Suction cups automatically lift glass from the vertical to the horizontal orientation and positions it onto the coating line conveyors ready for coating. One or two pieces of glass can be loaded every 45 seconds up to a maximum size of 3.3m x 6.0m and thickness from 3mm to 19mm. When one pack has been completely unloaded from the vertical rack, the Turn-Table automatically rotates to allow unloading from the next pack, to ensure continuous processing.
Glass is conveyed through a specially designed glass washing and drying machine, where its surfaces are specially treated ready to accept the thin film layers inside the coater. It employs specialist high pressure spray, rotating brush and ultra-high purity water terminologies.
The Glass Coating Process has to be performed in a carefully controlled atmosphere and is carried out in specially designed High Vacuum Process Chambers. In order to convey glass from atmospheric pressure into the high vacuum environment, is has to be passed through three vacuum grading vessels before it is allowed to enter the carefully controlled atmosphere of the main process.
These are constructed of 25mm thick, re-enforced steel enclosures, connected at both ends to a “Load-Lock” system. They are equipped with ninety two Magnetically Levitated High Vacuum pumps, High Tech Plasma deposition sources and their associated controls, vacuum seals, conveyor rollers, plasma shields and magnetron vacuum tunnels. There are ten Alternating Current (AC) Rotary and four Planar Direct Current (DC) Plasma Generators and magnetron sources installed, which allow a variety of coatings to be produced.
Once the coating has been completed in the main process stage, the glass then has to be removed from the vacuum for inspection and packaging. It is again passed through three vacuum grading vessels using the opposite technique to the entry load lock in order to preserve the carefully controlled environment of main the process.
Full operational control is performed by qualified process engineers at work stations in the control center mounted above the line after the end of the coater. Every bed load of glass is subject to intense visual inspection and over one hundred spectro-photometric measurements to ensure product quality and consistency. Once the glass has passed inspection, an interleaving powder medium is applied to the coated surface to avoid product damage during storage and transit.
If there is a requirement for glass sheets to be split, this unit is capable of scribing and snapping glass. Pre- programmed cutting pattern commands for final split sizes are entered into the control center and these are executed when glass is presented to this unit. Sizes capable of being conveniently handled manually can then be unloaded from the end of the line ready for final packaging.
There are four automated unloading units which automatically lift sheets of glass from the horizontal conveyors into the vertical orientation and places them onto a glass rack ready for final packing. One or two pieces of glass can be unloaded every 45 seconds up to a maximum size of 3.3m x 6.0m. When one rack has been completely loaded with 2-3 Tons of glass, the Turn-Table automatically rotates to allow continuous loading of the next glass pack.