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Manufacturing glass 365 days a year

22 January 2019

Pilkington is part of the NSG Group and produces float glass on two lines – primarily for use as architectural glass. After ten years of continuous operation, the Float Two line needed to be modernised to ensure continued economical production.

Pilkington specified intelligent controls from its long-term partner, Siemens to help it reduce energy consumption and exhaust emissions and to give the line greater flexibility. The modernistation project had a challenging 100-day time frame. 

Over a 10-year period the line has produced up to 810 tonnes of glass daily, 365 days a year without a break. The upgrade was needed because spare parts supply is becoming increasingly difficult. The line needed to be completely shut down for this cold repair. As part of the upgrade, the existing process control system was replaced with a new solution from Siemens which had already been tested and approved in a factory acceptance test.

“By upgrading to a PCS 7 process control system, we now have a future oriented investment in place on Float Line 2 which we can operate with complete confidence,” said Reinhold Gietl, plant director. 

The new decentralised control system monitors precise maintenance of all variables during glass production. Intelligent controls also contribute to energy savings and to minimising exhaust emissions. At the same time, the open system architecture also provides a high degree of flexibility which is a precondition for further technical upgrades.

“Our central engineering department worked closely with Siemens specialists and colleagues from our Weiherhammer plant during the control system upgrade. The combination of automation and project management specialists worked perfectly,” concluded Gietl. 


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