SmartMelter, a comprehensive solution for risk management and optimisation of furnace life for glass manufacturers, has helped Cardinal Glass reach a scheduled furnace rebuild for their float line furnace.
PaneraTech, the company that developed SmartMelter, has been working with the company throughout 2016 to monitor the progression of glass infiltration at the furnace bottom.
As a result, Cardinal Glass has been able to maximize production while ensuring safety.
The first SmartMelter measurements were taken in April 2016 by the PaneraTech team onsite in Cardinal’s Durant, Oklahoma plant.
SmartMelter requires a one-time mapping of specific areas of the furnace to enable proper tracking of each refractory inspection.
Advanced radar technology was then used to take accurate measurements of the residual furnace bottom thickness.
After this initial set-up and training, the sensor was shipped to Durant for regular monitoring.
Beginning in June 2016, the Cardinal team took monthly measurements with guidance from PaneraTech to monitor the progress of glass infiltration at the bottom.
The plant was able to continue operations through January 2017, the scheduled date for rebuilding.
"It was imperative that we keep operations on schedule to fulfill our orders. However, we had to do this safely.
“We were able to operate with confidence because we were sure of the condition of the furnace bottom through SmartMelter mapping," said Kelly Busch, Vice President of Technology at Cardinal Glass.
This lowered risk meant that Cardinal Glass could maximize furnace production right up to the furnace drain date.
SmartMelter combines two patented sensors with digital mapping to collect precise data about furnace health.
The technology measures the actual residual thickness of walls and helps manufacturers determine the timing of overcoat, identify early stage glass infiltration and optimise rebuild dates for longer furnace life.