Shape, Size and Automation
The real delight of glasstec ’18 is that it is chock-full of new and true innovation. Companies that geared their R&D departments back up after the recession have begun to bear fruit. They are serving up the most innovative of products at the show like a salad full of delightful and dazzling new fruits. The show, which runs through Friday at the Messe in Dusseldorf, Germany, is massive to be sure, but a great place to glance at creative new products, many of which will become ordinary over the course of the next few years.
To see the show “in order” you would start in Hall 9, which is dedicated to handcrafted glass and products sand the artisans that produce them. Mirror seemed to be making an ever so modest comeback as a trendy material, shown used in everything from clothing to artwork.
If Hall 10 had streets instead of aisles, the main one would have been called “Primary Row” as AGC, Guardian, Pilkington NSG, Saint Gobain and newcomer Vitro all had addresses there. I had to smile thinking how far these companies had come in developing a presence at the show. The neighborhood included most of the larger primaries from around the world, including Sisecam in a very well designed booth.
Hall 10 is also known for its displays of innovation and this year produced that bumper crop. Three themes were common:
It’s all about the shape: Though jumbo glass is now commonplace, glass with new and tighter bends, and even one example of diagonal bends from Saint-Gobain, which created an interesting effect, are on display. The new glass has from Saint-Gobain already been used on a project in Paris.
- It’s all about the size: Though jumbo glass is now commonplace, thin and narrow is new. There were various examples of narrow lites as well as thin and strong ones. One even supported a car that was suspended upside down from it (see video below).
- It’s all about automation: and probably will be for years to come. One of the neatest new products I saw was an insulating unit from a company simply named LIGHT that could change colors and move from opaque to clear as well. Now dynamic glass is not particularly new, but dynamic glass in a functioning IGU is.
If you are at the show, please stop and see us in Hall 13 stand D14.