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SageGlass CEO Discusses Smart Production and Design at Chief Executive Magazine’s Smart Manufacturing Summit

By Derek Malmquist, Vice President of Marketing

Apr. 8, 2016

As we’ve seen, the installation of dynamic glass is a worldwide trend, with strong potential for growth as building owners and developers recognize the product’s ability to help building occupants maintain a connection to the outdoors while enhancing occupant comfort with little need for energy-intensive HVAC systems.

However, a key component to the growing success of our product is how it is manufactured, and the technologies utilized to ensure SageGlass maintains the highest levels of quality control. SageGlass’ manufacturing plant is a hi-tech, state-of-the-art facility which utilizes automation and robotics in order to ensure that our dynamic glass is up to the highest standards as well as reduces waste in the production process.

Our CEO, Alan McLenaghan, recently served on the smart design and production panel at Chief Executive Magazine’s Smart Manufacturing Summit to discuss SageGlass’ manufacturing processes, proprietary technologies and the role our people play in the overall production process.

The Summit was held in Milwaukee and featured leaders such as Harley Davidson CEO Matthew S. Levatich, MillerCoors Executive Vice President and Chief Integrated Supply Chain Officer Fernando Palacios and President and CEO of Joy Global Ted Doheny. This gathering offered the chance for manufacturing CEOs from across the nation to discuss key strategies, tactics and opportunities in 21st century manufacturing. Event attendees had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions on a variety of manufacturing topics, ranging from lean manufacturing to the internet of things as well as tour the Harley-Davidson factory.

Alan discussed some of SageGlass’ most unique manufacturing and production technologies, such as the particle counting and inspection system SageGlass utilizes, which is typically used in the LCD industry. These machines are found all over LCD lines and are used to ensure glass surfaces are clean and the edges are undamaged in order to create the highest quality product. He also spoke about how SageGlass utilizes sophisticated robots for handling large and thin pieces of glass (up to 5 x 10 feet and as thin as 2mm).

Alan also went into detail about how SageGlass is more than just a typical glass product because it is also an electrical device. He delved into how SageGlass utilizes laser scribing systems to create circuitry on the glass, a technique taken from the thin film photovoltaic space. These machines adopt their names from the conventions used in solar cell production, and SageGlass has used them with essentially no modifications to produce the electrical isolation cuts needed to produce individual windows.

Even SageGlass’ glass cutting practices are state-of-the-art, as the company utilizes laser based glass cutting technology, directly descended from cell phone production. Thin glass used in cell phones need higher strength edges to provide the necessary durability. This technology went on to find wide-spread use in regular cell phone touch screen production, and SageGlass is the first user on a global basis to put the technology to use in architectural glass. In short, by using this technology, SageGlass is able to confirm the uniformity and defect free nature of the edge of its glass. Without this technology, SageGlass would not be able to run a mother board style production process, where individual glass panes, are cut from a larger sheet of glass in order to reduce waste. Importantly, this process ensures SageGlass is uniform and every pane of glass for a project looks consistent, with minimal variation in color.

Overall, the Smart Manufacturing Summit was a great success, and Alan had the opportunity to share insights on SageGlass’ smart production and design technologies as well as discuss futuristic trends and innovations with other leaders in the industry.