The TECO Group of companies has been serving the worldwide glass industry since 1927. We have designed and built over 1000 furnaces of all types. Our Group of companies is involved with all aspects of a glass plant from the batch plant through to the shipping dock. On major projects, we frequently get involved with site selection and evaluation.
We are not a manufacturer of equipment, nor are we involved with supply of materials of construction. Thus, we can provide our clients with an unbiased solution that will optimise both capital and operating costs.
Each application is evaluated on a site-specific basis. We offer each customer a choice that can be tailored to suit their capital investment strategy, emission regulations, fuel availability and budget limitations. Because of our extensive knowledge of glass melting processes, we are uniquely qualified to assist and carry out these evaluations and subsequently provide project planning and implementation.
So, as we work with you by taking your project from conception to completion, questions may arise. This section is devoted to some frequently asked questions that may be of interest and benefit to you.
How should I begin the process of selecting a glass melting furnace contractor?
Understand the fulfilment capability, financial strength and credit-worthiness of your potential contractor. We can help you achieve successful execution of your glass melting furnace projects requiring technical expertise in the following:
- Thermal process design (ie, the ability to design from basic engineering principles)
- Refractory design
- Structural steel design
- Mechanical and electrical system design
- Industry regulatory issues
- Project management
- Field service
- Operational troubleshooting
Financial strength of the contractor has inherent implications to the risk of any projects entrusted to them. For projects that have large material procurement and construction components, credit worthiness has implication for the underlying cost structure and ability to meet financial obligations.
Can Tecoglas really improve performance and percent pack of any type of glass manufacturing process?
On new furnace applications, computer modelling and our many years of furnace design experience are utilised to determine ideal furnace parameters, firing practice, refractory selection and refining capability to maximise glass quality. Regarding the glass conditioning, prior to forming, this can be modelled to achieve the constant glass temperature required to suit the forming process. For highly volatile glasses, volatilisation can be reduced to practically zero, utilising a muffled forehearth design.
Tecoglas has the capability to be able to deliver the necessary glass quality to achieve the maximum percent pack of any type of glass product.
What about cost?
A Tecoglas project will yield the lowest capital cost when including the longer campaign life, improved efficiency of operation and increased product pack resulting from the increased glass quality produced. We provide budget estimate information to enable you to make the appropriate financial decisions.
Why is risk management an important consideration?
Every company differs in their ability and willingness to tolerate risk, particularly with capital intensive projects. Because the design and building of a glass plant is a highly customised and service intensive undertaking, risk can manifest itself in many ways:
FINANCIAL RISK. What would happen if someone in the supply chain (contractor) underestimates the cost of a critical component or is unable to perform? Can your company complete performance if a contractor is unable to do so? Do all the contractors have the financial strength to meet their commitments?
SCOPE RISK. Particularly on projects involving the rebuilding of, or modifications to, an existing furnace; What is the risk of overlooking an area that needs to be replaced or repaired? What could be the cost and schedule impact? Who will be able to make a sound assessment of the most cost effective approach? On a greenfield or new furnace, is it clear what the furnace contractor will provide?
TECHNICAL RISK. What will happen if the furnace cannot perform as expected? What if the tonnage, glass quality or fuel efficiency are not as expected?
Understanding your perspective on these issues is critical to understanding the complete cost of the project. These risks are difficult to quantify, but they need to be factored into the decision making process if a well-informed decision is to be made.
How can I minimise the risk regarding my glass melting furnace project?
- Write a detailed scope of work or scope of supply. Studies have shown that there is an inverse correlation between the spread in pricing and the completeness of the scope of work/supply (ie, the more detailed the scope, the narrower the range of pricing). The point of this scope document is to clearly indicate what you, as the customer, expect to be done and/or supplied with, with a special emphasis on responsibilities at critical areas of interface. A preferred supplier can be helpful in creating this scope of work/supply.
- Select an experienced contractor.
- Select a contractor that has “in-house” capability in the required areas of expertise, with a particular emphasis on project management. This is a way to ensure that you have a committed and experienced team working with you.
- Select a financially stable and credit-worthy contractor.
Should I have my project quoted on a cost-plus or firm price basis?
Projects that are well-defined should be quoted on a firm price basis. We prefer to work on a firm price contract basis. Cost-plus type contracts are generally used for projects that cannot be adequately defined, such as a hot repair. On some applications, where a portion of the scope of work cannot be accurately defined, a combination of the two types of contract is used.