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  
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