A glass production process to be proud of
"The path to achievement starts on the day you take total responsibility for your actions." (Dante Alighieri)
At Vetropack, glass production is based on the principles of sustainability and long-term success. We are prudent in our business, environmentally aware in our actions, and mindful of our social responsibility. Our pioneering work to develop a system for glass recycling in the mid-1970s is an excellent example. We constantly work on our process technologies, because every innovation improves the energy balance of our glass manufacturing. Every gram of the 1.4 million tons of glass passing our production plants each year counts.
Here is our recipe for top-quality, sustainable glass production
Glass is made from natural elements. The main component is quartz sand. Soda lowers the melting point of the sand. Lime makes the glass hard, shiny and durable. However, used glass is a key ingredient in Vetropack’s glass manufacturing process. Glass production from used glass uses less energy and fewer natural resources compared to making it from raw materials. We also use special processes to make glass lighter while retaining the same quality.
Up to 90% used glass, and
- Quartz sand
- sodium carbonate
The furnace heats the mixture to 1,580° Celsius. The used glass and the primary raw materials melt. The required heat for the glass production process is generated by natural gas.
The molten glass is in a constant state of flux. Glowing warm glass drops are cut off, led into a gutter and fed into a pre-mould. In the final mould, compressed air gives the glass container its final shape.
In the cooling oven, the red-hot glass jars and bottles are gradually cooled to release any tension in the material. The surface is then treated to protect it from scratches.
At the cold end of our glass production, we visually, mechanically and electronically test our glass containers for defects. Products that do not meet the high quality standards are melted down again.
In a fully automated process, the glass containers are lined up on pallets and wrapped in film. From here, they go to the finished goods warehouse or directly to dispatch.
We take responsibility for the environment: Lightweight glass from Vetropack
A 0.75-litre wine bottle made of lightweight glass weighs only 350 grams instead of 400 grams. A small beer bottle from lightweight glass weighs 160 grams – 30 grams less than the traditional version. Not only the end user appreciates this aspect of our glass manufacturing process. The reduction in weight is also good for the environment as it translates into fewer raw materials, reduced consumption of energy and materials, lower transport costs, and lower CO2 emissions. The bottlers, the retailers, the consumers and the environment all benefit from this new lightness in our glass production.
We take responsibility for quality: Knowledge, experience, and expertise at Vetropack
New production technologies, friendly customer service, design, development and quality control are in the hands of our more than 3,000 employees. Men and women master their craft as glassmakers, glass designers, process engineers, glass technology technicians, glassmaking supervisors or machine operators. They adjust, control and test the certified (ISO, FSSC) glass manufacturing steps and thus ensure the highest quality in production.
Our methods to produce lightweight glass that is just as stable, high-quality and strong as its heavier counterpart are tried and tested. Instead of the traditional blow-and-blow method, we use the narrow neck press and blow method to produce our lightweight glass. To give the glass container a wall that is as uniform and as thin as possible, a plunger or so-called leveller, is pressed into the liquid glass while it is still in the final mould.
The design phase which precedes glass production is decisive to ensure the stability of the lightweight glass. Our designers break down the glass container into smaller units on their computer screens. This allows for an easier analysis of the structural behaviour. Using this finite element method, they calculate the point at which the container is subject to particular stresses and adapt the shapes to reduce the stress.
We take responsibility for our customers: Flexible multi gob glass production technology
Our customers are increasingly asking for shorter production times and greater flexibility in the number of articles in their respective glass packaging series. Thanks to our careful production planning, cross-site collaboration, and flexibility, we fulfill almost every customer requirement. At the Vetropack plant in Croatia – and from the start of 2017 also at the Austrian glassworks in Pöchlarn – we offer the option of multi gob production for small series glass manufacturing. This means we can make two, and in some cases more, glass containers that differ in shape and weight on one glass-blowing machine. A special sorting machine automatically forwards the different glass products for product-specific quality inspection and packaging.