Forvet: an end-user’s view on products and services
Forvet, along with its local representation Vitromaquina, spoke to Brazilian glassmaker Viminas, one of the country’s leading privately owned companies with headquarters in Vitória, to answer to few question about the Forvet machinery it has ordered and is using, thus providing real opinions directly from a Forvet end user.
Forvet spoke to Mauricio Viminas and his son Rafael Viminas, who provided the following thoughts.
Can you please give us a brief company history?
The main company milestones of Viminas can be resumed as follows:
- 1984 – the company started its activities in the glass sector;
- 1990 – we started to provide sheets for glazier’s shops;
- 1996 – we built an industrial unit to process glass;
- 2002 – we moved to new premises of 17,500 square metres;
- 2005 – we acquired a further 38,500 square metres, investing in a new horizontal furnace and a new PVB laminated line;
- 2008 – ISO 9001:2000 (SGQ) and NBR 14698 certifications for tempered glass were obtained;
- 2009 – we received a third furnace, along with two new automatic production lines, one for shower doors, and the first line for architectural glass from Forvet. The new water treatment station was finished, which re-utilizes approximately 98 per cent of the water that has already been used during production processes;
- 2010-2011 – we acquired three new furnaces with new technologies and greater production capacity. The second Forvet automatic production line and two more production buildings arrived;
- 2012 – one more horizontal furnace and the third Forvet automatic production line were installed.
At present, Viminas has five branches: Vitória (ES), Vila Velha (ES), Campos dos Goytacazes (RJ), Belo Horizonte (MG) and Eunápolis (BA). The company covers the entire Brazilian market, focusing the efforts in the southeast and the northeast areas of the country.
Why has Viminas purchased Forvet?
We started with the Francesca FC 1250 16M Mill and being satisfied with the machine’s performance, reliability and the feedback and service from Forvet, we decided to consider Forvet for larger industrial investments. We were looking for equipment that would grant larger productivity, with less labour cost, as well as better and constant quality of final products. With Forvet equipment, we have found all of this in just one line.
What are the benefits of Forvet lines?
We have certainly increased our productive capacity, decreasing delivery times, and, at the same time, increasing the quality of our products.
Why did you decide to buy a second line from Forvet?
We already knew the benefits of the equipment, we were aware of productive capacity, and we were aready familiar with programmes and maintenance in general. The know-how acquired with the first line helped us to decide for the second acquisition.
Did the second line match your expectations?
The second line has been produced with improvements compared to the first one, thanks to which productivity and quality have even exceeded our expectations. It is a strong machine, with high productivity and low labour cost, which produces glass with incomparable quality.
Everybody’s weak point is usually spare parts and back up service …
Even though the company’s after sales service headquarters are in Europe, Forvet’s service has always been available around the clock to connect with the machine and solve the very rare problems that arise. The Forvet staff from Italy, as well as local support, are always available to help whenever needed. With regards to spare parts, we have never had any delivery or availability problems. Parts are on time whenever requested.
Please give us a few words on the productivity of the Forvet lines.
Our workers and supervisors have acquired really good experience with the machines, which has helped us to produce 1,000 square metres of glass with holes and cut outs duly polished, per shift, per each line.
What would be an alternative to the use of Forvet lines?
The line is divided in two parts: edging (Chiara) and a CNC drilling/milling machine (Francesca), and only needs one person to operate them simultaneously. The use of other machines would require many more operators on different machines and would not grant the same flexibility.
Can the operational cost of Forvet be compared to a double edging machine?
Since we can source the polish and diamond wheels locally, operational costs have decreased significantly. At the same time, we have reached higher productivity with low operational costs, which would not be possible with a double edging machine due to the constant glass size and thickness variations.
Is your opinion on the solution with static edging positive or negative?
Forvet’s technical advantage of having the wheels moving around the glass, enables to reduce the quantity of broken glass and polishing time. This, combined the other unique advantage that we can use any kind of low-E glass in total safety, make the Chiara the perfect choice for our production requirements. So, to answer to your question, “absolutely positive”!
You told us that you like the horizontal solution for drilling/milling? Why?
Yes, because it has easier handling of the glass and good performances in drilling and milling with precise finishing and low breaking index. This is what we needed and what we get. This is a very important issue for any process that adds value to glass
How would you rate the quality of the final products made on Forvet equipment?
As it is a CNC conception, what we get is high productivity, with precise and well carried out finishing, resulting in high quality pieces.
What are the next steps for Viminas?
As the second line turned out to be even better than what we were expecting, we have decided to continue with the partnership that has given us really good results, believing in the quality of the equipment and in the improvements that Forvet is always carrying out continuously. That is why we have decided to invest with Forvet once more, with a third line. We are expecting this line to be delivered and installed in the second part of this year.