Crystal Window and Door Systems Upgrades IGU Production Operation

IGU Production LineCrystal Window and Door Systems of Flushing, N.Y., has replaced its entire insulated glass unit (IGU) production operations equipment. The company says it can now offer its customers all the current benefits of the PPG developed Intercept spacer insulating glass system in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.
The new system seamlessly melds machinery and software, and includes the i-3 Intercept spacer line equipment, new desiccant/sealant extruders, a glass washing unit and an integrated automatic oven/roll press, all produced by GED Integrated Solutions of Twinsburg, Ohio. Crystal says it is one of nearly two dozen early adopters nationally of the advanced system.

Through the integration of advanced CNC control machinery and coordinating software, the new system is able to accommodate varying sizes and thickness of glass and spacers automatically, creating IGUs in an efficient and seamless process. By fully automating the spacer width change and adjustment process, the new Crystal system allows for continuous flow operation. The need to batch work by spacer size and the down-time to change spacer coil cassettes and adjust equipment are eliminated. The new equipment readily accommodates re-makes.

The GED i-3 Intercept line equipment that produces the spacer is the centerpiece of the Crystal upgrade. This new component includes a ten-spool steel coil cassette rack, ten pigtail self-feeders and automatically-adjustable roll formers. Through precise CNC control and integration with the Crystal order system, the equipment can produce variable thickness spacers--selecting from the preloaded ten-spool rack--of any length, without operator intervention. With previous equipment the change out of coil spools when switching spacer thickness required the line to be shut down for at least 15 minutes. The new 45-second automatic changeover to another coil requires no line shut-down.

Environmental responsibility is an important feature of the new system's software controlled stainless steel glass washer. The unit recycles wash water in a three-stage water treatment sequence, passing wash water through de-ionization filtration, de-chlorination and a particulate filter bed. For glass lites exiting the washer, a sophisticated air knife blower dries the glass quickly while using less energy and generating less noise than the previous equipment.
Several other components are key to the new Crystal production system. A new desiccant matrix/butyl sealant "smart" linear extruder automatically applies material to the newly-formed spacer accurately. The new equipment self-adjusts for the various size spacers being produced and assures long-term IGU performance while reducing costs. The previous equipment was highly dependent on machine operator experience and expertise for efficient operation, the company says.

A new in-line curing oven/roll press, when operating in full automatic mode, senses the size and thickness of the incoming IGU, and sets compression, and if needed, dwell time speed. This new equipment also uses up to 50 percent less energy than other high-efficiency ovens. Integration of Crystal's existing butterfly assembler unit rounds out the new IGU system.

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