When it came to information displays, I expected AGC to have strong expertise in glass and to provide excellent advice – but their solid collaboration was the cherry on top!
ProRail, the company that operates the Dutch rail infrastructure, manages 4,000 travel information displays at 400 train stations in the Netherlands. With a view to making the displays easier to maintain, ProRail launched a project to upgrade certain components for some types of displays. To this end, they turned to railway infrastructure specialist Armada Mobility, which in turn selected AGC Glass Europe to supply glass solutions.
Some 1,500 displays were upgraded. "Our specifications for the new displays included thermal properties to prevent glass breakage caused by the screen getting hot, safety considerations (anti-vandalism) and anti-reflection," explains Bob van Zwieten, Contract Manager at ProRail. In addition to the screen-printed blue border typical of its travel information displays, ProRail also required the inclusion of a super-strong interlayer to ensure the final product would be strong and flat, yet not too thick. AGC’s Clearsight (anti-reflective coating that slashes light reflection to less than 1%, far lower than the usual 8% of ordinary float glass) glass was selected for its anti-reflective coating, neutral appearance and easy processing, all of which are key assets in this type of application.
In order to produce the most convincing prototypes to win the contract, Armada commissioned AGC to produce glass screen covers capable of meeting the project’s demanding requirements. "Having worked for AGC myself, I was well aware of the company's extensive expertise in this area and knew they would offer a variety of options, backed up by expert advice," says Paul te Lintelo, Project Engineer at Armada. "This was fully confirmed during the development phase of the project, which resulted in the supply of 1,500 glass screen covers."
Indeed, as the initial requirements evolved on the customer side, solutions based on effective technical guidance had to be adjusted. The solution ultimately chosen was a complex multifunctional laminated glass cover comprising:
- an outer 4mm sheet of extra-clear glass with a Sureco hydrophobic coating for easy maintenance and a Clearsight anti-reflective coating for superb transparency;
- a screen-printed blue border around the perimeter of the screen;
- a SentryGlas interlayer for superior strength;
- an inner 4mm sheet of extra-clear glass, chemically tempered to make it stronger without any distortion (unlike thermally tempered glass).
"This winning solution offers an ideal combination of excellent optical and mechanical properties at a cost in line with our expectations," summarises Paul te Lintelo. He concludes by emphasising the forthright and transparent communication between all parties involved which was "critical to the successful progress of the project."