Glass international may 2015

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May 2015 | Vol. 38 No.5


Glass International May 2015

Sorg Cullet preheating the past the present the future



22 & 23 September 2015 Expo Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico

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May 2015 Vol.38 No.5

April 2015 | Vol. 38 No.5



Glass International May 2015

Sorg Cullet preheating the past the present the future


Editor’s Comment


International News

11 Interview: Phoenix Award winner Mr Surasak Decharin of Bangkok Glass 14 Mexico history: From tequila to beer Mexico’s history with container glass




18 Personality profile: Rolf is The-mann for GPS

22 & 23 September 2015 Expo Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico

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21 Company profile: Ekran invests in its facility

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Front cover image courtesy of Sorg 2015

24 Country profile: Russia StekloSouz and Expocentre get ready for Mir Stekla 2015


Environment 29 Thermochemical regenerator system proves itself at Pavisa 32 Ceramic filters for glass furnace off-gas treatment 36 FERVER: Europe’s glass recyclers 39 Glass decarbonisation and energy efficiency roadmap to 2050 41 Gas recovery systems for float glass lines

Plus find us on Linked-In and Twitter.


43 History 44 Technical topics 45 GTS joins ICG technical committee Events world 46 Glass Focus: The industry and its supply chain 47 Furnace Solutions celebrates 10 years


47 Diary

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Editor’s comment

Greg Morris Editor: Greg Morris Tel: +44 (0)1737 855132 Email: Editorial Assistant: Sally Roberts Tel: +44 (0)1737 855154 Email:

All eyes on Mexico after O-I’s Vitro acquisition


elcome to the May 2015 issue of Glass International. I write this comment moments after receiving the news that O-I plans to buy Vitro’s food and beverage business for $2.15 billion. This is huge news for the industry and is perhaps a reflection of how the global container glass industry currently regards Mexico. The country, famed for its great variety of beers and tequila, remains a glassmaking hub. Its glass food and beverage packaging market is expected to grow to 25 billion units by 2018 from 23 billion units in 2014, according to market research firm Euromonitor. The market has been driven primarily by strong demand for beer. Industry data shows glass packaging has maintained a 25% market share over the past 10 years in Mexico, despite fierce competition from rival materials. The agreement will see O-I gain control of Vitro’s five plants in Mexico and one in Bolivia which altogether employ 4700 people. O-I said the acquired business is expected to generate estimated annual revenue of $945 million. O-I, which gets more than two-thirds of its sales from outside the USA, said it expects the allcash deal to generate about $30 million in run-rate cost savings by 2018. The transaction dwarfs the $1.275 billion deal that Ardagh paid Saint-Gobain in January 2013 for its Verallia North America division. Initial market reaction was good. The

news sent shares in both O-I and Vitro soaring on their domestic stock markets. Vitro is Mexico’s largest supplier of glass containers and, according to O-I, controls nearly 40% of Mexico’s glass packaging market. Vitro’s two largest segments are food producers and the spirit and wine industry. The company also supplies bottles for soft drinks and beer. The acquisition marks the second major investment in Mexico by O-I in the past year. In October, it formed a joint venture with Constellation Brands to operate a plant in Nava, Mexico, that makes bottles for Corona Extra, Modelo and other beers. Through that venture, O-I plans to invest about $275 million to expand the Nava plant. It seems Mexico is the place to be. Ahead of the Glassman Latin America show in Guadalajara, Mexico in September, Glass International will publish several Mexican-related articles. These began in our April issue and continue in this edition with a report on the history of glass in Mexico. Watch this space in the next two issues for further Mexico-related features. Glass International was the first media outlet in our industry to break the news. We published an additional ‘news extra’ which was emailed to 32,000 glass industry professionals. I hope you liked it. Greg Morris Editor

Quartz Glass Portfolio

Monthly journal for the industry worldwide

Directory 2015 Annual international reference source

Designer: Annie Baker Tel: +44 (0)1737 855130 Email: Sales Director: Ken Clark Tel: +44 (0)1737 855117 Email: Sales Manager: Jeremy Fordrey Tel: +44 (0)1737 855133 Email: Production Executive: Martin Lawrence Subscriptions Tel: +44 (0)1737 855023 Fax: +44 (0)1737 855034 Email: Published by Quartz Business Media Ltd, Quartz House, 20 Clarendon Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 1QX, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1737 855000. Fax: +44 (0)1737 855034. Email: Website:

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International News

Glassman Europe deemed a success

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Left to right: Steve Diprose, Vice President, Quartz Business Media; Yann Crombecque, Member of the Regional Council; François Pierrot, Country Group Executive, O-I; Philippe Valentin, Vice President, CCI Lyon; Jean-Luc Logel, CEO, Iris Inspection Machines; Dr Bernd-Holger, President/CEO, Zippe; Ken Clark, Director, Glassman Europe, officially open the Glassman Europe exhibition.

Visitors from a host of French glass manufacturers attended the Glassman Europe show in Lyon, France on May 6 and 7th. Staff from Arc International, Verallia, Stoelzle, Ardagh and the world’s largest container manufacturer, O-I, all attended the event. Other manufacturers represented at the event included Bormioli Rocco, Corning, Ekran, Vetropack, Carib Glass and Yioula Glass. Total number of visitors was 635 plus a number of media representatives from newspapers and television. The more than 60 exhibitors – all suppliers to the hollow and container glass manufacturing industry – came from Europe and the Americas and included Iris Inspection Machines, Zippe, Heye International, Italy’s All Glass, BDF, Pennine Industrial and Sorg. Heye International’s Marketing Manager Mark Ziegler said the company had had a successful show.

“It was good to see so many customers visit our stand. In addition the conference was good with a strong line-up of speakers.” The company had organised a health and safety seminar with Iris Inspection Machines on the day before the show, which Mr Ziegler said had been a success. The two-day conference remained full for its entire duration with standing-room only for most of the papers. O-I France and Spain Country executive Francois Pierrot provided the opening, keynote speech at the conference. Further papers were provided by glass container association FEVE, recycling association FERVER, Food Packaging Forum, manufacturers Bormioli Rocco, Ardagh, Stoelzle, raw materials analysts IHS as well as from suppliers including BDF, Heye International and Praxair. A review of the event will appear in a forthcoming issue of Glass International. Glass International May 2015

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International News


Sisecam sales boost

Turkey’s Sisecam Group reported consolidated net sales of TL 6.9 billion ($2.52bn), up 15% compared to the previous year. In 2014, the group produced 4.2 million tons of glass, 2.1 million tons of soda and 4 million tons of industrial raw materials. It had a net profit of TL420 million ($153.8 million) and an EBITDA volume of TL 1.4 billion ($512.9 million) for the year ended December 31. 2014.

Agr enjoys Glassman Europe show

AGR said that the Glassman Europe show, in Lyon, France, was well attended and that Agr personnel enjoyed quality visits and discussions with several key glass container manufacturers and fillers. Focus of many of AGR’s discussions was its latest pressure tester, the SPT2, as well as the DSG and OmniLab systems. Interest was high in the new SPT2, which brings glass container automated pressure testing and volume measurement to an advanced level.

Spare parts boosts Bucher Emhart Glass

Bucher Emhart Glass increased its order intake in the first quarter of 2015 thanks to strong demand in its spare parts and service business. But it reported that investment in glass forming and inspection machinery was noticeably restrained, in its Quarter 1 2015 financial report. For the January to March 2015 period it reported an order intake of CHF88.5 million ($95.2 million), up 3.3% from the same period last year. Adjusted for Swiss currency effects, this would be a 14.4% rise. The group said: “Bucher Emhart Glass increased order intake in the first quarter. Adjusted for currency effects, the growth was even more pronounced.”

Helix receives seventh award O-I’s Helix cork and glass bottle system has won its seventh international award – this time in the UK. It won the Best Green Launch at the 2015 Drinks Business Green Awards in London. It is the only

drinks industry awards in the world that recognise and encourage environmental responsibility and sustainability. Patrick Schmitt, editor in chief of Drinks Business said that Helix had won through

a closely fought contest because of its ‘wow’ factor. “Helix’s appeal lies in its convenience and ease of opening, while also flagging up all the sustainability credentials of natural cork,” he explained.

O-I to buy Vitro for $2.15 billion Owens-Illinois (O-I) is to buy Mexico’s Vitro’s food and beverage glass container business for $2.15 billion. The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is subject to approval by Vitro’s shareholders and customary regulatory approvals. The deal is expected to close

within 12 months. Vitro is the largest supplier of glass containers in Mexico. O-I said the transaction provides it with a competitive position in the attractive and growing glass segment of the packaging market in Mexico. The agreement includes Vitro’s five plants in Mexico and one in Bolivia, which together

employ 4700 people. The current leadership of Vitro’s food and beverage glass container business will remain in place following the transaction close. The acquired business is expected to generate estimated annual revenue of $945 million and adjusted EBITDA of $278 million.

Encirc Director retires Peter Fitzgerald, Strategic Development Director at UK glass manufacturer, Encirc, is retiring following more than 17 years with the business. Peter joined Encirc as Sales and Marketing Manager in November 1997, when the company was still in its infan-

cy and before production had even began. He has played an integral role ever since, assisting with the development of a second site in Elton, Cheshire, UK and helping expand the business, which currently owns a third of the UK glass market.

Peter explained: “Retiring from Encirc was a huge decision for me. “Watching the business grow into the substantial entity it is today has been a fantastic experience, and one that I’ll struggle to walk away from.”

Thai inspection success for Iris One of Thailand’s leading energy drink producers has placed a further order for advanced non-contact inspection equipment from Iris Inspection Machines. The Osotspa Group accounts for more than 50% of the country’s energy drinks

market via its M-150 brand, backed up by strong sales to Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Via its Siam Glass Industry subsidiary, Osotspa operates three glass container plants in Thailand to satisfy the

group’s packaging needs. Iris’s inspection equipment was first installed at Osotspa’s Rojana glassworks three years ago and subsequently, several machines have also been purchased for the Samutprakarn and Ayutthaya factories.

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International News


Bottero appoints CEO

Italian glass technology and equipment company Bottero has appointed Marco Tecchio as its CEO. Mr Tecchio has a proven experience in managing high technology companies in different markets such as metal working, textiles, automotive and power electronics. He was directly involved in developing high tech business incubators and has a personal attitude for product and process innovations looking at the competitive development of the company.

Nippon closes site

Nippon Electric Glass (NEG) is to close its Fujisawa Plant, Japan. NEG suspended its Fujisawa plant operation of glass tubing for pharmaceutical use at the end of January, 2014 and transferred the production capacity to Otsu Plant. It blamed the shrinking domestic market for glass tubing for the transfer. The site was established in 1959 and all buildings and equipment will now be removed from the site.

Orora supplier award

Australia’s Orora Glass has won a Supplier of the Year award for 2014. Orora won the award from Australasian packaging group Lion Packaging. Peter West, Lion Dairy & Drinks Managing Director, presented the award to Greg Savage, General Manager Orora Glass. “This is presented to Orora based on its highest overall score from Lion for quality and delivery, as well as positive survey feedback from all sites and functions,” said Mr West. “Orora excelled in all pillars of measurement, supplying consistently high quality product as well as meeting Lion’s supplier quality expectations and working proactively to address identified opportunities,” Mr West added.

Schott celebrates 80 years of Brazilian production

On its 80th manufacturing anniversary in Brazil, Schott said it plans to support the growing number of domestic pharmaceutical companies by supplying pharma packaging that is manufactured domestically. Its facility, located near São Paulo, produces ampouleas, vials and cartridges. Schott has constantly modernised the Itupeva plant since it entered the Brazilian market, which manufactures according to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) principles.

In the last fiscal year, Schott has invested BRL 15 million ($5.1 million) in the facility. The products manufactured in Itupeva are used by pharma companies to store and administer life-saving medications to patients. “Brazil in particular is a very interesting market for us,” confirmed Andreas Reisse, Executive Vice President of Schott’s Pharmaceutical Systems Business Unit. “With these investments, we want to make sure that our South American customers are supplied in the best possible

way,” he added. A recent report from IMS Health revealed that Brazil will be ranked fifth among the major pharma markets in the world in 2018, displacing Germany in the process. Schott said it was in an excellent position to be able to support the growing pharma industry in Brazil. The plant’s production lines run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, contributing to the 9 billion units the company produces worldwide every year. Some 500 employees work at the 170,000m2 plant in Itupeva.

Mexican representative for EME EME Maschinenfabrik Clasen, has appointed Mr Miguel Ángel Espinosa León as its representative for Mexico. Miguel León joined the EME team in April 2015 and lives in Mexico City. He will

be the domestic contact for its customers, providing close proximity and knowledge combined to strengthen EME’s services. Mr León is educated in engineering and has more than

10 years experience with refractory production, installation and distribution, with a special focus on float glass and containers in Mexico, Central America and in the United States.

Horn supplies furnace to Ardagh Horn Glass Industries has supplied a 350tpd end fired furnace to Ardagh Glass in Gostyn, Poland. Ardagh Gostyn operates three regenerative cross fired-furnaces and contracted Horn to carry out the complete project, beginning from

the planning and engineering until forehearth refractory superstructure. Furnace number three was rebuilt in the first quarter of this year as a new regenerative end-fired furnace with four lines. The building was enlarged (height and length) be-

fore starting furnace works due to limitations in the building. The working end, together with forehearths 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4, was designed completely new. The new furnace is specified for 350 tpd flint glass and the melting area is 123.5m².

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Ardagh launches craft beer bottle

Ardagh has launched a 750ml beer bottle option, to cater to the US craft beer movement. Aiming to provide a more authentic feel for Belgian-style ales, the bottle is now available for purchase on Ardagh Group’s BuyOurBottles site. “The BOB platform is specifically designed for craft brewers interested in purchasing glass beer bottles by the pallet or truckload directly from us, the manufacturer,” said Robert Shanteau, Vice President of Beer Sales for Ardagh Group’s North American Glass division.


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Allied production line UK container manufacturer Allied Glass has redeveloped its L11 production line at its Leeds facility. It said the investment gave a boost to its commitment of having some of the most advanced factories in the European glass industry. The line begins with a new Emhart 12 section, double gob BIS machine, which has the latest electronic and servomechanisms to allow for more precision. This is served by a new wider Sorg forehearth, which has increased the capacity to produce larger volumes of conditioned glass.

The accompanying inspection line is fitted with modern equipment, enhancing inspection capability without compromise. It has new Tiama iCare 4 hot end inspection equipment and a new cross conveyor and Sheppee triple axis stacker system. There is also a fully automated, gas lehr alongside a modern cold end line, which includes a Graphoidal overhead and under-belt coating system as well as a Pro-Sight for ring, base and mould number detection and an upgraded MSC MCAL 3 side wall inspection unit.

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International News

German company Zippe Industrieanlagen has secured further orders for units of its new Vibrotube charger for 2015. It said customers reported a ‘significant increase in efficiency, higher melting rates, lower NOx values and lower overall melting energy consumption’. The new chargers will be operated at regenerative container glass furnaces with capacities between 130 and 320 tpd. Among others, a new Vibrotube charger will be delivered to German flint glass flaconnage and perfume bot-

tle manufacturer Spezialglas Piesau. The charger will be operated at a 130 tpd regenerative furnace. Another Vibrotube has been purchased and commissioned by Noelle + von Cam-

pe and was successfully put into operation last December. The company already had one Vibrotube in operation and decided on a second. The Vibrotube charger was launched at the glasstec show last year to much success.

Guardian expands its Michigan science and technology centre Guardian’s recently expanded Science and Technology Center (STC) demonstrates the company’s latest architectural glass products. The STC, based in Michigan, USA, has benefited from a 27,000ft2 expansion and is set to accelerate the rate of the company’s product design and develop-

ment, the company said. Highlights include a fullsize vacuum coater, a glass product showcase wall, an electrically wired full-scale demonstration wall for glazing technologies, and upgraded and expanded laboratory space. Sheldon Davis, Vice President, Research and Develop-

ment, Guardian Industries, said of the centre’s design: “We have built the exterior walls using our next-generation low-E glass – SunGuard SNX 51/23 – along with electricity-generating photovoltaic glass. “There are very few buildings today with this kind of facade technology.”

Anchor Hocking’s parent company files for bankruptcy The owner of Anchor Hocking glassmaker, EverywhereWare Global, has filed for bankruptcy. The US company said it was part of a prepackaged deal with lenders that will enable it to stay in business. EveryWare said the financial restructuring will cancel

$248 million of the company’s long-term debt. The company was formed in March 2012 by the merger of Anchor Hocking and Oneida but has been in financial crisis since early 2014 when it revealed larger-than-expected losses.

That led the company to renegotiate credit terms and temporarily shut down manufacturing operations at two sites in the USA. Anchor Hocking has two glass manufacturing sites in Lancaster, Ohio and in Monaca, Pennsylvania.

Glass Service seminar

The registration website for the Glass Service (GS) 13th International Seminar on Furnace Design Operation & Process Simulation is open. The website allows attendees to register for the event, as well as view the preliminary lecture programme of lectures (some lectures are still to be added). Papers will be given by glassmakers and institutes such as AGC; John Manville; Saint Gobain; Sisecam; Rona; Praxair; FIC UK; FlammaTec and Glass Service. For more info and registration visit: http://

Praxair Nadir success

Praxair has started up multiple plants serving the oxygen needs of Brazilian houseware manufacturer Nadir Figueiredo. Praxair’s oxygen is a major driver of Nadir Figueiredo’s production process and is being used to help the company manufacture its housewares, as well as food and drink packaging. Praxair’s plants are located in Sao Paulo state and produce a combined capacity in excess of 100 tonnes per day of gaseous oxygen.

Friends of Glass’s Taste of Europe campaign

Friends of Glass has launched the ‘Taste of Europe’ campaign in a bid to discover what tastes best represent the diverse range of cultures across Europe. The Friends of Glass community movement encourages Europeans to look beyond the label and choose glass packaging. It is inviting consumers to #MapYourTaste via an online quiz. All findings will be combined to define the ultimate ‘Taste of Europe’. More information mapyourtaste

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Vibrotube helps Zippe secure orders for 2015


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Phoenix Award Winner 2015:

Mr Surasak Decharin Mr Surasak Decharin of Bangkok Glass has been selected to be the 45th recipient of the Phoenix Award ‘Glass Person of the Year’ 2015. He spoke exclusively to Greg Morris about his career and pride at receiving the award.

How proud were you when you heard you had won the award? This certainly came as a complete surprise to me and I am delighted that the Phoenix Award Committee had nominated me. My career has been focused on a small slice of the industry and my experience has been only in the operations of a glass container manufacturer in Thailand. While I have been active in the glass industry for more than three decades, to have my name join the ranks of esteemed individuals who are all my well-respected colleagues, friends and celebrities of the glass industry such as Somany, Silva, Gallo, Swarovski and Pilkington, the moment I was informed that I was to join these ranks was undoubtedly a moment of both joy and pride at the same time. The joy was indeed personal, but the pride aspect is more collective, as Bangkok Glass was not and is not run by a single person. The success that the company achieved was due to shared efforts and so I am proud of the team and the determination of all of my Bangkok Glass colleagues.

What are your proudest achievements? I have a macro perspective on this and as Thailand is a developing country, people’s livelihoods are what matter to me most.

I strongly believe in giving people the opportunity to professionally develop themselves in their careers, while at the same time ensuring that their continued professional success will allow them to simultaneously provide for their families, both in terms of subsistence living, but also in education and advancement, so that they may one day be able to move their families forward, and collectively, become greater contributors to the national and ultimately the global economy. I hold personal pride and satisfaction when I see my colleagues and friends in the company grow in all aspects of their lives, beyond just glass container production. Our expansion over the past three decades has meant that the company has been able to provide for and support an increased number of families, and this is ultimately what matters to me most.

Was it always your aim to have Bangkok Glass as Thailand’s leading glass manufacturer? In my view, there is a thin line between intended success and surpassing expectations. We can all take comfort in knowing that big challenges always come with silver linings, sometimes big enough to make a huge impact. I started out in this industry after completing my postgraduate education in the UK, where my previous profession was banking, and so the challenge of taking on a real manufacturing company after an investment bank was certainly steep. But like all great inventions, such as penicillin, they were discovered by scientists on alternative quests. Ultimately, whether intended or not, the products I mentioned are great products which the world would find difficult to live without. Likewise, Bangkok Glass has achieved great things

throughout its lifetime because of the ambition and determination of its people and nothing can be taken away from that.

What is the key reason for your success with Bangkok Glass? Firstly I am not eligible to claim the success as my own, because success is never the creation of an individual, but is the sum of a team effort. The Bangkok Glass community has worked tremendously hard over the years to bring the company to where it is today. We are fortunate that Thailand has made tremendous progress since it emerged from World War II with thirdworld status, with a well-developed infrastructure. Thailand is responsible for 40% of the global computer hard drive exports, makes auto parts, assembles many of the cars and motorcycles sold in the region and was the largest exporter of pickup trucks. We have the skills necessary to compete and be successful, and beneath the calm, smiling exterior, Thai people are ambitious and determined, and put high value on progress.

Several Bangkok Glass sites flooded in 2011. Was this the lowest point in your career? As someone who maintains a regular routine of fitness and exercise, I view a career like a marathon and not a sprint, and therefore stamina is an important aspect of running a healthy business over the long term. We all have to take the good with the bad and natural disasters and/or political unrests are something that impact all businesses across all industries. The Ayuddhaya plant was totally submerged and while Continued>>


ince joining Bangkok Glass in September 1981, Mr Decharin has spent more than 33 years of his professional career with the company. After being appointed by the Board of Directors to the role of Director and President back in August 2000, he has been responsible for the company’s growth and expansion from a single 150ton furnace operation to the current 13 furnaces with 40 production lines.

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Phoenix Award winner

the team was successful in defending the Pathumthani plant, overall, the Bangkok Glass Group lost over 40% of its capacity and this caused a huge impact to the group financially. However, because longterm survival is like a marathon and not a sprint and while nobody would wish a repeat of the incident, I do not regard it as a low point. We have faced many crises ranging from natural disasters, political unrests, economic slowdown and the collapse of the financial sector, and yet all good businesses survive and pull through. For this, I was not only proud of the team when we restarted the furnaces after the flood, but I am proud of the team that has ensured Bangkok Glass’s survival through all the crises of the past three decades.

What interests you most about the industry? The glass industry is unique in that the basics of glass making methodology have not changed much in the past 10 centuries. The ingredients and concept remain largely the same, but the details and technological development have changed the face of the industry tremendously; for downstream businesses and end consumers, they may not realise that these incremental innovation have brought the speed and production capacity per hour up over 100 times in the past 100 years. Yet, with all this innovation and technological development, the people that are passionate about the industry remain and we still see the same faces, or sometimes, changing faces of different generations of the same family that continue to lead the charge into the future. The sense of community and belonging is unique, almost to an artistic degree.

What are the main challenges faced by the industry today? I can only answer from a glass packaging perspective, where the obvious challenge is competition from different packaging materials and formats that are more efficient to transport, but not necessarily more environmentally friendly on a large scale. However, I believe the challenges that are potentially more damaging to the industry are those we cannot see. I have seen industry colleagues succeed in improving pull rate, minimising defects, and running lines faster; all these are reasons why I believe the obvious challenges can be well-handled. While glass container production has declined in volumes in past years due to the introduction of other packaging

materials, glass will not become irrelevant. For instance, the idea of unbreakable glass bottles was talked about years ago, which will clearly help reduce the material’s shortcomings and compete with other packaging materials in the long term. Focusing on technological development in the current context alone will only deliver part of the long-term solution.

What are the main opportunities for the glass industry? Leading on from my last point, up until now the glass industry has been selling a product that is better than what manufacturing capabilities allowed yesterday. Bottles are lighter and stronger than before, and quality is improved. Not only that, there is innovation in colours, dipping, and closures that are becoming available in the market as we move forward. However, we should also look to other industries to see what made them great. IKEA did not succeed from making better bookshelves, and neither did Apple for making a better computer. These companies succeeded because they were able to evolve with change and manage the environment in which they operated, and I think the glass industry needs to look at examples from other industries to see what we can borrow.

What advice would you give to someone starting in the industry? My only tip is to try and maintain the best physical and mental health state through strong discipline of work and exercise, to ensure they do not burn out. The glass industry is dynamic, but the work we do is like moving a mountain. It is not like the services sector, where a new product can be invented through a smartphone application, or the selling model can change overnight. It takes a huge effort to effect a small incremental change, and so to be successful in this industry one needs to have the stamina and perseverance to see things through. It is normal to go through phases of good years and bad years. To be able to weather the storm we need to be sufficiently fit to build long-term collective focus. I recommend that people break larger projects up into smaller tasks that can be accomplished in a realistic amount of time, so that their time can be used effectively, leading to improved productivity.

Do you have any investment plans for Bangkok Glass? Bangkok Glass and its group of companies

have evolved with the times and diversified into several other non-glass activities. We started with production on only one site and have now evolved our philosophy to be closer to our customers by expanding to several other sites around the country. This is part of our long-term strategy to optimise on production at all sites so that we can leverage the breadth and scale that we have, to continue to be successful. We are also developing our capabilities to become a provider of total glass solutions, for example our float glass project, which will be our next big challenge. You may have heard that aside from businesses relating to glass packaging, the group is also active in non-glass businesses in packaging and also non-core activities, most famously from Bangkok Glass Football Club (BGFC) playing professionally in the Thailand Premier League. Investments in these non-glass activities will continue. We take as long term a view of these as we have taken in our glass business.

Is there anything that you would change about your career? To change something would mean to change for the better, as it is irrational to change for the worse. In my view, we can only regret the chances we did not take. I have made it a rule for myself never to regret and never to look back, except to search for value-adding experiences that will ensure we never make the same mistake twice. Without risk of appearing stubborn, there is little I would want to change from a professional perspective. I have very little more to ask for, having been part of a great team and been recognised in glass container manufacturing by the industry and now a recipient of the Phoenix Award, there is absolutely no room for regret.

What are your future plans? As an Executive Advisor and Director on the Company’s Board, I am no longer involved with the daily operations of the company. I – for the time being – remain active, so that I can continue to share the historical perspective of the business, provide context for the team, assist with a smooth and seamless transition and offer recommendations that will add value to the business, while maintaining a balance to have more time to enjoy life. r

Bangkok Glass, Thailand

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From tequila to beer: Mexico’s history with container glass


exico’s documented relationship with glass begins when the Spanish arrived in South America in the early 1500s. It is said that when they first invaded, the natives were so impressed with items such as glass beads that they would gladly trade them for gold. Up until that point, only naturally occurring volcanic and obsidian glass was known on the continent, but the arrival of Europeans also brought the advent of manufactured glass to the continent. The first glass made in the Americas was produced in the town of Puebla, Mexico, in 1542. A Spanish businessman constructed a furnace and set to work creating handmade vessels for holding liquids such as beer, wine, and water. By 1547 the glass items produced in Puebla were popular enough to be exported to Guatemala and Peru, despite the ban that was placed on the glassworks by the local council: Due to the great quantity of firewood consumed by the furnace, the council forbade the glassworks to chop or collect the necessary firewood from the local area. Over the next 200

years the glassworks continued to operate in the town using the same traditional handmade techniques, until the tradition died out somewhat in the 1700s. Glass blowing was later reintroduced back into Mexico and became very popular, largely because of the ready availability of the ingredients and the Mexican arts and crafts tradition, and hand blown Mexican glass products remain popular with tourists.

From handmade to automatic In 1889 Camilo Ávalos Raza, the first known Mexican master glassmaker, installed a factory in La Merced, Mexico City, which went on to become the principal provider of glass products in the country. Today, the original La Merced factory is still owned by the Ávalos Raza family, and continues to produce handmade decorative glass items for export all around the world. Camilo Ávalos Raza trained in a glass works owned by the French Quinar Continued>>

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It is fair to say that Mexico’s container glass industry has developed alongside and in tandem with its alcoholic beverage industry, with many factories and companies created for the sole purpose of making glass bottles for a specific drink. Ahead of Glassman Latin America in September, Sally Roberts took a look at the history of container glass in Mexico. family, and went on to make his fortune in Guatemala, Santa Ana Chiutenpan, Texcoco, Apizaco, San Juan de los Lagos, and Puebla. His three sons inherited the glassmaking business, and years later one of them, Odilon, went on to open another factory in Guadalajara, to satisfy the packaging needs of the burgeoning tequila industry. Although the Aztec people had previously made a fermented drink from the agave plant, it was the Spanish who, reportedly running out of Brandy, began to distil the agave liquid to create tequila as we know it in the 1520s. Following this, around the year 1600 the Marquis of Altamira began to mass-produce tequila in Jalisco, and soon after the Cuervo family was granted the first commercial licence for tequila by King Carlos IV of Spain. In 1884 Don Cenobio Sauza, the founder of Sauza tequila and the President of the village of Tequila, became the first person to export tequila to the US. It is amongst this backdrop that Odilon Ávalos Raza entered the market by installing his glass bottling plant in nearby Guadalajara.

20 years after Camilo Ávalos Raza began to establish his handmade glass empire, Vidriera Monterrey was founded in the north of the country and was the first glass factory in Mexico to produce container glass using an automated system (licensed from Owens-Illinois). Dedicated solely to producing beer bottles to meet the demand created by the Mexican industry, the factory opened in 1909. Although Mexico has a long history of producing beer, the real rise of beer in Mexico began in the 1850s: Its popularity

Máquinas (FAMA), in order to develop its own in-house industrial technology. Dedicated to the production of parts required for glass production machines, with FAMA the group was able to repair machines, produce parts on request, and make its own equipment. In 1949 FAMA produced its first fully automatic machine for the production of glass bottles, and in 1956 the company made its first export to the US, reversing the traditional flow of commerce. Its reputation for technical expertise continued to grow, and in the 1970s its technology further diversified

rose in tandem with the influx of immigration to the Americas, and by the 1920s there were over thirty breweries in Mexico. The production of beer was further bolstered when prohibition began in the US, and Vidriera Monterrey was perfectly placed near the border to cater to this flourishing market. Since then, the company that went on to become Vitro has played a prominent role in Mexico’s glass history, and is the largest and most firmly established glass manufacturer in the country.

with participation from Owens-Illinois, Ball Corp, and Linch machinery. These internal developments helped when the company was faced with external factors such as the great depression in the US, followed by the Second World War, and finally a block on imports that was brought in by Mexico. The eventual aftermath of all of these events was a high growth in industry, particularly in the 1950s, and many innovations were generated – particularly in the fields of flat, fibre and borosilicate glass. The block on imports, or ‘modelo de sustitucion’, that was adopted by Mexico was an economic development strategy that aimed to promote the domestic production of consumer goods by imposing tariffs on and barring certain imports. The glass industry was one of those that succeeded in using it to its advantage, with Vidriera Monterrey in particular taking advantage of the block to dominate domestic sales. The

Vitro: Technological progress As well as being the first automated container glass company in Mexico, in 1928 Vidriera Monterrey expanded into flat glass and by 1930 it had opened the first float glass plant in the country. By 1935 the company had began to export its products to other Latin American countries, and had developed a strong reputation in the region for investing in and developing the latest technology. In line with this, in 1943 it invested in the subsidiary company Fabricación de




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successful Vidriera Monterrey later became Grupo Vitro, and in 1974 the company was listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange. In 1985 Vitro Packaging was created with its base in Texas, to act as the sales and distribution branch for the US market. More recently, Vitro has acquired or started businesses across Central and South America, including Vidrio Lux, the largest glass container producer in Bolivia, and Vitro Colombia, which specialises in architectural and automotive glass. Today, Vitro has maintained its position as the premier glass manufacturer in Mexico and Latin America for more that 70 years, and as well as Mexico, Bolivia and Colombia the company also has production facilities in Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, the US and Panama. In 2013 Vitro reported sales of $1.675 billion, and employed 15,730 people, and recently the company accepted a $2.15 billion bid from international giant Owens Illinois (O-I) for its food and beverage glass container business.

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Today, some of Mexico’s iconic glass designs, such as the margarita glass and the Mexican Coke bottle, have a firm standing in popular culture around the world. Mexi-Coke, as it is often referred to, has developed a cult following in the US due to its ‘more natural’ taste, which is accredited both to the rumour that Mexican Coke is made using cane sugar, and the fact that it is always served in glass bottles rather than plastic. Mexi-Coke bottles are manufactured to a thick 355ml or 500ml specification, and have screen-printed enamel labels instead of the vinyl label wrapped around plastic bottles. The reason behind Mexican Coke’s thicker bottle has not been clarified, with theories ranging from it providing extra protection from breakage as the bottles are transported around Mexico’s roads, to helping to keep the liquid cool and protected from the sun in the country’s scorching summers. The margarita glass was designed specifically to hold Mexico’s most famous tequila cocktail, and today it is used in bars across the world to serve a variety of cocktails. As with the coke bottle, the original reasoning behind its shape is debated: Theories range from it mimicking the shape of a cactus plant, to the perhaps more believable theory that there was a demand for a glass similar to the Champagne glass, which was then enlarged to accommodate the added volume caused by adding ice to the liquid. Supposedly, margarita glasses were made from recycled Coke bottles, explaining the mottled green colour of the originals and giving an insight into Mexico’s early cullet recycling systems. Today, Mexico’s container glass industry is thriving, with its continued beer and tequila production continuing to provide ample business, and its geographical location making it well placed for exports. As well as Vitro there are a number of manufacturers that cater to the international market, such as Fevisa and Pavisa, as well as independent factories dedicated to the domestic market. As well as homegrown manufacturers, O-I is established in Mexico, recently forming a 50-50 joint venture with Constellation Brands to own and operate a glass container production plant dedicated to producing beer bottles in Nava, Mexico.

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Glass personality profile

Rolf is The-mann for GPS Well-known industry expert Rolf Themann has recently joined German company GPS as its General Manager. He spoke to Sally Roberts about his new role and about his fascinating career in the container glass industry. What made you choose the glass industry as your career path? By coincidence! I was a mechanical engineer working in various fields such as air conditioning and welding robots for automotive, always in R&D. At the end I was a project manager for implementing coating lines, packing lines and batch dosing mixing. Then I got the opportunity to become part of a family business in a Czech company which works in container glass, namely a producer of hot end equipment for the container glass business. Well, I got the opportunity and I said to myself, new culture, new language, new technical field which sounds interesting, and so I went for it. I have never regretted my decision.

How long have you worked in the glass industry, and what was your first job? I have worked for the container glass industry since 2004. I first carried out a few internal projects to reorganise some structures, departments and processes, but in the same year I became Technical Director of that company. Later in 2008 I was, on top of my position as Technical Director, one of the two Managing Directors until the end of 2014. During this time I was responsible for the technology and mechanical developments, as well as electronically both hardware and software wise.

How did you come to specialise in IS machine engineering? It just happened: the company I worked for was at that time probably number five or six in the market, with reliable, but not very appealing equipment, not known in the west. So after some time, visiting glass plants, studying the needs of customers, and comparing this with what we offered, I started to have an idea of what a modern IS machine could look like. Finally people started to listen to me, and from 2008 we started to develop a new IS machine platform. We all learned a lot during that exciting time. And the more you engage yourself with something like this, and you listen to customers carefully, the more you become an expert in the field.

As well as being General Manager of GPS, you are also Managing Director of T&T. Can you tell me a bit about this company?

“We want to become one of the top three players in the container glass market and want to achieve a sustainable growth for GPS. I think we have everything we need to reach such


a goal.

Once I decided to move away from my previous company where I had worked for almost 11 years, I had the idea to open up my own business: an R&D company, which can do projects, developments and engineering for all those who need something new, something to improve, or something the main suppliers are not interested in developing for them. It was obvious that I wanted to work for the same industry as I am completely fascinated by it – also I have all the contacts and knowhow for it. And just when I had set it all up, the opportunity with GPS came along and it quickly became clear that this could be a beneficial cooperation for both parties. So what we now do is that the two of our companies work together. We support them with R&D works and purchase jobs in the local environment, as we have the local knowledge and this can help to optimise costs.


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Glass personality profile

How do you split your time between these two senior positions? Usually its 60% in GPS and 40% in T&T, however, I carry out many customer visits where I am there in the capacity of both companies, so I am really able to work for the two companies at once. With all the modern tools this is not an obstacle. I am also supported by a great team of people.

What are your immediate plans for GPS? GPS has not developed enough new things and innovations in the past few years, so my real focus will be to boost sales by having new products. Next to this we will focus on service, as service is still not as good as it must be in our industry.


Is there anything in particular that you intend to focus on at GPS, such as ‘green’ technologies, or safety? Certainly we will focus on safety. This has been the case before, but of course I will continue with it. And yes, green technologies, or energy savings, are for sure some of the tasks we are working on. That’s all integrated when it comes to new developments.

How much of GPS’s business is with customers external to the Verallia group, and are you looking to expand this market?


Yes certainly we want to expand our market outside of the Verallia group. It is always good to have a strong partner and to serve its internal requirements. However, sometimes it also creates obstacles, as you might not need to be as innovative because business seems to be guaranteed anyway. But this is not and cannot be the case – this has been recognised, and we are looking very enthusiastically to the future. Some first developments are on their way and there are many more to come. Apart from this, we cannot state how much business is internal versus external as it varies depending on internal projects, politics, and other macroeconomic approaches.

How will the anticipated sale of Verallia by SaintGobain affect GPS? Of course it will have some impact, but we do not anticipate such an immediate impact as it might seem in the first place. All those plants that have GPS equipment will continue to ask for spares, service, and new equipment. Combined with an increasingly innovative GPS we can master any new challenges and will become even more attractive for the world markets.


What are your long-term plans and goals for GPS? We want to become one of the top three players in the container glass market and want to achieve a sustainable growth for GPS. I think we have everything we need to reach such a goal. We have a strong brand with years of experience, with a good and sound customer base, as well as a stable and well-educated work force. There is a lot of expertise, and the quality of the equipment made in Germany is really outstanding. This in combination with customer support and new attractive innovations for the market will foster the growth of GPS.

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Company profile

Ekran invests in its facility Russian container glass manufacturer Ekran has just completed the cold repair of its 300 tonne melting furnace. Managing Director, Pavel Bobosik, reports that more investment is planned.


s Ekran’s Managing Director Pavel Bobosik confirms, the company has just completed a cold repair of the Siberian manufacturer’s largest furnace after five years in use. Many lines for the production of glass bottles and jars were constructed during the ‘bubble’ of 2002-2010 when investors were forced to replace original furnace materials with cheaper materials. The unreliable electricity supply in some regions of Russia caused a rapid wear in glass melting furnaces and, therefore, constant repairs have became industry standard. Since 2008 the Russian glass packaging industry has been in crisis, as the world economic recession caused the expansion of this glass industry segment to stop.

“We expect that a new equilibrium on the market will be found in the next investment cycle in this industry...

Overcapacity, which had built up as a result of greenfield investment in the 2002-2010 period, created a 50% overhang of supply over demand. The economic crisis, combined with a reduced demand for glass-bottled beer and vodka due to increased regulation of the alcoholic beverage market, caused financial losses for investors and banks. The slight easing of the fall in demand in 2012 could not stop the crisis in the Russian glass packaging industry. “We are observing a ‘lost first investment cycle’ in this industry,” confirmed Mr Bobosik, originally

 Pavel Bobosik, Managing Director of Ekran.




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Company profile

from the Czech Republic. He had initially audited the non-performing debt of the Czech Export Bank at glass sites in Russia and Ukraine, financed by the Czech Export Bank. After finishing the audits he began working in executive and nonexecutive positions on two of the non-performing projects. The Czech state-owned institution for the promotion of Czech exports was one of those hit by the blow up of the industry in the first investment cycle, alongside many Russian banks. Mr Bobosik said: “The crisis in the banking sector is slowing any solution, as domestic Russian banks are missing reserves for the write-off of bad debt at many bankrupt glass projects. This way they are extending the existence of bankrupt companies, which are continuing to reduce the market price for bottles. “We expect that a new equilibrium on the market will be found in the next two to three years and the next investment cycle in this industry will show standard economic results typical for the industry.” The boom and burst in demand has led to reduced prices per bottle. In 2006-2007 the standard price per bottle was around 6 to 7 rubles. Now it is around 3.5 to 3.8 rubles. For the same bottle at current exchange rates, multinational brewers paying in Europe would pay around 6 to 7 rubles.

modernisation of its facility. In spite of the economic decline in the Russian economy, the company is preparing for the modernisation of its 180 tonne furnace. The project will cost $10 million and will also involve the overhaul of three glass forming machines and the construction of a new colouring feeder. “We have to stay on top and be able to satisfy any demand from our regional customers. Last year we invested €1.5 million into new inspection machines and another €1.2 million into a new NNPB line. The current crisis and the decline of the Russian ruble exchange rate could have downsized our modernisation plans, but lower costs for construction connected with the economic crisis have leveraged this negative geopolitical and economic situation,” added Mr Bobosik.

Prices The Ekran CEO confirmed that buyers are using this oversupply of bottle capacity to keep prices down. Surviving glass factories, which are economically dead and will never return any invested money, have only extended this situation of fallen or slowly recovering sales prices and increasing costs. However, Ekran, based in Novosibirsk, Siberia is in a better situation since the boom of the new glass manufacturing capacities in the European part of Russia did not extend over the Ural mountains to Siberia. The Ekran glass factory has sales potential from the large multinational buyers and federal vodka manufacturers in Novosibirsk. Around Novosibirsk many local independent beer, vodka and mineral water manufacturers also operate. The nearest small glass factory is 250km away with only two machines, while another larger bottle manufacturer is almost 700km away. This year, although oil prices on the international markets went down, transportation costs went up on domestic railways by 10% and export railway tariffs went up by 20%. “As well as local and international customers around Novosibirsk and in Western Siberia, we can also export our bottles to Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan and Tajikistan which gives us the opportunity of ‘buffer markets’,” explained Mr Bobosik. This extraordinary situation has given confidence to Ekran to further invest in the


“I am sure that from the ashes of the ‘boom and burst’ first investment cycle, will be born a new group of companies that meets more customer


He added: “We are working not only on the reconstruction of fixed assets and modernisation of glass technology, but one of my aims here is to create a team of local managers with the ability to change the culture in the factory, increase quality of production and to create capacity for further improvements.” The Ekran CEO came to Siberia in December 2013, after serving on the Board of Directors during the restructuring of the Czech Export Bank debt. After debt restructuring he stayed on as a result of the invitation of majority shareholder Eduard Taran in this position, and later he became CEO. Mr Bobosik, a retired entrepreneur of the glass industry in Central Europe, explained what brought him from the West to Siberia: “The main shareholder of Ekran, Mr Eduard Taran, and I share the same dream and we are working on it. Revitalising Ekran is a priority after years of struggle and financial losses and we want to Continued>>

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Company profile

work together to consolidate the Russian glass packaging industry. “Although geopolitical and local economic conditions are not optimal to create a group of investors for a project of consolidation in the glass packaging industry, we have no doubts that this is going to happen. The question is only when, and who, will consolidate the industry. Apart from Turkish Sisecam’s daughter company Ruscam, all the manufacturers are split into many independent factories. “In the glass packaging industry this is an unrealistic industry pattern; the results of these companies have shown that this is not a viable pattern here in Russia. Together with Mr Taran we are talking to many partners and banks, and are getting ready for a consolidation project in these difficult economic conditions. “I am sure that from the ashes of the ‘boom and burst’ first investment cycle, will be born a new group of companies that meets more customer needs than in the first investment cycle, with better availability of a professional working force than in the first investment cycle, and with standard economic results. I want to be a part of it,” he added.r

Ekran, Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia.

June 8 - 11, 2015

Moscow, Russia

13th International Seminar on Furnace Design June 17 - 18, 2015 Velke Karlovice, Czech Republic

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Country profile: Russia

StekloSouz and Expocentre get ready for Mir Stekla 2015

 Mr Osipov, speaking at an earlier event.

Glass International spoke to Viktor Osipov*, CEO of StekloSouz Russia, ahead of Mir Stekla, which takes place on 8-11 June 2015 in Moscow. Glass International is the main Mir Stekla media partner.

What is the current state of the Russian glass industry? Russia’s glass industry increased production from 4.2 million tonnes of glass in 2000 to 11.6 million tonnes in 2014. The total production incorporates flat glass, containers, technical glass, fibre glass, foam glass, medical and perfume glass. Production in the glass containers market is as follows: In 2000, domestic consumers received 5.6 billion glass units, of which around 62% was imported into Russia from all around the world. But by 2010 all domestic container glass consumption in Russia was met by domestic manufacturers. In 2010 total glass container production was 14.2 billion glass units, of which about 22% was wide-necked containers for fruits and vegetables. In the last two years this figure has slightly reduced to 12.5 – 13.5 billion units annually. From 2010 Russia increased its glass

container exports to the nearby CIS countries. Exports went from 0% in 2000 to 14.2% of production in 2011. By 2020 Russia should be export-oriented, with exports set to grow to 18.3%. The national glass industry continues to grow steadily. The recent political situation and current external economic pressure on Russia has impacted on many segments of the national glass industry. We have embarked on a programme of import substitution in the production of flat glass, windows and doors, medical glass, glass containers for alcoholic beverages market, as well as machinery and equipment. An approved anti-crisis plan for the development of the glass industry was approved in February 2015 and will rely on government programmes and state support.

Who are the major players in Russia’s container glass manufacturing industry? The main producers of hollow glass in Russia are Glassworks, Chagoda-Lipetsk Glassworks, Light, Plant Screen and Kamyshinsky Glass Factory. Two major international players, Sisecam Group and Saint-Gobain, have a strong position in Russia. Anadolu Cam Sanayii established the Ruscam company in Russia in 2001. It has five plants and is the largest bottle supplier to the domestic beer market. Saint-Gobain has nine glass works in Russia, of which two are container plants, including the largest, Saint-Gobain Kavminsteklo, which operates under the Verallia brand. In 2013, the Russian Government decided to intensify efforts to combat the excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. As a result, the market in Continued>>

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Country profile: Russia

z The StekloSouz booth at last year’s Mir Stekla event.

alcohol consumption decreased by 20%, especially in the beer industry. This led to a decrease in the consumption of glass containers, which caused overproduction. StekloSouz is working with manufacturers of dairy products, juices and mineral water to expand the use of glass containers in these sectors. I am confident that the expansion of consumption of fruits and vegetables in wide-necked glass containers, as well as fish, coffee and oil will lead to a rise in production and demand for glass packaging in 2015.

Can you tell us more about StekloSouz and its role in the development of the glass industry in Russia? StekloSouz (GlassUnion) is the National United Council of Glass Industry Enterprises, which includes up to 150 members. Of these, our glass manufacturer members cover about 80% of the glassware market, 70% of flat glass, 60% industrial glass, as well as practically all 100% of the Russian glass engineering, refractory and quartz sand producers. StekloSouz’s key task is the support, development and restructuring of the glass industry. Its other tasks include studying consumer demand for the glass market, working on increasing the consumption of glass and the competitiveness of companies, as well as increasing the amount of information and business contacts. StekloSouz is certified to 185 national standards to ensure quality control of products and to tighten the requirements of glass product standards. StekloSouz is actively involved in the development of the industrial processing of glass into effective products. For example, in the past five years Russia has expanded its production of foamed glass. It now has seven plants that produce

granulated glass and two plants for glass gravel. In 2014 it launched the first plant for production of foam glass.

How ‘green’ is Russia’s container glass industry? The environmental standards of our modern glass factories meet all Russian environmental legislation requirements. However, European legislation on emissions of harmful substances into the environment is much stricter. We have an understanding of the need to develop indicators of European standards, and to encourage the use of green technology. The glass industry is an energy-intensive sector. National glass production consumes about 13% of the electricity and 8% of the fuel of all industrial consumption in Russia. Domestic environmental and energy legislation is continuously tightening emission specifications while at the same time improving production and introducing new technologies. Since 2000, more than 80% of glass container manufacturers in Russia have modernised their production facilities and today this important segment of the industry is equipped with the most up-todate machines and equipment. All recent projects by glass container works in Russia use modern technology and equipment supplied by world-known global glass machinery suppliers, most of which are regular participants at Mir Stekla.

How does StekloSouz support the Mir Stekla event? StekloSouz knows the role and importance of international exhibitions for the industry. Since 2000, it has taken a collective stand at various international exhibitions. In recent times the priority for us of course has been the number one exhibition in Russia – Mir Stekla (World of Glass).

Mir Stekla is the largest event in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and covers the production of glass products, technologies, equipment, raw materials, refractory materials and engineering. Exhibitors include more than 250 companies and the number of visitors exceeds 10,000. Half of the visitors come from abroad and we like to create the most comfortable conditions for them. For example, special companies provide a ‘turnkey’ stay in Russia – dealing with everything from visas to hotels of any class. Logistics companies and a customs terminal at the Expocentre facilitate the participation of foreign companies. The high position of the Russia and CIS countries in the acquisition of machinery and equipment, supported by the development of the glass market in Russia and CIS countries, is a key factor for exhibitors. Exhibitors know that specialists from Russia and CIS countries do not often visit overseas exhibitions, so this event gives participants the opportunity to see glass industry trends. Mir Stekla is an excellent tool for the economic prosperity and successful development of joint business with foreign partners. The key event of the Mir Stekla 2015 business-related programme is the annual International Forum ‘Glass and Modern Technology – XXI Century’ organised by StekloSouz. We would like to invite your worldwide readers to participate in the forum, held as part of Mir Stekla 2015. The main speakers will be from Russian and European glass associations and companies. It is worth noting that there are several other events taking place in the Expocentre at the same time as Mir Stekla 2015. This includes the electrical and lighting industry event Electro 2015, as well as the trade fair trio Metallurgy Litmash, Tube Russia and Aluminium/ Non-Ferrous 2015. The Expocentre envisages the arrival up to 30,000 specialists from abroad and all Russia’s regions. This is a huge advantage to overseas visitors, as many events will be held simultaneously in the Expocentre. We hope to see Glass International readers soon in Moscow! r

*CEO of the StekloSouz Russia, and Chairman of the Organising committee of Mir Stekla.

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is Machines control systeMs Efficiency and productivity are key success factors for glass forming manufacturing industries, this has brought the realization of BDF philosophy, innovative electronic control systems for IS Machines, in order to offer secure, efficient and energy savings solutions. • 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 section IS machines; • SG, DG, TG, QG • Tandem capability • Reduced set of PLC components • Ethernet communication and remote access for quick troubleshooting through Internet or modem 40% energy saving with a.F.e. technology Energy saving thanks to an original and innovative power supply system (A.F.E.) which recovers the energy generated by servo motors during their decelerations.

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PPC 250 R (3,5,6) is suitable able for hardfacing of roraty and non n rotary parts, on the circumference, on the face (R5 and R6, - R3 only rotating part) and it is also possible to o hardface internal diameters from m minimum inner diameter of 50 mm. It is variable where possible ble (according to customers order)) this machine is ďŹ tted with 3 conontrol axes (R3), 5 control axes (R5) and 6 controll axes (R6) and according to o how many axes the machine iss automatically set for what application cation it is suitable for. In the maximum setup (6 axes) es) it is top of the range according to o present trends. Suitable for applications with th maximum load of 30 kg. This machine is smaller than n previous machines offered by KSK. SK. It is a more compact device.

The hardfacing process is realized in a close (secure) working area and it is possible to control this process directly throught the window, equipped with welding glass. It is also possible to have the machine ďŹ tted with an extractor (for waste gasses).

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Iyoha U. *, Wu K.*, Laux S.*, Kobayashi H.*, de Diego J. ** outline a regenerator system that, after evaluation at Mexican glass manufacturer Pavisa, led to 15 to 16% natural gas and oxygen savings compared to an oxy-fuel furnace.  Fig 3. In-furnace animation of Optimelt system in end-port configuration.

Thermochemical regenerator system proves itself at Pavisa stream which is combusted in the furnace with oxygen. This combined preheating and reforming process results in a net reduction of natural gas and oxygen of about 20% to 30%, compared to conventional oxy-fuel and regenerative air-fuel furnaces, respectively.

Optimelt heat recovery process In the Optimelt system, unlike conventional oxy-fuel furnaces, the flue gas is directed to a regenerator chamber where it is cooled to about 1200-1300°F (650-705°C) before exiting the regenerator. A portion of the cooled flue gas is then recycled, mixed with the natural gas and introduced at the bottom of the other regenerator (Fig 1). This mixture absorbs energy stored in the

refractory checkers. When the gas mixture is heated above a certain temperature, various endothermic chemical reactions occur at atmospheric pressure without the need for additional heterogeneous catalysts or separate steam generation. The combination of preheating and endothermic chemical reaction produces a hot syngas stream which has a higher heating value about 1.2 to 1.3 times the heating value of the natural gas fed into the bottom of the regenerator (depending on the flue gas temperature and extent of reforming achieved in the regenerator). The ability to upgrade the energy content of the natural gas fuel into higher energy-content syngas in the Continued>>

Hot syngas to furnace

Endothermic reaction to syngas (CO and H2)


mproving energy efficiency and reducing operating costs of glass melting furnaces have been continuous goals for the glass industry, especially for glass plants located in geographic regions with high priced natural gas. The conversion of air-fuel furnaces to oxy-fuel combustion is generally known to improve furnace energy efficiency and reduce natural gas consumption. However, operating costs are not always reduced unless there are savings from the avoidance of downstream emissions control, and about a quarter of the fuel energy input to the furnace is wasted as sensible heat in the flue gas. Recovering this waste energy from the flue gas has the potential to further improve energy efficiency and substantially reduce the operating costs of oxy-fuel glass furnaces. While several heat recovery approaches have been considered in the past, Praxair’s new Optimelt thermochemical regenerator heat recovery system is a low–cost solution to maximise the heat recovery from glass furnaces, improve energy efficiency of the furnaces, and minimise furnace emissions. The Optimelt system delivers these benefits using regenerators similar to conventional air-regenerators to combine the conventional preheating step with a chemical reforming process. In the reforming step, a mixture of natural gas and recirculated flue gas react endothermically in the hot regenerator checker pack to produce a hot syngas

Preheating of mixture

Injection of natural gas into flue gas recirculation

z Fig 1. Optimelt Reforming Process in Regenerators.

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Fuel savings by OPTIMEL (%)

30 25

7.5 7.0

timelt System versus


furnace age.


20 15 10 5

 Fig 4. Data Optimelt

OPTIMELT vs Air Regen OPTIMELT vs Oxy-fuel

system test on Pavisa’s

0 0




Furnace age (year)

regenerator results in the fuel savings of 20% to 30% delivered by the Optimelt system. The reformed gas or ‘syngas’ leaves the regenerator at the top and is combusted with oxygen in the furnace, providing efficient combustion for the melting process.

Savings Fuel savings by the Optimelt system vary depending on glass type, furnace type and furnace size. For example, Fig 2 shows a calculation of the fuel savings for a 300 tpd container furnace with 500kW boost and 50% cullet ratio over a furnace life of 12 years. The furnace aging factors (increase in fuel consumption over time) were calculated to be 1.35, 0.54 and 0.71% per year for the air fired, oxy-fuel and Optimelt furnaces, respectively, based on a set of consistent assumptions about increases in wall heat losses, air infiltration and deterioration in regenerator performance. As shown below, the fuel savings achievable by the Optimelt system at mid-campaign are about 20% and 28% relative to the state of the art oxy-fuel and air regenerative furnaces, respectively. For larger furnaces such as flat glass furnaces, fuel savings by the Optimelt system are expected to be even higher because the total wall losses are lower per unit glass pulled, resulting in more recoverable waste energy in the flue gas.

 Fig 2 Example of Fuel Savings from Op-

Results from Pavisa, Mexico The Optimelt system was installed in 2014 for evaluation on a commercial 50 tpd oxy-fuel container glass furnace at Pavisa, located in Mexico. Pavisa manufactures glass and crystal products for the global wine, liquor, food, perfume, and pharmaceutical industries. The furnace has a melting area of approximately 29m2 with a single charger on the left, and six Praxair

50 tpd commercial furnace.

Fuel consumption (GJ LVH/mTPD)


5.5 5.0 Oxy model 20% cullet


TCR model 20% cullet


Oxy data 20-25% cullet


Oxy data 30% cullet TCR data 20% cullet

3.0 35

oxy-fuel wide-flame burners in the side walls. The addition of the Optimelt heat recovery system to the furnace changed the combustion configuration from the original side-port firing with the oxy-fuel burners to end-port firing of the Optimelt syngas burners (Fig 3). The proprietary oxy-syngas burner system is designed to deliver a bright, luminous flame and can be tuned to attain the desired combustion space and glass temperature profiles in the furnace. Fig 4 shows actual results measured on the commercial 50tpd furnace at 20% to 30% cullet ratio. The graph shows the fuel consumption for the conventional oxyfuel furnace (blue circles) compared to the Optimelt system (red squares) for various glass pulls, as well as the theoretical model predictions for conventional oxy-fuel (solid blue line) and Optimelt (dashed red line) systems. As can be seen in the graph, Optimelt successfully reduced total fuel consumption by about 15% to 16% for the type of glass being melted, and there was agreement between the theoretical model and the actual furnace measurements. The fuel savings achieved in this installation are on the low end of potential fuel savings to be achieved from the Optimelt system because of the relatively small furnace size. For smaller furnaces, the ratio of total wall heat losses relative to the total heat input is high. As previously discussed, the potential fuel savings for larger furnaces resulting from the Optimelt system are expected to be in the order of 19% to 21%, compared to conventional oxy-fuel furnaces. The installation at Pavisa has proved to be robust and reliable, with more than 91% availability demonstrated in the first four months of operation. Whenever the Optimelt system is not available the oxy-fuel burners in the side walls start up automatically as backup, avoiding any production interruptions. Shutdowns





glass pull (mTPD)

to the operation of the Optimelt system experienced so far during the test were due largely to mechanical issues unrelated to the technology, such as failure of the instrument air system. Optimelt availability is expected to surpass 96% following upgrades to the mechanical equipment that resulted in system disruptions. Regenerator performance was also consistent, with respect to heat recovery and temperature profiles. Furthermore, visual inspections of the regenerators and checkers have shown no discernable signs of corrosion or deterioration of the refractory materials.

Conclusion Praxair’s Optimelt thermochemical regenerator heat recovery system is a low–cost solution to minimise furnace emissions and maximise heat recovery from glass furnaces and improve furnace energy efficiency. The system combines preheating and endothermic chemical reaction to recover waste energy from the flue gas and to produce a hot syngas stream which has a higher heating value about 1.2 to 1.3 times the heating value of the natural gas fed into the bottom of the regenerator. This technology is currently in operation on a commercial 50 tpd container glass furnace in Mexico, where about 15% to 16% natural gas and oxygen savings was demonstrated compared to the oxy-fuel baseline furnace. Optimelt has proved to be robust and reliable, with a 91% availability demonstrated at Pavisa in the first four months of operation. For larger furnaces, Praxair expects fuel savings of about 20% to 30%, compared to conventional oxy-fuel and regenerative air-fuel furnaces, respectively. r

*Praxair, Danbury, CT, USA **Praxair, Madrid, Spain

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Ceramic filters for glass furnace off-gas treatment Filtration using low density ceramic filter elements is now a well-established technique for air pollution control and product recovery. Dr. Purv J. Purohit*, Dr. Ian Chisem** and Prof. Richard Lydon*** discuss a technology in use in the glass industry that reduces high levels of pollution while operating at elevated temperature.


he global glass industry is extremely diverse in its products made and the manufacturing techniques employed. Products range from intricate handmade lead crystal goblets to huge volumes of float glass produced for the construction and automotive industries. Manufacturing techniques vary from small electrically-heated furnaces in the high temperature insulation wools (HTIW) sector to the cross-fired regenerative furnaces in the flat glass sector, producing up to 1000 tonnes per day. The wider glass industry also includes many smaller installations that fall below the 20 tonnes per day threshold. The production of glass involves high temperatures and high energy input processing, which results in the emission of combustion products and oxidation of atmospheric nitrogen. The main pollutants in the glass furnace off-gas are particulate matter (PM), oxides of sulphur (SOX) and nitrogen (NOX). To reduce the risk to the environment, a Directive was annexed in the Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and the Council on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control). The purpose of the Directive is to achieve integrated prevention and control of pollution arising from the activities in the industry leading to a high level of protection of the environment as a whole. The legal basis of the Directive relates to environmental protection. The term ‘best available techniques’ (BAT) is defined in Article 2(11) of the Directive as: “The most effective and advanced

Cerafil TopKat™


NH3 Sorbent injection injection





NH3 injection


Glass melting furnace

ESP based

Sorbent injection

NH3 injection

Glass melting furnace

Fabric Cerafil TopKat™ filter based based


Water cooling Stack

CaCO3 spray tower

zFig 1. Flow chart of glass production with various secondary abatement technologies. stage in the development of activities and their methods of operation which indicate the practical suitability of particular techniques for providing in principle the basis for emission limit values designed to prevent and, where that is not practicable, generally to reduce emissions and the impact on the environment as a whole. “Different emission levels are defined and permitted in Best available techniques reference document (BREF) depending on the type of glass produced, yearly production, type of furnace and if any primary abatement in place.” The United States Environmental

Glass melting furnace

Protection Agency (EPA) is currently introducing stricter legislation to control these mixed pollutants across industries including glass, carbon black manufacture, cement kilns and coal production.

Background There are other techniques available to treat the glass furnace off-gas to meet emission requirements. These solutions are always installed downstream of the furnace and can be operated while it is running. For de-dusting, techniques Continued>>

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HIgh efficiency

to be used sequentially and sometimes in various steps of the process flow diagram to bring the emissions below the newly mandated EPA and EC requirements.

Benefits - < 2 mg/m3 emissions (0.0008 grains per scfm)project - easily handles sub-micron particles and PM2.5’s

High temperatures capability

High temperature ceramic filters

- temperature resistant up to 900°C (1650°F) - normally used up to 500°C (932°F) - maintains a stable buoyancy of to plant

Corrosion resistant

- virtually chemically inert - can tolerate changes in operational conditions and temperature

Range of product variations

- up to 3m long x 150mm diameter (10 ’ long x 6 ” diameter)

and sizes

- normally incorporated into new plant design, but can be retrofitted into existing systems

z Table 1. Main highlights of the Cerafil technology.

Key features


Single-step process

- it can replace or be used to supplement inefficient electrostatic precipitators (ESPs), SCR catalysis and conversion processes, providing a single-step process (Fig. 1)

Dual purpose filter

- the dual-purpose filter consolidates the equipment train, which saves on capital, footprint, and energy costs and simplifies the process - maintains gas temperatures and plant/stack buoyancy for downstream processes or energy recovery.


- removes particulate matter below 2 mg/m3 dust

Gaseous mixed pollutants

- ca. 95% HCl removal;


- ca. 80% SO2 removal; - up to 95% NOX removal; - >99% dioxin removal.

z Table 2. Main highlights of the Cerafil TopKat technology.



*Nox (mg/m3)

*SOx (mg/m3)



< 600 mg/m

< 400 mg/m



< 600 mg/m

< 400 mg/m



< 600 mg/m

< 400 mg/m

*Permitted limits: NOX: 800 mg/m3 and SOX: 800 mg/m3

z Table 3. NOx, SOx and Dust emissions noted over a three-year period. such as electrostatic precipitator (ESP) or bag filters are used. ESP’s can attain dust levels of less than 20 mg/Nm3 while bag filters may achieve less than 10 mg/ Nm3. In terms of costing, bag filters are comparable to ESPs, however the durability of bag filters is always an issue. In general, bag filters need to be replaced every two to three years depending on the operating conditions, thus increasing the OPEX of the abatement system. ESPs are not very efficient in de-dusting as current legislation dust emission levels need to be maintained below 10 mg/ Nm3. For deNOx, techniques such as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) or Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SCNR) are available as abatement system downstream of the glass furnace. Both SCR and SCNR are related processes where ammonia or urea is reacted with NOX to reduce the NOX to nitrogen and water.

SCNR usually requires high temperatures of between 800°C–1100°C and operates close to the glass furnace: deNOX conversion of around 30–70%, depending on process and operation factors, can be achieved. SCR systems can achieve around 70 to 90% deNOX conversion, however unreacted NH3, or in other words ammonia slip, needs to be minimised. For deSOX, usually a scrubbing agent such as lime or sodium bicarbonate is used before the de-dusting and SCR system. A reaction chamber upstream of the filter or ESP is usually required for high SOX removal. These clean-up processes are used, often in combination, to achieve at least the regulated emission limits (Fig. 1). Process choice is affected by many factors, apart from the regulations in force, not least of which are economics and reliability. To meet tighter legislation and permit limits these technologies need

Cerafil, from Clear Edge, is a range of low-density ceramic filters used in filter plants in much the same way as filter bags, albeit at higher temperatures. Cerafil is typically used in the 200 to 800°C (ca. 400 to 1500°F) range, thereby avoiding acid and water dew points and allowing for application at the temperature that best suits the duty. In addition, Cerafil elements are extremely efficient, corrosion resistant and can be used in the most challenging conditions (Table 1). Cerafil is a monolithic ceramic filter candle comprising alumino-silicate fibres developed over several years and formed by a proprietary process. The resulting filter element is effective at handling sub-micron particles in industrial gas processes. The applications of this Best Available Technology include air pollution control (APC), product collection and product recovery. The one-piece element is selfsupporting and robust, can be utilised in a variety of conditions and exhibits long service life. The highly porous candle, which is capable of filtering gas to limits of <2 mg/m3, provides a future proof solution for forthcoming tighter environmental legislation. Some of the features of Cerafil technology are in Table 1.

Catalytic ceramic filters Clear Edge has recently advanced the technology to develop Cerafil TopKat, a technology that combines the advantages of Cerafil with an incorporated active catalyst for the removal of NOX, dioxin, SOX, and VOCs. This patented technology protects the catalyst from poisoning and deactivation, a common problem with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, by incorporating it in the wall of the filter element (Table 2). Clear Edge has researched and developed the Cerafil TopKat technology platform for more than 10 years and has built up experience applying this technology in critical applications. Thousands of TopKat filter elements are in circulation in applications worldwide covering a variety of industrial uses. Continued>>

Key features

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 Fig 2. Filter installation.

with efficiency in excess of 95% of initial performance. To date, no elements have been replaced. Application: Glass furnace Cerafil TopKat (3 m): 1700 elements Commissioned: September 2009 Volumetric flow: 85,000 Nm3/h Operating temperature: 325°C-350°C r


Case Study: Glass furnace exhaust

many cases, filter installations remain operational with high levels of filtration and catalytic performance even after five to six years of use (Table 3). Control of emissions from glass furnaces has become a key market for Cerafil TopKat. For example, one installation (Fig. 2), dating from 2009, which uses 1700 TopKat 3000mm elements, is still performing

*Development Engineer, Geldern-Walbeck, Germany. **IP Manager & Senior Engineer, Stoke-On-Trent, UK. ***VP Technology & Business Development, Stoke on Trent, UK.

There are 22 installations housing Cerafil TopKat filters in the glass furnace exhaust. With all these sites taken together there are more than 24,500 filter elements in operation. Cerafil TopKat installations have shown remarkable levels of operational stability over a period of time. In

1) I. Chisem, R. Lydon, Developments and Case Studies in Hot Gas Filtration for Gaseous Waste Streams, Filtration Journal, Vol 14, Issue 4, 208 – 210. 2) Executive summary, Reference Document on Best Available Techniques in the Glass Manufacturing Industry, Technologies for Sustainable Development European IPPC Bureau.

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The system switch into an opportunity the waste energy contained into exhaust flow gases. CO2 emission reduction and energy production are possible with “by-pass mode” systems, where glass melting process is not influenced. BDF energy recovery systems are design for different energies production solutions. • electricity • heating • cooling • fluids treatment R&D, furnace design and waste gases treatment experiences allow • waste flow range between 300°C up to 800°C • dedicated design of high and low temperature heat exchangers • Heat exchangers with innovative automatic cleaning systems • Sustainable O&M costs

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FERVER:Europe’s glass recyclers

FERVER is the European association that aims to bring together European glass recyclers into a collective body. It represents the profession at an EU level. Its members are responsible for recycling 70% of all container glass in Europe.

What does FERVER do? What is the Federation’s mission? FERVER is a European Federation with a dual role: To promote the activities and protect the interests of its members; and inform its members of the evolution of European legislation and the economic climate. The Federation aims to bring together European glass recyclers. Its object is to represent the profession (particularly towards the European institutions). Some of the activities that the association may undertake in order to achieve its objectives are as follows: r Promotion, on a sustainable

basis, of dialogue with European Union institutions and European organisations linked to glass recycling. r Intensify cooperation between European glass recyclers. r Dissemination of information relating to glass recycling r The social object is the study, protection and promotion of the professional interests of the members. r FERVER may not undertake any commercial activity.

Can you give a brief history of the company? FERVER started in Paris in the early

nineties as an informal group of glass recyclers from Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands. The first official Bylaws were published in 2004. Since then, FERVER has had a seat in Brussels, and a Secretary General. FERVER celebrated its official 10th anniversary with a workshop in Brussels at the end of 2014. In 2012, the offices of FERVER moved, remaining still in Brussels, to the building of the Belgian waste management federation FEBEM, which ensures the administrative and logistic services. Continued>>

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in Brussels. External speakers are invited to these assemblies. FERVER has 34 members, each recycling a significant part of their glass collection into the glass industry on a long-term basis.

FERVER has members in 14 countries of the European Union, and also has a member in Norway and Ukraine. Some countries are represented by one company, other countries by several members.

What does FERVER do for its members? One of the first tasks of FERVER was to write an ethical code of good practices. This code, signed by all the members, is a guarantee of ethical behaviour, and of respect for the environment and the legislation for the members and their relations. FERVER brings the members into contact to develop common positions at a European level. FERVER played a crucial role in the writing of the End of Waste (EOW) Regulation for glass cullet. Thanks

How is FERVER structured in terms of staff and members? FERVER is a federation of private and independent (not owned by glass manufacturers) recycling companies. The Board of FERVER is composed of the President, the Vice-President and the Chairman of the Steering Committee. The steering committee meets at least four times a year to manage the activities of FERVER. All members are welcome on this committee if they are able to assist on a regular basis. The General Assembly takes place in June in the country of one of its members, whilst the plenary meeting meets at the end of November

to the expertise of its representatives, this Regulation is until now the only one which has been adopted without any difficulty by Europe. Now that the Regulation has been published, FERVER has taken several initiatives at European as well as at national levels to ensure the certification process of such EOW Cullet. FERVER also initiates studies and campaigns to develop, for example, common sampling procedures and to control the chemical quality and stability of recycled glass. FERVER is also in permanent contact with the federations of the glass industry, FEVE for container glass, and Glass for

Europe for flat glass, in order to create a relationship of mutual confidence, to define and even anticipate their demands in order to allow its members to offer the right quantities and qualities of furnace ready cullet.

How does FERVER encourage or promote glass collection and recycling? FERVER contacts the European institutions to stress the importance of high value glass recycling, instead of so-called down-cycling. Glass, as a material, is perfectly, totally and for ever recyclable. Once glass is used for other purposes, such as in the construction sector (foundation of roads & buildings, etc.), the circle of recycling is broken and so the circular economy stops. FERVER works towards continuing improvement of the European legislation in order to have clear definitions, targets and rules

resulting in an efficient collection and an effective recycling of glass waste. FERVER also makes contact with the take-back schemes to promote the selective collection of glass, which is the first condition for high quality recycling . The focus is often put on the quantity, but it is even important to ensure the quality of collected glass. In the building sector, for example, it is crucial to collect windows on deconstruction sites in clean containers, as once glass is mixed with stones and concrete, it is not recyclable anymore. Continued>>

Are your members present throughout the whole of Europe?

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In the automotive sector, the European legislation on ‘End of Life’ vehicles is unclear, and leaves the field open for down-cycling.

What types of glass do your members collect and recycle? FERVER members are recycling all types of glass, provided that they can really be recycled into glass products. That covers container glass, flat glass, automotive glass, photovoltaic glass, foam glass, and fibre glass. Due to the European legislation on extended producer responsibility for

packaging and packaging waste, the higher volume of collected glass is clearly represented by container glass. There is a high demand from the glass industry to use recycled glass instead of virgin material.

How much glass do members of FERVER recycle each year? We consider that FERVER members recycle roughly 70% of the container glass put on the European market. This represents about 7 million tons of glass each year. Data on flat glass is not available at a European level, since that is not covered by directives comparable with the packaging and packaging waste Directive. FERVER has started to collect its own statistics, in order to monitor the undoubted increase in recycling of building and automotive glass over the coming years.

Do you have any targets in place to increase this rate of recycling?

z A Fost Plus sorting centre, in Belgium. Fost Plus is a not-for-profit association that sees to the

As FERVER (and its members) do not hold the reins of power, it cannot fix targets. But, FERVER works together with partner federations (FEVE, Glass for Europe, FEAD, etc.) to develop KPI’s based on available statistics. The upcoming new circular economy package of the European Commission will give a boost to recycling in Europe, certainly for container glass. FERVER will also take additional initiatives in the B2B sector to increase the collection and recycling rate of flat glass in the building and automotive sector. r

promotion, coordination and financing of selective collection, sorting and recycling of household packaging waste in Belgium.

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Glass decarbonisation and energy efficiency roadmap to 2050 The British Government has published the ‘Glass Decarbonisation and Energy Efficiency Roadmap to 2050’, designed to identify ways of reducing the environmental impact of UK industries without compromising economic competitiveness. Here, Valli Murphy, Environmental Policy Adviser at British Glass explains some of the finer details.

Collaboration A





together in 2014 and 2015 to help produce this government commissioned roadmap - the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), their consultants (Parsons Brinckerhoff and DNV GL), British Glass (trade association), glass manufacturing companies, the supply chain, academics and others. British Glass and its members have supported this process in many ways including providing data, technical expertise and practical advice. Involving all the key stakeholders has been a successful move. The high level of engagement has resulted in the development of a more balanced view of the situation and more practical insights and recommendations being identified for government. For the glass sector, it has created greater levels of understanding and interest, has enabled glass companies to bring their expertise into this study and has allowed them to be involved in shaping their own future.

Options and challenges Key options identified for glass to achieve this include: r Currently Available Technologies, e.g. waste heat recovery, generating renewable energy on site; r Technologies which require

research, development and demonstration, e.g. batch pelletisation, new furnace designs; r Options which require collaboration with stakeholders outside the glass sector, e.g. using more recycled glass, substituting natural gas with biogas. The study identifies that there are barriers to implementing these measures, which include:

Lack of financial viability Decarbonisation is extremely expensive and there is little customer demand for low carbon products. Any company that attempts to implement many of these options is likely to become bankrupt in months. This is because the large costs of equipment, etc., cannot be passed on to customers as customers are not willing to pay extra for low carbon glass products. Mass manufactured glass does not carry large profit margins but does operate in a global market. If UK glass companies face additional costs, then they will be less able to compete on price with foreignmade goods and this increases the risk that they will simply move abroad or close permanently.



e all use glass every day. It is used to make an astonishing variety of products from ketchup bottles and car windscreens to reflective paint and toothpaste. Many glass products actually help to protect the environment and reduce pollution. Fibre glass is integral to wind turbines and light weight vehicle parts which reduce fuel use. Glass bottles and jars preserve food for longer, reducing waste. Windows are now so energy efficient that when installed in a building, they will save more energy in less than a year than was required to manufacture the glass. These are some of the reasons why British Glass welcomes the publication of the Glass Decarbonisation and Energy Efficiency Roadmap to 2050 launched by the UK government in March 2015. This collaborative study is a positive first step towards identifying ways to reduce the environmental impact of UK industries without compromising economic competitiveness. A lot of work is required to make this approach a reality and we look forward to continuing to work with government and other stakeholders to build the path ahead.

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Small sphere of control Options such as using more recycled glass are not fully within the control of the glass sector. Many other players including recycling companies, government and the general public must be persuaded to change their behaviour and recycle more glass in the UK so that it is available for glass makers to use.

Technical challenges The report shows that to achieve high levels of CO2 reduction, existing technologies must be further developed and new step change technologies invented. This can only happen if large efforts and funds are expended on research, development and demonstration. Valli Murthy, Environmental Policy Advisor, said: “As with all studies, there are limitations. When reading the report, we must bear in mind that factories have been considered in isolation to the world in which they operate. E.g. the significant amount of emissions saved by glass products such as energy efficient windows, or wind turbines, are mentioned, but not included in the modelling. “Except for the ‘business as usual’

pathway, it has been assumed that it is theoretically possible to implement all the options – in reality, the amount of space available on site, technical issues, market requirements and financial viability will decide what is possible. The modelled emissions reductions depend heavily on decarbonisation of the UK electricity grid. Without this, some options, such as electric melting, would actually increase emissions. Costs are always difficult to estimate reliably, especially as some of the technologies have not even been invented. This area needs further work before it can be used by government to inform policy decisions.”

Next steps It appears that there is a fork in the road ahead for the UK government and its industry, with one path being punitive and leading to increasingly unsustainable costs for UK manufacturers. If this path is chosen, it is likely that smaller sites will close permanently and larger manufacturing companies will continue their exodus out of the UK. Not only is this bad for the UK economy and

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UK jobs, sadly, it is also worse for the environment because the demand for glass products will be met by importing from longer distances and from factories in other countries potentially not operating to the high environmental standards used in the UK. The other path is brighter - a balanced and supportive approach is adopted where industry, government and others work together to find solutions that will both improve the environment and also make economic sense. Using more recycled glass is a good example of this because it reduces energy costs for glassmakers while also reducing CO2 emissions. Valli Murthy noted: “Decarbonisation is important and it has to be implemented in a sustainable way. If well-intentioned environmental protection sentiments are implemented unwisely, e.g. by forcing unsustainable costs onto industry, then they will do more harm than good. A winwin path must be the answer.” r

Environmental Policy Adviser at British Glass, Sheffield, UK.


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z Fig 3. The hydrogen systems.

Gas recovery systems for float glass lines


yGear is involved in the development of turnkey gas processing systems and offers onsite hydrogen generation systems for the glass industry. The systems are installed on-site and save costs and reduce emissions by overcoming the necessity of hydrogen supply by tube trailers. To reduce the costs even further, HyGear is developing a Gas Recovery System

(Hy.REC) to recover the hydrogen and nitrogen from the tin bath of the float glass lines.

Gas mixture Flat glass is produced by pouring molten glass onto a bed of molten tin. The hydrogen-nitrogen gas mixture forms the reductive atmosphere over the bed of molten tin to prevent oxidisation.

H2/N2 Hy.GEN



Conventional technologies

H2 Gas mixing station


Depending on the float line settings, between 3-10% of the gas mixture is hydrogen. The rest, and thus the majority, is nitrogen. Substantial amounts of this mixture in combination with pollutants such as hydrogen sulphide, tin sulphide and tin oxide are left at the exit of the tin bath and are currently vented or left unused. By feeding the polluted gas mixture into the Hy.REC, much of the hydrogen and nitrogen mixture can be purified and reused (Fig 1).

H2/N2 float bath


z Fig 1. Process diagram for the Hy.REC system.

There are several gas recycling solutions already available. Conventional solutions contain multiple filtering steps, first filtering main contaminants and later on removing hydrogen sulphide, Continued>>

HyGear is developing a recycling system to recover the hydrogen and nitrogen from the tin bath of float glass lines. The opportunities lie in the reduction of operational utility costs (hydrogen and nitrogen). Therefore, the system fits well with the glass industry’s aim of energy and cost savings.

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oxygen and water vapour. However, due to the multiple required filtering steps, these systems are expensive. More advanced solutions are based on electrochemical stacks but these do not

currently offer long-term stability nor cost competitiveness.

Advanced gas recovery HyGear’s gas recovery technology is

Hy.GEN™ H2


N.GEN™ N2 Gas mixing station



Raw material batch

Tin bath Furnace




Annealing area

Processing area

z Fig 2. The recovery systems can be integrated with HyGear’s on-site hydrogen generators or applied as standalone systems.

based on the company’s proprietary Rapid Cycle VPSA technology. The technology is already proven in HyGear’s Hydrogen Generation Systems (Hy.GEN) and is particularly suited due to the low-pressure inlet conditions that apply for in-line recovery of the hydrogennitrogen gas mixture. With the development of the VPSA-based Hy.REC, HyGear aims to overcome short lifetime issues and the unnecessarily high costs of alternative recovery systems. The recovery systems can be integrated with HyGear’s on-site hydrogen generators or applied as standalone systems (Fig 2). Preliminary calculations show that with an off-gas collection of 40% (the rest is lost due to leakages within the tin bath), a hydrogen-nitrogen recovery of nearly 70% can be reached. An economic evaluation based on the initial calculations for the proposed solution estimates a return on investment of three to four years, and the first pilot system will be installed in 2015 (Fig 3). r

Hygear, Arnhem, The Netherlands.



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Prof. John Parker Turner Museum of Glass and ICG

Making a spectacle of yourself


magine the frustration of reaching the pinnacle of your career at 35 or 40, only to realise that your sight is deteriorating and with it the quality of your work. Can you still earn a living? Will your status go to those with keener vision? Before spectacles were available many jewellers, tailors, painters, writers and clock-makers faced such issues as their eyesight failed with the passing of time. Age often brings blurred vision at short distances (long-sightedness). Among the young the inverse, short-sightedness, is more common i.e. distant objects are indistinct. Failing eyesight is not new. In 700BC the Assyrians were using polished quartz crystal lenses to correct longsightedness. Subsequent civilisations realised that glass gave more easily the requisite curved surface profile and transparency without time-consuming polishing e.g. the Romans and Greeks used water-filled glass spheres. Emperor Nero’s tutor, Seneca the Younger, wrote in the first century AD that ‘Letters, however small and indistinct, are seen enlarged and more clearly through a globe or glass filled with water.’ By the second millennium AD, reading stones were used - solid glass hemispheres with a flat surface held over written texts. An Arabian mathematician, Abn alHaytham, illustrated his Book of Optics in the 11th century with ray diagrams explaining how convex (and concave) lenses work. Using less of the sphere, i.e. a plano-convex lens, was also found helpful. In 1268AD Roger Bacon, a Franciscan monk, described magnifying glasses with 2 curved surfaces. By the close of the 1200s in Pisa, Italy, such magnifying glasses had been joined in pairs to create reading glasses, according to a sermon published in 1306 which praised but sadly failed to name the inventor. Documentation from a Venetian Glass Makers Guild in 1300 included a term for

spectacles. Lenses were supported in early glasses by a variety of materials e.g. wood, leather or even wire and sat on the nose. A 1352 painting by Tommasa da Modena displays a monk wearing glasses and a statue in Saragoza shows a bespectacled monk c.1490. Monks of course were engaged in eye straining work such as the creation of illuminated bibles. Indeed, an early translator of the bible into Latin, St Jerome (340-420AD), was made the patron saint of French spectacle makers. Spectacles became linked in perpetuity to learned individuals! While Venice produced the best glass, spectacle manufacture in the mid 1400s was concentrated in Florence. The development of printing in 1450, as well as fashion, stoked demand. Other centres for mass production throughout Europe followed, but on a lesser scale than the Florentine output. Several Spectacle Makers Guilds appeared in the 1500s to regulate business. By the 1600s, spectacles were widely available and cost only a fraction of a day’s pay. The increased supply often extended active working life by two decades and economic activity rose accordingly. This was mirrored in the knowledge industries which required reading and writing. Recording and analysis of existing technologies was a stepping stone to the 18th century industrial revolution. But how were lenses made? Most writers suggest they were ground against a pre-prepared metal former to define the surface profile. The metal mould itself was created from fired clay with a convex profile. Benjamin Franklin developed bifocal lenses, the precursor for modern varifocals, in the late 1700s. Lenses of differing power formed the upper and lower segments. Florentine manufacturers were using concave lenses to correct short-sightedness by the 1450s but cylindrical lenses for astigmatism

only appeared in the 1800s. As availability increased, design reigned and led to many different configurations of lens holders. Ribbons looped over the ears for support were one early format. Side arms appeared later. Another approach, favoured by ladies in the 1700s, were lorgnettes, a pair of lenses on the end of a stick. In Germany, a key centre for spectacle design, monocles became popular during the 1800s. At the same time pince-nez (pinch nose) spectacles reemerged in France. Lenses evolved from circular to oval and then to rectangular. While Leonardo da Vinci in 1508 first conceptualised contact lenses, the idea did not crystallise until 1887 with lenses that covered the whole eye; now plastic lenses simply cover the iris. Major developments have continued e.g. photochromic glasses replacing tinted lenses, high refractive index glasses for lighter weight lenses and sadly increasing use of plastic; we face the prospect of glasses streaming the internet to us. Firms such as Bausch and Lomb that started as spectacle makers have expanded into other branches of optical technology. But these stories must wait. A feature in Times Magazine on 11th January, 1999 concluded that eyeglass development has been central to creating our modern civilisation. Given how it has allowed the combination of craftsman’s skill with the maturity of age this is probably about right. r

Wikipedia htm Prof Emeritus John Parker, Curator of the Turner Museum of Glass, Sheffield University, UK. Email

Prof. John Parker takes a look back at the development of the optical lens throughout the ages, from its primitive origins in the Assyrian empire to today’s technological developments.

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Technical Topics

John Henderson Henderson Technology

What’s new? John Henderson* examines the meaning of ‘new’ in the glass industry, in light of recent - or, perhaps not so recent, technological developments.


y the time you are reading this column Glassman Europe 2015 in Lyon will be over. Hopefully the readers who attended will have come away with new contacts, relevant information and the possibility of making a difference within their organisation. They will have heard speakers talk passionately on their chosen subject and felt that particular camaraderie that goes with a glass related function wherever it is held. However, in reading through some recent glass literature, including Glass International, I was struck by the number of product claims that were described as ‘new’. Now we do not want to get bogged down in a discussion on the semantics of the meaning of the word ‘new’ but it set me thinking about what was truly ‘new’ in terms of glass. In terms of forming there are perhaps three techniques that could be described as ‘new’ when they were introduced. The ribbon machine for blowing envelopes for light bulbs by forming a pocket in a ribbon of glass and blowing through it into a mould was a radical departure from the technology that was current at the time. It allowed a huge increase in the volume of production over the rotary machines dominant at that time. The IS (independent section) machine was similarly influential in the manufacture of containers; although some might argue that it was a logical development in the long history of container forming machines. On balance, I think the IS machine can be described

as ‘new’ and its ubiquity in modern container manufacture is not in dispute. Last, but not least, in this section is the float process. Sir Alistair Pilkington and his team revolutionised the production of flat glass by floating it on a bath of molten tin. It took several years of work and a lot of investment, but it worked and was ‘new’. Measuring furnace and other glassmaking temperatures is normally done by thermocouples placed in strategic positions, both in the glass melt and in the furnace atmosphere. Thermocouples could be mobile but tended to give poor accuracy and repeatability. The instruments of choice were the disappearing filament pyrometer, which relied on the operator matching the colour of a filament with the colour of the target and the thermopile, a device of multiple thermocouples wired in series. It goes without saying that the target for the pyrometer had to be showing a colour due to heat. The thermopile was generally used for external furnace monitoring. For mobile temperature measurement (and some static installations the infra red thermometer/pyrometer superseded all this and definitely qualifies as ‘new’. The area of glass composition was the trigger for this column. I recently saw a couple of articles where the words ‘new’ and glass were used together in the headline. Intrigued, I read further only to find I was disappointed as the glasses were not new but merely developments of previously known compositions. One glass

was claimed to reduce the transmission of UV while the glass remained perfectly clear. I am sure it would do as claimed and the back up data available would be provided by a reputable source, but I know it was only a development because we (as in Lemington Glassworks) were melting a glass with essentially the same characteristics in the early 70’s. That was a development of work done by GEC at Hirst Research and their Wembley factory, and we were not the only ones. Perhaps it was the use this particular glass was being put to that was new rather than the glass itself, although that is not the impression the article gave. Perhaps the makers did not know what other people had done previously or had convinced themselves that what they were doing was unique. I cannot say. However, I still believe the glass industry is cyclic and ‘new’ ideas surface every now and again which if you look closely enough are not new at all but have been forgotten. Or, is it that the marketing department have taken an overenthusiastic approach to the promotion of a good product without much regard for the niceties history? I could not possibly comment. I leave you, dear reader, to make a judgement. r

*John Henderson, Henderson Technology, Sheffield, UK. Email: Website:

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British Glass

Glass Technology Services

GTS joins ICG technical commitee Glass Technology Services has recently joined the ICG’s Technical Committee 12. As Daniel Capon* explains, the aim of the committee is to work to increase understanding and prevent the phenomena of glass surface delamination.


lass Technology Services Ltd (GTS) has joined the International Commission on Glass’ (ICG) technical committee (TC12) for pharmaceutical packaging. The aim is to share knowledge and experience in dealing with a wide range of pharmaceutical glassware, and exchange understanding and skills with a wider group of peers and technical experts. The overall aim of the technical committee is to work collaboratively to increase understanding and standards and, ultimately, prevent the ‘phenomena’ of glass surface delamination. This move builds upon GTS’ existing knowledge and consultancy services, which already sees them working across a wide range of clients operating throughout the pharmaceutical supplychain, from glass manufacturers to those developing, manufacturing, filling or processing the finished dosage form (FDF) products. The GTS laboratory already provides a range of related services – including pharmacopoeia standards verification, quality assessment, mechanical performance testing, expert analysis of foreign bodies, defects and surface contaminants, technical failure analysis and a range of delamination services. Daniel Capon, Laboratory Manager at

GTS said: “We are proud to be working with a consortium of esteemed technical experts to further understanding, analysis and control of pharmaceutical packaging defects across the supply-chain. “The objectives of this technical committee are well aligned with a range of work already underway in our laboratories, so it was a logical move for our nominated expert to join the group to share our experiences as well as expand our own understanding.” Senior Technologist, Amy Meysner, who takes a lead on chemical migration, durability and delamination analysis in the GTS laboratory, is the nominated expert joining TC12 to represent GTS. Previously provided as an ad-hoc consultancy service, GTS formalised its delamination services in 2013 in line with the adoption of the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) chapter <1660> - providing pharmaceutical clients clear options for assessing

delamination probability. These include both analysing suspected cases and a number of delamination study options. Initial screening is provided to help with the selection of packaging for specific drug products, including how primary packaging resists delamination and the migration of major constituent ions into drug products or supporting solutions. In addition, long-term exposure scenarios, accelerated attacks and formal propensity studies are all available, providing scientific data and technical reports to support companies in their formal drug application and approval processes. r

* Principal Technologist - Analytical, Glass Technology Services, Sheffield, UK.


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Events world

Glass Focus: The industry and its supply chain The British Glass annual Glass Focus conference takes place on Friday the 12th June, at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Manchester. This year’s conference will focus on potential developments within glass, the economy, manufacturing and technology, and how these may impact the glass industry.


he conference’s theme is ‘Innovation within glass and the supply chain’, and the conference is followed by a black tie evening dinner, at which the Glass Focus Industry Awards will take place.

The conference The conference has 16 respected industry speakers, including keynote speeches from Alan Norbury of Siemens, George Brechin OBE, Brian Waterfield of Jaguar Land Rover, and Rain-Newton Smith of the Confederation of British Industry. Other sessions throughout the day fall within the following categories: Packaging developments; capitalising on the future; architecture and design; health and safety; innovation in glass manufacture; and innovation in glass. This includes Sorg’s Fred Aker speaking on ‘Furnace technology and developments’, and Sven-Roger Kahl of Ardagh Group discussing the Dutch industry roadmap. The presentations are designed to deliver an informative and thought-provoking day, discussing market changes, forecasts, regulations, specific developments and insights from both within the glass industry and its extensive supply chain. Running alongside the presentations are the ‘Glass Recycling Summit’ and ‘The HR Forum’ workshops, which will

allow attendees to discuss issues and share knowledge with respect to these topics. The event has previously attracted over 150 senior decision makers from the glass supply chain, and this year due to its expanded programme the event is set to attract an even broader range of delegates.

Networking As well as learning about the latest developments in glass research and technology there is an excellent opportunity to network with likeminded professionals throughout the day, and at the tabletop exhibition area which will highlight the latest developments, technology and services in the supply chain. The conference ticket also includes attendance to the black tie evening dinner, which will encompass the Glass Focus Industry Awards, now in its second year. The Awards aim to bring together UK manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in the glass industry, to showcase the very best examples of manufacturing, company initiatives, marketing and innovation. Award categories include the ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’, ‘Glass Company of the Year’, and the ‘Innovation Award’, amongst others. Attendees in previous years have included executives from Allied Glass, O-I, Ardagh Glass, Beatson Clark, Stoelzle

Flacconage, Encirc Glass, Saint-Gobain, Guardian Industries, Emhart, Bottero, SAB Miller, Tesco, PPG, Sibelco, BOC, Pernod Ricard, AB InBev, Siemens.

Key information Delegate rates for the conference are £295 for members of British Glass, or £345 for non-members. Tickets include the following: r Attendance to the Glass Focus conference; r Full luncheon, as well as drinks and refreshments throughout the day; r Industry exhibition of products and innovations; r Evening drinks reception; r Attendance at the evening awards ceremony; r Four course banquet meal; r Evening entertainment and casino; r 4* accommodation at the Marriott Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel The conference starts at 9:15 and continues until 4pm, on Friday 12th June. To book your place use the contact details below. r

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Events world

Furnace Solutions celebrates 10 years The Furnace Solutions training day and conference are to be held at Lucideon in Stoke on Trent on the 3rd and 4th June.

The glassmaker’s diary

r CelSian and Fives (UK): ‘Furnace design optimisation; experience benefits from modeling’ r Roland Heidrich of REFEL (RHI): ‘An update on new developments in fused cast refractories’ The training day on the 3rd June is the third event of its kind, and this year has the theme ‘Glass Quality: From raw materials to furnace operations’. Speakers include Prof. John Parker, John Osborn, Nick Kirk, Les Gaskell and Nicola Johnson. A Q&A forum will be used, and there will be an opportunity to submit questions anonymously on the day. With 2016 being the Centenary year of the SGT the organisation has proposed holding two training days in June 2016 at Lucideon, with the Centenary Furnace Solutions being held in Sheffield on

r China Glass 2015 Organised by the Chinese Ceramic Society in association with the China National Association for Glass Industry. May 20th -23th 2015 Beijing, China CONTACT: r Furnace Solutions 10 Organised by the Society of Glass Technology. Day-long conference exploring furnace issues. Preceded by a Training Day. June 4th 2015 Stoke-on-Trent, UK CONTACT: r Mir Stekla 2015 Key glass industry event for Russia, the CIS region and Eastern Europe. June 08th -11th 2015 Moscow, Russia CONTACT: r British Glass Focus conference Themed ‘Innovation within glass and the supply chain’, the aim of the conference is to deliver an informative day. June 12th 2015 Manchester, UK CONTACT: r 13th International Seminar on Furnace Design The event will focus on Furnace Design - Operation & Process Simulation.

8 September. The MTC has suggested the following potential topics: Furnace design; process control; batch/batch charging/batch distribution; electric melting; extending furnace campaign life; hot repairs to the furnace refractory structure; distributors & forehearths; furnace emissions, measurement and abatement techniques/devices. To make a suggestion or to register a preference please contact For those interested in attending the June event, cost of admission is £120+VAT per day, with a 50% discount for Society of Glass Technology (SGT) members. For anyone wishing to attend both days, it is worth noting that the discount will pay for the SGT subscription. 

June 17th -18th 2015 Velke Karlovice, Czech Republic CONTACT: r Glass Performance Days 2015 The event will once again bring together industry leaders and glass technology experts. June 24th -26th 2015 Tampere, Finland CONTACT: r Glass Reflections September 7th -10th 2015 Cambridge, UK. CONTACT: r ICG Annual Meeting The next International Commission on Glass (ICG) Annual Meeting. September 20th -23rd 2015 Bangkok, Thailand. CONTACT: r Glassman Latin America Glassman will be returning to Mexico in 2015 and stand sales are already underway. September 21st -22nd 2015 Expo Guadalajara, Guadalarjara, Mexico. CONTACT:


he programme for this year’s conference, now in it’s tenth year includes the following presentations: r Richard Hulme of Guardian: ‘Mental models’ r Joaquin de Diego Rincon of Praxair: ‘Praxair’s Optimelt heat recovery technology - operating experience from a commercial glass furnace’ r Gerry Miller of MGM: ‘The melting and refining of low iron float glass’ r Erik Muijsenberg of Glass Services: ‘Intelligent furnace design & control to increase overall glass furnace efficiency’ r Alain Grangeret of AG Gas London: ‘What is the best burner for my glass furnace?’ r Mark Pudner of GTS and Neil Simpson of Simpson Combustion and Energy: ‘Would you like a Service with your MOT?’

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