Glass makes the world of difference
Thursday the 15th May 2014 saw Ampulla staff disembark the offices on a day trip to Rotherham-based glass manufacturer Beatson Clark. myself, Sally, Denise and Sam travelled South Yorkshire way, with destination ‘How glass is made’ in mind.
On arrival at Beatson Clark headquarters, we were met by a happy Dawn, who would be our cheery host for the day and shown to a bright and inviting board room, where coffee and teas were distributed to our thirsty team, after chatting about our aforementioned journey, our new journey in how glass is made was about to begin.
Founded in 1751 Beatson Clark specialise in glass packaging for the food, drink and pharmaceutical markets worldwide, for household brands such as Bell’s, Buttercup, Lyles Golden Syrup and Lemsip and Seven Seas to name but a few. Part of the Newship group, Beatson Clark export to a number of different countries throughout the world including the USA, Australia, Singapore and Sweden, which is why Ampulla are so pleased to be able to class Beaton Clark as one of our suppliers in glass. Our customers can rest assured quality and superior performance with all Beatson Clark glass bottles and jars.
And just to prove to all that I did listen, (despite the earplugs) and not just giggle at how we all looked in our safety gear. Here below is exactly how your glass bottles are made?
Using 4 key raw materials
- Cullet – Used due to the fact it melts at such a low temperature, helping to fuse other ingredients and so reducing CO2 emissions.
- Soda Ash – Acting as a flux which in turn helps the sand to melt at lower temperatures too
- Limestone – Assists the workability and durability.
Accurately weighed and mixed electronically the ingredients above are supplied into the furnace feed hopper, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at a temperature of 1600 degrees centigrade, until all ingredients have become a molten, homogenous mass. The mixture will then pass through a channel (the throat) to the working end, cooled and conditioned to a working temperature of 1100 degrees centigrade
The next process now is ‘Gob Forming’ a process producing molton glass measured gobs and distributing them to the forming machine. The gob must then undergo 7 separate stages. After which they are passed onto a conveyor belt.
There are two processes in the production of bottles and jars, ‘Blow & Blow Process’ and ‘Press and Blow Process’
Blow and blow process involves the gob being guided into a blank mould, air is then injected into the mould and the neck is formed, more air is then injected into the mould through the neck. The mould opens and the partially formed container is released and inverted through 180 degrees. The container is then transferred to the blow mould. Air is injected to blow the container into shape and finished the container.
Press and blow process. The gob is guided into a blank mould, a baffle seals the top of the blank mould and a plunger then rises and presses the gob into the shape of the neck and the blank mould. The mould then opens and the partially formed container is released and inverted through 180 degrees. The container is then transferred to the blow mould. Air is then injected into the container and the shape is formed.
The bottles/ jars are placed onto a conveyor belt and transferred into the lehr. Containers then pass through to the hot end surface treatment process and an external coating to maintain strength throughout the bottle or jars working life is added. Containers are then cooled to room temperature in a controlled manner, thus removing the stresses generated during the forming and cooling process. A second surface treatment is added, giving the containers a better resistance to scratching and scuffing during the bottle or jars working life.
Last but by no means least comes the inspection and here’s where Beatson Clark really do prides themselves. Every single container passes through a series of quality inspections, which include sidewall and base scans, pressure and flatness tests. After all the vigorous computer checks, Beatson Clark have experienced staff, checking and inspecting at regular intervals manually, to ensure their customers/our customers receive quality produced goods, which is why we at Ampulla are proud to have them as part of our manufacturing team.
On behalf of Ampulla I would like to say a big thank you to, Dawn, Siobhan, Charlotte and Tim, for the kind welcome and hospitality shown to myself and colleagues on our recent visit, and look forward to our working partnership.