Own business: glass blowing

* The calculations use the average data for the World

Glass is rightfully considered one of the most interesting and spectacular materials that is used for the manufacture of souvenir products. Glass has a relatively low cost, ductility and high flexibility of processing. Glass can make products of various shapes and colors, from simple dishes to real works of art that will decorate any collection. Meanwhile, the production of glass products cannot be called a simple matter. Rather, the opposite is a complex process that requires the master to have extensive experience and professionalism. In addition, he must also have a good artistic taste, otherwise his glass products will not be in demand. An additional advantage of glass products is that, due to the specifics of the process of its production, which is carried out completely manually in small enterprises (and even in large plants this process cannot be completely automated), each finished product is one of a kind and unique. No less popular among consumers are glass jewelry, which may not be as durable as natural stone products, but very beautiful and original. The range of glass products is almost unlimited. It can be glass bouquets, and small vases, and figures of animals, and jewelry, and zodiac signs, etc.

Manual glass production

The manufacturing process of glass products in small glass-blowing workshops involves the use of exclusively manual labor. On the one hand, this greatly complicates the production and increases the cost of the product, and on the other hand increases the value of such a glass souvenir in the eyes of customers. Simplified process of “manual” manufacturing can be represented as follows: first, the master heats the workpiece, which is called glass drills, and then with the help of a special tool gives it one form or another. This procedure is not only laborious, but also dangerous. It can sometimes take several hours to make one complex product.

Before starting work, it is necessary to clean the workplace from dust and debris so that extraneous inclusions do not get into the glass. Then, on the desktop in front of the master, a glass droid (glass drot) of the necessary shades, length and thickness is laid out. Glassdrot is a stick of colored glass up to 40 cm long and a diameter of three to six mm. A glass burner is used to melt the glassmaker. First, the master heats two glass sticks to a plastic state, and then makes part of the future figure from this mass, giving the workpiece the necessary shape in the process. Other details (e.g. paws, heads, tails) are made of glass rods of different thicknesses and / or colors. In this case, the same technology is used: first, the glass is heated on the burner, and then small parts are attached to the base body. At the last stage, the figure is given the final appearance by gluing ears, eyes, clothes, noses and other elements to it. Finally, the finished figure is left to cool completely, and then checked for marriage. To do this, the master or inspector simply carefully inspects the product in the light. If the marriage is not identified, the figure is packaged and sent to the warehouse. If any errors were made during the operation, then small cracks are clearly visible inside the figure. Such a product is recognized as defective and sent for processing. Depending on the skill and experience of the master, as well as on the complexity of the figure, it can take from twenty minutes to several hours to make it. According to a similar pattern, small souvenir products are also made in small workshops, such as vases and Christmas toys, but in this case the glass is inflated to make a cavity inside the product.

Glass-blowing workshop: premises and equipment

So, the amount of start-up capital for opening own production of glass products directly depends on the planned volumes of production. Experts say that it is better to start such production with a glass-blowing workshop for at least fifteen jobs. First of all, you need a suitable room. It should be spacious enough and comfortable for work. Recommended area should not be less than 50 square meters. meters, and the ceiling height is at least 3-3.5 meters. The workshop floor is best covered with linoleum or vinyl chloride tiles. With soft flooring, there is less risk that a glass blank falling onto the floor will break into small fragments. The location of furniture and equipment of the glass-blowing workshop has special requirements related to the specifics of production, which must be taken into account when choosing a room. So, for example, the work tables are arranged so that the light on the work surface of the craftsmen falls from behind or from the side, and the distance between the burners in the workplace should not be less than 125 cm

In addition to the working room, you will also need several utility rooms, which may be smaller, the main thing is that they are isolated from the main one. In one of these rooms, grinding, grinding and drilling machines, as well as a machine for cutting tubes and workpieces are installed, in the other - compressors, and in the third - fume hoods (calibration works will be performed here). Please note: windows and doors in all rooms, including the working and utility rooms, must open outwards. In addition to equipment, racks are installed in the working room, where workpieces, tools and finished products will be stored, as well as special vertical racks for storing glass-moth. Such racks and racks can be made independently.

Each workplace is supplied with gas, oxygen and air. In most cases, glass-blowing workshops use gas from a city network with overpressure, or propane gas in cylinders. In the latter case, all gas cylinders are placed outside the building where the workshop is located, in a metal booth that is locked. Gas is supplied from cylinders through a reducer through pipes to the premises of a glass-blowing workshop. Oxygen from the cylinders is also supplied to the working room via high-pressure metal pipes to the switchboard, which must be placed on one of the walls of the workshop. From the switchboard, oxygen is supplied through the gearbox to each working table. Gas, air, oxygen are supplied to the burners through the corresponding processes on the line through high-pressure rubber hoses. Typically, these hoses are secured under countertops and out through openings or cutouts in the table top near the burner. All gas and oxygen supply must be coordinated with the Gosgortekhnadzor. Pipelines that supply gas, air and oxygen to the table are mounted on the wall and painted in various colors (red, yellow, green).

In the workshop room, exhaust and supply ventilation must be equipped without fail. An umbrella connected to an exhaust ventilation duct must be installed above each table to remove smoke and combustion products. Centrifugal fans can be used as supply ventilation. Optionally, but it is highly advisable to install air conditioners in the room of your workshop, which will help maintain a comfortable air temperature in the hot season.

In addition to daylight, the workshop will also need to be equipped with fluorescent lamps. For certain types of work, you can use special table lamps with a reflector.

Compressors of sufficient power are installed in one of the utility rooms, which will help ensure excessive air pressure at the burner. For uniform air supply, a receiver or a strong sealed container or, in extreme cases, an empty steel cylinder is used. In the latter case, two threaded holes need to be drilled in the cylinder, where short pipelines are then screwed. At one (upper) outlet, a pressure gauge and a safety valve type PSK are mounted.

When working with oxygen, the system through which air is supplied to the workplace must be equipped with oil filters.

In the room adjacent to the workshop, metal tables for muffle furnaces are installed. On the metal surface of the table it is necessary to put sheet asbestos, on which, in turn, put muffle furnaces with different capacity of the furnace space (the best option is with automatic temperature control). This equipment is used for firing finished products. A marble shield with magnetic starters for each furnace is installed above the table where the muffle furnaces are located. If the layout of the adjacent room is not provided, then the furnace can be installed in the workshop room.

In the room for machining glass, there are several grinding machines (four furnaces will be enough for the indicated footage), a glass cutting machine with a corundum or diamond disk, a table drilling machine for drilling holes in the glass. In addition, you must have a sharpening machine with a vertical corundum circle for sharpening tools.

In the graduation room, in addition to fume hoods, all the utensils and reagents necessary for working with rice are needed. Both in the workers and in the utility rooms of the workshop, according to the requirements, there should be fire-fighting equipment, a box with sand and a dustpan, foam and carbon dioxide fire extinguishers. In addition, do not forget to buy a first-aid kit with dressing materials and medicines in the workshop to provide first aid to injured workers.

To organize such a workshop will require from 3 million rubles. The payback period is from 1.5 years. An additional source of income (in addition to selling glass products) can be tours, workshops and courses for those wishing to learn the basics of working with glass.

Industrial glass manufacturing

Medium and large enterprises manufacturing glass products carry out a full production cycle. The manufacturing process here begins with the preparation of the mixture - a mixture of various materials selected in accordance with the type of glass produced, which is subjected to thorough processing. In the next step, the glass is boiled. This is a very important operation, on which the quality of the finished product largely depends. Glass is melted in special glass melting furnaces with a gradual increase in temperature from 700 ° to 1450 - 1480 ° C. After cooking, the glass mass is slightly cooled, and then products are formed or formed from it using various methods. There are several basic molding methods, among which are blowing, pressing, pressing and centrifugal casting. Blowing can be carried out mechanized, vacuum-blowing, manual (in forms) and free methods. For each of these methods, separate equipment is used. For the manufacture of simple souvenir products at such enterprises, the first two methods are used. Manual blowing into molds, which is carried out using a glass-blowing tube, is a much more laborious and expensive process, therefore this method is used here for the manufacture of complex products. Free blowing (the so-called blown, or guten technique) is a free molding of a product (without using a mold). In this case, a glass ball is collected at the tip of the tube, which is then inflated through the tube into a ball with continuous rotation and constant correction of the ball with wooden blocks. The resulting preform is removed from the tube and placed on an iron rod for further processing. The nature of the processing depends on what is planned to be received at the output. The master can open the upper part or roll out the lower part of the workpiece to obtain one form or another. The distinctive features of blown products include a small wall thickness of the product, more complex and diverse forms than with other methods of production, and high transparency. Centrifugal casting occurs under the influence of centrifugal forces. The process of extrusion is carried out in two stages. First, the product is molded in molds, and then it is given the final look under the influence of hot air. Such products have thicker walls, are not so transparent, but they are often decorated with relief ornaments.

After molding, regardless of the method used, glass products undergo a firing procedure - they are aged in ovens at a temperature of 530-580 ° C and slowly cooled. This can significantly increase the thermal and mechanical stability of the material. Then, the finished products are processed (the tops that are adjacent to the blowing tube are trimmed, the edges, bottom and neck are aligned by grinding) and decorated with paints and various elements. There is a wide variety of options for decorating glass products. So, the methods for decorating hot glass (that is, before the finished product cools down or even during its production) include flowering, satin glass, irrigation, crackle, sulfide glass, glass fiber decoration, colored embankment. A colored glass decoration is called a chamomile, which is applied to the surface of colorless glass. Satin glass is a combination of milk and colored glass using complex shapes with protrusions and recesses of various sizes. The technique of sulfide glass is to obtain marble-like and opal strips of different color shades. A colored embankment is a multi-colored influx on the background of colorless or colored glass. Irrigation refers to the processing of hot glass products in pairs of tin or silver salts with the addition of strontium compounds, which form a thin iridescent film on the surface of the material. Crackle decoration consists in the formation of thin cracks in colorless or colored glass melt, creating the effect of an old thing (artificial aging). When decorating with glass fiber, the finest colored threads and strips are placed on the surface of the glass mass or inside it in the form of an arbitrary shape pattern, parallel strips, spirals, etc.

Finished products are decorated by mechanical means (for example, engraving), painting, metal films, luster paints, chemical methods (etching), etc. Engraving is a matte pattern with a large number of small contour details, which is applied using copper disks of various diameters and abrasive mass. When etching, the pattern is applied using mixtures of solutions of hydrofluoric and sulfuric acids, which dissolve the glass. There are several types of etching: simple, pantographic and deep. In the first case, glass products are covered with mastic containing wax or paraffin, then applied using special equipment equipped with needles, a pattern, and then the etching mixture for 15-20 minutes, after which it is washed off with water. This is done mainly with patterns with rings, zigzags and spirals. With pantographic etching, more complex ornaments can be made, and thick glass products are decorated with deep ones. Glass products can also be painted with brushes and a stencil with special silicate paints, followed by firing at a temperature of 550 ° C. To create gold ornaments, the technique of decorating with metal film is used. It consists in applying liquid (twelve percent) or powdered gold to a colorless and colored glass on a frosted and etched embossed surface. At the same time, gold is applied with a thin brush, then the product is dried and fired to fix the ornament. Also, glass can be coated with luster paints, followed by firing to obtain a shiny metal film on its surface. Patterned carvings are often applied to glass using grinding wheels followed by polishing, or adherence - liquid glass in the form of droplets, followed by blowing it to form the desired shape.

The quality of art glassware is subject to certain requirements. It must comply with approved reference standards and the requirements of regulatory and technical documentation. Such products are sorted, depending on the appearance, the degree of permissible defects and physical and mechanical properties. In this case, defects in glass melt, production and processing of decoration are taken into account. During the quality assessment, specialists take into account the type, size, location of the defect and the size of the product itself. В зависимости от используемого сырья, вида изделия и его назначения художественные изделия из стекла сортируются по сортам, количество которых регламентировано стандартами, и маркируются наклейками с указанием предприятия-изготовителя, товарного знака, номера стандарта.

Так как стекло – очень хрупкий материал, то изделия из него тщательно упаковываются в картонные коробки с предварительным завертыванием в мягкую бумагу или в пенопластовые футляры. Особые требования предъявляются и к транспортировке такой продукции. Она осуществляется в ящиках, заполненных стружками и другими мягкими материалами, с предостерегающими надписями. А вот особых условий хранения на складах такая продукция не требует. Вполне достаточно, чтобы помещение было сухим и закрытым. Не стоит делать слишком высокие стеллажи. При размещении продукции учитывайте ее вес: тяжелые изделия ставят на нижние полки, а легкие – выше.

Для организации такого производства потребуется специальное дорогостоящее оборудование: автоматизированная линия с каналом подачи сырья, «ножницами» для разрезания расплавленного стекла, автоматический пресс на несколько форм, станция гидропривода пресса, формующая машина с системой воздушного охлаждения, система извлечения прессованного изделия из формующей машины, печь отжига с выталкивателем, агрегат для нанесения краски, сушильный агрегат (для сушки краски на изделиях), оборудование для измельчения и промывания стекла, оборудование для выдувания и т. д.

Стоимость такого оборудования составляет несколько десятков миллионов рублей. Точная цена зависит от комплектации (определяется выпускаемым ассортиментом и планируемыми объемами производства), а также производителя (наиболее популярно из-за соотношения цена-качество китайское оборудование). Для размещения линии потребуется большая производственная площадь – не менее 1000 кв. meters. Печь для отжига и сушильная камера должны располагаться в отдельном помещении, которое, между тем, сообщается с цехом. Кроме того, нужна площадь под цех упаковки готовой продукции и отдельное помещение под склад. Для работы на таком производстве понадобится минимум 5-7 человек плюс бригадир-технолог и контролер на смену. Большая часть предприятий работают в две-три смены (с максимальной загрузкой). Сроки окупаемости составляют от 2, 5 лет.

Производители стеклянных сувенирно-подарочных изделий реализуют свою продукцию через оптовые компании, различные торговые сети, отдельные магазины (в том числе и интернет-магазины, хотя в этом случае требуется специальная индивидуальная упаковка для безопасной транспортировки), торговые точки и даже рынки. В целом, этот товар пользуется стабильно высоким спросом, хотя отмечаются некоторые влияния фактора сезонности. Так, больше всего заказов приходится на предпраздничные периоды (перед Новым годом, 8 Марта). В летние месяцы производители стеклянных сувениров не жалуются на падение объемов продаж, просто смещается их «география». В этот период наиболее активно сувениры продаются на юге страны. Многие компании даже выпускают специальные коллекции с морской тематикой к отпускному сезону.

Sysoeva Liliya (c) www.clogicsecure.com - a portal to small business business plans and guides


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