Industry advancement and innovation took center stage last week during Glasstec 2016, the International Trade Fair for Glass Production, Processing and Products in Düsseldorf, Germany. The event hosted 1,235 exhibitors from 52 countries and 40,200 visitors from over 100 countries.
“The glass sector has once again impressively demonstrated its many facets and performance potential in Düsseldorf. We were able to see an innovative industry in the nine exhibition halls that looks to the future with optimism,” said Joachim Schäfer, managing director of Messe Düsseldorf, the event’s organizer.
Among machinery and equipment suppliers, “Industry 4.0” was a standout theme. Companies displayed equipment solutions that maximized automation and optimization. These improvements, which ranged from increased use of robotics to more complete software capabilities, help fabricators improve efficiency and quality, while addressing labor shortage concerns, exhibitors said.
“The industrialization of production is of major importance—a topic that has risen to international significance now and that we drive very strongly. And glasstec is a very good platform to do so—both at the trade fair stand and at the lectures,” said Othmar Sailer, CEO of Lisec Group.
Similar advancements also extended into glass handling equipment. Numerous mini-crane and lifting machine companies exhibited during glasstec. The handling solutions allow for safer and more efficient handling of glass and glazing, exhibitors said.
Glass companies were also promoting innovations on the trade fair floor, demonstrating how the industry continues to push the envelope of what is possible with glass, from oversized glass to bent glass to dynamic glass to decorative products and more.
[Guardian wanted] to introduce new products, highlight our many solutions, inspire innovative applications and see customer reactions, as well as meet new customers, re-connect with existing ones and generate new business opportunities. glasstec 2016 offered us a unique platform to do all of these things in an industry-focused environment,” said Guus Boekhoudt, vice president of flat glass, Europe, and managing director, Guardian Europe S.à r.l.
“At glasstec … we again received good feedback to our innovations from the market, especially in regards to the new generation of thermal insulation glass and the new triple glazing concept. … We are well set and I am very optimistic regarding future market developments,” said Jürgen Peitz, general manager, Saint-Gobain Building Glass Germany, Austria, Switzerland.
In no place was the innovation in products more apparent than in the glass technology live area of the show. With the heading “Future – Glass – Performance” exhibits related to free-form, ultra-thin, solid and informative glass were on display. Highlights included smart glass that can adapt to varying light conditions such as electrochromic glass, interactive glass as a carrier of information and electronics as well as head-up displays, Smart-Home functions and an interactive all-glass sports floor. A special highlight in the structural segment was the 29 1/2 feet long and 13 feet high all-glass slide.
In addition to innovation, glasstec 2016 also reflected the optimism among many in the industry. Improving economic conditions for most global markets led improved sales for companies, many exhibitors said. According to event organizers, more than 40 percent of attendees had concrete intentions to invest during the show.
“Visitors were focused and well prepared, an indicator that the industry is growing and developing, which is a positive signal for a company that provides technology. This edition of the exhibition is positioned among the best result in sales for the last 10 years both in terms of volumes and quality of the contacts,” said Christian Leschiutta, sales director, Intermac.
The next glasstec will take place from October 23-26, 2018 in Düsseldorf, Germany. For further information on visiting or exhibiting at glasstec 2018, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America.
Source: Glass magazine