Top Take-Aways

This impressive handler was about three stories high in the air.

Glasstec was a great show—and now that it’s over, I’ve had a little time to reflect. So if you’ll forgive me for my jetlagged pontifications, I’d like to share my top five take-aways from this year’s event. Here goes: 1. Thin Is In—and Out. I wrote a full story on this one on Friday, as it was the top story to emerge from this year’s event. 2.  You’ve Got to Move It, Move It—the second most pronounced theme was the advancements being made in glass handling equipment and machinery. The robotics we glimpsed at at glasstec in 2010 and 2012 have now gone mainstream, and just about every handling equipment… Read More »

Thin is In–and Out

Who

There’s a uniquely American ritual at glasstec. Whenever you run into someone from the U.S.—and there is a very healthy contingent here by the way despite the concerns about airline strikes and Ebola—they will ask you what you have seen that is new or different. I used to think this was because I was covering the show, but it is an equal-opportunity question asked by and to all. “What did you see?” and “What’s new?” are the common questions and they usually result in as many different answers as there are answerers. Not this year. There is only one answer and it is consistent and single response from all: the… Read More »

Glassy Eyes at glasstec

The stands of manufacturers such as Saint Gobain and Guardian were packed as tightly as a Tokyo subway.

There is so much business being done in these halls that it’s hard to keep up with it. A buoyed economy coupled with pent-up demand has resulted in a deal a minute here in the halls of glasstec. “We sold our machine,” said one machinery maker five minutes after the show opened. It’s been like that ever since. Even through a Lufthansa-planned strike on Monday afternoon and Tuesday, organizers report that opening day foot traffic was the same as the last show. This is a sizable victory given that nearly 1,500 Lufthansa flights were cancelled during the job action, which has now been suspended. And by Wednesday morning the floodgates… Read More »

Eye-Opening Opening

You know the old song, “Another opening, another show?” Well, not quite this time, as glasstec 2014 began with an artistic reminder of the ethereal qualities that keep us enamored with glass, followed by a dose of realistic viewpoints from a number of top industry leaders. The Opening Ceremonies for glasstec 2014 were held Monday evening at the Classic Remise, a converted locomotive roundhouse that featured yards of yards of architectural glass—surrounding and displaying a world-class international collection of cars and motorcycles. But the cars were merely props for evening’s star. Glass of every possible type—architectural, specialty, containers and bottles among them—as interpreted first in artistry by an Italian puppet troupe… Read More »

The Global Glass Gathering

A clever mix of decorative glass and mirror at 90 degree angles made a tiny coffee knook appear expansive.

If there were Nobel prizes awarded to regions of the world for the innovative use of glass, it wouldn’t be hard to choose the winners in any category. Best innovative use of glass/exterior—In general, you have to give that to the buildings of the Middle East, given the amazing designs we’ve seen in Qatar, Bahrain, the U.A.E. The designs of these buildings are truly imagineers with a magic wand of glass in their hands. Best use of energy-efficient glass—I am going with the Scandinavians, because they have been the market leaders in the adoption of highly energy-efficient glass. Even triple glazing is de rigueur there. Best innovative use of glass/interior—My… Read More »

FAQ

We are in the midst of the fall show season as I write this, as it seems just about every industry group holds its show from mid-September to mid-November. Everyone in my family knows that I leave after Labor Day and return right before Thanksgiving, with a few “stop-overs” home in between. If you are going to glasstec in Dusseldorf next month, I hope you will stop and see us in hall 13 stand A102. If you are not attending glasstec but hitting Greenbuild instead, we’d love to meet up with you at booth #1829. Or if you will be at Win-door in Toronto in November, please visit us in booth #1312…. Read More »

Happy Harbingers

avertotech

Everyone has his or her own indicators of the future. Whether it’s of good things to come or bad things to watch out for, we have a unique set of harbingers that we swear by. Some are solid economic indicators, and others are not—but they always prove true. Well, mine relates directly to GlassBuild America 2014, which came to a close last Thursday, and it is this: The residential growth (or contraction) of our business always preceeds the commercial. In short, if you know what’s going on with the door and window end of the business, fast forward 16-18 months, and you’ll see the same on the commercial side. Oh, the… Read More »

Still Vegas, Baby!

The Ramapo/Kommerling booth won a daily prize for merging two companies in a stand with a Euro-American feel

The GlassBuild America show opened Tuesday in the only city in the world that could pull off having an Atomic Bomb Testing museum and an Organized Crime Museum less than three miles from each other. Las Vegas is just that kind of town. And what about the show being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center? Well … it’s a pretty darn good one so far. The traffic has been steady and the mood optimistic. It’s been especially nice to see the return of some European-style booths scattered amid the usual inline ones and to see machinery manufacturers actually displaying machinery again. Though the machines’ presence is smaller than is… Read More »

The 33rd

33 glass

I woke up this morning at 3:33 a.m. Eastern time. For reasons I’ll explain, I’d already been thinking about the number 33. Then, true story, it was the first thing that loomed in front of my very sleepy eyes—in a weird sort of prophetic double vision. So I decided to see if little old 33 had any additional significance. Now, 7, 13, 100, those are numbers that have history and get respect. But what about 33? Does it have any claims to fame? Turns out it does. It’s rather infamous in mathematics being that 33 is a number and all. It’s the smallest sum of two positive numbers, each of which… Read More »

No Paved Paradise, No Parking Lot

The city of Cartegena Spain is home to ruins that date back to the pre-roman era. These are its most famous Roman ruins, its theater

It was the smallest city in Spain that I got to visit, and I was warned there would be “a few things to see,” but nothing like a Barcelona or Madrid. Yet for me, the visit to the city of Cartagena on the Southeastern Coast of Spain was the highlight of the trip. And of course, it was the glass that made it so. It all began with the tour guide, Irena. She told a very American story of capitalism with a true Spanish flavor. It seems a local businessman had bought a piece of downtown property with the goal of building a desperately-needed parking lot in the southwestern part… Read More »