There are now some stunning architectural projects and building landmarks that use glass as a main feature. Glass entrances have become a reflection of quality standards for a business, take the Louvre in Paris, or Apple in New York or the Basque Health Department in Bilbao Spain.
Over the last few decades glass has become increasingly popular as not just a building material but also as a statement.
Across our Capital city the skyline is strewn with new buildings where glass is the dominant product in the overall final appearance. The Shard, The Gherkin and London Bridge Station to name a few where huge metres of glass facades have created new talking points for visitors and tourists.
Bigger, better, higher performance are the new trends in building design with architects and builders across both commercial and domestic projects. For processors this now requires a new commitment for customers in terms of providing niche, oversized units that will stand the test of time and of course the ever changing pressures from the elements.
Tailored design incorporating jumbo units means processors have to find ways to handle, shape, store and transport the glass in a way that will give customers confidence on technically challenging building projects.
Experienced glass processing specialists of course have been evaluating and adapting their production capabilities alongside their machinery providers in order to be able to cater to the demands of this growing architectural trend.
Today highly efficient automated systems are out there that can calculate specific requirements for oversize glass unit production as well as its storage.
Co-ordination has to be meticulously planned even down to the transportation of oversized glass units to site, particularly for inner city projects, if the products are to remain in tact.
For glass processors one of the key tasks will be to plan factory layouts carefully in order to manufacture the larger designs within a glass production run with minimum risk to operatives on the production floor. Subsequent logistical planning will also be essential for delivery to site.
As glass entrances and curtain walling projects are becoming more in demand, then processors are becoming a more important link in the design of these super skyscraper projects.
With a new ‘Brexit’ existence soon expected to begin, being prepared for ordering glass well in advance will become extremely important. Manufacturers who have organised storage facilities to hold glass in reserve will be leading the way during the disturbance the political climate could create.
Industry leaders such as HEGLA, Bystronic glass, Glaston, Promac, Bottero and many others have been helping customers prepare for the most efficient way to answer demand across the UK as urban regeneration continues to grow in popularity.
Looking forward, to an uncertain future in respect of delivery times, the emphasis will be on planning ahead and working with processors who have had the foresight to expect potential hold ups in relation to jumbo glass sheet delivery.
Helen Duval 2019