Thai Glass Industries (TGI) and Thai Malaya Glass (TMG), two container glass manufacturing subsidiaries in Thailand operated by Berli Jucker Company under the umbrella of BJC Glass, continue to invest in hot end sensor technologies from XPAR Vision. Four production lines have already been equipped with InfraRed Dual camera systems (IR-D) and InfraRed Gob weight Control systems (IGC). Another two production lines (1 in TMG and 1 in TGI) are preparing for this equipment.
Better & faster
The IR-D camera system inspects all bottles in real time, to detect critical defects. Rejected bottles are removed immediately, still in the hot end phase. All information is transferred to process information on cavity levels, which allows the operator to act quickly on any form of process deviation. In general, implementing an IR-D at a production line ensures better bottle quality, less customer complaints, faster operator reaction time, efficiency improvement, fast learning (real time), improved process understanding and more consistency in actions amongst operators and specialists.
Constant gob weight
With the InfraRed Gob weight Control systems (IGC) the weight of the gobs is automatically kept constant over time. The IGC works in cooperation with the IR-D. The IR-D measures the amount of radiation/intensity of every single bottle and relates it to its weight. Bottles are actively measured on a weight scale every X minutes. From there, the actual weight is related to radiation/intensity. Now we can keep radiation/intensity constant. Every tendency to deviate is corrected through a signal/motor in the tube/plunger. As such, the weight of gobs is regulated on a constant level automatically.
Trial & try again
The very first collaboration of the two companies began with a trial with the XPAR Vision InfraRed Dual (IR-D) camera at TGI’s factory in Bangplee at the end of 2013. Despite the extensive efforts of all parties, the trial failed. After careful consideration and actively supported by Mr. Boonsak Stitmannaithum, Executive Vice President of Operations for Thai Glass Industries and Thai Malaya Glass, it was decided to discontinue the trial at TGI but to continue to trial at TMG’s production facility at Saraburi. Mr. Boonsak: “Due to many reasons, we could not create enough organizational mass at TGI’s factory in Bangplee for adapting to this new technology effectively. Nevertheless, I was convinced that this failure of trial was not about the system, but about the organization of the trial project team. For that reason I decided to continue the trial at TMG’s production facility at Saraburi.”
Thanks to the strong support of the Senior Vice President of Operation of TMG’s production facility at Saraburi, Mr. Somporn Nasuphan, a project organization was lined up and Mr. Krittin Boonyaphat was assigned to drive the IR-D and eventually also the IGC trial on the shop floor level. The trial was a success. Mr. Somporn: “Implementing Hot End technology allows us to take a very important step to control our forming process performance on the highest possible level. This is a necessity, to reach better performance in both efficiency and product quality, in order to meet increasing customer demands.”
Need to have
Following the success of this trial, XPAR Vision and TGI/TMG decided to create a strategic partnership. Mr. Boonsak explains: “We chose XPAR Vision as our partner, for their long experience in developing and implementing Hot End sensor technologies and their irrevocable commitment to assist us starting using these technologies. Having a nice system is one thing, making good use of that system is another. During the last few years XPAR Vision has shown dedication to our success.” As part of the strategic partnership, more systems will be introduced at Saraburi factory throughout the coming years. “It is our dedication to maintain to be the leading container glass manufacturer in South East Asia. Therefore we simply need this type of technology”, Mr. Boonsak concludes.
Shop floor experience
The shop floor experience is very positive. Mr. Krittin Boonyaphat explains: “We are using the IR-D/IGC systems for defect detection and inspection, glass distribution issues (intensity, asymmetry), review hot end rejects and fast remedial action for any process deviation. As such, the systems help us to improve our efficiency and maintain our efficiency on the higher level.” Besides the expected effects of IR-D/IGC implementation, Mr. Krittin points out another advantage: “An IR-D/IGC system acts as a point of reference for any hot end operator or specialist. All operators have the same information. There is less room for opinions and much more focus on working on solutions. Logically, we have organized ourselves around this. The result is a stronger organization, in which it is easier to line up and align (new and unskilled) staff.”
Automation & robots
Following the good results by the end of 2017, TMG – Saraburi will operate five IR-D/IGC systems. Mr. Somporn: “Within the next years, step by step, we will have this equipment on all our lines. Besides the advantages mentioned so far, this equipment is an important door opening to a future of glass making in which we will have more process automation and robots.”
New installation at TGI - Bangplee
Following the successes of TMG – Saraburi, by the end of 2017 TGI – Bangplee will have implemented one IR-D/IGC too. Knowing that this implementation in Bangplee is following the failed trail a few years ago, this new step can be seen as the breakthrough of XPAR Vision technology within TMG/TGI.
“I am very proud to have earned our customers’ confidence, after all!”, says Paul Schreuders, CEO of XPAR Vision. “Our Support going back to TGI – Bangplee after so many years, is for me the ultimate proof that TMG/TGI management has chosen our InfraRed technologies to be the standard. With their commitment XPAR Vision starts to have a real solid base here in South East Asia. From this base - together with our customers - we will further optimize the glass production process, in order to realize maximum quality glass containers with minimum quantity of resources and emissions.”