Vegas: Cause for Celebration

The city of Las Vegas is for celebrating—and the glass industry did its part during the GlassBuild America show, held there September 12-14, 2018. Celebrations abounded both on and off the show floor. Machinery manufacturer Mappi commemorated its 25th anniversary. Tool and equipment supplier EDTM did as well. Veka celebrated 35 years in North America. Caldwell Manufacturing may have been one of the oldest companies, marking its 130th year in business, but its slogan as the “gateway to the Internet of Things” certainly rings current. And a number of individuals in the glass industry celebrated anniversaries as well, including Bob Price formerly of J.E. Berkowitz, reaching 40 years in the… Read More »

Vegas: Yeah, That Happened.

Robotics are in and finding enough workers is out; accelerated depreciation of up to 100 percent of cost is in and recession is out. All these factors combined to make the GlassBuild America (GBA) show, held in Las Vegas September 12-14, 2018, the best and business-busiest show in a decade. The exhibition felt like a trade show should, full of people coming to make educated purchases and decisions. Throw in a number of new products, a whole lot of new technology and well … Las Vegas … and you have a very successful event. Trends were everywhere. Here’s my own top five, Vegas-style: 1. Jumbotrons come indoors. Cruise the strip… Read More »

Jumbo Tentacles

While jumbo glass has been around for a while now, the number of companies that manufacture it has increased rapidly. You’ll see offerings from so many companies that I bet within the next five years jumbo won’t be jumbo anymore; it will just be one of many glass sizes available. These new sizes are serving as the impetus for new products and variations of current ones in a variety of related fields. Specifically: 1. Jumbo coated glass: While jumbo glass gains in usage and popularity, so will its ability to be coated with a variety of coatings. Vitro’s new high-performance magnetron sputtered vacuum deposition coater debuted last month in Wichita… Read More »

A Month’s News–In a Week

Last week was a very busy one in the glass and metal news business. Late on July 31, the news that Kawneer’s parent, Arconic, was seeking to sell Kawneer and its Building and Construction Solutions (BCS) business was announced. And that’s just the beginning. “Obviously, we are at the very beginning of the process, but I wanted to let you know that our commitment to you, our valued customer, remains unchanged by this news,” said Arconic BCS president Diana Perreiah in a letter to customers. “For our team, it’s business as usual and we will continue our focus on delivering for our customers through continued investments, innovation and service.” The BCS… Read More »

That Championship Season

I was out of the office on an extended Fourth of July trip last week and got back yesterday morning. So what’s the first thing I wanted to do? Run into the office and see the proofs of USGlass magazine’s New Products Guide, slated to run in the July issue of the magazine. And that’s exactly what I did. I was craving innovation and I wasn’t disappointed. The relative dearth of new industry products during the recession-laden end of the last decade has been replaced by a cascade of new and important products. Though you’ll see many of them in the July issue, today I want to focus on the… Read More »

The Right One

Special Report

Last week in a fit of nostalgia, I was re-watching the 40th anniversary special of Saturday Night Live (available on Amazon, Hulu and NBC  if you are interested). In one of the presentations, comic Mike Myers imitates show creator and producer Lorne Michaels as Michaels critiqued an SNL broadcast after it was over. Myers got the biggest laugh of the night imitating Michaels saying, “Sure Mike, it got a laugh, but did it get the right kind of laugh?” That line makes me think of glass fabricators. Why? You know finding the right type of glass is not always easy. The tension between performance specifications and named products is almost always… Read More »

A Final Toast from Napa

Reference to events is often by ordinal number—the first annual this or the tenth annual that. I have never heard an event billed as a “Last Annual,” but this may very well be it for the Glass Association of North America’s (now NGA-GANA) Annual Conference. While organizers announced dates for a Fall Conference later on this year and the Building Envelope Contractors Conference next year, no annual conference dates have yet been announced. The GANA Annual Conference was the successor to an event known as “Glass Week.” Glass Week was held in a different time, when strong independent fabricators were in abundance, when the primaries were mostly still domestic with… Read More »

Boiling Up in Napa

I get to spend most of my time in a verdant Dionysian garden this week. The occasion of my visit to California’s Napa Valley is the 2018 Annual Conference. For years, it was the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA)’s annual conference, but now that that group has merged with the National Glass Association (NGA), it’s currently the NGA-GANA Annual Conference. Except that it’s not. NGA’s annual meeting has always been around its GlassBuild show in the fall. I am sure they will get it all sorted out pretty soon. I would also expect at least one or two regular meetings to disappear as a usual consequence of two groups… Read More »

11 Good Things

It’s always enjoyable to get to report happy news, so this month I am having a grand time doing so. That’s because USGlass magazine won a record number of awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) earlier this month, honoring the staff’s outstanding work in print and video. Editor Ellen Rogers won three bronze awards, two in print. One for Best Technical Writing for Moves that Matter in the March 2017 issue, and one for Best Special Section for Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season in the October 2017 issue. Editorial director Tara Taffera, assistant editor Jordan Scott, research editor Nick St. Denis and contributing editor Trey… Read More »

Part of the Problem

It’s the one problem you hear about over and over again–no matter what size, no matter how old the company. It’s a problem almost every contract glazing company has. And unfortunately, we are part of the reason for it. By we, in the broadest sense, I mean the construction industry. By we, in the most narrow sense, I mean contract glazing companies. The problem, of course, is the lack of skilled and qualified labor available to contract glaziers. Time and time again, I hear stories of companies at capacity because they can’t find qualified help. They must turn additional work away because they can’t find qualified people to perform it…. Read More »

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