Hollow glass industry: innovations in a difficult environment

2014-08-20 | Containers

The hollow glass industry is faced with intensive international competition. To secure their future, manufacturing companies are developing new, innovative products and are building highly efficient, energy-saving production facilities.

The melting of glass is highly energy-intensive. Using state-of-the-art melting and filter technology, glass manufacturers have substantially reduced their energy consumption and their emission of pollutants over the last few years. Photo: Schott AG
Hollow glass for the storage of oils and ointments has been in use for a long time, with evidence dating back three and a half thousand years. The unique properties of this material were valued greatly at that time and are still among its major quality characteristics today.
Glass is made of natural raw materials, can be moulded into an infinite number of shapes and is inert, i.e. the material does not react with its content. This means that there is virtually no interaction between the container and the product, and it is therefore an excellent packaging material – not just for food and drinks, but also for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and numerous chemical products. Bottles, jars and flacons are produced by the container glass industry, which forms the “hollow glass” market segment, together with the domestic glass sector (drinking glasses, tableware glass, gift items, etc).
Two success factors: reduced weight and quality design
One of the most important innovations in hollow glass over the past few years has been the development of lightweight glass. Without sacrificing strength, the industry has gradually succeeded in reducing the weights of different glass packages by up to 60 per cent. This has produced benefits in the handling and transportation of products while also leading to substantial savings in raw materials and energy. Apart from weight, another increasingly important element is pro-duct design. Anyone wanting to stand out among the crowd of competitors must ...


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Article taken from Glass Machinery Plants & Accessories bi-monthly magazine (6 issues per year)
Year: 2014 number: 4
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