Why did my Machinery Glass break?

rough cut windscreen

Rough cut windscreen (incorrect)

Many machinery windscreens today are glazed in rubber seals and it’s not uncommon to see one of these windscreens cracked without any sign of impact. So why does this occur?

Often flat windscreens for machinery are custom cut, and installed by auto glass specialists. This not only saves money for the client on the glass part, it also saves money by reducing machine downtime. Machinery that is idle due to glass defects can cost a business thousands per day. The problem with the auto glass industry is too many technicians are under skilled and/or ill equipped for the job.

polished windscreen

Polished windscreen. (Correct)

Over the years we have found the vast majority of machinery windscreens break due to poor quality workmanship. When glass is custom cut onsite it’s critical that the edges of the glass are polished and not left rough.

If you were to inspect the edge of a glass that has not been polished correctly you would discover many tiny chips/shells left from the glass cutting process. This can be minimised by a skilled technician, however, sometimes it is difficult to completely eliminate, especially when cutting radius corners.

That said, this still should not pose a problem if the glass is polished after cutting. By polishing with the correct grit sanding discs, the chips and shelling are polished away from the edges of the glass and therefore the risk of cracking is reduced to almost zero. If left rough it’s almost certain that when the machine goes to work onsite, the vibration caused by working off road will cause the glass to crack soon after.

See the two images of both a polished windscreen and an unpolished windscreen. Service 8® had been called out to replace this glass as it had cracked for no apparent reason (no impact). After further investigation, it was clear that the glass had been roughly cut and installed. We fixed the problem by cutting a new window and polishing it correctly. Without the correct tooling this would not be possible.

Unfortunately, this turned out to be a considerable cost for our client. A new window had to cut and installed. Also site safety officers had ordered the machine to stop operation until fixed. All this cost because the previous repairer had been careless.


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