AUTOMATING GLASS MOVEMENT: WHEN TO DO IT AND WHEN NOT TO
In glass fabrication plants, moving glass from racks to processing machines is an essential part of the production process. Although this work has low added value, it can be dangerous if the glass breaks, and it can sometimes be a weary job. That’s why many companies are now turning to automation to reduce the risks and make the process more efficient. But is automation always the right choice? Let’s take a closer look.
WHEN TO AVOID AUTOMATION
Glass loading and unloading automation is NOT recommended when the production process involves small daily batches (around ten) of lightweight glass pieces (weighing under 25 kg). In these cases, operators can safely manage multiple machines within the plant. However, in all other cases, automation is highly recommended.
WHEN TO AUTOMATE
For larger or heavier glass pieces, a customized CMS solution for loading/unloading glass pieces from production lines is financially more advantageous. Automatic glass loading and unloading systems allow you to handle different sizes and shapes of glass, even when they are “batch 1,” meaning that each piece is different from the next.
EXAMPLES OF AUTOMATABLE GLASS
Glass weighing up to 250 kg in weight and measuring up to 3300 mm x 2000 mm can be moved using automatic systems. These systems can be customized to fit the specific needs of your plant.
THE CMS ISLAND
The CMS island is a fully automated solution for loading and unloading glass on vertical lines. It consists of an articulated robot, an EOAT (End of Arm Tool) designed for glass movement, a panel with software to manage the island, and safety devices. This system is ideal for moving large and heavy glass pieces safely and efficiently.
AUTOMATING UNLOADING: ADDING A PAPER SPREADER
In addition to the CMS island, a paper spreader is an automatic device completely designed and developed by CMS that places strips of paper between glass pieces on racks. This system allows operators to focus on other tasks without worrying about separating the glass, and it helps with positioning spacers on large pieces of glass that are hard to reach manually.
In conclusion, automating glass movement is a wise choice for many glass fabrication plants. By automating loading and unloading processes, you can reduce the risk of accidents and make the process more efficient. However, it’s important to choose the right automation solution for your plant’s specific needs. For small daily batches of lightweight glass pieces, operators can safely manage the machines within the plant. For larger or heavier glass pieces, a customized CMS solution is financially more advantageous. By adding a paper spreader to the CMS island, you can further improve the efficiency of your glass fabrication plant.
Source: CMS SpA with additional information added by Apazone