Italian high-tech glass manufacturer Vetrerie Riunite took precautions to ensure furnace reliability amid Covid-19 with a SmartMelter inspection.

Because hot spots had been observed in the throat area of the furnace, Vetrerie Rinuite contacted PaneraTech to determine the condition of the sidewall and throat refractory for overcoat optimisation.

They found that PaneraTech is still supporting glass manufacturers globally despite travel restrictions, and that a technician was already based in the area.

An inspection was scheduled quickly.

The results of the SmartMelter inspection confirmed that some additional cooling measures were necessary on the throat.

The report showed the cover block residual refractory thickness to be less than 40mm in the thinnest areas, with the majority of measurements showing < 50mm residual thickness.

Within one week of SmartMelter reporting, the cover blocks were cooled with compressed air and water and overcoating was installed.

“We have had to make changes to our operations like everyone else,” said Giuseppe Velli, Plant Manager at Vetrerie Riunite.

“However, the importance of plant safety and furnace reliability does not change.

"The SmartMelter inspection gave us the information we needed to continue operating safely and to prioritise repairs.”

“Our field engineers are based in various locations around the world, which means one might actually be local for the plant,” said Yakup Bayram, CEO of PaneraTech.

He added: “Our Certified Partners, such as Fosbel, expand that global reach even further.

"We also offer virtual guidance to companies who have decided to scan the furnace without bringing an outside technician into the plant.

“With so many ways to support our customers, they don’t have to worry about not getting the help that they need.”