References > Pilkington Carglass, Witten

Manufacturing of modern car windows at Pilkington automobile glass

In the course of time a real high-tech product has developed from the window glass of the first automobiles – the manufacture of modern car windows is correspondingly complicated and laborious

Today, simple safety glass is not enough anymore

There are only a few specialists, therefore, who have mastered the production of such special glass. Today's vehicles have more and more technology on board, which does not stop at the windshield either. Not only are the windows bent, tinted and patterned, and composed of multiple layers, also antennas and sensors are built into the glass. The size of some windshields in a single piece is impressive. You  can see this most clearly from the huge front windows of modern coaches and trucks.

Manufacturing processes – top priority: cleanliness, high precision and speed

The production process must be run through many stages until from the raw panes of glass a car window is ready to be installed. These range from cutting and bending the base glass up to bonding two panes to "laminated glass" with a special film. Here also other elements such as antennas and sensors may be built in. The special features of this car window production is that after each individual production step very precise control with subsequent cleaning of the panes occurs. This is usually carried out with the help of camera and computer, but partly also by hand. The transport of the panes of glass between the individual production steps must be done very quickly and very precisely. For example up to 1m/sec transport speed with a positioning accuracy of 1/100 mm, which for the CPU means constant cycle time of less than 10 milliseconds.   

SPEED7 for high-speed production

At first VIPA controllers were only intended for the expansion and modernization of existing S5 system controls, but step by step, for example with the S5 interface module IM306 and the 315SN/NET CPU, individual production systems are now being completely refitted with VIPA technology, which then replace the old S5 controllers in the Witten works. The intense competition in the automotive industry makes it necessary to automate as much as possible. In addition, the automobile manufacturer no longer runs classical warehouse storage but relies on just-in-time supply. Only manufacturers like Pilkington have the chance to be a reliable supplier to the automotive industry, because the high degree of automation of production brings the necessary flexibility in combination with automobile manufacturers.

VIPA is very pleased to be part of this!