Maximising customer value through perfect service – the customers of glass processor Glas Fritz have been appreciating this concept for half a century. Learn how this company puts this require-ment into practice, using state-of-the art machinery and software.
Software-controlled, the intelligently networked CNC machinery of Glas Fritz ensure high precision combined with minimal through times. According to the company, the state-of-the-art toughening furnace guarantees top toughening quality, even for thin glass and soft coatings. Experienced glass workers create specialised solutions for architecture, interior design, and product presentation. This includes the production of exclusive, UV-glued glass cabinets as well as the powder coating which Glas Fritz has perfected for producing opaque special glass with highly resilient surfaces. The Swiss plant of Glas Fritz at Rheinfelden produces Pyranova fire protection glass.
Orders are entered by the staff at the headquarters in Lörrach and are transferred to the Swiss branch by means of A+W's commercial Software A+W Business. The sophisticated concept of Glas Fritz however requires the readiness for innovations. For decades, the manufacturer has been successfully cooperating with A+W's software for architectural glass.
With its user-friendly surface, the order processing system A+W Business embraces all commercial and administrative requirements, from order entry via technical and commercial input all the way to invoicing.
Glas Fritz maintain that since the spring of 2016, they have optimized their production processes significantly through A+W Production. Quick through times, transparent communication, improved quality management (QM), and nearly paperless production ensure even more efficiency.
All data have to be entered just once. Based on the technical input via A+W CAD-Designer, the soft-ware creates the control data for the CNC processing machinery. Thanks to intelligent A+W inter-faces like Cam-DXF, no further programming is required at the CNC processing centres. The soft-ware sends all sheet and configuration data real-time to the processing machines: This way, the company produces economically even at batch size one.
Large-format production monitors show the machine operator all details of the part to be produced. By barcode scan, production is released, the sheet is reported complete after processing, and thus passed on to the next processing step, or shipping. Rush orders are integrated smoothly: They are clearly discernible at all processing and prioritized throughout.
Thanks to the A+W's barcode-based operating data collection, the staff can clearly see the whereabouts and processing status of every single sheet: No sheet is lost, and Glas Fritz can provide their customers with details on the production status of their orders at any time. The barcode system refers breakage and damaged sheets to the breakage pool so that they can be immediately remade and are usually shipped together with the same order.
„The intelligent networking of our production through A+W Production has shortened delivery times by one to two days." Our staff who used to have to search for sheets and laboriously hand-pick them, now work productively“ states Managing Director Ralph Fritz. This has helped to improve process reliability considerably, the error rate has dropped to virtually zero.
For high delivery capacity and on-schedule handling, Glas Fritz constantly stockpiles about 200 glass types. The well-equipped stock provides the trade and assembly partners of Glas Fritz with window skylights, glazing accessories, fittings, metal pro-files, and PVC elements.
Glas Fritz combines glazier tradition and industrial competence. Glas Fritz believes that this business culture, according to the motto „Global but local“, is their main strength.
In the Industry 4.0 production environment, there is an independent communication between machinery, software, and workpieces, paperwork being the exception. Machines organise themselves, ask for new material, etc. This is imaginable for large quantities of identical parts of sheet metal - but can this also work for functional glass of different structures and dimensions, with multiple, specific processing steps – and, what is more, if nearly all of the products are unique items? Intelligently networked production processes like that of Glas Fritz show that Industry 4.0 even works with a diversity of variants: The high degree of integration of the A+W control software and the machinery allows an automated, efficient, and fast control of CNC processing centres.
Software and machinery communicate real-time. According to Glas Fritz, machine utilization has increased dramatically. Glas Fritz produce products in batch size one on a daily basis. Thanks to the intelligent combination of machinery and interfaces, the programming work required for the individual machines is virtually zero. This shortens through times, reduces labor cost, and permits a more flexible assignment of staff. The people in charge find it easier to locate sources of error. On its way through production, the workpieces communicate by means of barcode labels. Upon request (barcode scan), a sheet will tell what it is and what the user is supposed to do: What are the technical and geometrical data? What is the next processing station? Is this a sheet which is being expected at this exact spot? Is the sheet part of a rush order? At Glas Fritz, labels have replaced nearly all the batch cards and production papers.
The intelligent production process with a minimum of handling results in less scratched sheets; quality and customer satisfaction have increased. More digitalization will lead to even more machine efficiency.