FOREL AT VITRUM 2019

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Forel's confidence in the Italian system is confirmed by the company's attendance at Vitrum 2019 (Milan, 1-4 October). Indeed, Forel's booth at the event (PAV. 7 booth P01-V12) will be nothing short of remarkable, both in terms of size and variety of solutions on display. A stand of few words but plenty of substance, which reflects Forel's approach to this trade fair.

Of the various processing systems on display, the new Jumbo line for "High tech" insulated glass is of particular note, featuring a series of exclusive innovations. In addition to this, one of Forel's "best sellers" will also be in operation on the stand: the vertical processing line, consisting of  an edgind machine (for arrissing, rough edge grinding and polished edge grinding), a drilling and milling machine and vertical washing machine. The performance of this solution has impressed even the most exacting customers with its precision and productivity. With regard to automated handling and ordering, a Sorting System will also be in operation at Forel booth. This solution not only moves the panes of glass within the glass processing facility (for example, connecting cutting or vertical processing line with an insulating glass line) - it also orders the panes in stock in accordance with the production schedule, for a dynamic, flexible approach to management.

In addition, all of the solutions on display are managed through a dedicated software programme. They continuously provide data on every aspect of the processing operations in progress, offering significant potential in terms of increasing efficiency, rationalising operations and boosting productivity. Within the context of Industry 4.0, the interconnection between machinery enables the entire production process within a glass processing facility to be analysed in detail, which in turns allows the production in progress to be monitored, as well as optimising and continuously improve this.

“High Tech” IG Line

“High Tech” IG Line

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FOREL AT GLASS BUILD AMERICA '19

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From 17th to 19th September, Forel will be taking part in Glass Build America 2019 (booth #1550), the annual glass sector trade fair for the North American market, which will be held in Atlanta (Georgia).

The solutions presented at this event are specifically focused on processing machines for residential insulated glass: the company will display the "Residential" IG line, with a special flexible spacer applicator, equipped with automatic reel change function, and the high-speed arrissing machine.

Forel is present in the US and Canadian markets through its Forel North America branch, with offices in Minneapolis (Minnesota) and Toronto (Canada). Guided by the decades-long experience and expertise of CEO Marco Schiavon, Forel NA was founded to be as close as possible to its North American customers.

The Service Dept. of Forel NA offers technical assistance over the telephone to customers, and boasts a team of skilled technicians who can provide help when necessary to ensure production remains as efficient as possible. Both the US and Canadian offices also have their own spare parts warehouse, for fast shipping of spare parts.

Recently, Forel NA has been restructured and strengthened, with a view to offering the best service to American glassworks companies, both before and after the sale.

ARTIGIANVETRO: “FOREL SORTING SYSTEM REVOLUTIONISED OUR WORK”

From the left: Nicola, Graziano and Daniele Marcantonelli

From the left: Nicola, Graziano and Daniele Marcantonelli

Artigianvetro is a company based in San Severino Marche (Italy), founded by Graziano Marcantonelli in 1985. Two 20-year-old glaziers, a van, 120 square meters but much enthusiasm and passion: these are the ingredients with which the company was established, today a well-known reality in the Italian glass sector, thanks to a quality production that includes structural, residential, commercial and interior glass panes. Artigianvetro has had several site changes since the first site, up to the current production plant. The latter is a real gem: a surface area of 4,000 square meters, completely independent from an energy point of view thanks to a system of last generation photovoltaic panels. Today, Artigianvetro employs approximately twenty people, coordinated by the Marcantonelli family: in fact, the founder Graziano and his brother Daniele were joined over time by his wife Patrizia, and their sons Nicola and Noemi.

Artigianvetro HQ and production plant

Artigianvetro HQ and production plant

"Artigianvetro has grown one step at a time, with passion and dedication" says Graziano Marcantonelli. "The collaboration with Forel began in 1997, when we purchased the first flat plate coupling press. The quality demonstrated by the product, combined with the trust that was established with the supplier, took us a little at a time to choose Forel also for the following investments. Today we use a edging line and an arrissing one, which feed our IG unit production line (all Forel): the last one allows the assembly of units with both rigid and flexible spacers, depending on the orders. However, we wanted to take a step forward through integrated logistics, a fundamental component for any modern glassworks. So, a year ago, we revolutionized our daily business with the purchase of the Forel Sorting System. After considering other options available in the market, we choose the SS for performance and efficiency: we automated the management of glass sheets, simplifying the work of the operator and increasing productivity and safety".

Forel Arrissing Line in Artigianvetro plant

Forel Arrissing Line in Artigianvetro plant

Today the workflow in Artigianvetro begins with the cut and continues towards the edging line or towards the arrissing line, which runs parallel to the first one. However, up to a couple of years ago it was necessary to load the panes according to the production order, in order to then be able to assemble the insulating glass units, today this task is completely overcome. In fact, an automatic pane recognition system is installed on the line's infeed conveyor, which measures length, height, thickness and any low-emission coating. This reading allows the software to recognizes the job order to which that pane belongs and assigns it a unique ID.

The pane, now "registered" with no possibility of misunderstanding, is then submitted to edging or arrissing, washed and arrives at the Sorting System. Composed of three shuttles and a series of vertical storage units, the Sorting System already knows the order of arrival of the pieces, picks them up and places them in the storage units. Then following the production program, the system will feed the insulating glass line.

Artigianvetro "second generation" Nicola Marcantonelli literally grew up in the glassworks. We ask him what the practical changes brought by this last investment were.

"The installation of the Sorting System, supported by the automatic piece recognition system, changed everything," says Nicola. "Before it was necessary to cut and sort the pieces having already in mind the order with which the insulating glass unit would have been made. In practice, there had to be a cutting/unloading-loading/processing plan from the very beginning. Today it is enough to cut the sheets and load them on one of the two lines: the system does the rest. A radical change. In addition to having increased the production speed and the safety both for the operators and for the material, the current configuration allows a better management of the unexpected. If for some reason one of the panes of a certain order is not ready? The Sorting system allows me to postpone that order, place the other panes that are part of the order in the storage unit and proceed with another order. A management flexibility that is in no way comparable to the previous situation".

Artigianvetro team

Artigianvetro team

"If most of the systems we use today are Forel" concludes Graziano "is the result of a gradual process, started with one press, then with a sealing robot and continued with one investment at a time. We put our trust in Forel, we verified that their systems were operating as promised and that their Service (undoubtedly a feather in their cap) was able to take action to solve the problems that arose during operation. Today we can safely say that our trust has been well placed”.

FOREL AT AUSFENEX19

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Forel will attend at AusFenEx19 in Sydney (Australia) from 27 to 29 of August. Organized at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, AusFenEx19 is the main event in Australia for window, glass and security screen business.

Come visit Forel at booth 39!

FOREL OPEN HOUSE 2019: A 3-DAY EVENT DEDICATED TO SPACE-TIME-EFFICIENCY

The vertical processing line by Forel

The vertical processing line by Forel

200 visitors per day, from 30 different Countries, for a 3-day event dedicated to the new technologies in the flat glass sector, following the "Time-Space-Efficiency" red thread.

This is the summary of the Forel Open House 2019, the usual annual appointment of FOREL with customers from all over the world: during the event, all the guests have had free access to the Vallio di Roncade (TV) plant and had the chance to look at the machinery in operation, checking first-hand the quality and reliability of FOREL solutions.

The Open House has also been enriched by a relevant program of conferences, which saw the participation of first-rate speakers such as Dario Schiff and Romano Ugolini (Guardian Glass), Luca Papaiz (Pellinindustrie-GlassAdvisor), Alex Ochoa (Fenetech) and Peter Pfannenstill (SoftSolution).

“Forel could never have reached the grand age of 43 years without a continuous commitment to interpreting what it needs to be to respond effectively to the market” explains Fortunato Vianello, Founder and CEO “Today, as we always did, we never stop asking ourselves what tools are available - and, more importantly, what tools need to be invented - to bring the glass industry closer to perfection. Many years before the term “lean production” had even been coined, Forel was already dedicated to optimising work time, the intelligent use of space and in offering its clients the most efficient technology possible. And on this topic (Time-Space-Efficiency) we planned our Open House: who choose Forel take a significant step forwards in all three of these directions”.

VIDRARIA MORTAGUA: REACHING INNOVATION WITH THE CONSTRUCTOR

Forel IG lines in Vidraria Mortagua

Forel IG lines in Vidraria Mortagua

“The important thing is having a clear goal. It isn't always necessary to know how to reach this goal already when you start: first you choose the destination, and then you plot the route. Nonetheless, ambitious plans often come with hurdles that can't always be overcome alone. And this is where you need a partner, not just a supplier, that can put the initial vision into focus and transform the idea into a project”.

These are the words of Josè Pires, Chief Financial Officer of Vidraria Mortagua (Portugal), one of the leading glass-processing companies in the Iberian peninsula. Founded thirty or so years ago by Nuno Morais, the current CEO of the company, and Josè Pires, Vidraria Mortagua has grown from a small artisanal business with around a dozen employees to become a structured industrial company with an 18,000 square metre production site, a workforce of over 100 and an annual turnover in excess of 10 million euros. The company produces laminated and insulating glass for both residential and commercial applications, in pane sizes up to and even beyond the Jumbo format. While the company distributes is products directly within Portugal only, its clients supply a market extending throughout Europe. For over 20 yeas, Vidraria Mortagua has used Forel machinery for the production of insulating glass, edge processing and, more recently, laminated glass cutting.

Josè Pires, CFO of VIdraria Mortagua

Josè Pires, CFO of VIdraria Mortagua

“We purchased our first Forel double glass production line in the late 1990s, and it is still in operation today”, says Pires. “About ten years later, we added a second Forel line to cater for the growing number of orders. Our company then continued to grow steadily, and so we transferred to a larger new plant and increased the size of our workforce. But when the recession came in around 2010, we experienced a drop in business like everyone else at the time. We had only two paths ahead of use: we could either close down to save us from financial loss or risk new investments. We asked ourselves what we could do to stand apart from our competitors, and the answer was a project for a third double glass production line: a line capable of processing pane sizes up to 7 x 3.21 metres, using the Super Spacer flexible spacer. In addition to our third line's ability to produce impressive formats, it is also the first anywhere in the Iberian peninsula to use flexible spacer technology. The new plant became operational two years ago, and the response from the market has already been very positive: in 2019, we saw a substantial increase in the number of orders for insulating glass with the Super Spacer”.

Forel Flexible Profile Applicator in Vidraria Mortagua

Forel Flexible Profile Applicator in Vidraria Mortagua

One of the leading players in the impressive growth of Vidraria Mortagua has been Rogerio Moreira, who joined the company in the late 1990s and is now General Manager.

“When we decided to invest in the new flexible spacer”, explains Moreira, “we knew that we were trying something totally new in our field. We weighed up a number of different options, but in the end we chose the Forel Art. AT applicator, which offered the best performance with the Super Spacer product. Now that the necessary setting up stage is complete, the line is operating at full capacity. Adding this new line let us achieve the degree of flexibility we were looking for, and Vidraria Mortagua can now respond easily to both standard orders and more complex requests.”

The latest purchase by Mortagua was a Forel VC02 vertical laminated glass cutting line (the model exhibited at Glasstech 2018, ed).

Rogerio Moreira, General Manager (on the left) and Nuno Morais, Ceo and Founder (on the right)

Rogerio Moreira, General Manager (on the left) and Nuno Morais, Ceo and Founder (on the right)

“We have just finished a major project to optimise and rationalise our production plant” continues Moreira. “After we extended our production area (increasing it to its present size of 18,000 square metres), in 2017 we created specific, distinct areas for lamination, insulating glass production and laminated glass cutting. We needed to speed up process times in the cutting department in particular, where we had only performed horizontal cuts: and this was made possible by the installation of the Forel vertical cutting line. This line's precision and reliability, and its ability to process Jumbo format panes rapidly, gave our production capabilities a significant boost. In addition to this, Forel also built a made-to-measure automated magazine system for us, which feeds both the vertical and the horizontal cutting lines.”

“The future is automation” concludes Josè Pires. “We have to continue to set increasingly higher standards for quality using ever more advanced glass processing solutions, and this will only be possible through automation. To react to a market that is already very aggressive and changeable, Mortagua has set itself the goal of being flexible, of being organised amidst the disorganised nature of the world we operate in. This is why we base our choice of suppliers not only on the quality of the product they offer, but also on how easily we can create a working relationship with their management. Companies with our vision and aspirations cannot make do with picking systems and machines out of a catalogue, but need a supplier that develops bespoke solutions. To be up to the task, the constructor must have a streamlined organisational structure that can react rapidly to our feedback and requests both before and after sale. A working group involving both the glass processor and the constructor must be created to work towards the common goal of creating a system that operates at its full potential, always. This is why Vidraria Mortagua does not have its own R&D department. Our innovation is in the machines we use.”

The Headquarters of Vidraria Mortagua

The Headquarters of Vidraria Mortagua

There's an unmistakeable atmosphere of continuous innovation within Mortagua. As well as a well stocked machine pool, the company has also installed a state of the art photovoltaic generation system and a process water recycling system. There are also many new projects in the pipeline.

“By the end of 2019”, reveals Rogerio, “we will have completed a new extension project to increase the size of our production site. In the meanwhile, we are finalising the purchase of a new 'High Speed' double glass production line. And, of course, it will be a Forel line.”

MARCO SCHIAVON AT THE HEAD OF FOREL NORTH AMERICA

Marco Schiavon, Forel North America CEO

Marco Schiavon, Forel North America CEO

Effective April 8, 2019, Marco Schiavon has been appointed CEO of Forel North America. As CEO, Schiavon will oversee the operations at the St. Paul, Minnesota and Toronto, Ontario locations.

Schiavon has been employeed at Forel for over 30 years and has gained extensive experience in the glass industry. During his career, Schiavon has held various positions of responsibility within the organization. Schiavon has extensive experience within the North American market, an area that has always been a strategic focus for Forel.

With the aim to focus on further company development in North America and to offer customers in the U.S. and Canada an increasingly efficient customer service, both before the purchase and after installation it was decided to entrust the management of the North American branch to Schiavon.

“Schiavon has a clear understanding of our customers’ needs and has establishmed long lasting relationships with our customers,” says Riccardo Vianello, Chaiman of the Board of Directors.

Here below the Organization Chart of Forel NA: 

Marco Schiavon – CEO Forel North America

Christine Wilson – CFO

Troy Lentner – U.S. Area Manager

Nick Eue – U.S. Service Manager

Owen Allen – Canada Service Manager & Sales Support

Riccardo Vianello - Serves as Chair of the Board of Directors. Since the founding of Forel North America in 2013, Riccardo Vianello has played a central role in the development and success of the North American branch, in which he is still fully involved.

 

VETRODOMUS: "QUALITY AND HIGH PERFORMANCE WITH FOREL "NO LIMITS" LINE"

Roberto Pastore, owner of Vetrodomus

Roberto Pastore, owner of Vetrodomus

"Everything is based on the quality that a glass company can offer. Superior quality allows you to connect with higher-level customers and access higher-level orders. How do you achieve quality? On the one hand, you rely on the skills and know-how of your company and employees; on the other hand, you capitalize on the tools you decide to use."

 These are the words of Mr. Roberto Pastore, owner of Vetrodomus (Brescia - Italy). His company, founded over 50 years ago, is now one of the leading European companies in the large pane processing sector. With over 70 employees and a production area of 13,000 m², the company is specialised in the production of glazing for facade applications and shipbuildings. Vetrodomus was among one ot the first companies to believe in Forel's “No Limits” IGU line project, which led to the development of insulating glass lines capable of processing extra-jumbo sized glass sheets.

Vetrodomus Headquarters in Brescia (Italy)

Vetrodomus Headquarters in Brescia (Italy)

"We needed to increase our productivity," says Pastore, "by adding a new insulating glass line to the two existing lines. Our top priority was for high performance (the ability to handle heavy weights and support significant thicknesses and offsets) to correspond to a good level of labor productivity. We were familiar with Forel because we had already purchased a vertical edge processing line (grinding, milling and drilling, washing machine) and part of an insulating glass line, so we decided to work with them to explore a system that could go beyond the standard formats. Having made the decision to invest, we opted to do so by opening ourselves up to new possibilities. This led us to the “No Limits” line. We considered this choice carefully and in the end it proved to be a winner. The line entered into production two years ago and has been advancing quickly. It has superior performance characteristics and has given us access to substantial orders.”

“No Limits” line of Vetrodomus

“No Limits” line of Vetrodomus

Mr. Maurizio Capello, Production Manager at Vetrodomus, played an important role in selecting and assessing the line: "We are very scrupulous in the evaluation of the machines that are proposed to us," explains Mr. Capello. "We were looking for a flexible solution that could assemble units for the international facade market. Our customers, mainly Groups that operate internationally, are very demanding in terms of accuracy and quality of the finished product. As for Forel, we have always appreciated the robustness stemming from the monoblock structure that distinguishes their products. And the fact that they are made in Italy is synonymous with quality. Having made these preliminary considerations, we then compared the performance and functionality of the “No Limits“ line with the other lines on the market. We conducted a detailed analysis, which demonstrated that the Forel brand had made significant progress from a technological point of view. We decided to put our trust in the No Limits line and we made the right choice."

Maurizio Capello, Production Manager of Vetrodomus

Maurizio Capello, Production Manager of Vetrodomus

We end our meeting with Vetrodomus with a final question for Mr. Roberto Pastore: In a competitive and increasingly technologically advanced context like the current glass market, what strategies must a company implement to excel?

“In order to become suppliers of certain customers, you need to invest on different levels and work towards continuous improvement. To be a true leader requires efficient and effective management of the company's business processes and ongoing cultivation of staff know-how through suitable training. Vetrodomus, in addition to the certification of its Quality Management System, has always worked in this direction by implementing its own quality controls on products and processes. Likewise, the company is diligent in adhering to customer protocols, which are increasingly specific and demanding. Obviously, all this is complemented by the machinery. By investing on both fronts, Vetrodomus has increased its productivity and raised the bar on its objectives, enabling the company to approach a very high-level clientele now."

FOREL AT MIR STEKLA 2019

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Forel will attend to Mir Stekla 2019 (Moscow), the main exhibition dedicated to glass products, equipment and technologies for glass making and processing in Russia.

Russia is a strategic market for Forel: through Forel Russia, the company have just accomplished many important projects for leader companies in glass processing.

Forel booth at Mir Stekla will be at Pav. F, Hall C, Stand 082. Forel staff will present the latest developments related to the automatic insulating glass machinery, with specific reference to the recent projects for JUMBO and "NO LIMITS" special lines, as well as describe in detail the technologies characterizing the vertical machines for glass seaming, grinding, polishing, drilling and milling. Furthermore, Forel staff will be available to illustrate all the process features of the vertical cutting line for laminated glass, the lamination line and the automatic systems for storing, handling, sorting and monitoring the glass sheets.

FORMATOR: BEST PRECISION WITH THE FOREL PROCESSING LINE

Robert Miklus, owner of Formator

Robert Miklus, owner of Formator

The glass balustrades of the Tour Odeon Skyscraper of the Principality of Monaco, the interior of the Doha Airport in Qatar, the new BBC Headquarter, the facades of the Manchester University in the U.K., the glasses for the Winter Garden in the “Shard” tower of London and for the cruise ships of Costa Crociere, Princess, Carnival Cruise Lines…

These are just a few projects accomplished by Formator, glass factory from Rijeka (Croatia). The company employs approx. 70 people and it is focused on special glass installations (laminated, tempered, curved, serigraphy, etc.) to be used in innovative buildings, following very straight quality requirements.

“Our company was established 15 years ago” explains the owner Mr. Robert Miklus “From the very beginning we started competing in the international market, offering superior quality and precision. Our glasses are now in some of the most innovative and luxurious architectures in the world: buildings where the tolerance limits for the glasses are near zero”

For the edging, drilling and milling of the glasses, Formator uses a vertical processing line by Forel. The line is composed by the edging machine Art. EM (for seaming, grinding and polishing), the drilling and milling machine Art. DM and the washing machine Art. VW.

The Forel Line of Formator

The Forel Line of Formator

Why did you choose the Forel line, made up of three different machines, instead of a single machine which collects together the different processes?

“Because we needed the highest possible precision and we found it just in this line. We are experiencing a trend of continuous research of innovation and originality in the architecture: actually, there is an impressive creative impulse from designers and architects. When we receive an order for an innovative project, it is never a “standard” order, with the same “recipe” for 100, 1.000 or more glass sheets. Architects order glasses to compose their creations and every sheet could have different size: the final effect requires the maximum precision. Think about serigraphy: sometimes we received orders for huge quantities of different laminated glass panes with serigraphy on both sheets. All the glasses will be placed to create a graphic design; therefore, all the panes have to be extremely precise.

Another common case is the “glass fins” orders. These orders are for laminated glass panes of 2-3 sheets that are very long and tight (up to 4 m x 400 mm), with up to 20 holes per sheet. That means possibly up to 60 holes. If after the lamination process just one hole is not placed in the correct position, the pane has to be discarded. Minimum errors cause not only time and material waste but also a critical delay for the customers”.

Polishing with Forel edging machine Art. EM

Polishing with Forel edging machine Art. EM

How does the Forel Edge Processing line meet your needs?

“Both the edging, with its patented glass sheet holder feature, and the drilling machine, with its system of fixed and adjustable suction cups, offer an outstanding stability during the processing. The machines are be very flexible and work at high productivity always guaranteeing quality and repeatability. And that is exactly what we need.

At first, we were looking just for a drilling machine: we discarded the horizontal solutions, because of the difficulties in the glass positioning  and the impossibility to put the drilling machine in line with the traditional edging machinery. So, we started considering brands which offer vertical all-in-one solutions, but we were not convinced about performance and quality. Then, we heard that Forel was designing a new vertical line for edging, drilling and milling and we decided to wait. That was a wise decision: in the last two years, the line has been working without interruption 24/7. The productivity about shaped and special glasses is quadrupled, giving full satisfaction to us first and foremost, but above all to our customers”.

 Your core business is “special projects”. That means that you are not processing “common” or low quantity orders?

“Not at all. Indeed, with this line we can be more flexible and manage every kind of request. In the past, when we were working on a big project, it was difficult to put into production new orders in our schedule. Now, instead, the higher performance of our machinery makes everything easier”.

 And what about the future?

“We are now in a very positive trend: our adaptability and high-quality standards have been recognized. During 2019 we will enlarge our Rijeka plant with additional 3.000 square meters.  We have already ordered a new edging machine and a new washing machine. These new machines will work in line processing those sheets that only need to be polished. Obviously, they will be from FOREL”.