Encirc smashes glass focus awards with double win
Leading glass container manufacturer and bottler, Encirc, celebrated a double victory after its state-of-the-art robots, known as ‘cobots’ (collaborative robots) and new virtual reality machines bagged the business two gongs at this year’s prestigious Glass Focus Awards. The pioneering beverage supply chain business for glass, is at the forefront of innovations in the industry, with the company spending large amounts on investing in futureproofing manufacturing, training and health and safety in the sector.
A highlight in the UK glass industry’s calendar, the annual British Glass event rewards the most outstanding achievements from the sector over the past year, and saw the company receive awards for both innovation in manufacturing and improvements in health and safety processes.
For the ‘Innovative Solution’ category, Encirc’s state-of-the-art virtual reality training room for hot-end workers was praised for its ability to attract young people into the industry and engage workers with health and safety training. Featuring a fully-functional three-section glass forming (I.S.) machine, the room allows operators to learn about the configuration of machine mechanisms and bottle inspection in an entirely safe environment without any effect on production. Lauded by judges as a ‘trailblazer’ and ‘the future of training’ in the glass industry, the new technology was commended for being able to save both time and potentially lives.
Encirc’s new automated swabbing robots, which have been implemented on nine of its lines at its Cheshire glass plant, secured the manufacturer’s second award of the night, in the ‘Health and Safety Action’ category. The ‘cobots’, were initially installed to increase output and reduce human error and since their launch have made a significant difference to levels of health and safety for operators working in the hot end of the glass plant by eliminating the risks associated with manual swabbing.
The judges described the entry as being ‘head and shoulders’ above others in the category with Encirc’s investment in the machines demonstrating how seriously the manufacturer takes the safety of its employees.
Fiacre O’Donnell, Strategic Development Director at Encirc said: “At Encirc we are committed to continuous improvement and innovation – especially when it comes to the training and wellbeing of our employees. Investing in new technology is key to our sector’s growth, so it’s fantastic to see Encirc’s developments in this area being recognised by the glass industry. The British Glass Glass Focus Awards are a very prestigious event for the sector, and we were thrilled to take home two awards on the night.”
Encirc will be launching the world’s first industry 4.0 line next year featuring inbuilt cobots and intelligent laser labelling which will see the plant’s hot end (where bottles are produced) digitally connected to the cold end (where bottles are inspected).
For more information about Encirc, visit www.encirc360.com.