The rise of insulated glass – manufacturer obstacles and opportunities

Governments around the world are legislating to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. Although it’s not mandatory in all states yet, change is well underway. For the glass industry in Australia and New Zealand, the move away from single panes of glass towards more complex insulated glass (IG) units is already having an impact on how businesses are working.

Manufacturing insulated glass units is far more complicated than producing single sheets of glass, not just because of the extra processes, but also because of the extra handling and coordination that’s required.

In an efficient glass business, you schedule production to avoid waste in cutting and to ensure furnaces and other bottlenecks are kept fully loaded. In practice, this means that the two sheets of glass for each insulated unit may be produced hours apart and need to be located and brought back together when they are needed.

When you are assembling insulated units, the biggest challenge is pairing up the two pieces of glass correctly, together with the right spacers and any decorative bars.

Assembling IG units needs to be fast and efficient. In this competitive market you don’t have time to go searching for pieces of glass or other parts that have gone missing. And you certainly don’t want to risk breakages by handling anything more than necessary.

Manual scheduling systems, which served you well in the past, often struggle to bring everything together through all the steps and processes to deliver a complete customer order. There is nothing more frustrating than a delivery being held back by one half of an insulated unit that is further back in production.

And if a customer calls for an update or to check that you can still make the delivery on time in full, you are going to need a system for tracking that is more sophisticated than sending someone into the factory to ask everyone for an update.

Not every glass fitter or small scale manufacturer will want to make the switch up to more efficient, tightly managed production. For them, outsourcing IG will quickly become the more profitable option. But for those manufacturers who see insulated glass and energy-efficient treatments as an opportunity, there is a well-proven route to success. In the colder climates of Europe, insulated glass has been the norm for twenty years or more and manufacturers have learned the hard way, what works and what doesn’t.

At Jotika we supply software systems to glass businesses. We have been supporting glass manufacturers across Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world for over 30 years. Our systems give company owners and directors the control and information they need to run a complex glass business efficiently, profitably and with the flexibility that your customers demand. We know that customer service is key in the glass business and are recognised as the leader not just for our software but also for outstanding support and service.

Read more about Jotika, including our software and global support. Or contact us to discuss how we can help you profit from the rise in insulated glass.

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