We have been reflecting on the last two years since SmartMelter® became available to the glass industry two years ago. Over that time, we inspected over 100 furnaces in 27 countries. What we found in the process is that many of the industrys assumptions about furnace health are not accurate.
During this time, we also debunked two popular myths:
Myth 1: Glass penetration into insulation may lead to a major leak within hours or days.
Glass penetration into insulation can actually last over a year or two before turning into a major leak. Weve had customers start with about 200 mm total insulation thickness left in the bottom and run the furnace for another 2 years with smart cooling and regular SmartMelter® monitoring.
Myth 2: A surface temperature of 500C is the most commonly used guidance for overcoat planning.
Actually, 500C does not necessarily indicate the furnace needs an overcoat in container and flat glass furnaces. On furnaces with poor cooling methods, 500C resulted in a thickness range of 60-100mm. Even on furnaces that have had very good cooling, 500C indicated a thickness range of 30-50mm. The majority of our customers are targeting 20-25mm when planning for overcoat, so this data effectively increases the campaign life of the furnace.
Our data is laying the foundation for smarter maintenance decisions. We are confident that we will contribute more valuable information as our work continues. I look forward to bringing you more new insights as we discover them.