A new amber glass furnace started production at Beatson Clark on 5 November after a £6.5 million rebuilding project was completed.
The new furnace has a larger melting area, improving Beatson Clark’s capacity to supply the growing market for craft beer bottles both in the UK and overseas.
The melting area in the furnace has been increased by more than 6m² and can produce around 200 tonnes of glass per day.
Glass furnaces need to be completely rebuilt every ten years and this latest project is just part of a major £10 million investment which Beatson Clark has made in plant and equipment at its South Yorkshire site this year.
“We are selling a lot of amber glass at the moment and our new larger capacity furnace will help us to supply the small brewery market even more effectively,” said Marketing Manager Charlotte Taylor.
“We’ve installed stirrers in the forehearths to improve the quality of the glass, and by widening them we can also get a greater pull from the furnace.
“The design has been improved too for greater efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions in line with new Government targets.”
The new equipment now utilises the flame length to burn more gas, thereby reducing NOx emissions by over 20 per cent.
Improvements to the regenerators and a greater wall height have increased the combustion volume, which means that more heat can be recycled.
Meanwhile a new burner system with an oxygen trim facility ensures combustion is optimised, further increasing efficiency.
A new six-section bottle forming machine has also been installed which will offer further flexibility to supply the smaller breweries.
Around 80 contractors have been involved in the rebuild and maintenance project, including Sheffield-based Tecoglas who designed the furnace, Chapman Brack who have undertaken the rebuild with D A Cooper, and Batts Engineering of Rotherham who fabricated and installed the structural furnace steelwork.
“Our staff have worked tremendously hard with all of the contractors involved in the rebuild to ensure a smooth installation,” said Beatson Clark’s Furnace Manager Dean Duke.
“The new furnace and the major maintenance work that has been undertaken will enable us to continue to produce quality amber glass for our customers for years to come.”