An investment in machinery and equipment from three of the UK’s leading machinery suppliers, will take one the industry’s foremost IG unit manufacturers to a next generational level. HEGLA, Glaston and Bystronic Glass recently completed a state-of-the-art installation at Regency Glass, which firmly places the company as a main player in the sealed unit supply industry.
Based in the Northwest of England, the specialist glass manufacturer has made a firm commitment to customers through this investment. This has enabled Regency Glass to both future proof the business and reinforce the qualities associated with the Regency brand.
For an installation of such a high calibre the planning had been meticulous with CAD drawings and discussions with suppliers beginning back in early 2018. Subsequently, all new systems have now been successfully installed in the new 100,000 sq.ft. production facility that was originally bought in 2017 and is three times the size of the old manufacturing unit.
Located in the heart of Leigh, the state-of-the-art facility has been developed to replace the existing premises as space and power were at their full limit at Regency’s Butts Street site in Leigh. The new premises incorporate contemporary offices and modern facilities to meet the needs of Regency’s growth strategy for many years to come. With a workforce that is highly regarded by management, this new location is easier to access and has all the best that a new corporate building can offer to staff.
For Regency Glass customers it demonstrates strength and security in what can be a volatile market. The superior capabilities of the HEGLA, Glaston and Bystronic glass brands were well known to senior management with previous investments having been made which have shown their worth and resulted in the substantive investment.
Two high-speed Galactic glass cutting lines from HEGLA have been installed with automatic double-sided loading carriages as well as an integrated laser system and auto X breakout. This will enable the company to simplify production by stamping standards and dimensions onto the glass, with the laser also used for toughened logo marking on high-performance glass coatings.
A HEGLA Optimax and EcoLam Plus laminated cutting line with Rapidstore has been installed to simplify the old glass warehouse system, which could take operatives hours to find the right glass type for a special project. Regency can now store 22 different glass types as well as standard bulk products that can be accessed easily, giving operatives in the cutting department an easier way to select lower volume specialist glass types when required. From a health and safety point of view this also ensures greater protection for people working on the production floor.
This investment has more than doubled the company’s storage capacity and still leaves plenty of room for Regency Glass to grow. With more glasses, customers will be supported in their own business development and diversification strategies.
Darren Beazant, Managing Director, Regency Glass, comments, “The cutting tables from HEGLA and Bystronic IG lines and auto arrissing are a big part of our future and will feed the factory’s growing volumes for many years, providing an excellent capacity level moving forward.”
The increased cutting capacity means that glass storage has also been increased, which at current values allows for a full stock complement of 6–8 weeks.
With uncertainty over Brexit and the changes that may ensue, this has future-proofed capacity and will override any supply issues that Brexit could cause.
In addition to the existing Bystronic glass IG line installed a number of years ago, Regency management commissioned the installation of two 2.7m high-volume production lines complete with tandem gas presses and automatic pad applicators. The twin press system is combined with a high speed sealing robot which has increased product volume by 40%.
A 2.7m high edge seaming line from Bystronic glass will now feed the new toughening plant. Together with the 6m x 2.8 m new toughening furnace, this will allow the company to diversify its range significantly and will give Regency a 25,000+ unit production capacity per week.
Since machinery and equipment installation was completed, output has already increased and given customers a greater choice.
Steve Goble comments, “The challenge was to supply a system capable of holding a large range of glass types whilst automating the cutting process to achieve greater throughput and reduced cutting time.”
Long History in Great Tempering
Another essential component of this major Regency Glass investment included the Glaston FC Series tempering line. The toughening furnace is twice the size of the existing furnace at the old production site. What took 24 hours to manufacture previously can now be completed in one shift. The furnace has greatly simplified production and given Regency Glass the ability to speed up orders to meet customers’ requirements.
The Glaston brand is not new to the company. Regency’s first Glaston furnace was Tamglass HTF installed in 1997. It gave the company nearly 17 years of good service. Then in 2014, the new Glaston FC500 tempering furnace was selected as a replacement. At that time, the new machine doubled the company’s tempering capacity, whilst significantly boosting its glass quality.
“Based on our experience with Tamglass, we knew what we were getting. There’s really nothing better. The FC500 furnace is the best on the market. It toughens faster and allows us to serve customers better by suiting their volume requirements as well as providing them with a wider range of glass products,” Steve Massey, Director of Sales and Marketing for Regency Glass, commented at the time of the previous investment.
This time, the newest FC Series 2860 tempering line is set to bring the company’s glass strengthening capabilities to an even higher level, supporting its overall growth strategy.
Greater Business Scope
The HEGLA system provides the fastest, fully automated cutting capability of its kind on the market today, with the tables working together to cut a variety of coated and sized glasses faster than ever before.
The technical benefits and cost savings provided by HEGLA, Glaston and Bystronic glass were evident given the companies’ combined history.
For Darren Beazant the payback advantages are already proving beneficial. He comments, “There is complete synergy in respect of all new equipment, so we are now realising the potential of our investment in our machinery and system suppliers.”
As a project, the HEGLA, Glaston and Bystronic glass solutions enable Regency Glass to achieve excellent results and lead the sector moving forward.
Darren Beazant continues, “With the new equipment we can further strengthen our market position. Training from the specialist engineers proved invaluable and has ensured a smooth transition from initial installation to the recent final handover. It is a very special project that is focused on being able to adapt to market demands for many decades to come.
Satisfying customer demand and giving them further confidence in the Regency brand has been a priority throughout the development and installation phases. The investment in only the best equipment on the market today reflects our position of commitment to our customers and gives us more in terms of quality control and production capacity.”
The expansion has a new confidence throughout the company which spreads from the boardroom to the production floor and beyond, with customers evidently inspired by the latest investments.
Darren Beazant considered technical investment at the company of vital importance because of the increasing market demands in product specification, quality and potential developments with European markets. Wishing to remain competitive and offer customers total reassurance, the company has taken a leading position in the sector. The level of investment was substantiated by the design, engineering and product performance of the machinery suppliers ranges.
Darren comments, “As one of the largest installations of its kind, we know we have expanded our horizons dramatically. Quite simply, the equipment was chosen because of the superiority and reliability of the brands. Regency has developed a reliable standing in the commercial sector throughout the UK and with this installation we intend to further raise our standards. We approached our machinery suppliers because of the formidable reputation they have in the market, knowing we could achieve excellent results.”
Steve Brammer, Managing Director, Glaston UK, comments, “It is an honour for us to support Regency Glass once again in a project of such a scale. The latest Glaston tempering machine order is a great indicator for us that this technology satisfies our customer’s needs, as well as their customers’ needs, driving sustainable and profitable growth.”
Steve Powell, Bystronic Glass UK, stated, “This project has been a labour of love for the engineering teams, working hard to ensure that deadlines could be met and staff
subsequently trained to the highest standards.”
Paul Gibbs, HEGLA UK, comments, “Regency is now in a position to increase production and attain consistently high standards for their customers. This investment reflects the excellence of the engineering put into HEGLA, Glaston and Bystronic glass ranges and it adds many more dimensions to our customer’s business.”
Steve Goble, Managing Director, HEGLA UK, concludes : “HEGLA provides customers with efficient, tailor-made solutions. We look forward to continuing our working relationship with Regency as their corporate position strengthens and their key target sectors expand.”