SmartMelter technology recommended in insurance guidelines

FM Global, a leading multinational commercial insurance company, updated data sheet 7-26, loss prevention guidelines for the glass industry. These updated guidelines include radar-based technology among a list of minimum activities recommended for an asset integrity program, found in section 2.5.13-D. SmartMelter® is currently the only technology that provides inspections that meet this action.

FM Global publishes exacting standards in the form of Loss Prevention Data Sheets for multiple industries to help manufacturers reduce property loss. According to the FM Global website, these proven engineering guidelines are written and updated based on industry experience and outside input from sources such as manufacturers and standards committees. The purpose of the Data Sheets is to reduce risk and help make businesses more resilient.

The FM Global Loss Prevention Data Sheet for the Glass Industry provides specific recommendations to supplement its general guidelines. Section 2.5 outlines standards for loss prevention in operations and maintenance. The details of implementing an asset integrity program are listed in sub-section 13:

At a minimum, include the following maintenance, operating, and remaining life assessment activities in the program… (D) Consider employing emerging technologies to help assess refractory health. Radar based technologies have been employed successfully for several years to monitor for thinning and/or glass penetration.

SmartMelter® by PaneraTech is a patented radar-based technology that has become an industry standard for monitoring glass penetration and residual refractory thickness. This technology has been validated in multiple blind trials and used widely across the glass industry since its release to the public in 2017. PaneraTech recently announced that the company has surpassed 500,000 measurements and more than 300 furnace inspections.

“We have known for a while that insurance companies have been pleased with the way SmartMelter® upgrades risk management for the glass industry,” said Fred Aker, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at PaneraTech. He continued, “However, we are happy to see radar technology officially listed in FM Global’s Loss Prevention Guidelines. This is an accomplishment we are proud of.”

When utilizing radar-based inspections, the Data Sheet also recommends making accommodation for complete coverage of the refractory when designing new furnaces. The guidelines include that the manufacturer should “modify refractory support (steel) during the following rebuild to allow for a complete examination of furnace refractory.”

“PaneraTech has already been contacted by furnace design companies regarding these
standards. We will be working with other industry bodies to develop official guidelines for the
industry.” Mr. Aker explained. “We are working together with furnace design and maintenance
companies to help them make their designs and maintenance SmartMelter® compatible.”

To download data sheet 7-26, visit www.fmglobal.com.