The future of the B&F department inside a Glass Plant?

Two years ago, I wrote this little memo in our Linkedin Page and received very interesting feedback.

As we are approaching Glasstec 2016 where Empakglass will present several software packages, ranging from Forming Simulation to Glass Properties & Colour Changes, we decided to place it in our new Website’s Blog, to bring back some highlight and focus on a very important contribution for Glass Companies results, often left to oblivion.

"Although not as visible as the IS Production and Mould Design departments, when we take in consideration the global process to produce glass, the Batch & Furnaces Operation becomes paramount. Taking this into consideration and having worked with several plants all around the world, I found a common trend when it comes to the approach to this specific Department and its importance on the overall process. On one hand, several plants look at this department in a way based on: “If it isn’t causing problems, let’s not change anything, we have bigger issues…” – leaving little room for continuous improvements;

And on another hand, I came to realize that the Human Resources philosophy regarding this department (hot, dusty and routine work, so the most vibrant people in the industry don’t want to do it, preferring instead for example, the IS production) the know-how of the staff in some cases as really fallen, making it extremely hard to have a continuous improvement working method.

Not helping on this situation is the fact that the majority of the companies, for financial reasons, are only hiring people at the last moment to substitute the staff that is retiring, leaving little time and motivation for the built in knowledge over the years to be passed to the new generations.

So, although, technologically we see that there has been advances across the years, either in the engineering or even control software, on the other hand, the staff that operates and decides these “mega investments”, aren’t technically so well prepared to handle them in order to maximize the furnace lifetime and the specific consumption, and translating financially into lowering the amortization costs and the cost per ton of produced glass across the years. ​Due to the specificities of this particular step in the glass production process, both in terms of raw materials, energy consumption and installation amortizations, it is the major contribution to the total specific cost of producing a ton of glass, make it decisive when talking about a Glass Plant being competitive or not in the market that it moves and for the full period of a campaign, which is roughly around a decade.

So, if this is so important, why don’t glass companies have a sensibility for considering the B&F operations critical for the future of the Organization? Won’t it financially pay off afterwards?”

We invite everyone to come to our 2016 open training workshops, to meet and talk face to face with our several Specialists.

Remember, these are seminars developed by professionals to professionals, on the glass packaging industry.

This year our Batch, furnace and glass conditioning training will be held between October 17th - 21st, in Lisbon. During this seminar Simulations for Colour Changes, Glass Properties and Operation Optimization (cost reductions) will be made with Empakglass's developed Software.

If you need more detailed information on the fees, dates and target audience, you can download our brochure here.

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