XPAR Vision contributed to the discussion about the future of the worldwide glass industry, through a keynote by CEO Paul Schreuders at Glassman Asia, January 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. In Schreuders’ presentation, entitled ‘Container Glass Forming in 2020/2025: Dark Factory’, he addressed the need to focus on improving glass forming process stability and at the same time on reducing human dependency in order to improve efficiency, quality, weight, speed, price and profit. Dramatic improvements are necessary in order to remain competitive with other packaging materials, according to Schreuders.
Schreuders’ keynote presentation was part of the Future Glass Forum, that focused on Industry 4.0 in container and hollow glassmaking. “Although we work and live in the 21st century, the container glass industry seems to be stuck in the past, caused by conservatism and the fear for new developments and/or changes in general”, according to Schreuders. “As a result, as of today and especially in comparison to other industries, the container glass industry is not nearly effective enough and is slowly but surely losing their competitiveness to other packing materials. Only a clear and convinced focus on sensor technology, closed loops and robotics, especially in the hot end forming phase, can improve the industry.
I am convinced that the container glass industry can do up to 25% better than today: making better bottles, being less dependent on employees, using less energy and less raw materials. My plea is not about future developments: we are doing this right now, in several factories in the world already. It is all about proven technology.”