Glass manufacturing is energy-intensive, whether at the commodity end of the spectrum or in speciality niches. Glass and ceramic production also emit significant levels of CO2.
Real-time data collection ensures that machinery is operating at optimum efficiency. Spikes in energy are detected quickly, and heat recapture and recycling systems are operating at optimal efficiency. Process transparency enables optimisation of employee activity and close management of jobs and machinery.
Dust and gaseous emissions produced during firing or spray drying of ceramics may be derived from raw materials and fuels and could contain oil or heavy metals. Lead and cadmium, for example, are subject to strict statutory regulation. Clouds of organic powders and metals can be explosive in confined areas.
Automated monitoring of equipment performance, including leakage, will reduce the risk of explosions or failures of compliance
Effective response to low-cost competition challenges producers to continually maintain or improve quality improvement, while controlling or reducing costs.
Effective scheduling of resources and management of capacity, combined with interactive job lists, enables optimisation of equipment and energy consumption.
Speciality glass markets, with applications in medical prosthetics, communications, aerospace and automotive ceramics, are the fastest-growing in the industry and offer opportunity for more profitable, premium pricing. Speed of development is a constant threat to businesses that lag behind.
Real time visibility with paperless production processes, downtime alerts and collaborative messaging within the factory and along the supply chain help manufacturers to innovate and upgrade skills and resources, while controlling risks.