You are on page 1of 3

Visit to Asahi India Glass Ltd – AIS

We all were very excited as we left for Asahi India Glass Ltd. plant, Roorkee on the leap day of the Gregorian calendar (ie; 29th February) from the campus. It took us about half an hour to reach the plant where we were warmly received by Mr. Prashant Chaudhary, Section Head-Legal, IR & HR. We first went into the training room, where we were briefed on the safety rules employed in Asahi plant. AIS – Asahi India Solution Asahi basically manufactures Float glass, Architecture glass and Automobile glass. It has 77% market share in automobile market and 29% share in Indian float glass market. All Asahi activities

have been consolidated under a single umbrella brand “AIS”, which stands for Asahi India Solutions. Asahi has 12 manufacturing plants in India at present. Asahi plant at Roorkee was set up at the cost of Rs 700 crores & it started production on 3rd Dec. 2006. Currently, it has a production capacity of 700 Tonnes/day. At present, float glass is manufactured in its Roorkee plant. We were divided into two batches (13 students each) for better understanding of the manufacturing process of float glass. We were first taken to the silica yard where raw material is stored. The raw material, after getting mixed in required composition, is moved to the furnace which is kept in different section. The whole process of manufacturing is automated and is controlled by panel room. This ensures minimal manual work. The composition is put into the furnace, having temperature of around 1700°C, which melts and mixes the composition to attain homogeneity. Asahi is working towards moving from furnace oil, which costs approximately 3/4th of the total cost of material, to natural gas as a fuel for furnace, as natural gas is much cheaper and at the same time is Manufacturing of Float glass environment friendly. Once the silica & other materials convert into molten glass, they are floated over molten metal, typically tin. This method gives the sheet uniform thickness and very flat surfaces. Next step is glass annealing, where the molten glass is allowed to cool down slowly and the thickness of glass is fixed at a predetermined value. During the whole process, monitoring is done using software package called SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), which uses thermocouple to measure temperature. When the glass moves out of annealing process, its temperature is around 60°C.

After annealing, glass goes through a quality check process, where high-tech cameras scan the glass and checks for unacceptable errors like air bubbles, solid particles etc. After this, the continuous glass sheet is cut as per required dimensions. It is at this stage where the defective parts of glass are segregated from the good ones. There is a separate process to recycle defective glass. The final product is packaged using automated machines which lift the glass from the line and stack it on a wooden frame. Once the stack is complete, it is strapped manually with Tin strips. The stacks are put in the inventory and moved out as per the requirement. The most important point regarding their manufacturing process was that there was no scrap left at the end. As said before, if there is anything, which is found defective, it is recycled.

Manufacturing Process of Float Glass

Later on, we were given presentation on 5S methodology and Auditing methods employed in the plant. The 5S are as follows: 1. Seiri (Arrangement/Sorting) 2. Seiton (Orderliness) 3. Seiso (Cleaning) 4. Seiketsu (Standardization) 5. Shitsuke (Discipline & Training)

Mr. Prashant told us about CSR activities being carried out by Asahi Glass Ltd. and the upcoming trend of "green building". He also explained the training methodology of Asahi, number of employees employed in the plant as well work culture of Asahi.

Mr. Sajid Anwar, Head Manufacturing, also had an interaction with the students. He explained various aspects of Asahi plant ranging from manufacturing process, technology used, debt-equity ratio, life cycle of furnace, cost of various glasses at market & the inventory kept at the plant. Towards the ends, we expressed our sincere thanks to Sajid sir & Prashant sir for taking time out from their busy schedule and sharing their experience with us. They also put forth their will to further strengthen the relationship between DoMS, IIT Roorkee and Asahi India Glass Ltd. It was indeed an informative & amazing experience for all of us. At the same time, we were also impressed by the amazing facilities of the plant and its hospitality. Thanking them, we moved back to our campus taking back with us knowledge of glass manufacturing & Asahi India Glass Ltd - AIS. Prepared by – Atul Sharma Edited by – Jamal Ahmed