Glassman Events

René Meuleman

Business Leader Global Glass


René Meuleman


René studied electrical engineering. He started his career in the paper industry as a technical assistant, before switching to the glass industry as an employee of Vereenigde Glasfabrieken. During his early years, he built his broad knowledge and experience in design and development of electronic quality equipment for container glass manufacturing and was involved in the implementation of their first generation PLC and DCS systems, as well as electronic timing systems for IS-machines.

René worked on several model based predictive control (MPC) projects, as well as being involved in object oriented engineering method developments. He became responsible for process control inside the BSN group and finally was responsible for the European plant process control and forming electronics inside the Owens-Illinois group.

10 Years ago he left O-I and joined the Eurotherm by Schneider Electric group where he is responsible for the technical and commercial glass business development. Based on the Eurotherm and Schneider-Electric portfolio and together with his global glass business team he works on the development of innovative, pragmatic and competitive glass manufacturing process and power control systems. 

Abstract - CO2-free glassmaking

Glass melting and conditioning systems will need to change rapidly to comply with local CO2 emissions legislation. There is also a trend that glass manufactures will be forced by their customers to potentially reduce CO2 emissions in order to reduce the customer’s supply chain carbon footprint. To do so it will become unavoidable to increase the use of electrical power, perhaps switch to all-electric melting systems instead of keeping on firing fossil fuels. It is well known that electrical furnace boosting is the most energy efficient way of applying energy to a melting system at least from the electrodes to the glass melt point of view. In that respect, the electrical power control system needs to be highly efficient, flexible and intelligent.

This paper will explain, the design considerations of such a system covering the whole system from power grid up to the electrodes including transformer design and SCR control aspects. It will also provide arguments why such a power system will need to become a part of the whole furnace design and engineering from furnace modeling up to steel construction and installation. Carefully balancing Capex against Opex. In other words: where does it make sense to spend money or how does return of investment on operation cost justify capital spending? Finally, we will explain how modern SCR’s and process control will open new ways to provide innovative operational data and process analytics to improve furnace performance and efficiency.


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