Vetropack’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Guido Stebner, has assumed the role of Chairman of the International Partners in Glass Research (IPGR) group.

Dr. Stebner succeeds Vetropack CEO Johann Reiter in the IPGR role.

The research organisation is dedicated to enhancing the competitiveness of glass in the packaging industry through research and development programmes and individual collaboration among its members.

To achieve this goal, it promotes exchange and cooperation between the industry, universities, and public authorities.

Dr Stebner said: "As an international research organisation, we consolidate the pre-competitive research and development activities of our members, addressing the pressing issues facing our industry, such as reducing CO2 emissions in the manufacture of our products.

"To this end, we work closely with academic institutions such as RWTH Aachen University or the Montanuniversität in Leoben, as well as public authorities such as the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action and other globally active glass manufacturers."

The proximity to the research organisation's production plants is advantageous when implementing results on a larger scale that were obtained in the laboratory or during computer modelling.

For instance, at the end of their service life, the melting furnaces at the Vetropack plant in Trezzano sul Naviglio (Italy) were used in a test programme known as the No Soda Trial.

During the ten-day large-scale industrial trial, the raw material mix was modified so it was no longer necessary to add sodium carbonate, which is one of the main sources of CO2 emissions (pictured below).

The researchers investigated the melting behaviour of the mixture and demonstrated the formability of bottles made from the soda-free melt.

At Vetropack's Innovation Centre in Pöchlarn, Austria, an industrial system for coating moulds has been established.

The aim of the Dry Glass Forming project is to prevent the glass from sticking to the mould surface by selecting suitable coatings, thereby eliminating the need for manual or automated lubrication of the moulds.

This approach would save mineral oil-based lubricants, offering advantages from both an ecological and an economic standpoint.

The first coated moulds have already been used in the plants of IPGR members – with promising results.

Dr. Guido Stebner has been Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Vetropack Group for Engineering and Production since January 1st, 2021.

He graduated from Clausthal University of Technology in 1991 with a degree in metallurgy and received his doctorate from RWTH Aachen University in 1997. Founded in 1984, the IPGR has been based in Aachen since 2016.