The worldwide trend, towards tightening emissions legislation, continues to drive innovation on automotive design. Lightweight design is increasingly also to respond to consumers’ demand for higher vehicle performance. Automotive glazing is an attractive option for vehicle weight reduction to improve the autonomy of electric vehicles and also to lower the center of gravity which leads to better drive stability and dynamics.
Automotive glass makers normally do their best in order to satisfy car makers’ requests, but it becomes impossible with standard processes used till now for soda-lime glass. Indeed, the windshield reached the minimum thickness possible with its sandwich composed by SLG/PVB/SLG according to thinner glass reachable by float glass process under the respect of relevant regulations. Over years of R&D, glassmakers reached a brand new solution to make possible an ultrathin windshield even better for optical advantages, lightness and toughness. They thought to change the inner glass with a thinner, lighter, stronger and optically advanced glass commonly used for electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, etc. It’s an ultrathin chemically strengthened glass which is even flexible. The new sandwich composed by SLG/PVB/UTG enabled the glassmaker to achieve a new target for the next generation of automotive glass, but the assembly of such brand new windshield requires also a new assembly system, so the assembly process is still a handmade process affordable for a small and expensive production lot such as supercar only, but the trend is going to change. Indeed, starting from two years ago, IOCCO has developed a full automatic process to assembly the new generation of ultrathin windshields, sunroofs and sidelites for automotive in order make possible the production on a large scale industry. This has been possible thanks to the reengineering of its own automatic assembly systems and vacuum deairing systems which usually are the bottleneck of OEM automotive glass processing. Such development on ultrathin glass processing enabled IOCCO to be ready to supply complete lines to produce innovative automotive glass, and then to better satisfy market demand.
Nowadays the vacuum bag furnace supplied by IOCCO allows to process the new generation of automotive laminated glass for OEM industry, and this thanks to the possibility to monitor all parameters, improving the production.
The whole automation process to assembly ultrathin laminated automotive glass developed by IOCCO’s R&D is a Milestone for the new era of the ultrathin automotive glass industry.