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Glass at a Glance: Take Advantage of Glass Opportunities

April 1, 2002
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The partnership between the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council (GMIC) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) is generating a host of opportunities for glass companies. Glass manufacturers not involved in this valuable partnership are missing out on a range of activities with the potential to lower production costs and boost productivity. This new quarterly column will provide insight into some of those activities. Following is an overview of upcoming events and available industry resources.

Events

ACerS Annual Meeting, April 29-30, 2002, St. Louis, Mo. Interest in glass industry research is building as the GMIC celebrates its fourth year of operation. The council will moderate two, one-day seminars on glass manufacturing during the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) annual meeting. The session on April 29, the “Professor L. David Pye Symposium on the Structure, Properties and Behavior of Glass Forming Systems,” will recognize Dr. Pye’s many years of commitment to the glass industry and its development. The session on April 30, “Glass Manufacturing Issues,” will examine selected aspects of developments in glass manufacturing. For more information, visit http://www.acers.org. The ACerS meeting will also host a signing ceremony for the GMIC Allied Partner Agreement between OIT’s Glass Team and the GMIC on April 30. For more information, visit www.gmic.org.

Ohio State to Sign Industry of the Future Memoradum of Understanding, June 5, 2002. The Ohio Governor and DOE officials will sign a compact to collaborate on research and development, share technical resources, and collaborate wherever possible to support Ohio industries in enhancing energy efficiency, pollution prevention and sustainability. The collaboration will initially focus on Ohio’s glass, chemicals, metal casting and steel industries, with others to be added in the near future.

Cost Reduction NOW Presentations. These briefings, which discuss case studies and technical details on cost-cutting options for your plant, may be offered following the Ohio Industry of the Future State Compact Signing, and possibly again in October preceding the Glass Problems Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Watch the OIT website for final dates and times.

Regional Industry Technology Showcase, Akron, Ohio. If your glass manufacturing facility has completed energy-efficiency upgrades and is located within approximately 100 miles of Akron (including West Virginia and Pennsylvania), you may wish to participate in the Regional Industry Technology Showcase this September. This event demonstrates how a comprehensive approach to improving plant operations can lead to increased productivity and cost and energy savings. The effort includes an independent, third-party validation of technology performance and costs in comparison to baseline practice. For more information about the benefits to your firm, visit http://www.oit.doe.gov/bestpractices/showcase.shtml.

Solicitations of Interest

Further information on all of the following solicitations will be posted at http://www.oit.doe.gov as it becomes available.

Glass R&D Solicitation, Spring 2002. A solicitation for glass making process-related energy improvements is expected to open around mid-April. Collaborative industry teams with promising concepts are encouraged to apply for cost-shared support from OIT.

Plant-Wide Energy Efficiency Opportunity Assessments, Spring 2002. Glass manufacturers interested in identifying savings opportunities in their own plant through cost-shared third-party assessments will want to watch for another solicitation due out later this spring or summer. It will be announced on the OIT web site (address above).

Inventions & Innovations Solicitation. The Inventions & Innovations (I&I) program provides financial assistance for significant innovations in glass making processes. Winners of the 2002 program solicitation (now closed) will be announced in May. Past winners of the I&I solicitation include can be found online at http://www.oit.doe.gov/inventions/folio/folio_iof.shtml.

NICE3 Solicitation, Spring 2002. OIT’s National Industrial Competitiveness through Energy, Environment, and Economics (NICE3) program will provide grants of up to $525,000 (on a cost-shared basis) for demonstrations of energy-saving technologies assigned priority in the glass technology roadmap. The solicitation opened on April 1. Full details, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, are available at http://www.oit.doe.gov/nice3.

Resources

In addition to the events and solicitations listed above, the OIT and GMIC offer a number of resources to glass manufacturers. These include the following:

G+ Program and Results. Each year, GMIC members multiply their membership dollars in laboratory credits at the DOE National Labs. Member companies have access to expertise, equipment and lab time—up to $24,999 worth—through the Laboratory Coordinating Council and GMIC. Sample G+ projects include “Controlling Emissions from Borosilicate Glasses,” “Asymmetrical Windshield Construction,” “High Temperature Thermocouple Degradation” and “Reduction of Corrosion of Tank Refractories.”

Technical & Economic Analysis. Glass Problems Conference attendees (October 2002) will receive a copy of this new report that describes technical details and benefits of all glass making technologies, both current and attempted in the past 50 years. The report will include (where possible) patent information, technology evaluation and commentary of benefit to the entire glass industry.

Other glass industry resources supplied through the OIT/GMIC partnership include:

  • Glass Industry Analysis Brief (energy and economic information), online at http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/mecs/iab/glass.
  • U.S. Glass Industry Technology Roadmap – Final 2002, available online at http://www.oit.doe.gov/glass/ or by calling (410) 290-0370.
  • Energy and Environmental Profile of the U.S. Glass Industry – 2002, available online at http://www.oit.doe.gov/glass/ or by calling Keith Jamison at (410) 290-0370.
  • Glass CD-ROM – A compilation of fact sheets, cost reduction strategies and economic analyses of various energy-saving opportunities. CDs can be obtained at the 2002 ACerS meeting, the Ohio State Industry of the Future MOU signing or the 2002 Glass Problems Conference.
  • Glass Industry and OIT Directory, available online at http://www.gmic.org and http://www.oit.doe.gov/aboutoit/staff.shtml.
  • Glass Industry Brochure, sponsored by GMIC along with several companies and the DOE Glass Team. The brochure will soon be available online at http://www.gmic.org.
  • Matrix of Glass Research Capabilities, prepared by the Laboratory Coordinating Council. This matrix brings the expertise and capabilities of 16 DOE National Laboratories and facilities to bear on the challenges and opportunities of the Glass Industry of the Future. Available online at http://www.oit.doe.gov/lcc/glass_matrix.shtml.

    Education and Innovation

    The no-cost and cost-shared activities and resources listed above are designed to provide solutions for a wide range of glass manufacturing problems and present unique opportunities for education and innovation. If your company is looking for ways to improve its efficiency and productivity, start by investigating what the GMIC and OIT have to offer. By working together, we can help ensure that the U.S. glass industry remains profitable well into the future.

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