Glas Berger relies on waterjet and glass storage

Interior glass specialist Glas Berger takes its flexibility and efficiency to a new level with water jet cutting and glass storage

The vision of the Lower Austrian glass refiner was a fully automatic grinding and processing centre with little maintenance, easy to operate and with top service. The systron proHD Glass Processing Centre with Waterjet and 20-Slot Storage Solution can absolutely meet these requirements.

For over 60 years and now in its third generation, Glas Berger GmbH from Viehdorf near Amstetten has been a recognized specialist for interior glass and curved safety glass. With 30 employees, diverse glass projects are implemented on a 4,000m² production area. The company handles everything from construction to assembly. The B|SAFE brand, registered almost 20 years ago, stands for Berger safety glass, but also for BENT (curved) glass, which underlines the pioneering role in this area. Managing director Erwin Berger adds:

“Our company is designed as a single-shift production and we process around 40,000 m² of glass per year.

Our main focus is on high-quality glass for interiors, but canopies, parapets and outdoor garden fences are also becoming increasingly important. We have already implemented numerous special projects, in Austria and abroad. Here we benefit from our extensive know-how in glass finishing, our willingness to experiment and our wide range of machinery.”

Short processing times for just-in-time delivery

Erwin Berger started with CIP about 15 years ago and designed the production for just-in-time delivery. “The average time it takes for an order to be processed is 24 hours to 3 days. Implemented with any processing including milling, as well as lasered, painted, printed, foiled, glued, thermally toughened or laminated.” Until 2020, a horizontal grinding machine with 4 processing heads and a subsequent drilling and milling centre was used for grinding, polishing and cutouts. “This machine was able to grind 4 sides in parallel and therefore very quickly, but the bottleneck was the drilling and milling. The high space requirement and, above all, the complex maintenance prompted us to reorient ourselves,” says Erwin Berger about the motives for the new purchase. At the end of 2020, Glas Berger invested in the systron proHD Glass Processing Centre with Waterjet: “Our vision was a fully automatic grinding and processing centre with little maintenance. Easy to use and service & support should be professional and quick.”

The glass storage system is a crucial benefit

A diverse product mix of 150 glasses is to be produced in one shift using the vertical systron proHD glassprocessing centre. To ensure continuous, rapid production, Berger has invested in the Automated systron Glass Storage Solution. The inlet and outlet storage ensure automatic loading and unloading of the systron processing machine. In addition, the storage is loaded again by the machine operator at the end of the shift and can be processed unmanned. “This storage is a big advantage for us. The machine continues to run during the lunch break, the proHD operator can always help out with other machines and when he goes home, another third of a shift can produce unattended.

For the unmanned shift, we mainly buffer more complex panes, such as shower doors with several cutouts,”

explains Erwin Berger the efficient use of employees and machines. Regarding Return On Investment, he adds:

“If the economic situation does not change dramatically, the systron line will pay off in the next three years.“

Waterjet cutting has become indispensable

The possibility of producing glass cutouts with a waterjet was new for Berger: “Waterjet cutting is an extremely flexible and gentle way to cut glass.

You can cut radii with just 2 mm and the quality is very good. You no longer have to seam anything because the waterjet cut is so tension-free.

The milling cutter creates a lot more tension and micro-cracks in the glass, which means you can’t temper it directly. The maintenance of the waterjet unit is manageable, the nozzles have to be serviced again and again, but in relation to the drills, this is negligible.“

Stay individual and still increase automation

For a small company having a versatile product mix like Glas Berger, automation is not always easy. “All our products are so different, the standardized doors often come from Eastern Europe, here in Austria a lot of things are still very individual, this is where we can play our trump cards. But automation is of course also an issue for us; lifting work in particular should be eliminated from the process. We are thinking here of a fully automatic unloading of the cutting table, ideally with direct feeding into the systron glass storage. Let’s see what the machine manufacturers come up with to meet these requirements,” says Erwin Berger.

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