Multiple Applications, One Automated Solution

Glass is used in countless industries today, but a key requirement before the glass can be put to work is understanding which side of a piece or sheet of glass is the tin side, or float side (and the opposite side is called the “air side”). It’s called this because molten glass is floated over a bed of tin during manufacturing, some of which gets absorbed into the glass.  While some handheld devices are available to identify sides, a tin-side sensor is the faster, more accurate solution for today’s high-speed float glass manufacturing environments.

Here, we’ll explore several float glass manufacturing applications where a tin-side detector can be used. First, it would be helpful to showcase our UVX Tin-Side Sensor — one of the first automated solutions for helping companies (upstream and downstream) in float glass manufacturing identify the tin side.

tin-side sensor
  • Kit includes a control unit, optical sensor, power supply, and interface cable
  • Features a 0–99 display with access to setup parameters and threshold adjustment
  • Discrete, NPN/PNP output indicates when the signal level exceeds the threshold
  • Control unit can be easily mounted to access controls and settings
  • Rugged construction and mounting hardware makes it ideal for industrial settings
  • Note that in order to maximize the lifespan of the LED light in the sensor, EMX strongly recommends that detection only take place during the QA cycle

Learn more about the UVX Tin-Side Sensor here.

Applications Where a Tin-Side Sensor is Beneficial

  1. Glass Cutting — Any float glass manufacturing industry or application in which glass in general is to be cut would benefit from a tin-side sensor. This is because cutting from the tin side is likely to cause issues and cutting from the air side (in this instance, also called the “score side”) will produce a cleaner cut. Using a tin-side sensor before cutting will ensure the glass is in the proper orientation.
  2. Suction Cup Usage — Whether as part of a manual or automated process, using suction cups to pick glass up should be done from the air side. Using suction cups on the tin side results in a less secure suction hold, which can lead to accidents, equipment damage, and lost product. A tin-side sensor should be integrated to scan glass panes and sheets before suction cups are applied to maximize safety.
  3. Electrochromic Glass — Electrochromic glass can be tinted based on an electrical signal passing through its layers. This is often used in offices, classrooms, and other facilities to darken or dim rooms as needed. In these float glass manufacturing instances, the coating involved must be on the air side. Using a tin-side sensor to proactively identify one side from the other will result in proper production.
  4. Paints & Cleaners — Depending on the application, using these chemicals and surface treatments on the tin side of glass can lead to fogging or other unwanted effects. Using a tin-side sensor to identify the air side will ensure the treatment will work as intended.
  5. Glass Fusing — Applications in which one or more pieces of glass need to be fused should be done on the air side to produce the best fusion possible. A tin-side sensor will help you identify the air side and prevent costly missteps.

Find Out if the UVX Tin-Side Sensor Supports Your Float Glass Manufacturing Application

EMX Industrial Automation has been engineering, manufacturing, and supporting a complete line of automated sensors for multiple needs for more than 30 years. We understand that each application has its unique requirements, processes, and materials. That’s why we offer complimentary sample testing for all of our sensors.

If you’re unsure if the UVX tin-side sensor will work in your float glass manufacturing application, our engineering team would be happy to conduct sample testing on your specific material. Simply reach out to us here, let us know some details, and then send your sample into our Cleveland, Ohio facility. After testing is complete, we’ll send a report with details, photos, and any usage recommendations.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about tin-side sensor solutions.