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More information on processes

With every advance in the world of digitalisation, the importance of key indicators and production data for process optimisation and quality assurance increases.

While almost all of these development stages has had a positive influence on the degree of automation and networking, the data pool remains virtually unchanged. It comprises more or less precise target figures and, at best, a shift-by-shift comparison of the target and actual states.

By individually marking and tracking panes, production transparency can be further increased and processes can be tracked in real time and digitally mapped. This is precisely why HEGLA boraident offers UniColor© laser printing – a process in which a wafer-thin, machine-readable marking is applied without damaging the surface. Once the marking has been applied, it remains firmly attached to the glass as a unique identification feature throughout the entire product life cycle. 

Individual ID for unique identification

“As soon as orders are entered, most ERP systems assign a unique ID to each individual pane,” explained Dr Thomas Rainer, Head of Development at HEGLA boraident. “If the number is stored in a QR or data matrix code specific to the marking, the glass can be identified at any time and assigned to an order or a production step.”Depending on the configuration, the relevant information can be retrieved from the system or database by scanning the code manually or automatically. Recording the codes at the processing stations also makes it possible to complete tasks such as storing the current position, the processing status, and the completed upstream systems.

Once the actual glass flow is known in real time and at any time by tracking the panes, the data is available for the further optimisation of production control and processes. On this basis, problems in the glass flow, non-engaging processes, and capacity bottlenecks can be identified more easily on the one hand, and the data can used to simulate changed processes on the other. Other options include providing employees with specific information and integrating the data into a cockpit that displays information such as the current waste rate, the target/actual comparison of the planned daily or shift production figures, and even the reject rate.

Quality assurance and traceability

Such markings also offers advantages in terms of quality assurance. It is possible to trace the footsteps of damaged or scratched glass to determine the stations at which it was processed. “Particularly in the domain of highly automated quantity cutting, every second faster we can make the process of defect identification minimises the potential for further rejects,” noted Dr Rainer. Another optional feature increases safety: when using the marking tape that was specially developed for curing ovens, the colour of the marking changes during the curing process to prove that this processing step has taken place.

Data access via scan or app

QR and data matrix codes can also be used across the entire value-added chain with appropriate data management and sharing to create even more information value. Using the optional PanePro app, customers can access product data, find the relevant fire protection certificate, and even re-order the same product with just one click.

Press officer:

HEGLA boraident GmbH & Co. KG
37688 Beverungen, Germany

Carsten Koch
Phone: +49 (0) 5273 905121
Email: carsten.koch(at)hegla.de 

Image 1: If a pane is marked with an individual QR or data matrix code, information about the processing steps that have been carried out can be stored by a tracking system or the current status can be queried, for example.

Image 2: An automatic scan is used to identify a pane and store information on its processing status. This makes it possible to record the actual glass flow and adjust production planning processes accordingly, if necessary.

Image 3: Mobile devices can be used to identify a pane, access the data on file, and re-order the identical glass with just one click.

Image 4: Using the optional PanePro app, for example, it is possible to access production data or the appropriate fire protection certificate via scan.