EC: Datapaq Furnace Tracker System for Glass Tempering
Process Control Systems: The Datapaq Furnace Tracker System for glass tempering processes accurately measures temperatures from all types of glass, including hard and soft-coated low-E glass, effectively optimizing cycle times and reducing energy costs. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice finalist.
The Datapaq Furnace Tracker System is the first temperature profiling system designed specifically for glass tempering processes.
Use of tempered glass is increasing. Glass has significant value added due to the increased use of solar coatings to improve insulating properties in architectural applications. In auto applications, glass has become lighter, yet stronger and has special low-E coatings. Regulations around acceptable optical distortion following bending are getting tighter. The need to monitor the process is already recognized and as new coating processes add further value to the glass (low-E, self-cleaning, scratch resistant and even PV), the importance of correct tempering will continue to increase.
Datapaq’s solution for the first time ever enables users to get a full temperature profile of the process from start to finish. The accuracy is independent of the glass type or coating, and enables users to increase quality, reduce energy use and/or increase throughput.
The key is a new ultra low height barrier, the TB7528 that measures a mere 1.14 in. in height, allowing it to enter tempering furnaces along with the glass sheet. This unique barrier was developed using the very latest computational simulation programs to optimize the design. The barrier itself is constructed using technologies taken from the F1 industry, using robot laser welders to ensure consistency and accuracy.
The barrier protects the Q1840 data logger as it travels through the furnace and records detailed temperature profiles captured by thermocouples attached to the glass sheet underneath. Analysis of the data is done using Insight Software, so adjustments can be made to optimize cycle times and reduce energy costs.