Pilkington creative with glass
Pilkington, the Finnish-based bus window manufacturer, has been looking for solutions to reduce the weight of buses and coaches for years. The thickness of the windows was previously increased from 5 mm to 4 mm, making the whole bus about 100 kg lighter.
Recently Pilkington repeated this: without sacrificing strength, the thickness of the glass was reduced to 3 mm with another 100 kg of weight saved.
Now Pelkington presents a scoop. The LED destination indicators are now laminated in the front, side and rear windows. This eliminates the need for the housing and mounting fixture of each destination indicator. On most buses this equals three times 15 kg. The vehicle-wide full colour LEDs are clearly visible from afar, even through the tinted glass.
Especially for electric and hybrid buses, where thermal comfort consumes a lot of energy, Pilkington now offers Solar Control glass with an increased insulation value in order to keep out penetrating solar heat, but without darkening the bus. A special reflection-reducing coating will be available for coach glass.
Pilkington has a market share of 70% for windscreens and 40-45% for side and rear windows in original installation. Windshields for coaches are difficult to make due to the curves of the window. These cannot be produced fully automatically; experienced employees must always lend a hand. When a manufacturer designs a new bus model, Pilkington will try to make the desired windscreen. Each windshield is executed to the limit of the bending capability of the glass. There are often 10 to 30 broken windows which require the bus constructor to adapt his design slightly until it is possible to make the desired windscreen. For more than 50 years Pilkington has been collaborating with most OEMs who are still convinced by the high quality.