Now imagine you’ve dashed past the mixing barrels and are darting across the hot shop floor, dodging guys running by with ladles of molten glass. Then you come face-to-face with this guy…
…operating something that looks like a cross between a howitzer and a speculum.
It’s called a screw charger. It’s used to feed the batch into the furnace. It takes about 90 seconds to charge the contents of a single barrel (350 lbs) into a furnace. We used to shovel the batch in by hand. The screw charger reduces dust and back aches.
Each furnace will get charged 6-10 times during its 16-hour melt cycle. You won’t get to watch. We have to keep moving. Remember, there are 349 other people behind you on this tour.