LiSEC and Flachglas Wernberg have known each other for many years. Stefan Herrmann, Head of Production in Wernberg: "In 2010 we started talking about a tempering furnace and the installation was completed in 2012. We also successfully commissioned a LiSEC KBU system for edge processing a couple of weeks ago."
The key to success is having the flexibility to be able to react quickly to customers' enquiries. The key trends in the industry confirm this necessity, according to Stefan Herrmann.
Interview with Stefan Herrmann, Head of Production at Flachglas Wernberg.
LiSEC: What trends have you noticed and how do these influence your business?
S. Herrmann: We have noticed an important trend in the direction of individualisation. For example, an increasing number of customers have asked us about coloured safety glass. More and more customers want to be unique. Furthermore, the demand for safety glass continues to rise sharply overall. Glass units featuring tempered layers are on the rise within the construction sector: Heat and sun protection layers are also processed in the furnace, whereas these layers used to be applied afterwards. This requires a flexible storage concept because increased variations need to be managed. Another trend can be observed in the increasing variety of glass types, where the tendency is clearly towards large formats and triple insulating glass.
LiSEC: How high is the entry threshold for companies that have not yet gained experience with tempering?
S. Herrmann: Investment is certainly a barrier, and power costs and cost-intensive retrofitting work for a more effective power line can also represent hurdles. Incidentally, I wouldn't recommend that anyone buys a Chinese furnace if they don't have any tempering experience because the topic can be extremely difficult without any support. It is important to purchase supporting know-how. This knowledge can't be developed or learned independently and people who know about the topic are needed.
LiSEC: Who provides support for the tempering furnace?
S. Herrmann: Our furnace is operated by a foreman who provides organisational support for all of our furnaces. He was also present during the tests and handover. The furnace is supported by glass technology process engineers and also by a couple of other trained persons (e.g. fitters, etc.).
LiSEC: What are the largest misconceptions regarding tempering?
S. Herrmann: One thing that is frequently forgotten is that a tempered glass sheet always has properties that a non-tempered sheet doesn't have, and by that I mean that there are multiple steps in the process and the glass sheet has already been very hot, which naturally changes its properties. Another misconception is the assumption that tempering thick glass is more expensive than tempering thinner glass. It is often forgotten that the majority of energy is required for cooling.
LiSEC: What makes LiSEC unique for you?
S. Herrmann: Their outstanding expertise, dedicated attitude towards service and their technical development potential. As an example of this I would like to mention the KBU: No other manufacturer offers a comparable product in this form. The KBU is rock-solid and offers numerous "technical treats".