The discipline relating to handling equipment for curved glass lites is technically sophisticated, complex and most often incorporates only a few individual units. Additionally, these are the reasons why many manufacturers so far, have not even attempted to accommodate this manufacturing element. At the Bystronic Armatec Technology Centre, this procedure has been addressed with the EDK P 250 S having been specially developed for curved glass lites.
Currently there are two trends, both of which have already had a strong effect in respect of handling equipment. In the architectural glass area, the trend is moving increasingly towards curved lites. At the same time, the glass formats used are even more intricate. The sound barrier of 3.21 x 6 metres has long been exceeded and a new maximum limit is still not available.
The variety of requirements make the construction of an all-round device almost impossible. A bespoke customer solution is often required. The design and manufacturing of this handling equipment is therefore very labour-intensive. Nevertheless, considerable value is placed on the Special System Construction area at Armatec.
Although the EDK P 250 S is a special device, it was based on the development of the Easy-Lift column vacuum lifter, which has already made a name for itself in the flat glass area through its ease of use and reliability.
This resulted in the EDK P 250 S, which is once again a handling device optimally designed towards the customer’s needs.
Gerhard Brodmerkel, from the Bystronic Armatec Technology Centre comments, “The increased demand for large, curved lites poses an immense challenge for the suppliers of vacuum lifting equipment. Not only must the weight and format of the lites be considered but also the bending radius. Under certain circumstances, a lite can even have two radii – one for length and one for breadth. It must also be guaranteed with these lites that the vacuum suction device is applied securely and flush to the curved surface.”
“Consequently we can offer concept solutions that are tailored to the customer in accordance with their own requirements. Naturally there is also the fact that we want to continuously expand our understanding in this sector as demand for handling equipment in relation to curved glass lites will certainly increase further in the years to come.”
A recent French case study where two EDK P 250 S handling devices for curved lites were installed highlights the benefits of the equipment.
Brodmerkel continues, “These handling devices are a good example of how unique requirements can be as the devices are optimised for horizontal acceptance and vertical set-down of convex curved lites. The maximum lite size is 2.00 x 1.80m with a minimum radius of 1500 mm and a maximum weight of 250 kg.”
“Essential to the installation was the need to replace standard suction devices with special equipment, that were specially designed for curved lites. They have a significantly larger volume and therefore can better handle the radii of the lites. Simultaneously, they still provide very good suction for the glass even in a slightly inclined position.”
Tailored solutions will prove a vital component in relation to the success of handling equipment for curved lites as Brodmerkel concludes: “Special system construction is of course very complex, but I am certain that with time, solutions will also be found here which we can transfer modularly to different radii.”