Mission Possible at Lathom

News Item
27 Mar 2014
A fact-finding mission from Sweden parachuted into the NSG Group's European Technical Centre at Lathom in Lancashire. Its mission? To investigate recent innovations in glass and hear about the advances anticipated in the future. With the technology and knowledge base at Lathom, this was very much a 'Mission Possible'.

The 16-strong group visited the UK ahead of a major building project in Stockholm, a crucial element of which involves incorporating effective glass façade solutions. Headed up by former Pilkington (now part of the NSG Group) employee Diana Avasoo, the party included representatives from the City of Stockholm real estate team, HIFAB project management team, White Architects and the Greater Stockholm Fire Brigade.

Now Glass and Window expert for WSP Environment & Energy in Sweden, Diana explained, "The purpose of the visit was to learn more about glass and gain a sneak preview of the high performance products that may be developed tomorrow. With my previous employment at Pilkington, I was well aware of the capability of the technical centre and realized that no glass-oriented visit to the UK could omit Lathom from its itinerary."

The technical centre at Lathom has helped to deliver product innovations such as Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass and, more recently, energy efficient coated glass such as Pilkington K Glass™ S, manufactured on the new £36m off-line coater in nearby St Helens.

The excursion to Lathom formed the centrepiece of an assignment which included viewing sustainable buildings in Manchester and London. Whilst at Lathom, the group was introduced to the Pilkington Planar™ structural glazing system and witnessed a wind loading test. The opportunity was taken to go 'behind the scenes' and see the research, analysis and testing that underpins the development of high performance glass. There was also time for the experts at Lathom to answer questions on glass for safety, security, solar control, thermal insulation and fire resistance.

"The visit proved extremely productive and enjoyable," concluded Diana. "The knowledge gained will greatly help the project team when they return to Stockholm."

The feedback from the visitors: mission accomplished!