Polflam Increases Productivity and Performance of Fire-Resistant Glass with Forel
Polflam’s new factory in Warsaw, Poland, has become one of the most dynamic and innovative sites in the glass industry. The modern, fully automated factory, inaugurated a year ago, covers over 20,000 square meters of production area and is dedicated to the production of fire-resistant glass.
Since 2005, Polflam has specialized in fire-resistant Double Glazed Units (DGUs), which pass rigorous quality tests, achieving integrity and full thermal insulation for Polflam EI, and integrity with reduced heat radiation for Polflam EW.
Polflam’s growth in the fire-resistant glass market led to the acquisition of the company by the private equity group Baltisse in 2019. The investment enabled Polflam to expand into new regions, construct the new factory, and install a complete new fleet of equipment. “Our goal was to transform the company, increasing productivity and sales globally, especially in Western European markets, which was not possible from the old site,” said Jean Luis Canelle, Director.
The initial factory’s production capacity was at maximum, and manual processing did not allow for standard levels of quality, cycle times, or precision. To increase productivity and establish quality standards, the production process was reworked from the basics. Polflam’s choice of machinery was decisive. Forel, among three main suppliers, played a special role by installing the two integrated logistics systems, the edge processing, and the IG assembly lines.
Forel’s effective solution, technological expertise, and essential service system impressed Jean Luis Canelle. “With Forel, our expectations were 100% fulfilled,” he said.
The new factory allows for optimized organization of space and processing flows. Production at Polflam begins with the arrival of Jumbo glass stock sheets, stored within a large, automated warehouse connected to horizontal cutting tables. Once the glass is cut into the required sizes, it is loaded onto an initial sorting system that organizes the material and then sends it to the three different edge processing lines. Two of these lines feed the two toughening plants. After the tempering process, the glass panes re-enter the downstream sorting system, which sorts them into pairs ready for the insulating glass line process. The advanced tracking system assigns a unique ID to each pane of glass as it enters the flow, monitoring it throughout the process, reducing manual handling, and operator intervention.
Polflam’s glass units have added values compared to their competitors. Polflam can increase the level of fire resistance without making the glass unit heavier. The thickness of the cavity and amount of hydrogel inside is increased, while most competitors create a glass unit with triple or quadruple glass panes. For the same performance, Polflam’s glass weighs less, making it easier to handle and install. Forel’s systems enable Polflam to assemble large fire-resistant glass units of up to 5 meters by 2.80 meters, delivering high performance/weight-to-size ratio, which is rare in the market.
The investment in Polflam was considerable, but well worth it. With Forel’s advanced machinery, Polflam’s new factory has increased productivity, quality, and performance of fire-resistant glass, positioning the company as a leader in the industry.
Source: Forel with additional information added by Apazone