CASE: SKAALA – Why window manufacturer has measured insulating gas concentration of IGUs around 20 years?    

The story of SKAALA begins in 1956 in Finland from which it has grown to one of the most known window and door brands within its market area. Since the beginning domestic production, quality materials, and domestic work are in the center of SKAALAS operations. On top this, SKAALA has been a pioneer and measured their insulating glass units’ (IGUs) together with Sparklike almost 20 years.

Pioneer – Cooperation with Sparklike since 2004

Production Supervisor Jussi Valli at SKAALA recalls that in 2004 SKAALA bought its first argon gas tester as a part of the quality control. After that the cooperation has tighten due to the annual calibration and maintenance. Although, the devices have worked well but since windows and their production has developed, SKAALA needed new device with more advanced features. Nowadays, they also sell triple glass with different coatings which the previous version of Sparklike Handheld could not measure. TDLAS technology, which Sparklike Laser Portable uses, was perfect for their needs.

” We have been satisfied with the previous devices. Overall, the service, I mean the whole package. The cherry on top of the cake was when we asked for the next calibrations and Sales Manager Antti Koski contacted us and suggested a meeting regarding new investments.”

The goal of quality control is to trace possible problems as soon as possible

There are many quality checks in the production line at SKAALA. Valli tells that the first quality checks are done when cutting glass. The principle of quality control in very step is to trace a possible problem as soon as possible. In quality maintenance it is important to make sure the product works as it is supposed to, which is accomplished by standard testing.  That is how SKAALA monitor the product quality. Additionally, the quality check control that the equipment in the production line is functioning properly.

IGU lines have multiple tests according to Valli. It is important to secure that there are no visual errors on the glass but also the structure needs to be correct. Sparklike is a part of the quality control at the end of the line when gas concentration of insulting glass units is checked. SKAALA measures gas concentration from a product that have been ready for a while to make sure the gas has spread equally, as one should.

What made SKAALA to invest to Laser Portable?

Although, the previous devices still worked, their properties were not suitable for properties of new windows. Upgrading the device was mandatory for the quality strategy of SKAALA, and the satisfaction with Sparklike naturally pushed to continue the collaboration. The first fact that convinced SKAALA was the different technology that Sparklike Laser device use which makes measuring more versatile compared to the previous.

” We can measure more glass faster. It [Laser Portable 2.1] of course make measuring more diverse regarding what types of glasses can be measured. Now we can measure coated and laminated glasses. Those types of glasses are what the modern customer wants, and the demand has grown and the supply too.”

In addition, movability of the device brought time-savings which was very important criteria for SKAALA. The new device enables measuring wherever when the old device, ancestor of Sparklike Handheld, needed power from an outlet. This meant the glass needed to the brought to the device which took time – now the measurements can be taken where the windows are stored.  Also, the easy user interface contributed to the decision making as all the employees have possibility to use the device correctly.

Valli tells that the additional value is the trust to the safety of the production. By measuring gas concentration of IGUs, SKAALA receives proof of the production processes, like gas fill. When effectiveness is searched in production, Laser Portable can help with it. With the same time they measured IGUs before, they can now measure more units. A pro is the ability to measure with own window measurements or receiving the measurement from Laser Portable.  

What is the biggest benefit of measuring gas concentration of insulating glass units?

” The biggest is exceeding the requirements of quality. The product meets the criteria that is set, and it can be traced and we have a proof of it.” With Laser Portable, SKAALA receives current data which is valuable as SKAALA can immediately act based on that [if the results would be odd]. Valli tells that with all the quality control procedures SKAALA creates prerequisites to long-lasting high-quality products. Therefore, SKAALA can trust to their products and be proud to sell those to customers.

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