G3: Industry Insiders Talk Glass

What are the most exciting innovations that have come out of the glass industry in the last few years?

Commercial

Rick Nelson, president, Northwestern Industries

“With the changes in energy codes, it has created some interesting challenges to all the glass manufacturers to develop new products. Before all the new coatings became available the only way to meet solar control was making the glass darker or more reflective. Today everyone wants to increase the solar control and at the same time also increase the amount of natural lighting into the building.

We are seeing new coatings from our supplier that meet this requirement and also help the building owners meet the LEED requirements as well. As a fabricator we have to increase our abilities and processes in order to handle and manufacture these products.”

Retail

Aric Wilson, president/owner, Wilson Glass

“We have been having a lot of fun with the [UV light adhesives] from C.R. Laurence. The UV [adhesive] is amazingly strong. It can bind metal to glass, and glass to glass. A UV seam done right can look a lot better than a silicone seam. The seams also seem stronger, no pun intended, and the UV does not collect dirt like silicone does. We can [connect] UV shelves to tile and glass, stainless hardware to glass like towel bars and knobs. It is nice to have an option for a customer, if they realize that they want something attached to the glass after the order has been placed. We even do a shower door corner with UV occasionally, but silicone is probably better for that application.

We have used the UV glue in a number of projects, including several glass cases for a museum project in Oakland, Calif.”

Fabrication

Brian Hefner, president, DeMichele Group

“When I look back over the past two years it’s not a single product that qualifies as truly innovative, but several products combined to become a new way of solving problems for the fenestration industry. We took a new, ‘team approach’ to solving our customer’s problems. We assembled our team of engineers, industry experts, software developers and sales expertise to focus on and design industry specific solutions.

The customization of the PartnerPak/Glaziers Studio software in direct conjunction with the physical design of a machine with the sole intent of supporting the fenestration industry led to the RhinoFab series of equipment. This focused approach enabled us to limit the cost and maximize the benefit to our customers.

By offering a turn-key solution from estimating to fabrication, our customers are enabled to decrease their lead time and increase their profitability. Keeping the focus on our vertical market we have made our customers more competitive in their markets and created a platform of solutions that can dynamically change with the industry.”