NSP Pilkington has spent €30 million and created 530 jobs by renovating its Gladbeck float glass line.
The German float glass line has been completely modernised with the technology improved. Its GL2 production line, which produces flat glass primarily for the automotive industry, was taken out of service at the end of April for the planned cold repair.
A total overhaul of the 24/7 installation was made, which must be done approximately every 15 years. The glass melt is produced in a gigantic furnace with a capacity of 1800 tonnes at an operating temperature of 1500C. This continues to spread over a huge tin-filled bath to a glass ribbon whose thickness can be determined.
The result is float glass in thicknesses of 1.5mm to 12mm, which is cut to size and further processed (coated) to be used throughout Europe in the automotive and construction industry. Building glass is primarily produced on the first float-glass line in Gladbeck, (GL1), which was still in operation during the repair period. Pilkington hopes the complete renewal of the technique of the glass melting furnace can improve the energy efficiency of the plant, reduce gas consumption and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20%.
The emission control systems and dust filters have also been modernised, and new cutting tables and cutting technology for stacking de-cut glass plates were installed at the cold end of the float line. The gentle heating up of the furnace to 1600C will take about three weeks, with production to begin in August.