Since 2002, W-Glass – one of the leading Estonian glass processing companies, with more than 80 employees – has been working on delivering high-quality products in the areas of processed float glass, laminated glass and prefabricated products to their customers. With turnover of 8.4 million EUR in 2020, W-Glass has an export quota of 75 percent – particularly to its main markets such as Finland, Sweden and Norway.
Focus on customers and quality
There has been a considerable increase in demand in recent years, and the boom in customer orders soon led to the limits of production capabilities. Ardo Krits, CEO of W-Glass OÜ, said, “We have worked with Enterprise Estonia to develop a range of high quality, value-added products. As a result, we have been able to record continuous growth that could only be covered in our current factory by making investments in product development.”
Beginnings with LiSEC
The first contact with LiSEC is not decisive for W-Glass – the most important experience in the partnership with LiSEC was in 2007. At that time, W-Glass was still using a LiSEC cutting table from 1985. One day the machine’s USB dongle broke, and because of the age of the machine it was not possible to replace it. “Back then, it meant that we had to cut manually with knives again – a disaster for production,” said Ardo Krits, CEO of W-Glass OÜ.
Mr. Tomas Vasiliauskas, at the time regional manager time and current Managing Director of UAB Lisec TCN, spoke directly to the founder of the LiSEC Group, Mr. Peter Lisec. Without hesitation, Mr. Lisec agreed to sell W-Glass a cutting table that had been used at LiSEC for testing purposes. Only 2 weeks after the first call, the glass lites sheets were being cut with the new table on site. The loading table of the aforementioned cutting machine, also manufactured in 1985, is still in use.
The machine park – the basis for sophisticated production
The W-Glass production facilities have 5,000m² of room for fulfilling the increasing demand from customers with a high quality standard. In order to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity in the existing facilities, investments have been made in new LiSEC machines and LiSEC software solutions.
With the LiSEC solutions, both machines and software ensure that internal work procedures run as smoothly as possible, which reduces operating costs and guarantees that deliveries are made on time.
In addition to the many years of positive cooperation with LiSEC, two USPs in particular were pivotal for the decision in favour of LiSEC. “In addition to the quality of the end products that are produced with LiSEC machines, LiSEC has an extremely fast response time when it comes to service inquiries, and the same applies to the delivery of spare parts,” said the CEO of W-Glass. “The service life of the machines is also impressive. All in all, we can say that the most important thing is the previous experience that we have had with the LiSEC team. Everyone knows how to give a good sales pitch, but we don’t want to experiment in our factory. We need reliable machines in order to be a reliable supplier ourselves.”
LiSEC machines & software ensure top quality
Among other things, the LiSEC GFB – a fully automatic cutting table for float glass and ornamental glass – can now be found on the premises of W-Glass. The system provides the lowest glass cutting tolerances with a high degree of durability and reliability at the same time. The cutting table also impresses with its infinitely adjustable air cushion section and the non-slip and wear-resistant conveyor belt.
Another plus point is the energy efficiency of the system due to the use of class IE3 drives. W-Glass also has a LiSEC KSR – the compact vertical edging system for rectangles and shapes. The diamond-tipped wet grinding belts process the front and back of a glass edge simultaneously. The grinder moves on a vertical guide unit and can also rotate through 360°C degrees, so that all four sides of a glass sheet are accessible. The system can be connected to upstream vertical washing machines without any problems.
W-Glass also uses the LiSEC VHW-D (preceding version of the new VHW-F series). The automatic washing and drying system impresses with its compact design and the quick and efficient drying process.
W-Glass relies on LiSEC for the software too. Not only are GPS.order and GPS.opt used, but also GPS.hand and LIS.reporter. GPS.order, the LiSEC order management software, speeds up and automates the processing of quotations and orders. This means that all of the company’s attention can be devoted to the customers. Other advantages are the automatic delivery date and production checks during order entry, as well as customer loyalty by means of automated customer communication and electronic data exchange. With GPS.opt, LiSEC is providing a solution that goes well beyond the functional scope of glass cutting optimisation software. Input of complex insulated glass structures, including coatings and stepped structures comes as standard. Grinding additions for edge processing are also possible with just a few clicks, even with complicated shapes. Due to the ever increasing quantities of data, data management is becoming increasingly difficult. With reporter, LiSEC provides a simple solution for creating your own analyses and reports. This makes it possible to get a quick overview of all data, which can also be output graphically if required.
The big picture together with LiSEC
“Together with the reliable machines, you also get the best possible service, i.e. professional advice and prompt delivery of spare parts. Since a short delivery time to the end customer is one of the most important elements in the glass processing industry, we certainly don’t want our machines to be idle for a week,” said the CEO of W-Glass.
W-Glass relies on the complete provider competence of LiSEC. The machine and software solutions and the LiSEC know-how play into each other’s hands and are rounded off by the intensive cooperation with the customers. Thorough familiarisation with the machines provides additional tips and information, as well as the optimal utilisation of machine capacities.
LiSEC quality successfully certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2015
LiSEC continuously works on improvements and innovations, but also on consistent quality and therefore maintaining a high standard. In 2021, the entire group of companies fulfilled the requirements of a quality management system in accordance with the criteria of ISO 9001:2015 – with successful, official certification on 16/03/2021.
Thanks to the professional quality management system, LiSEC customers particularly benefit from the resulting transparency and cost reductions, which can be implemented by minimising error quotas and passed on directly to the customer.
“With our quality management system and the defined customer and process-oriented procedures, we guarantee transparent and uniform standards across the board,” said Christian Bernkopf, member of the LiSEC-ISO core team and the main person responsible for the implementation process. “This high quality standard sets us apart from the competition, and we therefore achieve a decisive advantage for our customers with the transparent project management,” continued Bernkopf.
The way to the future
“Our goal is to provide our customers with flat glass products with excellent quality, with short delivery times, fast logistics and a full understanding of their needs and expectations,” said Ardo Krits. “We must also continuously increase production capacity and introduce new value-added products in order to improve our competitive advantage on the international markets, for which we need a strong basis in the form of a strong machine park.”
In an ongoing project, W-Glass is planning and coordinating a new production facility in Saue, Estonia. LiSEC is also on board for this project, and is already providing support with technical know-how and the planning of potential production cycles.
The focus is on sustainability, digitisation and automation in order to be able to provide bigger, safer and also more energy-efficient solutions in the future. “For a glass processing company such as W-Glass, this means that we have to start thinking about it now and not wait until we are forced to make changes in order to new potential requirements,” said Ardo Krits.