My experience with Glass

Glass is a fascinating substance with numerous applications. I have been working with Glass from 1986 until 2004. I started working in Philips Glass Laboratory in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. In 1986 around 100 people were working permanently in Glass-Development activities of Philips supporting production entities all over the globe and developing applications with glass. From 1986 until 1988 I supported the development of analytical methods, physical and chemical of Glass and of raw materials for Glass manufacturing. Working in that environment engineers got a well established knowledge and experience in the industrial manufacturing of Glass and it’s applications. A Philips internally organized and conducted “Glass Course” was a comprehensive study to get a broad basic knowledge about glass and glass making.
The development of computers and programming made it possible to create new, efficient ways for analysis.

A example here is the Helium Neon Laser with the multi-segment-detector, in conjunction with computer calculation algorithms. This created possibilities to efficiently apply the Fraunhofer theory to measure a diffraction pattern of laser light. From the intensity distribution of the measured diffraction pattern calculating the particle size distribution of dispersed systems.

During my first Philips years I have been conducting a lot of experiments that quantify the results of Laser diffraction measurements as a Particle Size Distribution (PSD) and compare it with traditional sieving and with measurements with the Coulter principle. Course: TU Claustal Zellerfeld, particle measurement technologies.

In 1988 I switched jobs to Philips Glass factory Aachen, Germany. At that time the Glass factory, 1200 employees, produced 500 t/d of Technical TV-glass. 300 Tons of Barium Strontium Glass, TV-screen glass, and 200 tons of Lead Glass, TV-Cone glass.

As a laboratory engineer in the Glass Technology department, conducting the Glass and Glass faults analyses while performing and acting as facilitator in trouble shooting activities in the total technical processes of mixing-melting-forming-polishing. ISO 9000 was introduced and implemented and a start was made with electronic data collection and statistical data analysis.

In 1990 responsibilities became broader: responsible for the Glass Furnace as process technologist, melting process, hardware and advising the operators became the main focus. The Furnace produced 200 t/d of TV-Cone Glass.

The following tasks included my responsibilities:
Delivering controlled chemical composition and temperature to the forming units i.e. 2 Presses.
Controlling the Glass change-over process in order to quickly change over between several different glass compositions.
Coordinating hardware repair on a running furnace.
Participating in trouble shooting teams and improvement teams.
Developing, implementing and maintaining an automatic data collection system and methodology for data analysis by making use of pc and network.

Between 1992 and 2004 glass technologists activities were extended to 2 TV-Screen glass furnaces producing Ba-Sr-Glasses and operating with tighter specifications upon variation. Participating and utilizing my Built Up expertise in Several Glass Furnace start-up projects and glas quality improvement teams were added to my responsibilities. Furthermore, my duties included, technical coaching of the lab, built up analytic X-Ray- Fluorescence-experience and implementing Inductive heating based glass bead sample preparation.

After 2000 substantial amounts of recycled cullet was introduced in Glass melting. Large scale recycling and cleaning processes of cullet market materials are well investigated and audited. I supervised the compositional quantification of batches.

As an extra a one year job-rotation with a technologist from the Glass development department took place.

To date the majority of the consumers market for vacuum Television Tubes has been replaced by it’s successor the flat panel. Making technical Television Glass melting of Pb-Glass and of Ba-Sr-Glass a historic technology for the Philips company to become obsolete. Therefore the plant was closed and I changed over to a new employer in 2005.

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