Glass Futures has opened its Global Center of Glass Excellence in St. Helens, Merseyside, England. The 160,000-square-foot facility will produce up to 30 tons of glass daily in a research and development furnace.
Glass Futures is a non-profit membership organization that provides research and development and innovation with the goal of designing high-value and fully sustainable, zero-carbon products.
Officials state that the facility will enable members, researchers and industry leaders to collaborate and experiment with different energy sources, raw materials and technologies to demonstrate solutions for sustainable energy usage in the glass-making process.
“The dream is now a reality,” says Aston Fuller, general manager at Glass Futures. “And as we look toward officially opening the building in summer  with our 30-ton per day furnace and pilot line firing within the next 12 months, it’s only the beginning.”
Potential projects at the center include the development of alternative fuel technologies, robotic operations and automation, raw material and cullet processing technology, next-generation refractories, inspection equipment and sensors, and more.
Glass Futures was co-founded by Encirc, Guardian Glass, O-I Glass and Siemens. The Global Center of Glass Excellence was conceived by Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass.
*Pictured in the above photo are: Adrian Curry, Managing Director of Encirc; Dr. Sheldon Davis, Vice President of Research, Development & Innovation at Guardian Glass LLC; and Dr. Ludovic Valette, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at O-I Glass, Inc.; Richard Katz, CEO of Glass Futures; Dave Dalton, CEO of The British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation; Brian McMillan, Chairman of Glass Futures; Prof. Anthony Holland, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact at the University of Liverpool; Kevin Coles, Head of Finance at VitriTech; Mark Higham, General Manager of Siemens Process Automation; Dr. Richard Hulme, Technical Director of Glass Futures; and Prof. Graham Hillier, former Director at the Centre for Process Innovation, previously CTO of the High-Value Manufacturing Catapult, and former Strategy Director at the Center for Process Innovation.