Vidrala is a leading European glass manufacturer that produces over eight billion glass containers per year. Vidrala consistently participates in world-first initiatives such as installing smart manufacturing lines at their plants and working with IPGR, Glass Futures and Universities to foster solutions on sustainable glass manufacturing, with a customer centric approach. One of their latest innovative decisions is to enroll all furnaces in PaneraTech’s Digital Furnace Monitoring (DFM) program.
In 2015, Vidrala was one of the first companies to validate PaneraTech’s SmartMelter® technology as part of International Partners in Glass Research (IPGR) in one of their plants in Portugal. Over the last five years, they have used PaneraTech’s radar technology to regularly make critical decisions about maintenance of their furnaces.
When PaneraTech introduced a holistic program to manage furnace health through digital transformation, it was the software platform, XSight, that first captured Vidrala’s attention.
“XSight brings visibility and transparency into our furnace KPIs, asset health, and maintenance schedules,” according to Vidrala’s Technology Team. “It is a true digital transformation of our furnace management program.”
XSight acts as the command center for the program. When a furnace is onboarded, a digital model is created and PaneraTech’s team enters all furnace history and activities to date. XSight captures furnace data such as regular walk-downs and observations, inspections, audits, repairs, and maintenance. This data is analyzed based on best practices in the industry and recommendations are made for operational improvements to extend furnace life.
Enrollment in DFM includes an experienced PaneraTech Asset Manager assigned to Vidrala’s furnaces to support their staff. The Asset Manager will train employees to evaluate information on the platform and make data-driven decisions). Asset Managers will work with the plant teams to meet KPI’s developed by Vidrala.
A customized schedule of furnace evaluations will include SmartMelter® radar scans, continuous monitoring of electrodes with Polaris IoT sensors, and periodic SmartAudit checks (visual, thermal, and endoscopic evaluations).
“Vidrala has been a valuable partner to PaneraTech since the earliest days when our technology was being validated,” said Yakup Bayram, CEO of PaneraTech. “We are happy to continue this relationship by working together to optimize the life of their furnaces.”
The objective of Digital Furnace Monitoring is to help manufacturers make more glass, even with a workforce that is evolving into younger generations. As experienced employees retire and turnover increases, PaneraTech provides the consistent support needed to increase production and reduce CAPEX. For more information about Digital Furnace Monitoring (DFM), visit PaneraTech.com