In the production of packaging glass, the moulds used to blow liquid glass need to be lubricated regularly. This is a process known as ‘swabbing’, referring to the traditional method where the product is applied manually with a brush. At a temperature of around 500°C, this is potentially a very dangerous operation.
VDV Lubricants, together with the Belgian robot producer Socabelec, have developed an automated system called ‘Swabmatic’, an innovative, ultrapure lubricant applied to the moulds through the nozzle of a robot. This offers many advantages in terms of safety, precision and the consumption of lubricants – with 75% less lubricants required, a production efficiency of nearly 100% can be reached!
Due to the high processing temperature, the lubricant is partially burned and the moulds need to be lubricated every 15 minutes, without leaving any traces of the lubricant on the moulds or glass. Swabpharma is an innovative lubricant which does not release any dangerous substances such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons into the atmosphere.
It took about three years of research and development to jointly develop the robot and new product. They were launched in the market together as a solution to create a safer working environment in the glass industry.