PaneraTech, the first company to demonstrate a deterministic solution for refractory thickness measurement, will exhibit their SmartMelter® solution at Glasstec 2016. After conducting several successful trials of SmartMelter over the past year, the PaneraTech team is moving forward to introduce their breakthrough solution at the glass industry’s largest global trade fair. This bi-annual conference, held in Düsseldorf, is the center of cutting-edge innovation and technology for glass manufacturers.
SmartMelter® addresses the source of a familiar struggle in the operation and maintenance of glass melting furnaces: How to extend furnace life without increasing the possibility of a glass leak. Although the problem has been researched for decades, the only result has been improved methods of speculation. For this reason, there has been general industry acceptance of the fact that furnace life optimization would always be a game of risk.
However, an innovative partnership between PaneraTech, Libbey Glass, and O-I has led to a refractory thickness measurement solution for the first time in history. Working together with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Industrial Partnership Division, PaneraTech developed radar-based sensors that identify early stage glass penetration and measure the actual thickness of refractory walls. These sensors are part of a comprehensive furnace management solution that includes software for data analyzation and recordkeeping.
“We are excited to share the SmartMelter® solution at Glasstec 2016,” said Dr. Yakup Bayram, CEO of PaneraTech, Inc. He added, “This solution will change the way that glass manufacturers maintain their furnaces. Now they will be able to perform condition-based maintenance instead of scheduling unnecessary treatments that can harm furnace life.”
The SmartMelter® sensors are designed for easy use by plant personnel. The Refractory Thickness Sensor (RTS) records the interface between the glass and the wall to measure residual refractory thickness. The Furnace Tomography Sensor (FTS) interacts with the insulation layers to map early-stage glass penetration and measure residual insulation thickness. These sensors are self-calibrated, safe to use, and can operate well in hot environments.
PaneraTech’s successful blind trials include validation of the RTS sensor on a float line furnace as well as multiple container glass furnaces. Pilot studies have also been conducted with in situ sensors. The company is currently enrolling customers for its SmartMelter® Demonstration Program, an opportunity for glass manufacturers to experience SmartMelter® first hand. More information on the demonstration program and detailed results of the validation trials can be accessed at smartmelter.com.
PaneraTech invites all Glasstec attendees to visit their booth in hall 15 E31 to learn more.
PaneraTech tackles the most challenging problems with cutting edge technologies. In partnerships with major glass manufacturers for over half a decade, our team pioneered the SmartMelter® solution for better insight into furnace health. Beginning as simply a wall thickness sensor, SmartMelter® has evolved into a comprehensive furnace management solution that enables you to better manage and optimize the life of your furnaces.