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Case Study

EFC
O FU

RNACES (2002)

LTD

BGL Glass Toughening, Birmingham

Two brothers, with almost no experience of the glass processing industry, have in a short time carved out a significant share of the West Midlands glass toughening market. This has been achieved by hard work, giving the best possible service and an investment in the latest EFCO glass toughening equipment.

The Customer West Midlands Builders and Property Developers, Dave and Jas Rama, noticed that they were required to fit more and more toughened glass panels into the properties they were renting. Spurred on by ongoing problems of variable quality, delays and spiralling prices, and with no experience in glass processing, they decided to enter into the toughened glass supply market. A suitable building was found in Birmingham and modifications made to convert it into an efficient glass processing facility. At its heart was to be a tempering furnace and as this would be crucial to the success of the business, and the biggest single capital investment, Dave and Jas took great care researching the various suppliers.

We received proposals from UK, Scandinavian and Far Eastern manufacturers said Dave. Most just wanted to sell us a machine with little regard to us being new to the business, EFCO were the only ones who were happy to work closely with us to establish our requirements, then supply a tempering system that would meet them. Although they were not the cheapest tender, their willing attitude, track record and the fact they were a UK company with an excellent service back up, swung it for us. An oscillating glasstempering system with a 4000mm x 1750mm load area, capable of producing toughened glass from 4 19mm thick, was therefore ordered.

The EFCO glass-tempering system with a 4000mm x 1750mm load area

The loading area

Initially the business would concentrate on supplying 4 6mm thick glass for the double glazing industry. EFCO was able to assure the customer that the running costs and throughput would be comparable with competitive equipment. As it transpired, throughput was well in excess of that promised thanks to a number of new product developments. Aspirated Convection System In order to enable processing of the latest generation of toughenable hard and soft coated Low E glass, at rates almost comparable to float, and increase the quality and processing speed for other glasses, the EFCO machine included a recently developed air aspirated convection system. Operator Interface Screen and Software The system is supplied with EFCOs newly upgraded graphical Windows based operator control station and system software to optimise throughput and produce high quality glass. A comprehensive recipe system with descriptive file names

and screens provide the operator with information on plant condition with pyrometric graphs assisting quality control. Enhanced and simplified fault alarm and machine condition pages ensure that the operator always has full knowledge and control of plant status. Insulation and Heating Element Design Developments in low thermal mass insulation materials and increased side wall insulation where rollers pass through the furnace side walls, has reduced heat losses. This has resulted in more stable furnace temperatures, lower energy costs and quicker heat up times.

The new tempering system was delivered in May 2005 and as it sits directly on the factory floor without the need for excavations or special foundations, within three weeks of delivery, it was fully commissioned, EFCO was the only supplier producing high quality who was happy to work with us toughened glass. EFCO engineers also trained the to establish our requirements BGL's operatives in the then supply a tempering system efficient use of the that would meet them . equipment.

In conclusion Dave Rama says: We are delighted with our new toughener. With EFCOs help we have created a facility capable of producing toughened glass quickly and cost effectively. The optical quality is excellent Even we find it difficult to tell between our toughened and standard float glass. We have such confidence in our product that we have applied for a licence from British Standards showing that our glass is

manufactured to current British and European standards. Although its early days; we are already enjoying repeat business from our growing customer list and are ahead of sales targets. If this continues we expect a return on our investment in about five years. For EFCO Furnaces Limited; this contract is another project to add to its large portfolio of successful installations. The company is a member of the Solent Steel Engineering Group and supplies its products to glass processors in over thirty countries.

We are delighted with our new toughener. With EFCOs help we have created a facility capable of producing toughened glass quickly and cost effectively

Dave and Jas Rama

EFCO Furnaces (2002) Ltd 5 Pipers Wood Industrial Park, Waterlooville, Hampshire, PO7 7XU, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)23 9223 2348 Fax: +44 (0)23 9224 1458 Email: sales@efcofurnaces.co.uk

EFC

O FU

RNACES (2002)

LTD