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An everyday occurrence, or just a memory? When it comes to preventing vandalism, there is a big difference of opinion between the various public transport operators.
An everyday occurrence, or just a memory? When it comes to preventing vandalism, there is a big difference of opinion between the various public transport operators.
Infrastructure 2017-05-03

Unbreakable glass in bus shelters saves 10.000 € a month

For Andreas Mehlqvist, broken glass is just part of the daily scene. He is Bus Stop Manager for SL bus operator Nobina in Stockholm, and is responsible for over 4000 individual bus stops. He has also been Project Manager for a pilot project involving a changeover to unbreakable Hammerglass in around 20 of the bus shelters within Nobina’s Södertörn area.
– We selected those shelters that were most vulnerable and where we found we were replacing glass on an almost weekly basis. Since installing Hammerglass in September, we haven’t needed to change a single panel! We reckon we have saved upward of 100.000 SEK a month (10.000 €) on these 20 shelters alone – a really incredible figure!

Hammerglass is a specially coated polycarbonate – 300 times stronger than glass. In spite of the fact that the company behind the product, Hammerglass AB, has produced special mountings for fitting the panels into bus shelters, there have been problems in getting the product out onto the market.
– When big companies buy in toughened glass panels for bus shelters, the price is exceptionally low. Their Purchasing Managers are governed by the Public Procurement Act and are obliged to buy in at the lowest possible price – so they can keep strictly to their budgets. Any breakage and replacement that occurs comes under the operating budget, and that’s a matter for a different department, of course, says Ulf Bergström, speaking on behalf of the Hammerglass Infrastructure business division.

– Our panels are almost twice as expensive as toughened glass, so we do not get very far when we try to discuss these things. Unfortunately, the fact that they pay for themselves after the initial breakage is neither here nor there. We have tried to persuade most of the large public transport authorities, but their answer is always the same – we are too expensive, he continues. As a taxpayer, you get a bit fed up, of course, when these people just can’t manage to think outside the box. There is simply no co-ordination between purchasing and operations, otherwise they’d have fitted unbreakable glass in all the at-risk shelters. After SL accepted us as an alternative supplier, we are now extremely pleased with the initiative that Nobina has taken, and we hope more operators will follow suit.

Andreas Mehlqvist of Nobina was himself sceptical to begin with.
– Initially, we were afraid the panels would get plastered with graffiti, or else kicked out, but the really strong mountings from Hammerglass have meant the panels have remained firmly in place, and even where graffiti has been daubed over them it’s been easy to remove from the glossy surface, he says. We also thought that Hammerglass might burn, but that is clearly not the case. It is acrylic plastic that burns – Hammerglass doesn’t.

Andreas Mehlqvist further states that Nobina will ensure that more bus shelters are fitted with Hammerglass.
– It’s a lot less unpleasant for staff to clean up graffiti than to tramp around in broken glass carrying heavy sheets of glass. And in addition to the working environment and the cost saving, there’s also a third important factor that is at least as important, namely the fact that our customers can now wait for their buses in clean, undamaged bus shelters, says Anders Mehlquist, who believes several operators will follow Nobina’s initiative in protecting their bus shelters.
– So we are very pleased, and we will be happy for other operators to come and visit us on a study trip, he comments in conclusion.


Hammerglass is expanding in Germany

Hammerglass Automotive continues its journey in the European construction world and the next stop on the road towards safer driving environments and better operating economy is Germany.

Swedish glassmaker Hammerglass is now continuing its expansion and has during the early autumn established itself with subsidiaries in Germany. Hammerglass Automotive, which is the market leader in the construction machinery segment, already exists with its own companies in Sweden, Norway and Denmark and included within the expansion plans are additional countries in Europe and the rest of the world.

Hammerglass opens in Nuremberg

Responsible for the business development in Germany will be Oliver Afsah, who left his position at the company Thyssenkrupp in early September to land at Hammerglass GmbH's Nuremberg office. Already today, Hammerglass is established in Germany as a product, but without its own sales organization. Although Hammerglass glass systems are available for most brands and models, there are still gaps in the range.

– Hammerglass' goal is to be available to all machine manufacturers shortly - either as an option when the customer buys a new machine, or in the aftermarket when a screen is broken or if you need to secure the machine for tougher workouts, says Oliver about the investment in Germany.

Oliver will be responsible for the German operations and is currently in an intensive phase of product training and marketing planning. Oliver will put a lot of energy into building relationships with Hammerglass partners and as a German speaker, communication will be easier.

– It will be a great advantage that I am both where the customer is geographically and also has the language as a mother tongue, says Oliver.
What are your biggest challenges with Hammerglass Automotive in Germany?
– To make the market aware that there are no alternatives to Hammerglass, Oliver concludes with a smile.

The protection rules for construction machinery are tightening

Around Europe, a lot is happening on the driver's safety front. Earlier this spring, the Norwegian State Roads Agency introduced new tough rules for the protection standard that applies to the construction machinery used on their construction sites. More countries are expected to follow in the same tracks as risks in the machinists' work environment are at the center. The protection standard used in Norway and Sweden is called Protection Class 3 - RABS and is a collection standard consisting of several different European sub-standards and standards. Nothing new then, just a new combination requirement. Hammerglass is one of the few companies that meets the tough requirements and that welcomes more standards in the field.

Bengt Nilsson, CEO of Hammerglass AB comments on the RABS requirements:
– It is good for the industry if there are clear requirements and standards that regulate what is the right protection. This makes it easier for contracting companies to create a safe working environment”, says Bengt Nilsson.

Lifeguard and piggy bank

In addition to Safety Class 3 - RABS being a protection for the individual machine driver, Hammerglass protection solutions also offer several financial advantages for construction machine owners. With Hammerglass in the cab, downtime in production is limited or avoided as window replacements are made less frequently. Machines that do not run in high-risk environments also benefit from the Hammerglass system, especially with an add-on Sacrificial Screen. When the sacrificial screen is worn by gravel wear and propelling stone chips, it is replaced without having to make more in-depth window replacements in the cab. The savings with replacing a sacrificial screen many times greater than replacing an ordinary windscreen.

Property 2018-03-24

Record order for bullet-proof glass

Hammerglass AB has landed the company’s biggest order in years with a request for bullet-proof and explosion-proof windows and doors worth 1.8 million EUR. The order was received by Hammerglass Property and confirms the company’s leading position within the area of security glass.

– Unfortunately, the very strict secrecy requirements mean that we cannot disclose the identity of either the customer or the risk object, but I can confirm that installation will be carried out during Q3 and Q4 this year, and that it involves upgrading a property in Sweden, says the Head of Hammerglass Property, Torbjörn Timmermans.

– We have for a long time offered ballistic-resistant solutions which, thanks to the characteristics of Hammerglass, are much thinner and lighter than traditional bullet-proof panels. Because we are also able to manufacture bullet-proof insulating glass, a lower weight and thinner glass package are of extra significance.- Besides supplying complete window and door systems, we can also handle everything from fixing solutions to turnkey installation. In consultation with the customer we establish the relevant threat level, make a thorough risk assessment of the risk object (Security Assessment) and finally present the customer with a solution.

– There are still many that believe it is enough just to have a protective film on the inside of the pane in order to withstand terror attacks. Unfortunately, both experience and testing demonstrate that not even films of the right protection class can help to any significant extent. What is more, in 9 out of 10 cases it is not possible to attach the film to the window frame in the correct way, which means that the entire glass package is forced into the room in a violent attack. We live in a world where the risk of terrorist attacks is constantly on the rise, and more and more understand the importance of having the right type of protection in case anything should happen.

Bengt Nilsson, MD of Hammerglass AB in Förslöv, now sees that further investment is needed in both production equipment and personnel in order to cope with the increased demand.
– We increased our turnover by 80% from 2016 to 2017 and by the end of February this year we had already reached our projected turnover for 2018, says Bengt Nilsson. This is of course extremely gratifying, but we’ve been laying the groundwork for this over many years and that is what has made our current market presence and volume increase possible. Exports account for around 40% of the turnover, and even though our business in Sweden is growing, we can still see that the primary potential for increases in sales of our products lies in exports. And we are not just active in the Property division, but also in Infrastructure and Automotive. These, too, are showing excellent growth, which means that the question of taking on new staff will arise during the year, says Bengt Nilsson in conclusion.

Hammerglass 2017-12-05

Hammerglass also protects police stations

For the newbuilding of police stations, schools, shops and the like, Hammerglass panes are provided in ready-made frame solutions from window and door manufacturers. When it comes to the reinforcement of existing property, the panes are fitted outside or inside the existing window glass – like an invisible grille. The company’s solutions already protect more than 20 police stations in southern Sweden, in addition to the thousands of other properties which since 1994 have been protected with Hammerglass.

  • 300 times stronger than glass
  • Ready-made solutions for property and vehicles
  • Protects against bomb attacks, gunfire, vandalism and burglary

Protects against explosions and gunfire

Many exposed premises have previously been protected with safety film which is applied to the inside of the glass pane. This film provides protection against objects being thrown and may also protect against explosions to a very limited extent (max class ERP1). But today’s threat looks different. A car bomb with several hundred kilograms of explosive will force in windows within a radius of several blocks. Hammerglass has been tested with explosive charges equivalent to 100 kg TNT detonated at a distance of 14 metres. The weak point then becomes the actual mounting of the frame within the property concerned. With the aid of window frame anchors and strength calculations, however, there are solutions for most façade types. The protection itself consists of a 12 mm Hammerglass pane which only weighs 14.4 kg/m².

A normal Hammerglass pane will withstand gunfire from simpler hand weapons. Where the threat is more serious, Hammerglass is available in a laminated, splinter-free version which also protects against high-velocity weapons (protection class BR6-NS).

Emergency vehicles need extra protection

Over the last 5 years Hammerglass screens have been fitted in hundreds of ambulances which are in service right across Scandinavia. As a result of a unique co-operation scheme with the defence group Hutchinson we offer to retrofit vehicles...

  • ... which do not catch fire and do not attain a significantly higher compartment temperature if fire bombs are thrown
  • ... in which the screens cannot be broken
  • ... where the fuel tank cannot be smashed
  • ... which run for around 100 km on tyres that are shot to pieces

The vehicles will be used both as emergency vehicles and as private security vehicles for politicians, business leaders, embassy personnel etc. It is also possible to retrofit all or parts of the protective equipment on existing vehicles.

Property 2017-04-27

Hammerglass AB secures major order for Ghana

Hammerglass AB has won its biggest order so far from Africa. The exclusive residential area of Hoda Village in Accra, Ghana, has chosen to install 12 mm Hammerglass (heat-reducing) IR-panels in sliding partitions and side windows in a major residential area. The order is worth close on 3 million SEK and will be delivered during the second quarter.
– Together with our agent in Ghana we’ve been working on this project for over a year now, so it feels good to finally make it like this, says Hammerglass Export Manager Ingrid Timmermans. Security issues are high on the agenda in many African countries, and our products have been shown to work really well in the locations where they have been installed. In addition to our glass-clear panels we also offer green- or grey-tinted Hammerglass IR, which reduces solar heat radiation by about 50%, so as well as the customer getting an unbreakable glazing solution there’s also a marked reduction in the cooling requirements of the property in question.

Torbjörn Timmermans is Business Manager for Hammerglass Property, the property installation division of Hammerglass AB, and along with the local agent he has been in dialogue with local property owners, window suppliers and building firms in Ghana.
– It’s been very important for this project to have mutual understanding and close co-operation between the parties involved. As we’re going to make the order to specification here in Förslöv, everything has got to tally exactly – dimensions, mounting technology, transport solutions, customs clearance and local freight handling. As luck would have it, we’re beginning to acquire a bit of experience of ingenious export solutions – if you haven’t got that experience, it’s easy to suddenly find yourself in difficulties when you least expect it. In total, it will be a few tons of Hammerglass that are eventually shipped out, so it will take a little while to get through that with our production facilities.

In recent years, Hammerglass Property has really extended its reach on the export side and already has a number of prestige projects in Kuwait, England, Canada, the USA and Cyprus in the bag. Its investment in Canada and the USA is expected to show strong growth in the next few years, and at the moment a lot of money and effort are being expended on certification and local approvals in those countries.
–Where export solutions are concerned, we have learned to respect time horizons. It is not unusual for us to be working 2 or even 3 years on a project before it actually comes to fruition. We’re aware, though, that Sweden has a very strong brand, and that it inspires confidence when we can combine the appeal of our own brand with the fact that both production and product development all take place in Sweden. We’ve got a 4-man strong Engineering Department, and the fact we can produce ready-to-use, strength calculated solutions that are also drawn in 3D makes things a lot easier. It makes communication a lot simpler, and adds further weight to that sense of trustworthiness that we need to project as a small company operating in a global market, concludes Ingrid Timmermans.

Infrastructure 2016-09-27

Liverpool public transport system chose Hammerglass

The public transport system in Liverpool is continually affected by vandalism in bus shelters and travel centres. A decision was therefore taken on the use of long-term solutions for both rebuilds and newbuilds. When Kirkby Bus Station was to be rebuilt, the architects contacted Hammerglass AB for assistance with the choice of materials, design and fixing solutions.

The project was budgeted at over 300.000 € and Hammerglass panes were installed by the co-operation partner, the Wilde Group, which operates across large areas of the United Kingdom. The Wilde Group has specialised in shell protection and works largely within the public sector. 12 mm Hammerglass sheets were used for this project. As the architects wanted glass-clear edges, all sides of the panes had to be bevelled and diamond-polished. The panes were manufactured to size in Förslöv and then shipped over to Liverpool for installation.

– For our part, we at Hammerglass hope this will prove to be just the first of a series of projects in Liverpool, says Hammerglass AB Export Manager Ingrid Timmermans. We’ve done a number of jobs both in England, Scotland and Ireland, but this is the first time we’ve been so heavily involved right from the start of the project. Here, we’ve been relied upon for both design solutions, strength calculations and simulation models. Many of the earlier supply contracts have been for unbreakable insulating glass destined for what is referred to in the UK as ‘social housing’, that is to say apartment complexes for society’s most vulnerable groups. Because we’re holders of a ‘Secured by Design’ certificate, which is the system used by UK police forces for approved and recommended safety solutions, we receive a lot of enquiries from areas where our glass and our competence are in demand, continues Ingrid Timmermans.

Ulf Bergström, the Hammerglass Infrastructure Division Manager, participated in the project as an expert and was able to bring to it his experience from similar travel centre projects in Sweden.
– We’ve been able to bring with us lessons we’ve learned from installations we’ve carried out in Växjö, Stockholm, Täby and, most recently, Älmhult, says Ulf Bergström. The fixing solutions are important, because it shouldn’t after all be possible for unbreakable panes simply to be kicked out of their mountings. And it’s just as important to be able to produce precise measurements for bevelled panes and to map out in advance where we might experience problems with fitting the panes into the steel structures. The Kirkby Bus Station project all ran very smoothly, and the customer appears pleased, so we’ll see what the future has to offer us, says Ulf Bergström in conclusion.

Hammerglass is a specially coated polycarbonate sheet – which is 300 times stronger than glass and is almost unbreakable. The unique surface is wear-resistant and makes graffiti removal easy. Thanks to nanotechnology, the panes can also be used as an insulating glass – something which is not otherwise possible with polycarbonate.