Guardian Upgrades Coater, Adds SunGuard Production to UK Facility
Guardian Industries’ Glass Group in Europe has invested more than £3 million (~ $4.7 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 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 for 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,” said Isasmendi.
According to the company, 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 4 mm overhang at the leading and trailing edge that helps to ensure wrinkle-free TPF application.
“The coater was built and designed with this upgrade in mind,” said Eduardo Moraga, coater manager. “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 reportedly offers a greater level of selectivity, meaning the glass allows more natural light to pass through while also improving its heat-reflection properties. “Ravensby Glass has 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,” said Gordon Dickson, managing director of Ravensby Glass Co. Ltd. in Dundee, Scotland, which has been using the glass coming off Guardian’s new coater. “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. Indeed, we have produced these products to such a standard of flatness and 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 4 mm SunGuard SN 70/37 glass for various contracts, in particular high-end residential, providing excellent U and g values that previously were only available in 6 mm thickness. We are very happy to continue using SunGuard glass on specified contracts in all thicknesses.”
For more information, visit www.guardianglass.co.uk.