Many factors are taken into account when deciding the racking sequence for glass,
spacer bars and final unit labels. All three of these elements eventually match
automatically in the Trimloss production sequence without any operators having to
do any searching or physical sorting at any point in the whole process. This is
why, when using the correct racking, Trimloss achieves the lowest labour costs with
the quickest batch throughput times and the minimum of work in progress shop floor
space, for a given batch size. Even lead and Georgian units have their intermediate
sequence calculated, avoiding any searching or sorting.
The design philosophy of Trimloss, is that unlike many competitor’s products, it
should be able to process any mixture of glass types, or spacer bar types in any
batch of work, without imposing any burdens on either administration, or shop floor
operatives. This often means that instead of having to fragment batch sizes to limit
the variety of work attempted in each batch, Trimloss can cope with taking on even
bigger batch sizes, often yielding even lower glass optimisation waste and labour
costs. To achieve all these benefits, the final racking sequence for the whole batch
is calculated before any glass type, or spacer bar cutting, bending, or optimising
instructions are produced. Even glass which is deemed for hand cutting has instructions
to fit in with this totally co-ordinated production sequence. There is therefore
only one print run of the final unit labels in this co-ordinated sequence. Even
unit manufacturers making high quantities of each order item, benefit from this preplanned
production sequence because location information printed on spacer bars can be unique
even when the spacer bar sizes are not.
This preplanned production sequence for any one batch of orders, firstly has all
the results for units containing only annealed glass, followed by all the units containing
any toughened glass. This is to allow unit assembly on the annealed only units to
begin straight after glass cutting, without having to wait for all the toughening
to be completed. Within each of these two categories, the next most important factor
for the sort sequence is to separate ordinary units, Georgian units and leaded/artwork
units. The work for each of these categories needs to be racked separately, so that
the Georgian and leading sections of the shop floor, receive only their relevant
The final factors taken into account when calculating the preplanned production sequence,
are the spacer bar thickness, material and colour. This is essential for spacer
benders which need operator intervention on a change of any of these factors and
also makes for quicker operation on spacer benders which can automatically handle
any sequence of spacer bars. Even when the Trimloss spacer bar optimisation is used,
the racking sequence still matches the same preplanned production sequence.
There is a different preplanned sequence for single glazed work, whether it be annealed,
or toughened. In this case, the major sequence is the delivery date, followed by
the delivery route, then the customer identification. Trimloss is told the maximum
height for racking on the delivery vehicle. Any glass pieces whose large dimension
is larger than this height need to be transported lying on their side, so they are
then sorted into a descending sequence of their small dimensions. Any glass pieces
whose large dimension is smaller than this maximum vehicle racking height, can be
transported standing vertically, so they are then sorted into a descending sequence
of their large dimensions. These features make vehicle loading much easier and quicker.
For toughened glass processors, the preplanned sequence applies after the glass
is toughened with optional laser applied racking instructions in the 10mm border
of the glass. Prior to toughening, the glass is sequenced initially into the correct
sequence for the Trimloss optimised toughened bed loading. For unit manufacturers
who buy in their toughened glass, there is a feature to cause the preplanned sequence
information to be printed on the suppliers glass label, enabling the same co-ordinated
production as annealed units.
The variety of solid spacer bar thicknesses, materials and colours that a unit manufacturer
might be asked to make can now number about 200 or more. The capabilities of different
spacer bending machines also vary widely, the most advanced being able to adjust
automatically to successive spacer bars of different thicknesses and the least capable
needing a 5 minute manual change of the bending head.
There are also considerable differences in the time to switch from one spacer bar
thickness, material or colour to another. The most advanced machine can do this
completely automatically, whereas the least capable requires much manual intervention.
There are also considerable differences in the time taken to bend each spacer bar,
the fastest bender operating at about twice the speed of the slowest.
Older spacer benders cannot bend the latest solid warm edge spacer bar materials
without considerable modification. You have been warned.
Whatever the make of bender, the operation from Trimloss generated instructions is
going to be easier and quicker. There is a bender which tries to minimise timing
overheads, by including a data sort feature in its operating console. Whereas this
will speed up the production of spacer bars for inferior optimisers, it will do nothing
to achieve a co-ordinated sequence of either glass or final unit labels, leaving
the operators to carry out much sorting of one component or another. With Trimloss
however, this sort process is completely redundant.
We do not believe there is any glass optimiser in the whole world with anything like
the host of very beneficial features described here to improve profitability.
In the leading and Georgian departments, the operators need to work on all the units
for each window in turn, so that they can get the leading and the Georgian grills
to line up correctly. For this reason, there are extra lead and Georgian reports
which are in window sequence, but with references back to the original preplanned
production sequence, to find the glass or spacer bars on which to work. After the
work has been done, the glass and spacer bars are then slotted back into their original
preplanned production sequence, so that glass, spacer bars and final unit labels
still match up perfectly as with all other units.