Owens-Illinois: Bottle-Making Industry

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Owens-Illinois (O-I) is the world’s leading glass packaging manufacturer. The global headquarters is located in Perrysburg, Ohio, USA. O-I has about 80 plants in 23 different countries around the world and employs about 27,000 people worldwide. They have over 2,100 different patents around the globe and offer 10,000+ products. In 2015 alone, O-I produced a staggering $6.2 billion in net sales. Needless to say, Owens-Illinois is a leader within the glass manufacturing industry and is well-known throughout the world. O-I was founded over 100 years ago when Michael J. Owens invented the automatic bottle-making machine. Nothing that innovative in the glass-making industry had been produced since the invention of the blowpipe all the way back in …show more content…
According to Noel, there is a company in the Netherlands that does benchmarking on furnaces. He said that they compared O-I’s furnace technology to other glass manufacturers and O-I has the most efficient furnace in the world. To melt glass, they use three main techniques to first heat the glass. The first way is with their regenerative furnaces. These are interesting because they were created 100 years ago, but they’re still very efficient. There are two chambers located within the furnace. In one chamber, heat is generated using gas and air. That heat then passes through the area where the glass is located inside the furnace. All of the waste heat flows over to the second chamber and is captured. Within that chamber, large stacks of bricks absorb the waste heat to collect and store it until it’s ready to be used. The heat is then blown from its temporary home (the bricks) onto the glass to heat it more. After that, the heat generated from gas and air in the first chamber heats it the rest of the way. Eventually, the glass is heated enough to where it can be molded. “The exchange of heat from chamber to chamber recovers 60% of the waste heat,” Noel informed us. Though this is an old innovation, it’s increased efficiency by

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