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Data on Glass – Glass sheets with digital fingerprint

In the age of digital glass products, gapless Product Traceability is of utmost importance. Let's have a look at a functioning glass facade on a building: The glass sheet came a long way in the value-added chain. At some point it was bent, cut and stacked on the float line; then it was ground, heat-treated, coated, laminated, processed into insulating glass, framed, fixed - and now dwells on the building. "The long travel generated numerous data about the final product – a real abundance of information", says Peter Seidl, Product Manager Glass at Grenzebach.

This product is interesting from several different perspectives, for glass manufacturers, glass processing factories, transporting agencies, planners, facade engineers, and facility managers, just to name a few. Important data includes manufacturer’s designation, production time, glass sheet ID, dimensions, process and treatment parameters and position on the building. All of this makes up the digital finger print of the product. “We offer the glass industry a large spectrum of technologies to add the digital finger print to their product“, says Seidl. Identification numbers, bar codes or QR cods carry this information and can be applied onto the surface or by means of laser engraving.

Detection of complete glass racks with RFID
Pretty new for the glass industry is the RFID technology (radio frequency identifi-cation). With radio frequency many products can be detected at the same time contact-free and without optical contact, such as complete glass racks. This data in turn can be transferred to the Grenzebach Application Server. The process steps and data with the unambiguous glass sheet ID are linked and a product resume is created.
With the RFID tag, a label with integrated memory chip and antenna, data can be read out and reregistered.
The product has relevant data readily available needed by following actors in the value chain.
For example a glass sheet can transfer glass failure data via the RFID tag, such as the failure type, classification, failure position to a cutting table and can optimize to the best possible cut-to-size result.

„These technologies strengthen the trust between the manufacturer, processor and end user of the glass products", explains Grenzebach expert Seidl. Identification of every single product at any time adds to transparency and is a big step in towards Industry 4.0.

Further reading

Exhibitor: Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH