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Guardian adds SunGuard® production to UK facility after coater upgrade

Guardian Industries’ Glass Group has invested more than £3 million to upgrade the production line at its Goole plant in East Yorkshire.

By completing the upgrade of its magnetron glass sputter coater, the facility now is able to make all of the more advanced coatings for its popular Guardian SunGuard® SuperNeutral® (SN) product series at the UK plant.

“Manufacturing SunGuard glass in the UK allows a much greater level of flexibility for Guardian and its customers,” said Pablo Isasmendi, Plant Manager, Guardian Glass UK. “To ensure we provide the same level of quality SunGuard products produced by our sister plants in continental Europe, we have also installed a sample-size toughening furnace that allows us to inspect the quality of the tempered product during every production run.”

An essential part of the upgrade was the addition of a Temporary Protective Film (TPF) applicator. “The TPF is used on all SunGuard SN products to protect the coating before and during processing, helping to secure higher yields through manufacturing” explained Isasmendi. The new TPF applicator is the most advanced to date within the Guardian group and has the capacity to cover all glass sizes up to and including “jumbo”. It also offers additional benefits, with a 4mm overhang at the leading and trailing edge helping to ensure wrinkle-free TPF application.

“The coater was built and designed with this upgrade in mind,” said Eduardo Moraga, Coater Manager, Guardian Glass UK. “Seven additional compartments were included in the original design, which have now been equipped to accommodate the added cathodes and target materials required to manufacture our SunGuard SN product series.”

Featuring double silver coatings, the SunGuard product line offers a greater level of selectivity, meaning the glass allows more natural light to pass through while also improving its heat-reflection properties.

Gordon Dickson, managing director of Ravensby Glass Co. Ltd. in Dundee, Scotland, has been using the glass from Guardian’s new coater and is very happy with the quality.

“Ravensby Glass had been using imported Guardian SunGuard products in the UK for many years, and we made the switch to using SunGuard glass from the new Goole coater without issue. It offers the same high quality as the products from other Guardian facilities. Eighteen months ago, we installed a new Glaston FC 500 tempering furnace, as part of a £6M investment in a new manufacturing facility exclusively geared to supplying the commercial glazing market throughout the UK. Ravensby has processed the full range of SunGuard products through our new facility and in particular our new furnace, with excellent results,” says Gordon Dickson. “We have produced these products to such a standard of flatness and with very little roller wave, that customers have enquired as to whether the glass was tempered, such was the level of distortion on the glass. This has led to us supplying 4mm SunGuard SN 70/37 glass for various contracts in particular high-end residential, providing excellent U and g values, which previously were only available in 6mm thickness. We are very happy to continue using SunGuard glass on specified contracts in all thicknesses.”

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