glasstec celebrated its 40th year and 21st show this year with the introduction of solarpeq 2010, International Trade Fair for Solar Production Equipment. solarpeq took place concurrently with glasstec, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, in Dusseldorf. A total of 1,274 exhibitors and about 45,000 trade visitors took part in both trade fairs. One-third of the visitors also were interested in the range of exhibits at solarpeq.
While exhibitors brought their innovations to the show, glass and glazing experts mostly agreed that there were more improvements than new machines that jumped out. As Dino Fenzi, president of Vitrum, aptly described: There are no "revolutionary" machines, but more "evolutionary" improvements.
There was the obvious emphasis on solar, as "most traditional glass suppliers packaged their low-iron glasses and TCO coatings for the solar market," said Mike Rupert, director, Technical Services, PPG Glass Business and Discovery Center, Pittsburgh. Decorative printing on glass was another emphasis, as suppliers of decorative glass machines were aplenty at the show. "Decorative glass seemed to dominate the halls at glasstec this year, even more so than two years ago," said Chris Mammen, president, M3 Glass Technologies, Irving, Texas. "Printed glass, printed interlayer, and painted glass mostly, but many other applications were also present," he said.
"Energy savings" and "sustainability" were the clear buzz words at the show. To meet new, government-mandated codes worldwide, glass and glazing companies are investing in triple glazing, some in vacuum glazing, said Russ Ebeid, Glass Group president, Guardian Industries Corp., Auburn Hills, Mich. Europe is using triple glazing, and the United States will as well, in a couple of years, he said. "Either could be a game changer."
What was your impression of the show?