NewsAnalysis: JUMBO GLASS
Big Glass” Manufacturers Face
Numerous Production Considerations
umbo-sized glass starts out like
most any other architectural
glass product, through the ﬂoat
process. And as the technology con-
tinues to gain interest, the industry is
increasingly making strides to become
involved. And as the glass gets bigger,
so does the equipment needed.
Guardian Glass,for example,has been
producing jumbo-size ﬂoat glass both in
the U.S. and globally for some time.
“We do it every day around the world,”
says Chris Dolan, director of marketing
for Guardian Glass North America. He
says the company also produces coat-
ings on jumbo ﬂoat glass at multiple
locations, and recently announced con-
struction of a new jumbo coater in the The key difference in producing jumbo glass compared to standard-sized
U.S., which will be its ﬁrst here.
“Our new jumbo coater will expand
products is that the equipment used must also increase in size.
our current sputter coating capabili- Gobain, says while the processes to portation, the whole process for jumbo
ties, but requires us to scale up the size produce both standard-sized glass glass is unique.
of coating equipment, the conveyors, as well as those at large dimensions
“We have special unloading equip-
targets and the handling systems,”says are the same, there are some unique ment and storage racks,” he explains.
Dolan. He adds that the new coater will details.
“The whole line is designed for jumbo
“Most demanding are the in-house size manufacturing.”
He adds that shipping also requires
be co-located with an existing ﬂoat
line.“This means the ﬂoat glass can be transport and the glass handling itself,”
cut to jumbo size on the ﬂoat line, and he says. “To meet these requirements, open top containers and/or low trailers.
then transferred to the coater quickly we ordered a special inloader that is “Every job has to have intense engi-
and without additional cutting re- able to transport glasses up to 18 me- neering to avoid issues later in the ﬁeld.”
quired. It’ll be a very efﬁcient process, ters. This is an individual produced in- Back in the U.S., Vitro Architectural
all under one roof.” loader for these special demands. Due Glass,formerly PPG Glass,is also build-
European manufacturer Saint- to the fact that [our] main target mar- ing a new jumbo magnetron sputtered
Gobain is also involved with jumbo ket is located overseas, logistics is the vacuum deposition glass coater at its
glass production. At the BAU Show, biggest challenge at these dimensions.” Wichita Falls, Texas, plant.
which took place this past January in
Dolan agrees and says shipping the
The $55 million investment, ﬁrst an-
Munich, Germany, the company an- glass to the fabricator is a huge consid- nounced last fall, will enable the Mon-
nounced plans to expand its product eration. For example, jumbo glass can terrey, Mexico-based manufacturer to
portfolio by offering glass sizes up to be more expensive to transport and produce low-E glasses in larger sizes.
9 x 10.5 feet. The development is in requires specialized carriers, such as
collaboration with Thiele Glas based in double-drop trailers.
Lossatal/Körlitz, Germany. Speaking of fabricators, Colum-
Viracon has also added jumbo-sized
The company has been taking orders
Andreas Bittis, product manager bia-based Tecnoglass also produces for oversize units since mid-2016 for
coated glass/market manager façade large sizes. Carlos Amin, vice president shipments starting May 2017.
and project business with Saint- of sales, says with handling and trans-
—Ellen Rogers n
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | March 2017