“We designed our brand-new plant to deliver high performance results, combining our vision for machinery with our personnel selection to offer a superior product and service to our customers. We chose two Glaston FC tempering lines for repeatable and reliable quality results,” said David Bunting, General Manager of Architectural Glass Products (AGP).
AGP will supply high-performance insulating glass units (IGUs) to Architectural Profiles Limited’s (APL) 72 window manufacturers throughout New Zealand who are enjoying a surge in use for thermally efficient windows, doors and façades in residential and commercial buildings.
As part of APL’s expansion, it has invested in a massive new facility on 30 hectares. For AGP and David Bunting, it offered the opportunity to build a dream glass processing facility from scratch.
David knew Glaston furnaces well from his prior experience in the float glass industry. When designing the plant, he aimed for a true step change in quality. “I’m a strong believer in good quality tempered glass for the IGUs we produce,” he added. “Although we looked at other technology options, I wanted furnaces that would give us the best outcome. I also wanted to make sure that we had a furnace supplier with the proper structure to support us.”
AGP’s decision to invest in two furnaces from the start was about meeting the expected volume and ensuring absolute redundancy at all times. “My choice of the FC furnace, in particular, is because I strongly believe we need repeatable quality results, and the FC really provides that for us. Other furnaces may be able to do it when variables align favourably, but then you rely more on an operator’s skills. I wanted to make sure the furnace could help our operators produce the same quality day in and day out – for many years. Some other furnaces can produce the quality, but it’s hard, and not repeatable,” David explained.
Commissioning began during the early stages of COVID-19. “Our trainer, Heikki, had to leave early in a rush before the 5-week national lockdown. Since then, we have not had any support on site. Still, my team has ramped up production without too many issues, which is a good testament to the stability of the FC furnaces,” David said.