services, as well as to also provide a visual experience related to mould equipment. 

The company was formed in order to supply moulds and spare parts to the glass tableware sector.

For any questions or requests for mould equipment, contact Mehmet Sahin at or  


Glass Futures reveals preferred locations for research sites


The Glass Futures research project is planning to locate at twin sites at Pilkington Glass and at the University of Leeds, UK.

The £50 million project will unite industry and academia, including Guardian Glass (USA), the University of Leeds, Siemens and Swarovski. Half of the project cost is expected to come from the industry with matched funding sought from Government.

Richard Katz, the Director of Glass Futures, said: “The glass industry has amazing potential for growth and, by bringing academics, manufacturers and technology companies together, we can grasp that potential and bring real benefits to the UK economy.”

The considered Centres of Excellence are the mothballed line at the Pilkington Glass Watson Street Works in St Helens, Merseyside and the University of Leeds’ new research and innovation campus in West Yorkshire.

Dave Dalton, Chief Executive of British Glass and a Glass Future partner, said: “With glass furnaces running 24/7 these centres will give us the chance to carry out research that is impossible to do with continuous production facilities in the commercial world.

“And by doing that research we can ensure that the industry is fit for the future and actually leading the way in innovation and sustainability.”

The two facilities will bring together experts to carry out research into energy and emissions reduction, glass formulation and new high-tech products.

The St Helens site would focus on hot end production, with a large experimental furnace capable of producing 30 tonnes of product per day for windows, bottles or fibreglass. Research would concentrate on raw materials and alternative energy sources to reduce carbon and other emissions by more than 80%.

The Leeds site would focus on cold end production, with research into coatings, structure and the use of glass in medicine. The exact location of the Leeds site has yet to be determined, but is expected to be within the city.

The research hubs at St Helens and Leeds could create around 50 direct jobs each, with up to 1,000 indirect jobs.

Glass Futures partners and supporters are lobbying MPs and ministers at a UK’s House of Lords reception today.

If the scheme goes according to plan, work will start on the two sites later this year and be operational by spring 2019.

Gerresheimer CEO resigns


Gerresheimer CEO, Dr. Christian Fischer, will leave the company with immediate effect.

Dr. Fischer (pictured) has asked for an amicable premature termination of his services due to personal reasons.

Gerresheimer said the decision was not based on diverging views regarding the strategy or business performance of the company.

Its Supervisory Board has accepted the request and the company will now be managed by the remaining three board members until a new CEO has been appointed.

Its CFO Rainer Beaujean, will assume the function of Speaker of the Management Board for the interim period. Andreas Schütte will continue to lead the Plastics & Devices Division, while Dr. Lukas Burkhardt has been responsible for the Primary Packaging Glass Division since January 01, 2018.

Four more companies to speak at Glassman Latin America


A total of four more companies have been added to the Glassman Latin America conference line up.

BDF, Sheppee, Fives and VDV Lubricants are among those to confim their participation at the free to attend conference.

It brings the total number of speakers at the event in Mexico to 14.

The keynote speaker for Trends in Glassmaking is Hector Garcia from Gerresheimer. Other speakers include Marguerite Morrin from IHS Market, Juan S. Farias from FAMA, Fernando Jauregui and William Meza from Pyrotek, Benjamin Köster from Hotwork International, Rüdiger Nebel from Sorg and Andy Reynolds from Fives Stein.

This conference will be held in the morning. International speakers will discuss the major issues they face when achieving sustainable primary glass manufacturing.

The keynote speaker for the Future Glass Forum is Gabriel Noboa from Glass Service in the Americas. Other speakers include Job Van De Laar from Xpar Vision, Fabio Galliano from Bottero and Jean Luc Logel from Iris Inspection Machines.

This conference will be held in the afternoon. Speakers will highlight the issues surrounding Industry 4.0, ‘smart manufacturing’ and creating a ‘smart factory’, including perspectives on Glass Manufacturing and Digitalisation. It will be relevant to both flat and hollow glass production, as well as business models, IT, infrastructure, energy efficiencies, plant safety and security.

Both conferences will take place at Expo Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico on 21-22 March 2018.

Caption: Crowds enjoyed the recent Glassman conference in Asia

Glassmaking exhibition attracts 20,000 visitors


More than 20,000 people visited an exhibition dedicated to the evolution of glass manufacturing in history.

Pretiosa Vitrea concluded at the National Archaeological Museum of Florence in Italy. The exhibition was sponsored by Pneumofore and drew high levels of interest from the academic world and general public.

They were attracted by the quality and beauty of the glass artifacts on display: more than 300 unique glass findings manufactured by ancient Egyptians, Etruscans, Greeks and Romans.

Among the notable visits was by the presence of the Queen Mother Beatrix of the Netherlands accompanied by her entourage. Her Majesty showed great admiration for the project and the showcased artifacts.

 As a supplier of vacuum and compressed air systems for the international glass industry and strongly committed to cultural responsibility, Pneumofore financially contributed to unveil this invaluable glass heritage.

Promoted by the Sehen Foundation in collaboration with the Archaeological Museum, the exhibition was held under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism and it is described in a content-rich catalogue (ISBN: 9788874398041). A full video report is also available on the Sehen Foundation website.

“With the sponsoring of the ‘Pretiosa Vitrea’project, Pneumofore supports the idea of glass as an ‘eternal tool by giving prominence  to the evolution of glass manufacturing,” said Daniel Hilfiker, Pneumofore President.

“The oldest fragments of man-made glass objects were found in Mesopotamia and are thought to date back to 3500 BC. Through the display of ancient and rare glass artefacts, the project retraces the key points in glassmaking history and the science and technology behind each glass innovation. These advances are now the pillars of the contemporary mass production techniques and glassmaking industry,” concluded Mr Hilfiker.

The exhibition Pretiosa Vitrea - The Art of Glass Manufacturing in The Museums and Private Collections of Tuscany” took place between 17 October 2017 and  29 January 2018. 

British Glass members present sustainable glass manufacturing to government


Pilkington UK and Encirc Glass invited government officials to view a sustainable glass manufacturing presentation. 

Pilkington UK welcomed Lord Prior, a former member of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and government officials to its Greengate site in St Helens, presenting the latest technology, investment and expertise in flat glass manufacturing. It includes high performance technical coatings that contributed to energy efficient buildings with thermal insulation and control of heat gain from the sun.

Dr Nick Kirk, British Glass Technical Director, said: “Glass capability is a vital economic and technological asset with a key role to play in the modern manufacturing economy.

"Much of twenty-first century life depends on products that use glass – from 100% recyclable packaging and energy-efficient glazing to optical technologies that enable anything from night vision to Internet communication.

"That’s why we’re urging the government to work with us to ensure the glass industry can plan, invest and grow successfully in the UK.”

The presentation topics following the tour included energy policy, plant investment, improvements in solar control, thermal insulation and the economy post-Brexit.

Dave Dalton, British Glass Chief Executive, said:  “It is essential that we work closely with the government to ensure that its strategies for the industry, clean growth and resources enable glass manufacturing in the UK to deliver a sustainable and competitive future.”

Mr Dalton accompanied Lord Prior to Encirc Glass’ container manufacturing site in Elton. It provides filling, bonded warehouse and logistics services. Lord Prior observed the measures that glass manufacturers are implementing as they enforce the UK Glass Sector Decarbonisation Action Plan.

As the UK enforces its industrial strategy and nears towards Brexit, British Glass is working with the government to ensure it recognises and understands the importance of glass manufacturing and the factors that will determine its ongoing success.

Lord Prior will host a House of Lords launch event for Glass Futures on 7 February 2018. Glass experts from the industry and academia will attend to carry out research and large scale testing. Their aim is to reduce carbon emissions and energy use, as well as to explore alternative raw materials and energy sources. The event will also provide space to develop innovative products in industries such as healthcare and defence.

Caption:  British Glass take Lord Prior, a former member of BEIS, on a tour of Encirc Glass. L-R Dave Dalton (British Glass), Noel McGovern (Encirc), Lord Prior and Fiacre O’Donnel (Encirc)





Beatson Clark invests £2 million in Rotherham glass plant


UK glass packaging manufacturer Beatson Clark has invested £2 million in its Rotherham plant.

The investment covers areas from glass melting and production to inspection, packaging and IT.

The latest investment is in addition to the £20 million that has been spent on improvements over the past decade and is part of the company’s commitment to improve quality and maintain excellent customer service.

Over Christmas and the New Year, Beatson Clark’s engineers installed a new amber bottle making machine and upgraded the forehearth.

Improvements to the forehearth will enhance glass homogeneity, deliver better quality glass to the machine which will produce high-quality bottles and jars using the latest technology.

Installation of the new machine took three weeks to complete and demonstrates the company’s commitment to serving the growing bottled beer market.

Beatson Clark also plans to install a new Tiama MX4 inspection machine, a high-tech innovation which will use light sensors to check for smears, splits and wall thickness in the glass. 

New strapping facilities were also recently trialled and installed at Beatson Clark’s glassworks in Rotherham. The new method of strapping the pallets will reduce the de-palletisation time for high speed lines.

Beatson Clark said it prided itself on providing the best customer service, which is why it has also invested in a QAD Enterprise Resource Planning System. The system includes an updated CRM (customer relationship management) module and will integrate all areas of the business.

“Consistent investment in new machinery and technology allows us to remain a market leader in the glass packaging industry,” said Charlotte Taylor, Marketing Manager at Beatson Clark.

“Providing the highest quality service for our customers is integral to the core values of the company. We aim to be flexible, responsive and supportive, and the new software will further improve our already high standards.”

Beatson Clark has been in the business for more than 260 years and is one of just six glass manufacturers of glass containers that remains in the UK. 

It supplies bespoke and standard glass bottles and jars to the food, beverage, brewing and pharmaceutical industries.

Heinz-Glas benefits from Iris inspection solutions in Poland


The Polish subsidiary of Heinz-Glas has taken delivery of its first non-contact inspection equipment from Iris Inspection machines in recent weeks.

Designed specifically for the inspection of perfume and cosmetics ware that requires the highest level of perfection, two Evolution Ultimate 4 machines have been installed on the flint cosmetics line in Dzialdowo.

This follows the glassmaker’s acquisition of the first Evolution Ultimate 4 design for its Klein Tettau glassworks in Bavaria, southern Germany. 

Evolution Ultimate 4 is a compact version of the Evolution Ultimate non-contact inspection solution from Iris Inspection machines, requiring an area of one metre on the cold end conveyor, thanks to its innovative features.

Both machine designs run the same software and inspection tools, in addition to which their hardware has been specially developed to limit maintenance downtime.

The machine has been designed for the inspection of sidewall defects such as stones, blisters and inclusions, as well as deformations and verticality defects, plus the detection of uneven glass distribution in the base.

In addition, the Evolution Ultimate 4 machine can detect such transparent cosmetic defects as oil and lap marks, surface blisters, orange skin, tears and wash boards. 

There has been close co-operation between the parent Heinz-Glas group and Iris Inspection machines since 2011. Heinz-Glas installed its first Evolution 1 inspection machine at its Piesau glassworks in central Germany.

Subsequently, a diverse range of Evolution equipment has been acquired for the Piesau and Klein Tettau factories in Germany, as well as for the Heinz-Glas site in Lima, Peru.

This includes combinations of Evolution 1 for standalone finish inspection, Evolution 5 (base, finish and base stress inspection, with mould number reader), Evolution 12 (sidewall and sidewall stress inspection) and Evolution Ultimate machines for the detection of transparent defects in perfume and cosmetics containers. 

Glassman Asia presentations available online


Free copies of a number of Glassman Asia presentations are available to download online.

The Glassman Asia event included two conferences: one devoted to Industry 4.0, the other to technology in glassmaking.

Click on the respective conference title to download the conference paper.

For Future Glass Forum papers, visit

For Technology in Glassmaking papers, visit:

Pictured: Viwat Supatham, Chairman of the Glass Manufacturers Industry Club, the Federation of Thai Industries (GMFTI), and also Managing Director of Siam Glass, provided the opening, keynote speech at Glassman Asia.

Verallia to invest €50 million in Spain in 2018


Verallia is to invest €50 million in its Spanish operations in 2018.

Verallia’s planned investments in 2018 are: Zaragoza, where the facilities will be updated in the early months of the year; Azuqueca de Henares, with a new production line be added to its new facilities; and Burgos, where the furnace will be totally refurbished converting it into one of the largest in Europe.

The company said increased domestic and export demand, an upturn in end markets and increased consumer awareness of the advantages of glass have combined to make Spain a strategic country.

The Zaragoza plant – where an investment of €20 million is planned – is currently refurbishing its facilities. These improvements are designed to increase flexibility and capacity, and modernise both the furnace and the production lines.

At Azuqueca de Henares, where the plant was totally upgraded in 2017, it will invest €5 million to add a new line in order to regain, by next spring, the plant’s previous production level with one furnace only instead of two furnaces.

At Sevilla, in the second half of 2018, the capacity of one production line will be increased.

Finally, the group will invest €30 million at the Burgos plant to provide it with a latest-generation furnace and new machinery, so Verallia can keep up with the Spanish wine market’s growth.

The new furnace’s production will be greater than at Azuqueca, as the company will have the largest furnace in Europe at its Burgos site.

Pictured: Verallia's Zaragoza plant will recveive a €20 million investment.

Glassman Asia in Thailand deemed a success


An event dedicated to container and hollow glassmaking has been deemed a success.

Glassmakers from around the region attended the Glassman Asia event in Bangkok, Thailand last week, which included an exhibition and conference dedicated to glassmaking.

Viwat Supatham, Chairman of the Glass Manufacturers Industry Club, the Federation of Thai Industries (GMFTI), and Managing Director at Siam Glass, helped officially open the event and provided a keynote speech about the region.

Representatives from prestigious glassmakers including Thai Glass Industries, Bangkok Glass, Thai Malaya Glass, Asia Pacific Glass (APG), Siam Glass, Ocean Glass, Bangkok Crystal, Iran’s Noritazeh, Austria’ Stoelzle and India’s Hindusthan National Glass & Industries were among the 763 attendees.

Overseas suppliers such as Iris Inspection machines, GPS, Xpar Vision, Heye International, FIC UK and Bottero were among the exhibitors.

The conference, titled Future Glass Forum, focused on Industry 4.0 in container and hollow glassmaking.

Steve Diprose, Managing Director of show organiser, Quartz Business Media, said: “I would like to extend my thanks to all the exhibitors and visitors who have helped make the show a success.

“I would like to thank our Thai hosts and in particular the GMFTI who supported the show and encouraged their members to attend in such numbers.

“The initial feedback we have had from exhibitors has been very positive. They were pleased to have had discussions with a variety of manufacturers both from the region and further afield.

“We will explore opportunities to bring the show back to the region in the very near future.”

Pictured: Viwat Supatham (centre), next to Jean Luc Logel, CEO of Iris Inspection Machines (centre right), and Greg Morris (far right), Steve Diprose (left) and Ken Clark (centre left) of organiser Quartz Business Media.

Verallia’s Vauxrot glass plant celebrates €24 million furnace rebuild


Verallia’s Vauxrot glass plant in Aisne, France celebrated the lighting of a new furnace in an ignition 'match' ceremony - a glassmaking tradition.

The furnace will supply the site’s three production lines that makes bottles for the wine, spirits and beer markets, the latter boosted by the trend in micro-breweries.

With the €24m investment, Verallia reaffirms its commitment to sustain and modernise its northern French site, a champion in the field of quick colour and model changes, thanks to its expertise in manufacturing complex glassware.

The major renovation work lasted three months and involved 600 people. Its end-port regenerative furnace meets energy-consumption and air-emission standards. It can now run on gas, unlike the previous, 100% fuel-powered installation.

Work has also been carried out on the hot and cold ends to improve working conditions: soundproofing of the hot-end cabin and wide use of hoists to reduce the carrying of heavy loads.

The Vauxrot plant is the Verallia group’s historical glassmaking facility and was opened in 1827.

In 2015, Verallia invested several hundreds of thousands of Euros to adapt its installations to the new dark amber colour.

Almost black with high density, it protects the contents from the effects of light and gives products an image of refinement and distinction.

With the Saint-Romain-le‑Puy facility in Loire, France, Vauxrot is one of only two Verallia plants in France that makes yellow and dark amber bottles, mainly for the beers and spirits markets.

The Vauxrot plant recycles very high quantities of cullet processed by Everglass in Rozet-Saint-Albin, 30km from the site.

Thomas Doudoux, Verallia Vauxrot plant manager, said: “We now have an extensively modernised manufacturing facility to continue improving quality and productivity, essential on highly competitive markets.

"We’ve also improved our teams’ working conditions using the 5S method which helps us to ensure safety, cleanliness and the organisation of the plant at all times.” 

The match ceremony, which celebrates in both a festive and solemn way the lighting of a new furnace, dates back to the times when furnaces were religiously blessed. Though secular today, the event still features a ‘godmother’ - a member of the plant team.

The godmother of Vauxrot’s new furnace is Elisabeth Demuyt, the plant’s management assistant.

The Vauxrot facility employs 150 people and produces 600,000 bottles a day.

Falorni Tech to attend Glassman Latin America 2018


Italian furnace specialist Falorni Tech is to attend Glassman Latin America, which takes place in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The company aims to expand its Latin American presence in the glass market.

Falorni Tech offer services such as melting furnaces, turnkey glass plants, machine solutions, engineering and low NOx furnaces.

A key part of the company’s strategy is to create businesses dedicated to Latin American markets, in order to provide a personal customer service. Other goals include improved communication and growth.

Falorni Tech will be at Stand C16. 

Glassman Latin America 2018 will take place on 21-22 March at Expo Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico.

Related Glass Industry News

Ardagh Group expands its Direct programme


Ardagh Group has rolled out its Ardagh Direct programme throughout the US.  

The US glass and metal packaging producer launched its Ardagh Direct programme in 2017 for wineries west of the Rocky Mountains.

The programme’s expansion allows North American food and beverage companies to purchase glass bottles and jars directly from the Ardagh Group’s, Glass – North America division.

Alex Robertson, the division’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “With dedicated sales teams and support offices in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Napa, California, customers can expect a high level of attention and responsiveness, as well as flexibility in ordering.

“With a wide range of glass bottle and jar options that come with buying direct from a US manufacturer, the Ardagh Direct team has the resources to accommodate customers’ unique requests.”

US food and beverage companies can now choose from a wide range of high-quality, American-made glass bottles and jars. The products are available in a variety of sizes, colours and styles. Customers can also have the flexibility to order less than truckload (LTL) quantities.

For more information, contact Ardagh Direct at 707-200-9350 (West), 800-428-8642 (Central/East) or email

Vitrum 2019 official dates are announced


The next Vitrum trade show will take place on 1-4 October 2019 in Milan, Italy

The 21st edition of Milan’s international glass trade show, Vitrum, will be held on 1-4 October 2019 at Fiera Milano Rho.

Vitrum is a trade fair for the glass industry, which is held every two years. The event showcases machinery, equipment and systems for flat and hollow glass. It specialises in the latest processed products, production techniques and applications.

The recent Vitrum show took place on 3-6 October 2017 and attracted 10, 653 registered visitors. Highlights included the new exhibition pavilions, promotional materials, a Vitrum App for trade professionals and a digital area, which introduced the show’s official #Vitrum2017 hashtag.

Customers choosing glass milk bottles over plastic


Shoppers in the UK are favouring glass milk bottles over plastic in a bid to tackle the detrimental effects of plastic on the environment.

Milkmen in the UK are reporting that interest has peaked for glass milk bottles and the traditional 80s milk floats are making a comeback.

Mark Woodman, Manager at the Woodman’s Dairy in Cardiff, said: “This week and last week we’ve been inundated with phone calls asking us if we deliver glass bottles.

"We’ve had 50 to 100 people call in this week, with 30 to 40 new customers off the internet looking to cut down on their use of plastic.

"It’s great for us. Anything that gives us a bit of business back from supermarkets is really good for us.”

In 1975, 94% of milk bottles were made of glass. However, in the 90s, big brand supermarkets switched to cheap plastic bottles, which left milkmen struggling for business. By 2016, glass bottled milk had fallen to under 3%.

Dairy UK, a trade association representing the British dairy supply chain, has recorded that doorstep deliveries of glass milk bottles are now around one million per day. Just two years ago, this figure was nearer 800,000.

Earlier this month, Theresa May, the UK’s Prime Minister, announced plans to tackle plastic waste. In the 25-year Environment Plan, the government pledges to scrap all avoidable plastic waste by 2042, which could mean an extra-tax on one-use plastic items.

Source from:

Nadir’s acquisition of O-I unit discouraged by authorities


Nadir Figueiredo’s proposed acquisition of O-I’s tableware unit in Brazil has been discouraged by the authorities.

Brazil’s General Superintendence (SG) of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade) suggested the acquisition should be denied.

The Superintendent said the acquisition would lead to the joining of companies operating in the same market and at the same stage in the production of domestic glass utilities.

"The analysis pointed to the existence of a market which, prior to the operation, was already very concentrated.

“Nadir in some points (such as the maintenance of margins and revenues even with the entry of imported ones) already has a large market dominance.

“A series of acquisitions in recent years have been gradually concentrating more and more the domestic market of domestic utilities in the hands of the company," said the secretary.

"The competitive problems arising from the operation are difficult to negotiate, given the characteristics of the market, the operation and the fact that there is only one large competitor in the country besides the Applicants.

"Structural remedies would virtually mean non-acceptance of the operation and behavioural remedies are unlikely to be sufficient to mitigate competitive concerns," he concluded.

The case will now be passed on to one of Cade's six advisers, who will report the case.

He or she should prepare a vote, whether or not following the suggestion of the SG, which will then be voted by the plenary of the antitrust authority, formed by the councillors and the president of the local authority.

Pictured: Nadir Figueiredo's Suzano site in Sao Paulo.

Glass Futures plans two sites in northern powerhouse


The UK’s Glass Futures is building momentum and should see a launch of activities later this year.

The initiative started in Sheffield by the UK glass sector’s trade body, British Glass, to build a Centre of Excellence in glass R&D, training and production improvement, has made progress through collaboration with partners from industry and academia.

It plans to construct two centres employing dozens of staff and creating hundreds of related jobs across the supply-chain.

One of the hubs is planned in the Liverpool City region and the other in Yorkshire between Sheffield and Leeds, although the sites have not been finalised.

The two transformational hubs, located in the Northern Powerhouse will be nationally significant and benefit the entire UK.

Glass Futures’ aims include reducing carbon emissions by at least 80%, energy utilisation reduction, alternative raw materials and energy sources as well as new product development and innovation, particularly in healthcare and military applications.

Working with the supply chain and academia, Glass Futures mirrors the Government’s Industrial and Clean Growth Strategies.

Household names such as Siemens and Swarovski will work alongside glass industry giants including O-I, Encirc, Pilkington and Guardian Glass in the initiative.

Universities including Leeds, Cambridge, Nottingham, Liverpool, Sheffield Hallam and Swansea will provide the academic knowledge and technical know-how assisting the industry collaboration in this £35M+ project.

Richard Katz, founding director of Glass Futures said: “It’s truly amazing that we’ve raised the bar to galvanise industry, academia and government to promote glass manufacturing in the UK to a position of global leadership with investments coming not just from the UK, but from USA and Europe too.

 "It will be fantastic to position the UK glass industry at the forefront of global manufacturing excellence and future ambition.”

futronic Managing Director Wolfgang Lachmann is retiring


Wolfgang Lachmann, futronic's Managing Director, is retiring after 30 years at the German glass manufacturer.

Lachmann started working at futronic in the role of Technical Manager and became Managing Director together with Michael Preuss in 2004.

Preuss said: “[Wolfgang has] steered the company through ups and downs with considerable skill and rock-solid engineering expertise.”

Preuss will now continue as the sole Managing Director of the automation specialist company. Stephan Pies will take over the sales responsibilities and Frank Ebersbach, Lachmann’s successor, will become the Head of Development.

Lachmann said: “There’ll always be a place in my heart for futronic and I’ll be around to support the firm as a consultant on future projects where necessary.”

Prior to joining futronic, Lachmann studied for a degree in Electrical Engineering, specialising in Communications, at Ravensburg-Weingarten University of Applied Sciences in Württemberg. He then began offering student-engineering services to local firms while still at university.

He developed an IT component device for measuring the thickness of cigarette paper in the late 70s for Swiss industrial company Escher Wyss. He also introduced the same company to its very first PC.

Lachmann received an invitation from Oberland, a glass manufacturer in Bad Wurzach. He was then “bitten by the glass bug” when he took a look around the factory and its production processes. He was put in charge of technical computer applications and production automation solutions in the company’s R&D department.

Lachmann became a respected contact for suppliers and external service providers like futronic, which became as subsidiary of Oberland Glas in 1986.

Lachmann is an engineer who has had a passion for automation solutions in container glass manufacturing for almost 40 years.

Throughout his years at futronic, he has developed many new technologies. For example, in 2004, the FMT24S became the world’s first ever control system for glass machines to feature IP technology. He also inspired the company to branch out into the development of automation solutions and products for customers in other industries, such as bulk materials, handling, assembly and beverages.

Lachmann will retire on 1 February 2018.

For more information, visit

Vertech’ introduces SIL2018


French supervision solutions company Vertech’ invests approximately 25% of its annual turnover in R&D.

Every year a number of software functionalities is integrated into SIL, working in synergy with clients and equipment manufacturers.

SIL2018 was officially released last December, and it includes more than 20 new features among which a robust Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) calculation managed at different levels by the system.

The OEE indicator and each of its components (Availability, Performance and Quality) are set to provide important insights that will help improve the manufacturing process as well as facilitate management and decision-making.

The SIL system automatically calculates the production yields of the lines, the speed and performance of the IS machines, and the section downtimes with associated losses; which are the underlying metrics for measuring manufacturing productivity.

SIL2018 consolidates these metrics into an OEE Key Performance Indicator calculated in real time and available in different time frames.

 The OEE is now displayed in SILC together with its three components and has also been added to the end of production reports.

These indicators are also available in SILX, which is the production web portal of the system, where managers and personnel have real-time access to key performance indicators using smart devices.

OEE values are additionally available with SILXtractor, which provides powerful data mining tools for the analysis of the data stored in SIL database. SIL2018 allows identifying interesting OEE trends and deviations with analytics over time.

 These KPIs will also be available for production lines manufacturing two or more articles simultaneously on the IS machine.

 This new release supports 15 languages and Vertech’ is ready to upgrade SIL installations for its client base worldwide.

Schott producing mirrors for European Large Telescope


Speciality glass group Schott is manufacturing a 39-metre primary mirror (M-1) for the European Large Telescope (ELT) at its production facility in Mainz, Germany.

Schott, which specialise in speciality glass and glass ceramics, are constructing glass-ceramic called Zerodur. The melting team are casting the first mirror segments, which will be completed in 2024.

Marc Cayrel, from the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) project team, said: “Casting the mirror substrates for the M1 is a milestone in ESO’s project plan.

The telescope's main mirror will be humanity’s largest eye on the sky, enabling us to reach unprecedented depths of space.”

In order to construct the segments, liquid glass is heated to more than 1400°C and will be poured directly into moulds. It will then be transferred into a cooling furnace and subjected to a ceramicisation process lasting several weeks.

Dr Thomas Westerhoff, Director of Strategic Marketing for Zerodur at Schott Advanced Optics, said: “The glass consumption factor will be as low as possible, so we can work more efficiently.

Thanks to significant expansion of production capacity at the Mainz site, Schott is well prepared for the production of Zerodur glass-ceramic, both for the ELT project and for the demand from the high-tech industry.”

The Zerodur blocks will be cut into five slices of approximately 60-70 mm in thickness. A computer-controlled 5-axis CNC machine will complete any further processing. French company Safran Reosc will polish off the final M1 segments. The giant mirror will include a total of 798 segments.

The ELT will also include a convex mirror (M2) of 4.2 metres in diametre, a concave mirror (M3) of 3.8 metres in diameter and an adaptive mirror (M4) of 2.4 metres in diameter.

Due to high demand, two glass-melting tanks are in parallel operation. As a result, new jobs were created for around 50 employees and additional capacity-enhancing investments are planned for the coming year.


Keynote speakers announced for Mexican glass conference


Speakers from Gerresheimer and IHS Markit will provide keynote presentations at the Glassman Latin America conference in Guadalajara, Mexico in March.

Hector Garcia, Gerresheimer’s Senior Plant Director at its Queretaro, Mexico site will provide the first keynote.

He will be followed by Marguerite Morrin, Executive Director, Chemicals at IHS Markit in London, UK who will discuss the soda ash industry.

An exhibition of leading hollow and container glass suppliers will complement the conference. Extra exhibition space has already been added to accommodate demand from suppliers.

Confirmed exhibitors include global technology providers such as Antonini, BDF, Emmeti, Pennekamp, RHI Magnesita, Sorg, Zippe, Tiama, Bohemi Chemicals, Bottero, Heye International, Dura Temp and Fives Stein.

Other confirmed conference speakers are Sorg, Pyrotek, Hotwork International, Xpar Vision, FAMA and Glass Service of the Czech Republic.

Glassman Latin America takes place on March 21-22 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

China Glass will help boost industry development


The China Glass Exhibition 2018 will help to boost the Chinese glass industry, predicts fair organiser Beijing ZhongGui Exhibition Company.

Recent data from the National Statistics Bureau (NSB) shows that the total output of the flat glass industry in the first 11 months of 2017 was 730.65 weight cases, with a 3.9% rise compared with 2016.

The predicted gross output of the flat glass industry in 2017 was 800 million weight cases, which had increased by 3.36% since 2016 with a profit of around RMB 10 billion ($1.5 billion).

The international glass industry has introduced new technology, equipment, products, business aesthetics and innovation.

This has inspired China’s glass industry to rejuvenate their development strategies. This includes replacing the repetitive, extensive and quantitative development pattern of the industry with a new pattern of middle, high-end and green development.

As a result of this, China’s glass industry performed better than expected in terms of output and profit in 2017.

In the second half of 2017, flat glass manufacturers witnessed their business profit and products rise in price. This shows that the Chinese glass industry has now entered a new era of reforming and adjusting the structure of the supply chain, cutting down overcapacity, shoring up weak spots, ensuring growth and increasing benefits.

Furthermore, China’s plan for 2018 is to implement its 13th five-year-plan and carry out its 19th national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The country will also work on cutting its overcapacity, energy efficiency, enforcing stricter environmental protection and restructuring the industrial glass process.

China’s economic frameworks such as The Belt and Road Initiative, the Coordinated Development for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, the Consumption Upgrading of the Chinese Market and the Intelligent Manufacturing Revolution will bring about new business opportunities.

They will also bring production cooperation and increase the market of architectural glass and the exporting of glass. As a result, glass-processing companies will increase demands for new technology and equipment.

The China Glass Exhibition is the biggest glass trade fair in Asia, which covers glass sectors such as products, application, manufacture technology, equipment, processing machinery, raw materials and refractory.

The exhibition will include booths for all 825 businesses, which include 585 domestic and 240 overseas companies. The exhibition will attract more than 40,000 glass industry insiders, including famous company leaders and engineers.

Well-known brands from all over China will attend the event, including the China Building Materials Academy, Triumph International, North Glass, Luoyang Float Glass Group and many more. In addition, many international companies from mainly the flat glass sector will attend, including LiSec, Corning, Glasston and Bystronic Glass.

China Glass 2018 will hold more than 10 seminars and promotion meetings, covering hot topics in the industry. This includes glass saving technology, vacuum glass production technology, oxy-fuel furnaces with novel oxygen and natural glass preheating technology.

The exhibition strives to promote professionalisation, internationalisation and improved development. The Chinese Ceramic Society (CCS), the exhibition organiser, has explored new approaches to provide better service for both the exhibitors and visitors. These include integrating industry resources accumulated over the decades, as well as taking advantage of new media platforms and internet tools.

China Glass 2018’s ultimate goal is to build an efficient communication platform for technology exchanges and business talks.

The exhibition will contribute to boosting the development of new products, new technology and new thoughts in the glass industry.

China Glass 2018 will be held at Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC) on 19-22 April 2018.

For more details, go to

Ardagh to close Milford, USA site


Ardagh Group is to permanently close its Milford, MA, glass container production facility.

It blamed a continued decline in demand from the mass beer market in the United States for the closure.

The site employs 250 people and closure is expected to take place on or after March 31, 2018, following which affected customers will be serviced from the group’s other North American glass facilities.

It said that although capacity dedicated to the mass beer market will be reduced, it will continues to pursue growth opportunities in stronger performing end markets, including wine, spirits and food.

This will entail the conversion of some mass beer capacity to serve these alternative end markets.

It added that targeted investments in its North America network, including in new inspection equipment, will enhance its competitive position and enable differentiation through a focus on innovation, quality and service.

The company acquired the Milford plant, which began operations in 1973 and has been producing beer bottles since 1987, as part of its $1.7 billion (€1.4bn) purchase of Verallia North America in April 2014 from French group Saint-Gobain.

Croxsons takes over glass furnace in China to produce wine bottles


Packaging company Croxsons has taken over glass furnace at a large glass manufacturer in China to produce antique-green wine bottles.

The takeover was prompted by customer feedback concerning the lack of bottle choice in the global wine industry supply chain.

There were concerns amongst some of Croxsons' customers that the industry has moved some bottles away from super-premium, to a lighter, standard weight bottle.

James Croxson, Croxsons’ Chairman, said: ”We went out and asked the industry what needs improving with their supply chain. 

"We listened to the responses, invested in a furnace and produced 12 new moulds specifically for Australia, New Zealand and the US, to complement our existing global offering.”


O-I’s glassmaking for Heinz Mayonnaise is featured in BBC’s ‘Inside the Factory’


Glass bottle manufacturer O-I has been featured in an episode of BBC2’s ‘Inside the Factory’ to illustrate how they make the Heinz [Seriously] Good Mayonnaise jar.

Presenters Gregg Wallace and Cherry Healey showed the complete glassmaking process, from visiting 23,000 free-range hens to how O-I’s Maastricht plant in the Netherlands created the jar from recycled glass.

O-I prioritises sustainability, safety and the premium nature of clear glass, which is key to the supply chain. Heinz Mayonnaise is distributed to 39 countries, including Malaysia and Panama.

The programme is available (for UK viewers only) on BBC iPlayer until 8th  February.

Thai glassmakers invest in swabbing robot on Heye IS Machine


One of South East Asia’s premier glass container manufacturers is among the world’s first to successfully embrace automated swabbing technology under production conditions.

Thai Glass Industries (TGI) has installed a Heye swabbing robot on a 10-section triple gob IS Machine producing NNPB bottles in Thailand.

This is the first installation of its type in the country and in the ASEAN region.

The robot is a cornerstone of Heye’ Smart Plant strategy as manual swabbing is one of the most important work steps for an IS machine operator. The robot allows precise and constant swabbing of the glass containers.

Benefits include zero rejects from swabbing, avoidance of section stops, substantial savings on lubrication and improved operator safety.

TGI personnel have been open-minded about this change to hot end working practices, embracing the swabbing robot innovation enthusiastically and this installation was immediately successful.

Full training for IS Machine operation was provided at TGI, where a dedicated IS training section from Heye is available.

The Heye triple gob IS Machine on which the swabbing robot is fitted was installed in 2017 and is the 13th IS Machine installed by Heye in Thailand in the past six years.

The country’s first swabbing robot is operating successfully and is generating a lot of interest. Stable and equal distribution of lubricants in the process has been realised, with more time for operators to focus on optimisation and defect correction.

“The swabbing robot is a great innovation and we are proud to have installed the first one in Thailand” said Pongdej Chamsawat, Assistant Vice President – Group Technical Service at TGI.

“We are satisfied with its performance on the Heye IS Machine.”

*Heye International is exhibiting on stand B05 at the Glassman Asia container glass exhibition and conference in Bangkok on January 24 and 25. It is also providing a presentation, titled Heye Smart Plant, at 12.05 on Wednesday January 24 at the event.*

Ametek Land and SVA develop protection for furnace image solution


Ametek Land and SVA Industrie Fernseh (SVA) have developed an auto-retraction system to protect a thermal imager in the volatile atmosphere of a glass furnace.

The housing and pneumatic auto-retraction system is for use on Ametek’s NIR-B (Near Infrared Borescope) glass thermal imaging solution for glass furnace applications.

The development provides further protection for Land’s NIR-B Glass thermal imager against damage from overheating within a glass production environment, particularly in cases of air purge, water cooling or power failure.

 “We approached SVA as we were aware of the company’s expertise in pneumatic technology for high temperature environments,” said Mark Bennett, Glass Industry Lead at Ametek Land. 

“This latest innovation takes NIR-B Glass to the next level, offering major benefits to glass producers in terms of better asset protection and enhanced lifespan for the equipment.”

 Axel Jürgens, Managing Director at SVA, based in Germany, said: “This latest innovation makes NIR-B Glass the most-advanced thermal imaging solution for the glass industry on the market.”

 The pneumatic auto-retract system consists of a rapid-response retraction mechanism, which instantaneously retracts the instrument from the furnace wall in the event of failure.

The system will retract from a number of failures, such as air purge, water cooling, and mains power, and, if there is an over-temperature condition detected, at the borescope tip.

 The system is fully pneumatic and has no exposed electrical components operating within the high-temperature environment of the glass melt-tank.

The system’s IP66- rated control box can be positioned up to 20 metres away and houses an uninterruptable power supply, which in the event of a power failure can automatically retract the NIR-B Glass.

 An integrated air purge ensures that the thermal imager maintains a clean lens at all times. With a high-performance water cooling system built-in as standard, the overall system has a low air flow requirement, even in the highest temperature furnaces.

 NIR-B Glass, launched in 2016, enables glass producers to receive continuous real-time temperature data, combined with a crystal clear thermal video image. 

This means operators can clearly “see” cold spots from air leaks coming through structural refractory, so that cracks or collapses are easily detected.

This, combined with the ability to visualise flames, allows the plant to optimise the flame pattern and burn efficiency.  

One stand remains at Mexican hollow glass show


Just one booth remains available at an exhibition dedicated to hollow glassmaking.

Exhibition space had already been extended to accommodate demand at the Glassman Latin America event, which takes place in Guadalajara, Mexico on March 21-22.

Leading technology companies that have secured their exhibition space include Bottero, Heye International, Glass Service of the Czech Republic and Glass Service of Italy, Sorg, Pennine Industrial, Zippe, the Rondot Group, Tiama, Iris Inspection Machines, Zecchetti and Waltec Maschinen.

A free to attend conference also takes place alongside the exhibition. Speakers so far include Gerresheimer, Pyrotek, IHS Markit and Heat Up Latin America.

The Glassman event is focused on hollow glassmaking. Global suppliers to the industry showcase the latest glassmaking technology to visitors to the exhibition.

Visitors to the previous Glassman in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2015 included glass manufacturers such as Fevisa, O-I Mexico, Vidrio Formas, Grupo Modelo, Gerresheimer and Sivesa.

Thai Malaya Glass starts operation of SB4 furnace from Sorg


Thai Malaya Glass successfully commissioned the SB4 furnace from Sorg in Saraburi on October 6th 2017 on time.

The plant construction was on schedule, with commissioning and production starting smoothly.

SB4 is a state of the art furnace in all areas, with exemplary efficiency and energy consumption.

Sorg Group’s subsidiary Nikolaus Sorg delivered the furnace as well as the forehearths. EME delivered the batch house and the fully automatic cullet return.

SB4 is a gas-fired end-port furnace with a Sorg Deep Refiner and melting booster. It is designed for a capacity of 300 tpd (tons per day) flint and amber glass for containers.

The possibility of a performance increase up to 350 tpd is forseen.

Batch charging is accomplished with the newest EME-NEND-S3 charger via IRD doghouse. The plant is also equipped with a Sorg STW distributor and five Sorg 340S forehearths.

The batch house delivered by EME is a tower system, designed for the highest flexibility in production of various glass colours (various formulas) for two furnaces and with a total capacity of 700 tpd.

It feeds not only the SB4 but the future SB5 furnace as well, which is going to be commissioned in mid-2018.

Besides conventional metal detectors, a fully automatic all-metal-elimination by means of an eddy current system is integrated into the cullet charging.

Thus it is possible to improve the quality of the charged cullet and consequentially increase the furnace lifetimes.

The plant is also provided with two mixers, each with a capacity of 1875 liters, as well as a fully automatic pre-mix system.

Besides the batch plant, EME also delivered fully automatic cullet return systems for both SB4 and SB5.

The furnace and batch house are both controlled by a high availability Siemens S7-400.

Using a joint SCADA system it is possible to operate the complete process from every computer – from raw material delivery, batch production and melting to glass conditioning and factory cullet return.

By using web servers, the customer can use any computer as independent clients – even mobile devices are possible.

A firewall offers a VPN access for remote service purposes and provides a data interface to high-level customer systems.

Participants of the opening ceremony from left to right: Messrs. Akrapon Aroonrerk, Somporn Nasuphan, Harald Zenker, Boonsak Stitmannaithum, Pattaphong Iamsuro, Alexander Sorg, Kitti Nirutnapaphan, Vichien Rungwattanakit, Bernd Baunach

*Sorg is exhibiting on stand E03 at the Glassman Asia event in Bangkok, Thailand on January 24 and 25. The event website is

Verallia appoints Group Industrial Director


Verallia has appointed Yves Merel as its Group Industrial Director.

He is also in charge of Operational Excellence, Quality and EHS (environment - health - safety) and is a member of the Executive Committee.

Mr Merlel is an Engineering graduate from the Technology University of Compiègne with a Management degree from Harvard.

He started his career in 1991 within Legrand as a Maintenance Manager. In 1995, he joined Valeo, where he successively held the positions of Process Engineering Manager, Production Unit Manager, Suppliers Development Manager in the USA and Plant Manager in France.

In 2005 he became Lean Manufacturing Director for Wagon Automotive before moving on, in 2008, to join FCI in Singapore as VP for Industrial Development.

In 2012, he joined Constellium as Executive Vice President, Lean and EHS. Since February 2017, he has held the position of Executive Vice President in charge of Operational Excellence within Framatome.

Mr Merel is also on the Executive board of the Lean Institute France and Senior Advisor for Lean Global Network. 

Tecglass develops design app


Spanish company Tecglass has developed a Vitro Design App. 

Tecglass technology has developed a marketing tool to make it easier for customers to create graphic designs and give real-life demonstrations.

The Vitro Design App offers current mobile navigation logics and a dual filter that guides users toward their desired style and graphic format. The goal is to find the best design for every print project to ensure customer business success.

This Tecglass tool means that customers have endless examples of patterns, images and decorative effects. They can also see what their design looks like on glass.

The Vitro Design App is available for free download on iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

O-I signs glass recycling agreement


O-I and waste-to-product company, Renewi have signed a new Shareholder Agreement (SHA) for their Maltha Joint Venture.

The SHA signals a new start for Maltha, one of Europe’s largest glass recycling companies.

As Maltha was historically majority owned by Van Gansewinkel, a new SHA was required following the merger earlier this year between Van Gansewinkel and Shanks to create Renewi.

Renewi will continue to own 67% of the joint venture, with O-I retaining its 33% stake. The partners will deliver an important contribution to the circular economy by producing high-quality raw materials from waste glass.

Maltha focuses on recycling both flat and container glass into cullet and glass powder for reuse in the glass industry.

The cullet and powders produced are sold to glass manufacturers, including O-I, and makers of other glass products who demand high purity material.

Michael Prechtl, O-I Country Group Executive North / Central Europe, said: “Maltha makes the best use of the unique properties of glass, whose 100% recyclability ensures it remains the most sustainable packaging material.

"Much of our production contains over 80% recycled glass. Our new agreement with Renewi strengthens Maltha’s ability to provide a consistent, uncontaminated supply of high-quality cullet to much of O-I’s European operation.”

Bas Blom, Managing Director of Renewi’s Monostream Division said: “Maltha is run by experts from complementary parts of the value chain for glass products. Together, we give new life to used materials by ensuring that our circular product can be recycled over and over again without loss of quality.”

Maltha has sites in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Portugal and Hungary.

Thai glassmakers invest in new furnaces


Two Thai container glass manufacturers have opened new furnaces in recent months – and Glass International has interviews with both of them.

Boonsak Stitmannaithum, Executive Vice President of Operations of Thai Malaya Glass and Thai Glass Industries, discusses the recent opening of furnace SB4 at Thai Malaya Glass’s Saraburi site.

Asia Pacific Glass recently opened its second furnace at its Chachoengsao site. Its executive team highlight the benefits it will give to the company.

View the Glass International issue here

Front cover image supplied by Pennine Industrial 

Abstracts for Industry 4.0 in glassmaking conference available online


Abstracts for the forthcoming Industry 4.0 conference in glassmaking, which takes place in Thailand are available to view online.

The Future Glass Forum includes 10 presentations devoted to Industry 4.0 in glassmaking.

The free to attend event takes place in Bangkok, Thailand on January 24 and 25.

Speakers include Bottero, Xpar Vision and Iris Inspection Machines.

The keynote speechw will be delieverd by Viwat Supatham (pictured), Chairman of both the Manufacturers Industry Club, The Federation of Thai Industries (GMFTI) and the AFGM.

The abstracts are available to view by clicking on the speaker’s name via this link:

The event also includes a Technology in Glassmaking conference, with presentations from Eurotherm, Pneumofore and AGR International. The programme is here

Gerresheimer appoints packaging glass board member


Gerresheimer has appointed Dr. Lukas Burkhardt (38) to its Management Board and who will assume responsibility for the Primary Packaging Glass Division.


“In Lukas Burkhardt, we gain an outstanding leadership personality as a valuable addition to the Gerresheimer Management Board.

"He will be able to contribute his diverse international experience from a variety of industries to the Primary Packaging Glass Division,” said Dr. Axel Herberg, Chairman of Gerresheimer’s Supervisory Board.

Dr Burkhardt studied mechanical engineering at ETH Zurich, where he also obtained his PhD. He began his career at Audi in Ingolstadt.

From 2007 to 2014, he held various managerial positions within the Rieter Automotive Group, now the Autoneum Group, including six years in China and India.

Most recently, he was in charge of all Asian plants as Head of Operations Asia. In 2015, he became Chief Operating Officer and member of the Group Management Board of the international Franke Group.

There, he was responsible for production at more than 30 plants around the world as well as for logistics, procurement, and process engineering and partly product engineering.

Gerresheimer’s management board comprises of Christian Fischer (CEO), Rainer Beaujean (CFO), Andreas Schütte (Plastics and Devices Division) and Lukas Burkhardt (Primary Packaging Glass Division).

GMIC publishes second glass industry report


The Glass Manufacturing Industry Council (GMIC) has published its second industry report.

The second edition of the Glass Manufacturing Industry Report  is a detailed reference source for intelligence on the glass manufacturing industry.

The 163-page report includes Data Metrics by Segment with Graphs and Tables, an emissions regulations summary, segment analysis, and plant lists and contact spreadsheets.

The report is available for $1375.00 for GMIC members and $2295.00 for non-members.

For more information visit the report website at

Agr International realigns glass sales team


Agr International has realigned its sales force to better serve its customers located in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. 

It has focused its sales force along product and service lines to better support the distinct needs of each customer segment.

Marco Palma, a 20+ year Agr sales management veteran, will lead the sales team targeted to support the equipment needs of glass container manufacturers. 

The Agr glass equipment product line includes solutions targeted to address laboratory and cold end factory floor needs.

Alexander Broda, also a 20+ year Agr sales veteran, will work with customers who use the services offered by Agr’s new research facility located at Delft, The Netherlands. 

The research services include glass production and filling line audits, schools as well as container design and breakage analysis.

Agr International develops and manufactures a full line of laboratory and on-line testing/quality control devices for glass and plastic containers and similar products.  

Last few places remain on Basics of Combustion in Glass Melting Furnaces course


There are still limited delegate places on the Basics of Combustion in Glass Melting Furnaces course which takes place this week.

This one day training course will be held on Thursday 11th January 2018 at The Society of Glass Technology, Chapeltown, Sheffield, UK and is aimed at Batch and Furnace department and associated personnel.

The primary audience is furnace operators, supervisors and supporting staff in Environmental, Maintenance, Engineers and related Suppliers.  Upon completion of the workshop participants should be;

- aware of basic combustion technology within the context of energy utilisation and emissions legislation;
- able to describe the basic processes of burner adjustment for good furnace operation;
- confident in applying a troubleshooting and combustion optimisation processes;
- able to relate the identification of glass defects to indicators of furnace operation;
- aware of oxy-fuel and emerging burner technologies.

As a result of recent emission legislation many plants have to meet increased emissions limits specifically for NOx.

In many companies there are only one or two personnel who know how the current Low NOx burners work and have the confidence to adjust burners.

This is frequently the highest single point of energy utilisation on a glass plant. The primary goal of the morning session is to give all operators a basic understanding of combustion and burner adjustment for good furnace operation with confidence to start the troubleshooting or optimisation process.

CelSian will present a one hour presentation on the basics of glass defects arising from the furnace since this is often what highlights the existence of a combustion problem and GTS will provide a one hour practical workshop session on defects analysis and include a tour of their laboratory.  To conclude there will be an overview of oxy-fuel and other new technology.

Cost: £475 plus VAT per person including lunch and refreshments.                                                                                         

A certificate of attendance will be provided and pdf of critical slides. (Discount £398 plus VAT for Members of the Society of Glass Technology, British Glass and Glass Trend).                                   

Contact  to reserve places or further details.

Pennine reaches legal settlement with Ramsey


Pennine Industrial Equipment Ltd has reached a legal and financial settlement with Ramsey Products Corp.

Pennine has agreed not to use Pennine’s filed EU trademark in the United States of America, however Pennine reserve the rights to use this trademark in other territories.

The settlement is only in reference to a trademark dispute and does not impact Pennine’s ability to manufacture its New 2 Pin Laser Headed Conveyor Chain.

Rurex CEO retires


Rurex CEO Andreas Fremerey has retired.

Mr Fremerey has been with the company for 34 years and retired on January 1 this year. He will act as a consultant to the management only if required.

Rurex is a German company that supplies extreme wear resistant products for the hot end area of the container glass industry.

It also supplies machines for the manufacturing of patterned, figured, wired and solar glass in the flat glass industry.

The company has appointed Mr Florian Zapadtka as new Managing Director CEO (pictured). His email address is

Mr Fremerey said: “I thank you for all your support and the good cooperation in the many years of our partnership. I hope that you will bring all the support and confidence which you have given to me to Mr. Zapadtka for further fruitful cooperation.”

Ramsey Products appoints Sales Manager in Europe


Ramsey Products has appointed Andreas Dederer as Sales Manager in Europe.

Mr Dederer joins Bob Hughes and Gerrit Hageman in covering the European market. Andreas is located in northern Germany and will focus primarily on Germany, France and Eastern Europe but will be developing the business in 16 different countries, including the DACH and Benelux regions.

Andreas comes to Ramsey from the automotive industry, where he gained valuable experience in automotive technology, with a specific focus on adhesive applications.

His responsibilities at Ramsey will include the development of Ramsey’s Power Transmission and Conveying products, offering training seminars, and developing the distributor and customer network.

When asked why he joined Ramsey, Andreas states that the variety of applications the company deals with is appealing to him, as well as the challenge of developing a fascinating region.

“I also like the fact that Ramsey is a company with a long tradition, high quality products, and an excellent reputation,” he stated. 

Promising conclusions to Circular economy package


EU deputy ambassadors have been briefed on a deal reached by negotiators on the EU waste package.

Although the final text has yet to be fully analysed, FEVE – the European Container Glass Federation – has welcomed the achievement by the Estonian Presidency and the Rapporteur from the European Parliament, two years after the publication of the Circular Economy Package by the European Commission.

Feve said: “As an industry, we stand ready and committed to build on the agreement reached.

“We strongly support the commitment to a recycling-only-target for packaging, based on a single, more robust and harmonised calculation methodology. We also welcome the increased transparency and traceability of material streams, and better separate collection systems across the European Union.

“These are important measures in the transition to a more circular economy, paving the way for further use of permanent materials such as glass, which can be endlessly recycled without loss of their intrinsic properties.

"The challenge remains in the implementation phase and the further review of measures foreseen in the Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive.

"As we argued at our FEVE 40-year event on the 5th of December in Brussels, packaging is a multi-material sector, and we should not get detracted by the current focus on plastics.

"The opportunities and contribution of each material stream should be taken into account in order to reach the overall goal of increased resource-efficiency and the free movement of packaged goods across the European Union.

"As we close our 40th anniversary year, we look forward to pursuing our good collaboration with national and European policymakers, value chain partners and other stakeholders."

Şişecam’s R&D unit receives Intellectual Property award


Şişecam’s Science and Technology Centre, the R&D unit of global glass manufacturer Şişecam Group, received the Intellectual Property Competence Award of the Turkish Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology.

Prof. Şener Oktik, Şişecam Group Research and Technology Development President, received the award from Dr. Faruk Özlü, Turkish Minister of Science, Industry and Technology (pictured).

The Şişecam Science and Technology Center was chosen from among the 889 R&D and design centres supported by the ministry.

Sisecam’s R&D efforts were awarded at the 6th Private Sector R&D and Design Centers Summit organized by the Turkish Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology at Ankara’s Congresium in December 2017.

Şişecam's $40 million Science and Technology Center is based in Çayırova, Gebze, Turkey.

Prof. Oktik said: “The Şişecam Science and Technology Centre is the driving force behind Şişecam Group’s research and technological development efforts. It’s an award-winning, environment-friendly facility offering a 9400m2 indoor space.

"Şişecam Science and Technology Centre is Turkey’s largest and best-equipped science and technology center in this field, and also ranks high among R&D centres in the world. The centre employs 225 experts who conduct research and develop technologies at a local and international level.

"Şişecam Group targets to drive its growth through research and technological development, and will continue to heavily invest in this field”.

Paneratech expands Asian presence


Furnace management company Paneratech has appointed Satoshi Okura as its Director of Sales and Operations in Asia.

Satoshi will be based in its new Japan office and will help serve its growing base of customers in the Asia region.

Satoshi can be reached at

Paneratech CEO Yakup Bayram said: “As the applications for our technology have grown, the global demand for our furnace health monitoring programs has increased.

"In response to this demand, we have expanded our locations and added new staff to better serve our customers.”

The company is behind the SmartMelter furnace management technology.

The company is also seeking a candidate in Europe who has experience in the glass industry in a technical sales manager role.

The location where this representative will be based is flexible, although central Europe is preferred. Please contact Mr Bayram at if this is of interest.

AGC Ceramics names new President


Japan’s AGC Ceramics has named Masaru Ota as its new President and CEO.

Mr Ota (pictured) will begin his new role on January 1, 2018.

His successor as general manager for the glass industry is Mr Ken Watanabe.

Glass Futures appoints Mace as Project Managers for Phase 1


Glass Futures has appointed Mace as Project Managers for the initial phase. 

Mace is an international consultancy and construction company with revenues of £2billion. 

John Egerton, Mace Associate Director, taking responsibility for the Glass Futures project, has a proven track record in project and programme management delivery. 

"He is responsible for the manufacturing sector practice at Mace and has led a number of successful projects such as the development of the High Temperature Research Centre (HTRC), a collaboration between Rolls-Royce and the University of Birmingham. 

Brian McMillan, Glass Futures Chairman, said: “Mace’s appointment as Project Managers demonstrates our confidence in the Glass Futures project which we anticipate will involve a total capital spend in the order of £35million. We very much look forward to working with John Egerton and his colleagues.”

Glass Futures appoints board members


Glass Futures has appointed two Members to its Advisory Board.

Joining the Advisory Board for the planned Global Centre of Excellence for glass in R&D, Innovation and Training are Dr Paul Bingham, Reader in Materials Engineering, at Sheffield Hallam University and Gerold Sprachmann, Vice President Glass Factory at Swarovski, Austria. 

Paul Bingham has a BEng (Hons) degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Sheffield and a PhD in glass science and technology.  

He is a Reader in Materials Engineering at SHU and has published 80 research papers.

Paul is a Fellow of the Society of Glass Technology and currently holds a number of active research grants. 

Gerold Sprachmann is Vice President of the Glass Factory at Swarovski in Wattens, Austria, and has been leading the crystal glass production for 20 years.

Gerold is an expert in the field of glass making. In the course of his career he has been involved in disruptive innovations. 

Brian McMillan, Glass Futures Chairman, said: “Both are leaders in their respective fields. They bring a mix of skills and experience which are invaluable in ensuring the success of Glass Futures.”

Gerold Sprachmann said: “I endorse Glass Futures’ aims to create a Global Centre of Excellence for Glass to develop new methods of manufacture, substantially reducing the industry’s carbon footprint and energy utilisation.”

Steklarna Hrastnik plots €4.2 million investment and glass capacity increase


Steklarna Hrastnik envisages major investments in production with the aim of further development, expansion, and growth.

The first step towards this goal is a €4.2 million investment in the reinforcement of the packaging programme.

It is expected that by the spring of 2018, the lighting glass production unit will be transformed into the packaging glass production unit.

It will gradually abolish the production of lighting glass, and provide opportunities for further development of its packaging glass programme. All employees from the lighting glass production unit will be offered reassignment within the company.

Steklarna Hrastnik will invest €4.2 million in the purchase of a new machine for packaging glass (IS-machine) and the transfer of the existing machine to Vitrum. This will increase the efficiency of the furnace in the new investment cycle by 25 tonnes per day.

Upon the acquisition of necessary permits, it plans to increase capacity in its Hrastnik plant. The goal is to increase the capacity of the furnace by 200 tonnes per day, which will also create 150 new high-value added jobs.

“The abolishment of the lighting glass programme is our opportunity to expand the packaging glass programme,” said Andrej Božič, President of the Glass Division.

Since the onset of the crisis in 2008, demand in the market of lighting glass has dropped sharply, at the expense of the increasing uptake of LED lights.

Steklarna Hrastnik has also faced a sharp price competition in this market, which is promoted by cheap products from the Chinese market.

Božič also pointed out that Steklarna Hrastnik invested €2.8 million in the development of lighting glass unit over the past eight years; however, they are not satisfied with the results:

“We were intensely looking for ways to increase profitability and the scale of operations. Co-operation with well-known designers also failed to meet the expectations that would economically justify the continued existence of the programme.”

In 2018, Steklarna Hrastnik would have to invest at least an additional €2.5 million in furnace renewal, which would be an over-investment for a programme that is not profitable.

Since Steklarna Hrastnik is aware of the importance of glass factory for employees, mainly from Hrastnik and the surrounding municipalities, they have been looking for ways to optimise the production and retain all employees - which they will succeed with the planned restructuring of production.

All employees from the lighting glass production unit will be offered a redeployment within the company. "We will offer them conditions of employment that will be comparable with the current, if not better," said Peter Čas, General Director.

“The transition to new jobs will be gradual and employee-friendly. Nothing will happen overnight. Employees will be integrated into the mentoring system in order to get acquainted with new production technologies, learn new tasks, and thus make it easier to take on new jobs.”


The special glass packaging and perfume and cosmetic packaging market has been an opportunity for expansion, as demand has steadily increased in recent years.

The increase in demand was exceptionally high this year. “We have decided to take action now, when the market of special glass and perfume and cosmetic packaging enables opportunity for expansion,” said Mr Čas.

The packaging glass unit has no room for the integration of machines, equipment and logistics, which are needed to increase capacities. However, the lighting glass production areas will provide the opportunity to do precisely that.

The glass factory envisages more than a 30% increase for the packaging programme.The new investment cycle begins with the investment in the purchase of a new production machine (IS-machine) and the transfer of an additional machine to the Vitrum location.

By reorganising production, Steklarna Hrastnik will set the conditions for optimising production, raising profitability and new investments in the coming years.


AFGM chairman to provide keynote speech at Bangkok glass conference


Viwat Supatham, Chairman of the Asean Federation of Glass Manufacturers (AFGM), will provide the welcome speech at a conference devoted to Industry 4.0 in glassmaking.

 Mr Supatham is also Chairman of the Glass Manufacturers Industry Club at the Federation of Thai Industries (GMFTI) as well as General Manager at Siam Glass in Bangkok, Thailand.

He will provide the welcome speech to the Future Glass Forum, a free-to-attend conference dedicated to how digital glassmaking can improve the manufacturing process.

Mr Supatham will speak at 11am on Wednesday, January 24 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC).

Other speakers at the two-day conference include technology partners such as Siemens,, Heye International and Glass Service on day one.

Day two will include presentations from Xpar Vision, Iris Inspection machines, AGC Ceramics and PaneraTech.

The latest company to be included in the conference line-up is Italy’s Bottero. Its R&D Manager, Fabio Galliano will provide a presentation titled Managing the Glass Manufacturing Process on Thursday January 25th.

Fore more information visit

Zippe receives Wiegand-Glas batch house orders


German container glass manufacturer Wiegand-Glas has placed several orders recently with Zippe Industrieanlagen for its Steinbach am Wald plant.

The first order is for a new batch transport system from an existing batch house to the furnace. The challenge of the order is the installation of the belt bridge system.

The belt bridges need to be mounted without intervening in the glass plant’s operations. Commissioning of this batch transport will still be realised in 2017.

The largest order of this series is a new batch house. In 2018 it will be installed on the premises of a former batch plant. The new batch plant is designed to supply multiple furnaces.

It is equipped with two intensive mixers with a capacity of 2250 litreseach. The order also includes the connection to the batch transport for a new melting furnace.

This plant will start operations at the end of 2018.

One of the orders comprises a further batch transport system from the new batch house to an existing furnace.

This plant will also start operations at the end of 2018. Zippe will execute all thee orders on a turn-key basis.

Pic: 3D-View of the new batch house at Wiegand Steinbach’s plant (without cladding).

7th International Congress on Ceramics (ICC 7)


Abstracts are welcome for the ‘Frontiers in Glass Technology’ symposium held within the 7th International Congress on Ceramics.

The conference takes place in Foz de Iguaçū, Brazil, between June 17-21 2018.

All submissions and accepted talks should address innovative and relevant products and processes in the frontiers of glass technology. The invited speakers will be instructed to critically review and analyze the state-of-art of glass industries and products. 

Abstracts on the following subjects may be submitted:

Flat glass
Hollow/container glass
Fibre glass
Specialty glasses
Glass and communication
Glass and Sustainability
New melting concepts
Energy and emissions in the glass industry
Furnace equipment and refractories

Symposium Organizers:
Chairman: Mathieu Hubert, Corning Inc. 

Co-chair: Mauro Akerman,  ABCeram, Brazil

Co-chair: Eduardo Bellini Ferreira, USP, Brazil 

More information from

O-I launches first global glass design book


Owens-Illinois (O-I) has launched a Global Design Book to provide inspiration for brand owners and design agencies looking for fresh ideas in glass for their foods and beverages.

O-I has drawn together more than 100 glass designs from around the world and the collection illustrates the beauty, versatility, brand differentiation, colour, shape and decoration variations available in glass in a way no other packaging material can match.

Andres Lopez, O-I’s CEO says in the foreword to the book: “Many studies tell us consumers love glass. It’s their favourite package. Only glass evokes wonder: the pleasure as you pick up an ice-cold beer bottle, the craving as you open a jar of your favourite spread, the anticipation as you watch the sommelier uncork your champagne.”

The entries are new product designs developed over the last few years by O- design teams either from a received brief or with customers’ design agencies across each of the five continents on which the company operates.

They show the breadth of O-I’s design expertise and also illustrate the different cultural norms which provide design cues for brands in each location.

“The book is more than selection of pretty pictures,” said Marie-Laure Susset, Marketing Communications Leader for O-I Europe.

“It relates a narrative of brand image and consumer trends over recent years. It tells of the growth of craft, of premiumization, or of healthy hydration.”

“I am grateful for the cooperation of all the brand owners whose products are featured in the book. It is very exciting to see so many great brands displayed page after page,” said Yolanda Fernandez, Marketing Communications Specialist Europe, who led the project.

The book is being distributed to O-I customers and design agencies around world. Further applications for a copy can be made to

Pic: Carlsberg Group - The hop leaf embossing plus the scallop design of the body area represent the two main attributes of this beer - fruitiness, with citrus and floral notes.

Verallia names glass design awards winners


Verallia has named the winner of the grand finale of its design competition, Verallia Design Awards.

Aura Ramos, Deniz Dönmez and Rohit Sahas Rabudhe, three students from the Italian edition of the constest, were selected for their project DeFiasco, a bottle for the wine market.

In 2017, Verallia Design Awards were held in seven countries: Germany, Brazil, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Ukraine.

Almost 1,000 art or design school students and recent graduates designed a glass container based on a given theme.

The participants were provided with support from the Verallia teams, in particular to provide them with details about glass and its manufacturing requirements.

Some designs have even been selected for commercial release. Such was the case of the Soirée à Rosé bottle (designed by the winner of the first competition in 2010), marketed and sold by Gérard Betrand, and the Serac bottle (winner in 2016), selected by Maison du sud – Jeanjean. These two products have enjoyed international success.

As the number of young designers presenting a project has increased each year and as customers are keen to explore new ideas, Verallia decided to open up its competition at an international level and prepare this first grand finale.

The competitors are all winners of the various national competitions.

Italy’s project De Fiasco was singled out by the jury meeting in Paris whose members include seven finalists, customers, professional designers, journalists and Verallia’s sales and marketing teams.

Drawing its inspiration from a typically Italian flask-shaped bottle, De Fiasco is a new interpretation of an old bottle which at the time combined various materials (straw, laces and glass), to provide a 100% glass modern version. The original bottle finishing using straw and laces has been replaced with external engraving.

“With the Verallia Design Awards, we are encouraging a privileged exchange with young designers around glass. We are also providing our customers with an unprecedented innovation approach, as reflected in the various sales success stories since the competition was introduced,” said Michel Giannuzzi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Verallia Group at the ceremony.

Society of Glass Technology honours Fellows at annual dinner


Society of Glass Technology (SGT) President, Bill Brookes, set an optimistic tone at its annual Christmas dinner dance, writes Sally Roberts.

The event, organised by the Yorkshire section of the SGT, was the 83rd of its kind and was well attended by UK glass manufacturers, suppliers and industry veterans.

During the event, the society’s recently elected President Bill Brookes called on the glass industry as a whole to support the SGT and its efforts, as well as underlining that he is eager to better understand how the SGT can help the industry.

“I’d like to say thank you, it is an honour and a privilege to be asked to do this.

“It would appear that the British glass industry, despite everything, their demise has been sadly and greatly over exaggerated. It is great to see you all here tonight.

“I would like to go and visit as many clients and companies in the UK as possible, during the time that I am President.

“When I come to see you, I will want to talk about what the industry wants, and what we can do for you.

“One of the things we really want to know is what can the SGT do for you – and of course, you must expect that naturally I will want to sell the society and encourage as many people as possible to join as members.”

He also thanked the Yorkshire section and its committee for organising the event, with a special mention to Christine Brown for all the work she does, and to the sponsors.

During the dinner a special mention was also given to Guardian’s Richard Hulme, who last year was made Honorary Centenary Fellow of the SGT – a prestigious position that is only awarded once every 100 years.

New appointments were also made, with DSF’s Trevor Wilson being elected to the fellowship of the society and Brian McMillan accepted as Honorary Fellow, the highest honour that can be awarded by the Society.

Pictured Above: Brian McMillan receiving his Hon FSGT from Bill Brookes, SGT President.

The Board of Fellows had considered, among other things, his achievements as Technical Director in the glass industry in making the decision.

Marc Brew received an Award for Service.

A total of 164 people attended with many from manufacturers such as Saint-Gobain, Stölzle and Beatson Clark as well as suppliers to the industry.

The event took place at Oulton Hall, just outside Leeds, UK.

Pictured Top: DSF's Trevor Wilson receiving his FSGT from SGT President, Bill Brookes.

(Pics courtesy of Black Tie Events - Richard Walker)

Limited spaces available at Bangkok Industry 4.0 in glass conference


A free to attend conference about Industry 4.0 in glassmaking is proving to be popular with visitors.

The Future Glass Forum is dedicated to digital glassmaking and features 13 speakers over two days. The conference is free to attend but, such has been the interest in the event, delegates are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

The conference programme includes Siemens, Glass Service, Iris Inpsection Machines, Xpar Vision and Heye International, who will discuss how Industry 4.0 can improve the glassmaking process.

Viwat Supatham, Chaorman of the Glass manufacturers Industry Club of Thailand,  will provide the welcome speech to the conference.

It tales place at the BITEC centre in Bangkok, Thailand on January 24 and 25.

To register to attend the event, visit here

The conference programme is here

Heye inspection solutions for smart glass plants


Self-learning systems are one of the cornerstones of Industry 4.0.

Heye International's Ranger 2 camera check detection is a market solution. Heye’s product strategy, integrating latest camera solutions, remains unchanged.

Ranger 2’s Intelligent Cloud Masking System creates an individual cover area for non-critical reflections, avoiding influences from reference containers while keeping the mask as small as possible.

The self-learning system does not require manually selecting/inspecting hundreds of check-free reference containers in order to adjust the system. Ranger 2 is scalable for horizontal, vertical, shoulder or bottom checks. It is fully available in every country without any legal restriction.

Apart from advanced camera and non-contact solutions, smart data is the key. The Heye PlantPilot collects and aggregates production data in the plant.

The borders between Hot End and Cold End will disappear, information is shared on the spot.

Tracking and tracing as well as the possibility of creating user-specific analysis are additional components, allowing continuous improvement processes to increase productivity.

*Heye International will speak at the forthcoming Future Glass Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. It will discuss the Heye Smart Plant on Wednesday January 24th at the free to attend event at the BITEC centre. More information about the event at

American Glass Research opens Netherlands testing laboratory


Agr International's American Glass Research division has opened a European testing laboratory in Delft, the Netherlands to serve glass manufacturing and beverage filling industries. 

Featuring modern analysis and testing equipment, the new lab can be used to carry out a range of testing services, including performance testing of glass packaging. 

The lab will also be used for fracture diagnosis, proof-of-design testing, dimensional evaluation and analysis of label, decoration and closure issues. 

Agr testing laboratory is also suitable for evaluation of coating performance, audit of glass plant operations, filling line audits, glass technical consultancy and training and seminars. 

In addition, the lab provides resources from AGR North American offices for material analysis, glass quality and complete container design and development. 

Pic: Henry Dimmick, Jr., CEO Agr International, Bill Slusser, AGR Director of Research and Peter de Haan, Senior Scientist/Manager of the Delft Office, met with local officials.

Press Glass to build 12th production facility


Poland’s Press Glass is to build another production facility.

The 20,000m2 facility will be constructed in the Kostrzyn-Słubice Special Economic Zone in the municipality of Nowogard in the West Pomeranian Province of Poland.

The company bought a plot of 6 hectares of land on 5 December 2017 for the purpose.

The site will be Press Glass’s 12th manufacturing facility and production will start in the second half of 2018. The facility will increase its production capacity and employment in several stages.

As a target, 300 persons will be employed in Nowogard. The facility will expand the potential to service manufacturers of window and door joinery in Poland and other countries in Northern and Western Europe.

Nowogard proved to be the best location for the company. The decision was influenced by its geographical location, transportation infrastructure and technical infrastructure of the zone as well as previous cooperation with the local authorities and the management of the economic zone.

The core business of Press Glass is the processing flat glass for construction. The products offered by the group can be found in the markets of a majority of European countries as well as in North America and Asia. 

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