Trimloss last updated

17th January 2018

by Julie Moorcroft

Moorcroft Computer Services

Thinking clear       Thinking software

Thinking Trimloss


by Julie Moorcroft

Moorcroft Computer Services


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Super Spacer Line Software



An ordinary automatic unit assembly line on a Trimloss site, does not require a computer file to be input to make it work.  The sequence of the glass being loaded at one end, should match the sequence of the spacer bars appearing at the assembly point, whether these bars were produced manually with a saw, or were produced on a spacer bender.  (This doesn’t always happen with other optimisers, where it may be necessary physically to sort out glass into the sealed unit spacer bar and colour groups, and then feed that information into a computer to make the matching bars).  In the real world however, mistakes happen, even with the completely organised Trimloss sequence, but if the next leaf of glass does not match the spacer bar, then the operator can easily skip to the spacer bar that does match and so overcome the problem.  In choosing the correct spacer bar this will automatically have the correct information printed on it, if it was produced on a spacer bender.  With spacer benders, each instruction on its input data file both bends the bar and prints the correct information on the same bar.  It is impossible for the bar size and the information on the bar to mismatch.  



On most Super Spacer lines, there is also printing on the automatically applied spacer bar.  In most cases however, this is limited to constant information like the production date and the accreditation number and the only variable information is the width and height of the unit which is obtained automatically from the Super Spacer applicator as it circumscribes the glass.  There is in this case still no computer file input as with most spacer benders.  

What many glass shops require however, is the ability to print on Super Spacer bar, the same information that they would have printed on a spacer bender, namely bespoke contract information, giving precise traceability of the product if problems occur in the distant future.  What is needed therefore is for a similar disc to that used on spacer benders, to be used on Super Spacer lines.  It sounds easy doesn’t it.  There are however a multitude of potential problems.  The operator loading the glass on the line may find that a unit is missing, so he needs to input to the computer system that the unit has for now been skipped.  If he does not do this, the next unit that he sends down the line will have the wrong information printed on it as will all following units in the batch.  This wrong information is printed on the Super Spacer bar before the glass reaches the assembly point, so the operator there cannot make any correction as with an ordinary unit line.  

The operator loading the glass may also discover after loading the first leaf of a unit, that the second leaf is damaged.  There needs to be a way in which he can put this information in the computer.  All relevant information needs also to appear immediately on a workstation at the assembly point so that the operator there knows which units have been missed or rejected, so that the finished label in these cases is not applied.  This operator at the assembly point also checks that the printing on the Super Spacer bar, the glass and the finished label are all compatible.  


At the end of a batch, there should then be a number of missed or rejected units which should then be the beginning of a remake run either carried out immediately or at a later time.  This is facilitated by logging every transaction so that any batch can be recovered to the state that existed when it was last being run.  This is necessary after shutting down at the end of the working day in the middle of a batch, or more commonly, when the Super Spacer line has a problem necessitating restarting both the line and the batch from where it left off.  This can be achieved in about two minutes.  


We have developed this system as an add-on to existing Superspacer lines from any manufacturer.  This method of Superspacer bar printing is however designed to fit in with the highly organised Trimloss (lean manufacturing) shop floor organisation system which automatically matches all glass for the same sealed units and organises work into like groupings for spacer bar thicknesses and colours, leaded, Georgian and annealed /toughened.  This means that the annealed units can be put down the line whilst the other glass is still being toughened.  



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