A new £6.5m furnace has gone into production at Beatson Clark in Rotherham to meet demand for amber glass beer bottles.
It can produce 200 tonnes of glass a day, mainly for the small brewery and craft beer market in the UK and overseas.
Some 80 contractors were involved in the rebuild and maintenance project, including Sheffield-based Tecoglas who designed the furnace, Chapman Brack who have undertaken the rebuild with D A Cooper, and Batts Engineering of Rotherham who fabricated and installed the structural furnace steelwork.
Glass furnaces need to be completely rebuilt every 10 years and this project is just part of a £10 million investment which Beatson Clark has made in plant and equipment at its South Yorkshire site this year, according to furnace manager Dean Duke.
He added: “Our staff have worked tremendously hard with all of the contractors involved in the rebuild to ensure a smooth installation.
“The new furnace and the major maintenance work that has been undertaken will enable us to continue to produce quality amber glass for our customers for years to come.
“We are selling a lot of amber glass at the moment and our new larger capacity furnace will help us to supply the small brewery market even more effectively.
“We’ve installed stirrers in the forehearths to improve the quality of the glass, and by widening them we can also get a greater pull from the furnace.
“The design has been improved too for greater efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions in line with new Government targets.”
Improvements to the regenerators mean more heat can be recycled, he added.
Beatson Clark has a turnover of £44 million and an annual production capacity of 496 million units or 88,000 tonnes.