Today’s glass fabricators are investing. Faced with increasing demand and quality requirements alongside major challenges in labor and supply, companies are looking to new equipment and technology to keep up.
According to Glass Magazine’s 2022 Top Glass Fabricators Report, 81 percent of fabricators invested in new capital equipment in 2021, and 71 percent of fabricators intend to invest in new equipment in 2022. Companies are automating—68 percent automated some part of manufacturing process in 2021. And they are optimizing their factory floors—79 percent increased their use of software in 2021.
However, in order to maximize efficiencies of new equipment and optimize production across the full production line, fabricators must plan ahead, say equipment and software suppliers.
During Glass Processing and Automation Days, or GPAD, representatives from leading equipment suppliers will present best practices for incorporating new machinery and offer insights on how to avoid common pitfalls of the process. GPAD, which runs March 29-30 at the Grand Hyatt in Nashville, will kick off with a Whole Factory Solutions panel discussion where suppliers will discuss the dos and don’ts of investing in new machinery, equipment and technology.
Representatives from five glass factory equipment suppliers will offer insights on when and how to bring suppliers together to ensure new equipment can be integrated seamlessly into operations. Panelists include Brandon Bogart, president, Airtho Cleanrooms; John Hickey, business manager Digital Glass, Dip-Tech, a Ferro Co.; Troy Larson, U.S. area manager, Forel North America; Nancy Mammaro, CEO, Mappi; and Steve Steele, solution specialist, Billco Manufacturing. The moderator will be Ron Crowl, managing director of FeneTech Inc. and GPAD Founding Partner.
Key questions the panel will discuss
- How should a fabricator prepare for new equipment?
- When should suppliers be brought together to discuss adding new technology to the shop floor?
- What are the downfalls of waiting to bring suppliers into the process?
- Is there such thing as too much technology on a glass shop floor?
- What is the next big thing coming for the factory floor to move the industry forward?
Driving change, quality considerations, maintenance and more
In addition to the Whole Factory Solutions panel, GPAD attendees will hear two days of educational presentations on everything from emerging technologies in glass fabrication to ensuring quality control on the floor. Presentations include:
- Automation and Integration - It All Starts with Software, from FeneTech Inc.
- Automation and Virtual Reality - Bovone Recipe for the Glass Factory of Tomorrow, from Bovone
- The Next Generation of Laminating Glass - the IFL Process, from Burkle North America
- Combined to Finish in the Future, from Machines & Wheels
- How Automating Protective Coatings Helps Futureproof the Glass Industry, from Diamon-Fusion International
- Automation and Integration: What Drives the Change and How to Select the Right Partner and the Right Project, from Lattuada North America
- Futureproofing Your Fabrication Line with Planned Maintenance, from HHH Equipment Resources
- Choosing the Optimal Glass Quality Inspection and Automation Technologies: Understanding these Complimentary Keys to Consistent High-Quality Production, from LiteSentry / Softsolution
- Human Error: How To Minimize It and Recover from the Inevitable Crash in Your Glass Fabrication Plant, from CMS Industries
- Glass Defect Detection Utilizing Scanning Technology - an Important Tool in Realizing the Automation Dream, from Viprotron North America
- Automating Flat Glass Fabrication – A continuous improvement process allowing to pivot quickly and efficiently to handle the future’s needs, from DeGorter Inc.