Automated Glass Lathes

A thermographic and dimensionally controlled automated Minibloc lathe has recently been developed by Sadems Industrie, a maker of glass products and developer of computer-controlled glass processes  based in Belgium. This Minibloc lathe uses a Windows based training system for the fabrication of glass or quartz items. Moores Glasswork has access to these machines for use in our own production because, as of 2004, Sadems Industrie has been a subsidiary of Moores.

Auto lathes such as these can be used to replicate the work of highly skilled craftsmen, if programmed correctly, and this functionality is particularly useful when it comes to manufacturing items on a large scale, for it guarantees consistency and quality while increasing turnaround speeds. 

These thermographically controlled Minibloc lathes can be fully automated and produce a fantastic range of glass and quartz items using hot-forming operation. This can include tubes and rods - in fact these Sadems lathes can produce and shape through a mixture of pushing, pulling, blowing, forming, sealing, collapsing or centrifugal operations. This means we at Moores Glasswork can offer our clients high-yield, high-dimensional accuracy. The programming of these lathes is an easy and quick, user-friendly procedure, while the systems themselves are extremely flexible.

There is no mechanical setup needed, and as a result we are able to switch from one production to another in a matter of minutes. This means that the equipment and production is cost-efficient, even for small developmental production batches. These advantages we pass on to you.

Furthermore a unique tool to facilitate even quicker programming has been developed by Sadems: a remote control. A glassblower on one of these automatic machines can now produce a reference piece using only joysticks, potentiometers and other controls. This process, known as acquisition, also involves detailed records being taken by the machine of all made by the glassblower, as well as thermographic and dimensional maps.

The automatic lathe software then analyzes all the acquisition data and seeks out correlations between the glassblower's actions and the the thermographic and dimensional information it has recorded. It subsequently devises a program for automatic production. It is still possible to make amendments to the program in order to improve  quality or production speed, but the point is that the automation process can produce results for one application within hours.

Glassblowers working on manual lathes are working in a closed loop. He performs an operation, observes the effect of this operation on the glass, then determines what his next operation will be. The observations being made might relate to the shape of the glass or its viscosity, and in this way the glassblower reacts to fluctuations in his operational variables such as flame power or tubing dimensions, so that he can arrive at an identical final product despite the fluctuation in operational variables.

The thermographically controlled Minibloc lathes that Moores Glassworks has access to via Sadems work to the same principle. Through the use a of an embedded thermographic camera which perpetually observes temperature and dimension scales of the glass being worked, at pinpoint locations as identified by the program, the lathe can adapt its program in response to these observations. And since the machine can perform such observations with infinitely greater accuracy than can a human glassblower, the resulting product is infinitely more accurate and consistent in repetition. Tolerances of ±0.05 mm are typical with such machines. Moores Glasswork pride ourselves on the quality of our work, and as such are proud to be able to offer you such exacting standards.

Moores Glassworks News 2015

Moores Glassworks have successfully purchased Sadems Industries, a Belgium-based maker of glass products and developer of computer-controlled glass processes see Sadems

Moores currently export to clients in the following countries:

  • North America
  • Puerto Rico
  • Thailand
  • Hong Kong
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China
  • All over Europe