Glass processors and IGU manufacturers are losing tens of thousands a year to wastage, despite facing significant shortages of product.

According to glass processing software provider Clear Thinking Software, manufacturers are haemorrhaging as much as £86,400 a year in wastage, at a time when shortages mean that every piece of glass should count.

The warning comes amid widespread reports of glass shortages and steep price rises due to a global shortage of shipping containers, an issue that is having a negative impact on product supply into the UK, and one that has been compounded further by scheduled cold maintenance programmes of float glass lines for the spring and summer of 2021.

Malcolm Searle

Malcolm Searle, Managing Director, Clear Thinking Software, said continuing high levels of wastage in manufacture was counterintuitive at a time when glass availability was low and prices increasingly high.

He said: “Right now, everyone needs to be maximising their outputs against each and every sheet of glass. Software tools like GlasSave maximise output against each product, saving offcuts and even coming back to them later down the line when they can be re-used – things that you can’t possibly hope to stay on top of through manual scheduling.

“Depending on your size, that could mean big savings going back onto your bottom line but in the current climate, almost more importantly, giving you the product to get work out of the factory gate.”

Based on an approximate costing of £72 for a 2,550mm x 3,210mm sheet of 6mm float and £108 for 10mm, the potential savings for processors who use GlasSave soon add up.

At a larger scale, for instance for a company that would expect to process as much as 200 sheets of 6mm and 10mm glass a week, GlasSave can deliver £1,800 a week in savings – that’s as much as £86,400 over the course of 12 months.

“For a relatively small outlay, GlasSave pays for itself in a very short space of time,” continued Malcolm.

Designed to work on a wide range of glass cutting tables, maximising the output of 3,210 x 2,250/2,550mm sheets as well as ‘jumbo’ 6,000 x 3,210mm sheets, GlasSave eliminates ‘ad hoc’ glass cutting by taking into account all the production requirements for any given day.

It can then calculate clear cutting plans for each sheet of glass, significantly reducing the chance of any errors and ensuring unwanted off-cuts are kept to an absolute minimum.

In addition to this, GlasSave also takes into consideration the available space for sorting and storing cut glass, nesting shapes, for example balustrades, wherever possible, and storing and re-using off-cuts, where appropriate to do so.

“Customers have told me that they are spending as much of 25% of their day trying to source glass,” concluded Malcolm.

“The outlook for the industry is positive in many respects, but glass processors and IGU manufacturers are now under increasing pressure to make the most out of every last square inch of product that comes into the factory.

“GlasSave optimising software can help them do exactly that.”

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