Interview with Evgeny Ananyev
General Director of Guardian Steklo Ryazan
This year we celebrated the tenth anniversary of Guardian Glass production in Russia. The first anniversary in the history of Guardian in Russia is a perfect reason to meet and talk with Evgeny Ananyev, director general of «Guardian Glass Ryazan» LLC.
- In 2018 Guardian Glass Ryazan celebrated its tenth anniversary. How has the plant changed over this time?
- A lot of events happened within this ten-year term. Our Ryazan plant was founded in 2008, when we launched the line of float glass production and the coater line. Three years later, in 2011, we set a mirror line to work as well. These years helped us gain strength and form a truly professional team. In 2012 our specialists took an active part in the second large-scale Guardian project on the territory of the Russian Federation, that is the launch of a factory in Rostov region.
I am proud to say that we produce glass that satisfies the needs and requirements of our demanding customers. Over the recent years we have been actively developing our export activities, and at the moment we have an advanced logistics network in Turkey.
Quite recently we have become part of Koch Industries, a U.S. corporation. It is involved in numerous kinds of production, investments, oil refining and various chemical technologies. It has given us access to new opportunities. For instance, our specialists are engaged into active communication and collaboration with colleagues from abroad, they share their experience and work together on projects of various difficulty. Working groups include Guardian employees from different states, such as Russia, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Great Britain and Luxemburg. This gives us a brilliant opportunity to learn the best practices from each other, as well as generate and formulate new ideas and concepts to improve working processes. As a result, our colleagues have been noticed on the international arena, their talents and skills have been evaluated and praised. More and more Guardian Ryazan workers move to the United States and European countries to keep creating value at Guardian plants there.
As a Koch company, we have adopted Market-Based Management® as our operating philosophy and we share one culture based on our Guiding Principles.
- What are the prospects of plant development for the following ten years?
- I am convinced we will become even better. I hope in the future we will be able to create even more value for the society in general and for each of our customers in particular. This is our main goal. The plans we have are ambitious, just like the ones of our customers.
We will do our best to improve the currently existing technologies: make our float glass production better, develop coating techniques, as well as introduce corrosion protection adjustments into the production of mirror. Naturally, we will at the same time do our best to increase the safety, reliability and efficiency of our manufacturing processes.
We will continue to develop industry leading products that help meet the needs of our customers.
I am certain that many more eye-catching buildings will be constructed with the use of our glass. Glass is the unique material that helps create the environment, which is comfortable for people and at the same time eco-friendly. Energy efficient properties of products that we produce allow to achieve economic effect.
- Which technologies influence the production today? Do you believe that robots will replace people in the production cycle in the foreseeable future?
- On the one hand, glass production industry has age-long history. On the other hand, however, it keeps developing and evolving dynamically, and the speed of these developments is astounding.
We follow the current trends, tend to be flexible and try to anticipate the needs of our customers. For instance, two years ago we increased the light transmitting characteristics of our glass, making it more transparent than ever. Another trend is automation, robotiс application and digitalization of data processing and process management. These technologies give us access to unprecedented opportunities that are to be evaluated in the nearest future.
I suppose that partially artificial intelligence might replace people, first of all at production stages that are extremely hazardous or require complicated mechanical work. The development of automation and robotiс application is extremely important in the spheres that pose threat to the health of life of the people. Yet, it is people who will always run the machines. I think that even AI equipment will not replace the man to the full extent. Machines are to help men perform the task more effectively and efficiently, so that we could develop in new directions. We in Guardian believe that everyone is able to expand their horizons and develop their potential, creatively applying individual skills and knowledge. We value creative and innovative approach, including the introduction of robotics, but its implementation is impossible without professional and reliable workers.
Architects and consumers are demanding greater thermal insulation of their building envelopes to satisfy economic, ecological and comfort requirements. Guardian is working tirelessly to enhance building performance without sacrificing the natural light people desire. The motivations behind greater thermal insulation are:
Building owners and managers are willing to invest in solutions that will reduce their energy costs. Technological advances of the last three decades have produced systems and equipment that can coat high-tech insulating glass with razor-thin, neutral coatings using low-cost processes. This technology is now applied to millions of square meters of glazed areas of windows and facades.
Consumer and industry awareness for environmental sustainability have grown rapidly within the building industry. Due to its natural ingredients and energy-balancing properties, Low-E glass is a key element to reduce heating and cooling costs and to achieve the goals of globally recognized certification programs for building sustainable and environmentally friendly buildings.
Better thermal insulation reduces unpleasant drafts from glazing areas, without sacrificing the benefits of daylight that make people feel better and more productive.