Graphoidal's Autoswab increases glass plant efficiency

Graphoidal's Autoswab increases glass plant efficiency

November 16, 2016

Graphoidal, the pioneers of Autoswabbing in the 1980’s have developed a new generation of automatic blank swabbing machines that are predicted to become the “next big thing” in the container glass industry.

A system has been running for over 12 months in a UK plant installed on a 12 section AIS DG machine where increases in productivity of up to 3% have been observed.

Graphoidal is a leading company in the field of lubrication application for the glass industry. Formed in 1958 originally to produce Graphite mould release compounds, it has become a specialist in developing innovative solutions. This latest development is based upon the very first Autoswabbing machines which it produced in 1985. These early machines were way ahead of their time, however they suffered from lubricant blockages.

A complete redesign of the original system has addressed all of the previous problems and is now impressing glassmakers with the increases in productivity it provides.

Production efficiencies of better than 95% are now considered normal.

Each section of the machine is fitted with a specially designed; independently controlled spray head. As the mechanism is integral within the machine it does not interfere with the access of an operator.

The system requires a means of administering the spray during the forming cycle. In its simplest form this is done with press-blow production using the funnel arm mechanism.
For blow-blow production either the use of a “V” baffle arrangement with self-loading blanks or a modified funnel arm can be used.

For machines without funnel mechanisms a separate arm assembly can be supplied that is retrofitted to the machine.

With some preparation during a job change this system can be installed with minimum machine downtime. It is not necessary to wait for a major overhaul or a furnace repair.

The system needs only an appropriate timing signal from the IS machine control system to initiate the Autoswabbing cycle. The machine cycle whilst Autoswabbing is modified to allow for swabbing “on the fly”.

Because the amount of lubricant applied is minimal, and the cooling cycle is not interrupted there is no resultant loss of production due to defects.

Lubricant is applied approximately every 350 cycles.

Precise control of the application of the lubricant results in cleaner ware and longer blank life, in some cases up to 6 times longer than with human intervention swabbing. The reduction in mould repair time and increase in intervals between new mould equipment further reduces operating costs.

Autoswabbing has resulted in a reduction of lubricant by more than 75% when compared to conventional manual swabbing methods. The reduction in airborne pollution provided environmental benefits, and the need for less interaction results in better health and safety conditions for machine operators.

A specially formulated lubricating compound must be used to ensure that the system performs to expectations, and will not suffer from blockages. The lubricant contains very small particles of graphite, and a unique suspension agent to ensure that the compound remains stable.

The lubricant is heated and controlled at temperature so that the lubricity is constant providing consistent spraying conditions.

The operator has more time to make adjustments to the machine to avoid production losses due to many different causes not associated with mould lubrication which also improves overall efficiency of the machine.

There is no interruption to IS machine forming cycle and containers following an Autoswab cycle do not need to be rejected. There is no complicated set-up, and components have been designed with quick change in mind.

The design is simple and easy to maintain. The only equipment items likely to require replacement periodically are the interconnecting cables and hoses.

Price to equip an IS machine is a fraction of other systems available, so return on investment time is minimal.

Graphoidal Autoswab system installed on a 12 section AIS machine at Encirc Glass Elton UK.

Encirc glass Elton produces 1500 plus tonnes per day from 2 large furnaces.

13 Emhart IS machines, 9 NIS and 4 AIS.

A highly complex operation with 2-3 job changes per day. Running all the processes, on quads, triple and double gob machines.

A highly advanced facility, and world class producer of high quality containers manufactured with high % output 

A big thanks to Rob Rose operations director & Tony Krznar site director & Technical Director at Encirc glass for their invaluable help with this development.



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