A meeting dedicated to process automation and big data in the glass industry was deemed a success.

The GlassTrend seminar was hosted by Linde at the Agora building in Munich, Germany recently and was devoted to subjects such as machine learning, industry 4.0 and big data.

As well as speakers from the suppliers and manufacturers, it included presenters from outside the glass industry.

Anne-Jans Faber, Chairman of GlassTrend, said that GlassTrend was aiming to introduce speakers from other sectors in order to increase industry perspectives.

He said: “GlassTrend seminars are known for their high level and interesting speakers. This meeting was about data analytics and sensors and there were several examples from other industries where we can learn from. We’ve tried it a couple of times now and it works.”

One of the speakers was from compatriot company Machines2Learn, which builds algorithms based on huge amounts of data.

It gave examples of its successful work with an automotive manufaturer and a mobile phone company. Another guest speaker was Braincube which has worked with Verallia and Ardagh, as well as travel companies.

The event also included speeches from traditional glass-related companies such as Ardagh, Owens Corning, Sisecam and Siemens.

Mr Faber said: “The day to day issue for the glass manufacturers has been getting the data from the furnaces, and they have organised that.

“The next chapter is to make useful sense of this immense pile of data they have obtained. Then they can start taking actions and learning and comparing.

“So it was a useful insight and I think everyone agreed that it is going to change significantly what data we will have in a couple of years’ time

He added: “Overall I was extremely pleased with the event and, together with the host Linde, we were able to give a solid overview of what is happening and the potential of sensors, data analytics and machine learning with very powerful examples from in and outside the glass industry.”

The next GlassTrend meeting will be hosted by Sibelco in Belgium on March 31-April 2 and will focus on raw materials.​