Safe Glass-Handling Tips From CMS North America

Glass products have long had a high demand, with glass cutting serving a wide range of industries. CMS North America offers CNC machining centers to make your industrial glass-cutting tasks quicker, more accurate and easy to repeat. However, handling large glass sheets for glass cutting on CNC equipment takes special care to ensure the safety of your employees and the materials.

Manual Glass Handling

Lifting and transporting glass always poses the potential for breakage and human harm. The less you handle large pieces of glass or glass lites, the better. When manually lifting and transporting glass, always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. Also, know exactly how much a piece of glass weighs prior to lifting to ensure you have enough manpower. In a team lift, both people should be on the same side to safely escape should the glass fall.

For safety, use a glass dolly to transport glass sheets from racks to the CNC glass-cutting table when possible. If you must hand-carry sheets, use vacuum cups. Like any heavy object, lift with your legs, not your back, and keep sheets as vertical as possible. When depositing your sheet onto a CNC glass-cutting table, use the table’s edge as both a pivot point and support while you’re maneuvering the piece into place.

Mechanical Glass Handling

Using slings and hoists provides a safer alternative to lift and transport cases of glass. Inspect the mechanical lifting equipment to confirm it’s in good working order and designed to handle the task. Never jerk or swing loads and use guide or tag lines to prevent swinging. Attach slings to cases so there isn’t an angle of more than 45 degrees from horizontal and always avoid angles less than 30 degrees. Never exceed the manufacturer’s safe working load indicated on a hoist. Always check the load balance and position the hoist directly over the load.

Loading And Unloading Glass

When unloading sheets of glass from glass packs, crates or racks, never hold or support multiple sheets while another person retrieves a lite further back. Each sheet dramatically increases the load, which could suddenly tilt and crush you. Instead, move lites you don’t want to a temporary storage location. Ensure crates or racks are on a level surface before unloading and stand aside before loosening straps or ties. Always have an escape path and never attempt to catch falling glass. Always move and allow it to fall.

Every glass machining application is different and requires the right machine. CMS North America offers a full line of state-of-the-art CNC glass-cutting machines for high-speed production. Contact us to find the perfect solution for all your glass machining applications.

Looking Ahead: Trends to Watch in the Float Glass Industry

The global float glass market is projected to hit 84 million metric tons by 2020. Potential high demand from automotive and construction markets is expected to spur this growth. Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing market thanks to rising construction activity, rapid urbanization, and increasing demand for luxury cars, which use more glass than conventional options. Mature markets, such as Europe and North America, are expected to benefit from new energy policies for buildings and laminated glazing.


In 2013, China accounted for about 48 percent of the worldwide glass demand, and this is expected to grow to 52 percent in 2018. Traditionally, high demand for flat glass has been identified with Japan, Western Europe, and North America. Today, China is the largest national glass market in the world. Many manufacturers in China are geared to create products that meet the Western production level and environmental standards. This adaptation is expected to change the face of the Chinese glass industry in the next ten years.

The North American Market

In the glass industry, North America is the strongest market, and manufacturers anticipate an increased demand for glass and its products. The primary markets that show a steady demand include residential, commercial, and automotive, and they are expected to demand even more glass in the coming years. The emerging energy market is projected to be a lucrative opportunity for industry players, with increasing use in e-glass, solar panels, and photovoltaic modules representing a key factor in driving growth.

Effect of Economic Issues

Industry experts anticipate glass industry markets in Russia and some South American countries to remain slow due to economic issues. The economies of many countries in Africa are under equipped, but Africa remains a region of growth potential. Political uncertainties in several African and South American countries are posing risks that may destabilize markets in those areas. However, many companies in these areas are expected to look into creating partnerships with major industry players in mature markets.

Industry Players

Manufacturing and production companies make up part of the robust force that is driving the growth in the glass industry. More companies are poised to emerge to meet the high demand in automotive and construction industries with products such as double-thick glasses, hybrid guide plate, lightweight glazing glass, and solar control glazing glasses. With more mergers and acquisitions comes additional growth.

Flat glass is the major material that is used in the production of windows, windscreens, photovoltaic modules, solar panels, and facades. The demand for these products is high, with a predicted growth in the glass industry forecasted at a CAGR of 5.5 percent from 2016 to 2021.

CMS Brembana: The Future of CNC Glass Cutting

Glass cutting is a wide-ranging industry, serving everything from building construction to electronics manufacturing. It’s also a difficult industry to excel in: accurately cutting glass is one thing, doing it over and over and over again—and getting it right every time—is something else entirely. But with a CNC glass machining center from CMS North America, high speed, highly accurate, and highly repeatable glass cutting and finishing has never been easier.

The Right Glass Machining Solution for Any Application

Every glass machining application is different, and requires a different set of capabilities for optimum success. To meet your unique glass cutting needs, CMS North America offers the Brembana family of CNC glass machining centers. Ranging from simple cutting-table models to vertical glass processing machines to custom systems, the Brembana line has the perfect solution for every application.

Built on our 30-plus years of experience and innovation, our CNC technology provides one-of-a-kind versatility for the machining of complex glass pieces. Our glass cutting systems can perform cutting, grooving, and beveling operations, 3- and 4-axis routing, and full 5-axis machining. No design is too intricate and no tolerance is too tight for CMS CNC technology.

        Solar Panels

With work spindles ranging from 18 to 40 HP available, capable of speeds up to 15,000 RPM, Brembana glass machining centers provide high speed cutting, shaping, and finishing. Automatic cooling and lubrication systems ensure continued performance over long machining processes and high volume production runs.

Our glass machining systems are readily compatible with numerous digital file formats—including CAD and CAM—allowing you to directly input your design files. Your finished parts will match your designs exactly, and you’ll never need to worry about details getting lost or jumbled in translation. Digital compatibility, combined with high precision CNC machining capabilities, guarantees perfect part-to-part repeatability from the first piece to the last.

Select Brembana models are available with optional dual cutting heads for even greater productivity. This allows two different machining operations to be performed simultaneously, or two separate workpieces to be machined at once. Optional automatic tool changers can further reduce production time.

The World’s Best Glass CNC Machining Systems

CMS Brembana CNC glass machining centers are the #1 choice of automakers, aerospace OEMs, solar panel manufacturers, and countless others. Contact CMS North America today to find out what our glass processing systems can do for you.

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