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Air Force Infra Red Glass Dryer
With 12 manufacturing centres across Europe, there are few companies that can compete with Saint-Gobain Glass's production expertise. One example was a specialist vine patterned glass for Bristol Zoo's Monkey House to protect its monkeys from full public glare.
When the UK manufacturing headquarters in Bishop Auckland needed to increase its production processing of large screenprinted glass for commercial and industrial use, it contacted Natgraph.
The company had two immediate problems in the processing of screen printed glass. Firstly, the drying times were too long increasing the likelihood of getting impurities in the printed image on the glass's surface. Secondly, immense areas of factory floorspace were being used to dry architectural glass which were typically 5m x 2.5m x 19mm and difficult to handle because of their size.
Natgraph integrated its Infra Red Glass Dryer into Saint-Gobain's production line. This not only eradicated the problems immediately but also decreased the drying time considerably, thus boosting productivity by well over 20%.
Malcolm Edwards, Saint Gobain's Engineering Manager, said: "The Natgraph Air Force Infra Red Glass dryer's impact was huge and immediate. Not only did it enable us to dry faster and get things to the customer more quickly, but it also enabled us to improve the consistent quality of the glass we were printing. When glass is still in its liquid state, it is in danger of picking up lots of imperfections. Our glass is going into some prestigious buildings and it has to arrive perfect or it is worthless.
"We have been using other Natgraph drying systems here for years now and we have been very impressed with their reliability," continued Malcolm. "Working with Natgraph has enabled us to increase our business and help us to be more profitable."
The French-owned company's UK plant manufactures a range of quality, high performance glass. Products include thermal insulation, acoustics, safety, self-cleaning and solar control glass for the construction market.
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