This process involves the qualitative sorting of raw or finished products. Dealing with luxury products, it is an essential step to ensuring that end clients’ needs are met.
This strict sorting requirement, which can mean disposing of items that are perfectly viable from a functional perspective, is one of the factors that contributes to the reputation of the Bresle Valley.
In general terms, this tradecraft consists in sorting items of glassware, according to the standards of calibration, weight and appearance.
Most of the time, a first sort is carried out at the glassmakers, who are increasingly investing in automatic sorting machines that use cameras and powerful calculators to eliminate the most frequently occurring defects. At this point, the teams or companies specialising in manual sorting get involved, where automatic machines are currently ineffective. Most often, these are surface defects or uneven distribution of the glass mass, with tolerances that are provided by the glassmaker in what is known as a panoply of defects, which allows the operators to keep only the bottles that can be marketed.
The percentage of bottles that are discarded, or “rejects”, can vary greatly from one bottle to the next, but whatever the case, these non-conforming bottles will be recycled. The clear glass will be recast in the glassmakers’ furnaces and is known as a “cullet”. This has the advantage of reducing energy consumption in the melting process. The bottles made for the pharmaceutical industry are different in that they are sorted in “clean rooms” to avoid the presence of any impurities.