Cutting edge improvements

Uniglaze 2, based in East Anglia, manufactures double glazed insulating units and toughened glass – the company can deliver up to 40,000 units produced each week. To meet increased demand, it opened a fully automated factory in Norwich that is 250m long – equipped with six cutting tables, multi glass selection systems and toughening plants, together with six sealed unit lines. It runs 24 hours a day and employs 300.

A factory management system takes orders and generates a label containing both human readable data such as the customer name, product type and delivery date, plus a barcode incorporating the unique reference number for the unit. This can be fully traced back through the production facility. Handheld terminals are used to scan the barcodes, but the failure rate on the terminals was taking its toll, both on repair costs and more critically, downtime. On average, 20% of the scanners were being returned to the supplier each month. The company turned to DataScan and asked for more rugged devices that could integrate with the factory management system. DataScan recommended the Datalogic Formula Color batch handheld terminal due to its ruggedness and suitability for the industrial environment. The terminals are proving more rugged: since installation, Uniglaze 2 has seen a reduction in both repair costs and downtime. Also, the units run bespoke, easy to load software that is also easy to modify.