In September, extra white flint glass packaging will make up 100% of the Slovenian glassmaker’s production.
The move away from glass tableware had been in the works for some time now. Steklarna Hrastnik managing director Peter Cas told Luxe Packaging Insight's sister publication Formes de Luxe in January 2019 that tableware, which made up 25% of its business at the time, was going to be progressively reduced in order to build its glass packaging offer. Perfumery, a segment in which the company debuted in 2016 accounted for 5% of sales, with the remainder in spirits. Cas had also announced the arrival of a new G furnace with a 120-ton capacity per day. The furnace is set to begin production in November; this, in addition to the installation of new IS machines represents an investment of €18.5m.
“At the end of 2020 Steklarna Hrastnik will operate two furnaces for the production of glass packaging at two different locations in the village of Hrastnik,” stated the company. Management also confirmed that it will make further investments into the sites’ automation, and digitalization in 2021. Cas had detailed some of these investments in Formes de Luxe: “The hot and cold ends will be able to communicate as the inspection machine will speak directly to the IS machine. A camera on the end of the hot end can alert the IS machine on pressure, temperature and gob structure, for example. It will be a self-learning system. The 4.0 factory is emerging in the glass industry so this is crucial for us.”
As a result of the shuttering of its tableware business, Steklarna Hrastnik is laying off 60 employees from its total staff of 700.