Poetry in Motion in Carlisle

glassphoto03Appearing more like a liquid gel at that point rather than a hardened surface, the still-hot glass then heads to a refiner, where stone defects and bubbles in the glass are identified. Gaining added thickness throughout the process as it cools, the glass is then sent to a tin bath for further refining and forming.

The annealing process begins with heat still visibly simmering off the glass that is now at 300 degrees. The inspection and cutting process come next, with each of the malformed or bad pieces of glass singled out to be broken and thrown into the cullet pile for later use.

Machines use suction cups to package the finished glass and make it ready for shipping.

“Really, the first people to touch our glass are our customers,” Abbas says.

The largely mechanized effort has significantly cut down on plant mishaps, although it is also largely responsible for the disappearance of a lot of jobs. The PPG Carlisle plant had employed as many as 1,350 employees during its heyday in the 1970s and ‘80s, Abbas says.

But like the plant as a whole, progress never slows down.

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