Only the most capable insulated glass manufacturers dare to take on project business involving high-tech glazing for buildings and facades. An independent company in Witham, Essex has faced this challenge and invested £4m in production space, technology, and premium software in order to play in the highest league. More precisely, all the way at the top.
When Steve Larvin was named Managing Director in 2016, it was clear that Village Glass was about to redefine itself. That same year, the company left the private sector and started concentrating exclusively on the commercial and public sectors: Village Glass was renamed Euroview, a modern company with a new, fresh CI and the highest standards for quality and delivery reliability for even complex IG structural elements. Instead of single-family houses, now the focus is on projects such as schools, hospitals, sport centres and office towers.
Steve has many years' experience in the high-end project business. He is more familiar than almost anyone else with the challenges and knows how to master them successfully: "The trick is delivery times and the highest quality – even for the most complex products. We want to become the leading supplier in the UK."
In record time, he reorganised production – especially the company's logistics. "Software is the company's brain and backbone", says Steve. "Our old system did not meet the new requirements". It is being replaced by a comprehensive solution from A+W.
Steve is familiar with A+W's software down to the smallest details and he knows to use it optimally. Together with the German software provider's experts, the commercial and technical systems are being installed and optimised for Euroview's processes.
Comprehensive networking with the best industry software provides the prerequisites for controlling complex commercial flows reliably and guiding the entire renovated machine park so it can achieve the highest output.
All data that is entered into the ERP system A+W Business is now available everywhere at the company. It can be used for more than just commercial and administrative purposes. All entire capacity and production planning, as well as production control, are based on this data. After the transfer to production, it is used for cut optimisation. The same data about the dimensions and storage location of a sheet is provided on monitors in production and is the basis for machine control. "In the end, for successful company controlling, the concern is always data", explains Steve.
The production equipment from Glaston, Forel, Hegla, Lisec and CMS was not only installed in 2017, it was also put successfully into real-time operation. The CNC machines and insulated glass production are controlled in real time by intelligent, bidirectional A+W interfaces - A+W production monitors and continuous bar coding inform, register and initiate production processes.
This networking of the best machine technology and intelligent software provides the best performance and enables the shortest delivery times in the industry with the greatest quality and flexibility. Steve Larvin: "Most of our competitors have delivery times of four to six weeks. We guarantee two weeks - at a maximum. Customers who need their products very quickly come to Euroview because they can be sure that we will keep this promise without compromises when it comes to quality".
Euroview's customers are predominantly builders, facade and metal workers. As an independent supplier, Euroview has unlimited access to all types of glass from all providers, another advantage for customers: not every insulated glass manufacturer always has all common types of glass in stock in jumbo format and can get other types at any time. This is how Euroview can deliver any sheet structure requested.
Architects and construction engineers need reliable advice for complex projects. Euroview implements solutions and offers extensive technical assistance beforehand. Euroview specifies glass requirements, conducts detailed load and risk analyses using special software, and ensures that standards and regulations are adhered to. This is how the company acquires customers and makes them loyal for the long run.
Smooth, efficient production always begins with intelligently organised cutting. At Euroview, the A+W Realtime Optimizer provides the best yield and greatest flexibility. This high-end optimisation can chain production flows, split up large batches and create new batches. Interventions by the machine operator are possible at any time, rush orders and remakes are integrated without problems.
The focus on jumbo stock dimensions results in advantages with respect to performance and yield. A portal crane feeds the float and LSG cutting tables from an automatic compact storage system. First cuts are held directly in a state-of-the-art Remaster residual sheet storage system and, controlled by the A+W Realtime Optimizer, fed selectively into cutting. This is done completely without manual labour, that is, quickly, cost-effectively and in material-friendly fashion. The residual sheets remain available on the production line and can be processed further rapidly.
The demand for safety glass is growing exponentially. Here, Euroview, with the Glaston FC500™ and integrated iLooK™ online quality scanner, is more than just a nose ahead of its competitors. Upstream, there is a vertical CNC processing line for quick and precise grinding, milling and drilling.
"We produce the best TG in the UK and we can prove this", explains Steve. "We load data about planarity, roller wave and edge lift from the iLook and it is available in our IT system at all times. Our customers are enthusiastic about this quality management, for it provides them with the greatest security for their projects."
Secure internal logistics and reliable delivery demand complete transparency about the status of sheets, batches and orders and the loading of racks. Using the A+W bar code system, Euroview updates the sheet status at each production station and reports this back to the production database. With this system, broken sheets are also reported and remakes initiated: this is an automatic, efficient and fast way to work.
Sheet status is also apparent in order entry and administration: on request, the customer can get immediate information about the status of his order, company management has a perfect overview of the order progress. The driver scans each rack on delivery. Because it is clear due to bar coding which sheets are on the rack, Euroview can trace each individual sheet for delivery.
The great integration of the whole company and conscious handling of all of the data generated are the most important prerequisites for Euroview's success. Whether the data is produced on the commercial level in A+W Business or during production, whether by people or machines at Euroview, it is used and evaluated consistently thanks to the A+W software. They are the basis of crucial company decisions. The use of the data from the TG production system is a perfect example of this. Data is shared across the whole company and with customers and potential customers. This is how Euroview already meets important requirements for an Industry 4.0 environment
A+W Managing Director Peter Dixen: "With increasing digitalisation, ordering, production, and delivery processes based on a uniform data platform will organise themselves ever more independently and optimise themselves constantly with each process step. Steve and his team understand this. Euroview is already a Smart Factory and it is getting better every day“!
Read here how Euroview supplied exceptionally flat glass for a contemporary facade office extension to a listed building: