Automated Glass Lathes
Moores Glass own Sadems Industrie, a Belgium-based maker of glass products and developer of computer-controlled glass processes, has introduced a thermographic and dimensionally controlled automated Minibloc lathe that uses a Windows-based training system for fabrication of glass or quartz parts. Sadems has been a subsidiary of Moores Glassworks since 2004 allowing us to use these machines in our own production. Auto lathes can be programmed to perform the work of highly skilled craftsmen. This is especially advantageous when manufacturing with high yields as it allows for consistency and repeatability of quality.
Sadems said its thermographically controlled lathes are fully automated to produce a wide variety of glass and quartz products by hot-forming operations. From tubes or rods, these machines can shape using any combination of forming, pushing, pulling, blowing, sealing, collapsing or centrifugal operations, providing high-dimensional accuracy. Programming the equipment is quick, simple and user-friendly, and the systems are flexible, Sadems said. "Since no mechanical setup is required, it takes just a few minutes to switch from one production to another, making the equipment cost-efficient even for small production batches."
Sadems has developed a unique programming tool: the remote control. Using joysticks, potentiometers and other controls, a glassblower can produce a reference piece on an automatic machine. During this operation, called acquisition, the machine records all actions made by the glassblower, as well as thermographic and dimensional maps.
The software analyzes all the information recorded during the acquisition, finds correlations between the actions made by the glassblower and the thermographic and dimensional information then automatically generates a production program. Corrections can be made directly in the program to improve the quality or the production speed. Salems said the process provides results within a a few hours for one application.
"As a glassblower works on a manual lathe, he is actually working in closed loop," Sadems said. "He carries out an operation, looks at the effect of this operation on the glass and consequently decides about his next action. The effect analyzed can be linked to the viscosity of the glass or its shape. This method allows the glassblower to adapt to variations in his working environment (dimensions of tubing, flame power) in order to produce the same final result from various working conditions.
"Sadems thermographically controlled lathes are roughly working on the same principle," the company said. "The embedded thermographic camera continuously measures the temperature profile and the dimensions of the working glass at locations defined by the program and adapt the programmed actions according to the result of these measurements. Taking into account that the machine is able to perform these measurement with a far greater accuracy than a glass blower, the final result is also more accurate and repetitive. We can expect tolerances up to ±0.05 mm."
Moores Glassworks is a world leading exporter of:
- Ultra high vacuum viewports
- Cathode ray tubes
- Multi pin bases/stems/pinches
- Photomultiplier envelopes
- Graded seals
- Glass condom moulds
- Glass to metal seals
- Hollow cathode lamp bodies
Moores currently export to clients in the following countries
- North America
- Puerto Rico
- Hong Kong
- All over Europe