glassblog

Monday, February 8, 2016

Each year, we dedicate many pages in Glass Magazine to the phenomenal advancements in glass products—from next-generation, high-performing dynamic glass, to decorative glass, to energy efficient glass and more.  This attention is rightfully deserved, as these value-added products mark incredible feats of R&D, not to mention creativity and ingenuity.  

Often overlooked, however, is the root process that makes everything else possible: float glass manufacturing, the process of floating molten glass over a bath of molten tin to create a flat ribbon of glass. This remarkable method was invented by Sir Alastair Pilkington in 1952 and is used to manufacture more than 90 percent of the world’s flat glass for construction and automotive applications. Between 350 and 400 float glass lines are in operation worldwide, with an output of about 1,000,000 tons of glass per week, according to estimates from NSG Group.

Possibly more impressive than the global reach of float manufacturing, is its scale. A float glass line will operate continuously for 10 to 20 years, producing 3,728 miles (6,000 kilometers) of glass annually. In a single year, one float line will produce enough glass to cross from New York City to Los Angeles and halfway back again. In a 15-year lifetime, a float glass line produces about 56,000 miles of glass. That’s enough glass to circle the Earth at the equator more than two times. Most float lines are designed to allow for several “lifetimes,” after major repairs and upgrades. This means a single float line, from initial construction to final shutdown, could produce 170,000 miles of glass—enough to reach three quarters of the way to the moon.   

Such production requires a notable initial investment of $100 million to $250 million or more for a line, depending on size, location and technology. Repairs and upgrades can cost between $30 and $60 million.

In the January/February issue of Glass Magazine, we introduced an ongoing project that recognizes the companies around the world that have taken on the challenge of float glass manufacturing. The float glass industry is continually evolving, embracing new technology to meet demands for performance and value. To keep pace with the industry it serves, Glass Magazine is launching a new interactive website, WorldofGlassMap.com, that allows users to search for companies or individual plant locations, sort float plants by company and location, and access website and contact information for float manufacturers. Additionally, users can submit new information regarding float manufacturing for use by Glass Magazine staff in their regular site updates 

Website visitors can purchase a subscription to WorldofGlassMap.com that also gives them access to a downloadable database of global float plants and related information. Subscriptions are available to National Glass Association members at a discounted price.

The World of Glass map and database are the result of many months of research. I would like to thank the many glass manufacturers that provided assistance in gathering float location data for their companies. And, I extend a special thank you to Wendy Vardaman, our editorial assistant, who dedicated countless hours to this project.

The world of glass is ever-changing. We do our best to keep up-to-date on all of these events. However, it is only with your assistance that we are able to present the most accurate information. Please visit the WorldofGlassMap.com to provide updates or changes to any float information, or contact me.

Katy Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at kdevlin@glass.org.

Monday, February 8, 2016

This week a really interesting debate popped up over the usage of glass on the interiors of a new elementary school in Boulder, Colorado. The issue at hand was that the design is calling for a very open floor plan (which as we know is very popular these days in business structures), and some believe that would potentially put the children at extra risk if there were a school attack. I struggle with this on many levels. 

First, the protection of the children needs to happen from the exterior entrances. Once someone with evil intent enters any structure, any layout could be exploited. There have been great strides with exterior protective systems, specifically for schools (Childgard via Global Security Glazing is one I am familiar with), and more designers are laying out the entrances of schools with attacks in mind. Another issue is the “living in fear” factor. Shouldn’t we want the best possible educational environment for our children? So if this is it, then we should not penalize them by forcing the kids into thoughtless, boring shelter-like structures. If we want to keep them safe, we need to do it in other ways. The glass on the interior can be beefed up to offer extra protection, but obviously if someone gets through the doors and wants to do harm, nothing will stop them. Regardless, I hope this school moves forward and does what it needs to in meeting the educational and safety needs of its students. By the way, this story should give pause to the glass industry that our product is once again looked at as the weak link in the building. That, too, is not good.

Elsewhere…

  • A hearty congrats to old friend Scott Hoover after he signed on with Solaria as their vice president of Sales, Building Solutions for North America. I was not at all familiar with Solaria, but after digging into it I am excited for Scott and for what this company will bring to the industry space. As everyone who reads this knows I am a big supporter of advanced technology, so I’ll surely be rooting for success here. 
  • Speaking of things I have been hitting on, the North American Contractor Certification organization released a new Program Procedure Guide. This new document is helpful in understanding the process and requirements for this important industry program. Check it out. 
  • Fun visual of the week? Tweets from Brian Savage of Viracon. He tweeted the following pictures before a blizzard rolled in and then halfway through the blizzard: 

And you know those Minnesota people are tough, blizzard rolls in and they still work their entire shifts- no rushing home for them!

  • Friend of the blog and all-around good guy Joe Carlos of Triview Glass sent me a wild link. This story on a Burger King having all of its windows broken is one to check out. After I watched it, my thoughts were surely that a glass company needing some business was behind it!
  • Next week I’ll have my Super Bowl commercial thoughts. I am sure you can’t wait for that! 
  • Last this week, my favorite airport rankings brought a lot of discussion and other options. A major thank you to everyone who reached out via Twitter, comments, and e-mail. Some of the airports that came up in the various discussions:

Raleigh-Durham. I do like this airport, agree for a mid sized one its good.

Minnesota-St. Paul. A few hit me on this and it probably should be in the top discussion.  It’s gigantic but it does have tons of amenities/option and I totally forgot about that. 

Flint. Flown out of there many times- easy airport to work through, though food options are a bit light for me.

Portland, OR. For me it’s decent- nice open concourse but not top 5 worthy.

San Jose, CA. I have never been through there, I assume it has to be better than going through SFO or Oakland if you are going to that region.

John Wayne-Orange County, CA. Been awhile since I have flown through there.

Denver. I have never been a fan; to me it’s always cramped, and not great options.  Plus for some reason I always lose the rental car battle there- in the winter, all that’s ever available are rear wheel drive cars.  In the summer, giant SUVs. 

Hopefully I’ll hit some new and different airports this year and we’ll look at this again in 2017.

Read on for links and video of the week...

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.
E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Historically, the solar industry in the United States is one of fits and starts. Take, for example, the major solar boom brought on by the oil embargo of the 1970s, which was followed by a market collapse a decade later after oil prices returned to normal and tax incentives disappeared.  

Or, we could look back just 10 years ago, when the market saw signs of great resurgence, only to be trampled by the Great Recession. During the next five years or so, solar manufacturers and related supplier companies (including many in the glass industry) that had invested heavily in PV production, were faced with an influx of low-priced PV panels from China, leading to even greater losses.

This boom-bust cycle for the solar market has made it a risky endeavor for companies at all levels of the supply chain. However, recent market indicators, along with some good news on the legislative front, point to a strong future for solar.

Looking at the raw numbers, the last few years have been good for the solar market in the United States. Solar installations have been steadily rising in recent years in the United States, and 2015 was a record-breaking year for photovoltaic installations (likely topping 7 GWdc), according to the Solar Energy Industries Association Market Insight report released in December. 

According to the SEIA, 30 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the United States came from solar in Q1 to Q3 of 2015. Additionally, the current utility PV development pipeline (at 18.7 GWdc)  is greater than all U.S. PV installations brought online through the end of 2014. That's some impressive growth. 

The jobs numbers for the solar industry are equally impressive. According to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Job Census 2015, solar industry employment has grown by 123 percent in the past six years. In November, the solar industry employed 208,859 workers, up 20.2 percent year-over-year.

But perhaps the best news for the solar industry was an extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit, which went into effect in 2008 and was set to expire in 2016. Many expected the U.S. solar market to crash in 2017 without the ITC. However, a week before Christmas, President Obama signed into law a five year extension in the ITC.

According to revised forecasts from SEIA, the U.S. solar industry is now on track to add 20 GWdc annually by 2020. This marks a huge uptick in installations, considering 2015 was a record breaking year with about 7 GWdc

The forecasts also point to growth for domestic manufacturers, according to the Global PV Manufacturing Attractiveness Index from GTM Research. “The most attractive countries for manufacturing have historically been the ones most competitive on all-in costs. This is now changing. Ready access to the most sizable demand has become a more pressing priority,” according to the report.

The United States is ranked 5th out of 50 countries in GTM’s PV attractiveness index, which ranks countries based on their business environment, access to demand, PV manufacturing and all-in costs. While the United States was ranked 37 in terms of cost competitiveness, it is ranked 3rd in access to demand and 3rd in manufacturing support.

Perhaps the U.S. solar market is finally poised to avoid its boom-bust cycle and head into a period of long-lasting solar growth. 

Katy Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at kdevlin@glass.org.

Monday, February 1, 2016

I pride myself on always trying to learn something new each day. The Internet surely helps with that, as do friends and colleagues sending me notes and info to review. So when I ran upon a story talking about “Perovskite cells” and improved glass performance, I immediately jumped in. Evidently these are similar to photovoltaic cells that can harvest the sun's energy and turn it into electricity, but more efficiently and effectively. I have always been a proponent of doing all we can to maximize our space on the building to make glass more useful and intelligent, so this appears to be another source. However, like the past solar products, this looks like it's not exactly mainstream yet. Anyway, for my solar friends out there, if you have some insight on these cells and technology, please drop me a note. I’d love to learn more and also share here.

Elsewhere…

  • Once again, the latest edition of Glass Magazine is outstanding. Excellent article on trends in transport (crucial these days), as well as a good read on engaging the millennial workforce. Whole issue was super, though. Check it out!
  • My ad of the month in that issue was a tough call. Former winners like GGI and CRL came through again, but I like to notice folks here who have not gotten the credit yet. So with that in mind, this month the honor goes to Ergo Robotic Solutions. Jerry Nudi and company had what I feel was an eye-catching ad with a good memorable message. 
  • Since it was a very slow week in the glass and glazing world, this is the perfect time--as promised previously--to unveil my top five airports. I know several industry road warriors read this blog and so I’m curious if I hit all the right notes here. What I considered was: ease of getting around, food and bathroom options, places to sit and charge equipment, and just overall feel. I did not include security process because that can be a day-to-day adventure anymore. Also, this only includes airports I have visited. So someday when I get to visit the living-legend Lyle Shimazu and fly into Honolulu International, that could change things. So here goes…

#5. Boston-Logan. Yes maybe I am crazy with this one but I always had good experiences and think highly of this place.  Once I leave the airport and hit the roads and traffic, that’s another story…
#4. Madison, WI. There’s a lot of smaller airports that people seem to love.  Madison though is the best of that bunch.  Clean, bright, easy to get around, comfortable and creative seating. 
#3. Seattle, WA. This one probably depends on what terminal you fly out of.  The A/B sides are nice, with everything you can imagine and an amazing view through an incredible curtain wall.  The S terminal leaves you wanting.  But in the end the layout is simple and comfortable, plus the view is worth it.
#2. Detroit, MI. Sure it’s a homer pick.  I’m there as much as I am at my house some times, but as airports go this place is strong.  Easy layout.  Clean.  Tons of food choices including the always awesome Chick-fil-A.  Tons of seating and charging stations.
#1. San Diego, CA. Excellent layout, many food choices, clean and bright.  Nice people too.  Plus when you go there you are pumped that you are going to one of the nicer places in this world, and when you leave you are usually relaxed. 
Just missing the list: Charlottesville, VA (tiny airport but an outside deck to watch planes come and go is very cool) and Cincinnati, OH.

  • Last this week, it is Super Bowl time and despite my absolute dislike for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, I will watch the game. Though at this point I enjoy the commercials more than the game. I really wanted New England to win it so Goodell would have to hand the trophy to Tom Brady, but that did not work out. So who wins the big game? I’m going with Carolina, so get ready Denver fans, a title is coming your way!

Read on for links and video of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.
E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Once again, Glass Magazine will recognize North American glass fabricators in its annual Top Glass Fabricators report, and it's time to nominate your company. The April 2016 issue of Glass Magazine will feature the Top Glass Fabricators Special Report, which offers a view of the glass fabrication market based on fabricator profiles and industry statistics.

For the second year in a row, the report will also feature a handful of recently completed projects, spotlighting the Feats of Fabrication that made them possible. 

Glass fabricators include those companies that have stand-alone fabrication plants in the United States or Canada that service our industry. The list does not include float glass manufacturers that also have fabrication capabilities at their locations. It also does not cover fabricators of strictly specialty glass, such as fire-rated. 

We want to feature the glass industry's achievements. In order for us to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, we rely on direct submissions from the glass fabrication industry. If your company should be included in the Top Glass Fabricators report, please complete the Top Glass Fabricators survey by Wednesday, Feb. 3. And feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments.

Stough is managing editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at bstough@glass.org.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Mother Nature flexed her muscles for the first time in 2016 with the massive snowstorm crushing a healthy portion of the eastern United States. Storms like these can sometimes have an effect on the economic performance of the industry depending on how long the event lasts and the cities it hits. We’ll see next month when the Architectural Billings Index and Dodge Momentum Index come out. Both metrics came in positive for the month of December, which was obviously good news. On the ABI, two main takeaways: first, the overall 2015 was pretty much equal with 2014’s performance, which should lock in a solid 2016 actual performance for the industry; second, the new projects inquiry number was very high, giving some confidence to the rosy predictions for 2017. But, that was all done before we had the correction to the stock market, so aside from seeing if there’s any storm-related declines, watching to see if positivity on the new project inquiry side will be key.

Elsewhere…

  • Another fear is the cratering cost of oil. If you read this blog (thank you), you know I usually mention gas prices—especially when they seem abnormally high or whenever prices get raised for the flimsiest reasons. (Like someone at a refinery having the flu!) However, we’re now on the opposite side of the spectrum with prices too low. Yes, it’s amazing to fill up so cheaply, but it’s actually economically unhealthy by a lot. So there’s got to be a happy medium, and for whatever reason we rarely can get to it.  By the way, I saw a graphic that really threw me: a bucket of chicken from KFC right now costs more than a barrel of oil. Never thought that comparison would ever happen!
  • Interesting move by PPG corporate as they are getting rid of voicemail systems. From an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Instead of being prompted to leave a message when no one at PPG picks up, a recording informs callers that the person they are trying to reach is unavailable and that they should call back later or “try an alternative method to correspond.”

Wow. I'm at that point where I remember when voicemails were first introduced; now they are obsolete. Anyway, this new move is on the landline corporate office only as far as I know. And I have to assume those with cell phones will always have voicemail working.

  • From time to time when someone launches a new website or I come across one I have not previously seen, I mention it here. This time around, props to the folks at MyGlassTruck for their excellent upgraded site. I never thought you could make a glass rack truck look like a super model, but they did. Beautiful visual and informative site.  Congrats to Rustin Cassaway, Michael Frett and the team there for a job well done.
  • Very interesting story here on mold at the Winnipeg IGA Stadium. You read this and you seriously have to wonder if the designers had any idea where this stadium was going OR if they even knew what they were doing. Then again, you also wonder did the proper materials get value engineered out? In any case, just a baffling situation that won’t be easy to fix. 
  • Just a heads up, we are one month away from GANA BEC. Should be a good conference with some interesting speakers. For me, I look forward to hearing the “Innovation in the Industry” piece from Kai-Uwe Bergmann from BIG Architectural. Love that insight. Plus, baseball legend Johnny Bench is speaking, and being an old school sports guy, that should be neat.
  • Last this week, if you are an NBA fan and you have not had the opportunity to see Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors in person yet, do yourself a favor and try and catch him. Truly an amazing player with the sweetest, and smoothest shot I have ever seen. 

Read on for links and video of the week... 

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Whenever someone new joins our industry I usually tell them that they are here for life. For whatever reason, glass and glazing has an amazing pull to keep folks around, albeit in different jobs for different companies, but still, same industry. Now there’s been some exceptions, incredible people like Tony Clark and Scott Surma were able to pull themselves away from this world and do extremely well in other industry realms. But in the end, the pull here is real. Why do I bring this up? Because an excellent blog post by Glass Magazine’s Bethany Stough was dead on. If you are not in this industry you care about the new or remodeled buildings differently. Basically when you are an outsider and that new store or doctor’s office opens, you are happy about the new options or the convenience. But when you are in this industry, you are focused on what glass did they choose, what metal system, who supplied it, who sourced it and more. Only those of us in the industry can understand the feeling and NEED to bend down in front of total strangers to look for a logo on tempered glass, or a spacer marking on an insulated storefront. So Bethany, great piece, welcome back (and CONGRATS!), and I’m pretty sure you are here in this industry for the long run.

Elsewhere…

  • The industry lost an absolute icon last week with the passing of Ed Berkowitz. Ed was a great person, class act and excellent businessman. His impact on the industry will always be felt because he positively influenced so many and his son Arthur has carried on the class approach that the Berkowitz family has had for generations. I count myself as fortunate to have been able to chat with Ed on a couple of occasions. He truly will be missed. Continued thoughts and condolences to his family, friends and company.
  • Pretty brutal week on the stock market and fears of a recession are out there. The initial feeling for many is this is part of a “correction” and things will settle. If you attended the Glazing Executive Forum at GlassBuild America this past fall you would’ve heard economist Jeff Dietrich talk about the coming corrective actions to the market. So at this point I am going with that… and I am making every effort to not look at the stock market numbers.
  • At this point, I am assuming no one in this industry won Powerball? For my fellow road warriors I felt like I had a moment almost as good as winning Powerball this week. I had an empty seat next to me on a long flight. That never happens… 
  • And speaking of flying, I was not aware that there’s now a new “class” of seats being sold. Welcome to “last class,” which will be a step below coach and really no frills. So the experience of flight is already difficult, tiring, frustrating, etc… and now we’ve somehow found a way to make it worse. Yikes. However I did find one article that made some points about how this could be a good thing… so there’s that. 

Read on for links and video of the week... 

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Back in September, construction began on a medical clinic near my home. Around the same time, I started a three-month maternity leave from my job at the National Glass Association. Every week of my leave, I drove past the construction site on my way to the grocery store, noting the progress and getting more and more excited about the clinic as it came together. Granted, part of my excitement was due to the fact that this clinic would be the future home of my son's pediatrician, shortening a quick 10-minute drive to a lovely 5-minute walk (it's that close!). But, although I perhaps should not have been considering things like the project's general contractor, the new construction economy in my city, the safety and security precautions on the jobsite, or what companies would supply the products for the planned all-glass entrance, while taking leave from the job where considering these things is part of life, I was. And I found all of it exciting, each and every time I passed.

It's not an issue of being unable to unplug from my job. (I thoroughly enjoyed focusing on other aspects of my life for three months.) But, it's an issue—or a benefit—of possessing an understanding and appreciation of an industry that was foreign to me until I joined the NGA—three years ago this month. Three years of immersing myself in the glass industry has given me a fresh perspective on construction, the U.S. building economy, glass and glazing products, and in particular, all of the people who make up this industry and keep it flourishing.

I am thrilled to be back among these people, working to share their contributions to the industry and help them thrive in today's business climate. As we enter into a new year, there are both challenges and opportunities ahead, and all of us here at the NGA and Glass Magazine look forward to supporting you as the year unfolds. In 2016 and beyond, please tell us how your company is growing, how it's innovating, the great ideas you have and the projects you contribute to. If you have thoughts on how we can better serve you through the content we publish and the education we provide, please contact us. 

Personally, I am waiting with baited breath for the clinic's glass facade installation, along with the countless other innovative glass projects that will come online this year. And you can bet I'll include the completed clinic project—and many others—as a Great Glazing later this year. Here's to you, glass industry, for giving me a new-found appreciation for commercial glass. And here's to 2016, may it be a profitable and successful year for you all.

Bethany Stough is managing editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at bstough@glass.org.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The new year is off and running so it’s time for me to take a jump into the deep end and present to you my fearless predictions for 2016! This was a very difficult list to compile as things are more fluid in our industry than ever, and you have the frustrating stock market issues hanging out there, which could derail some positivity. But that said, here goes…

 

  1. Go Big or Go Home. This was always what I would call a mini trend. Architects have been known to desire to go as big as they can (opening wise) and for years they would push the envelope in North America as far as they could. Sometimes they would get what they want, sometimes not. Now that game is changing. Between the growth and push by folks like AGNORA and the recent oversize upgrades by Viracon, the approach of going bigger on sizes is a reality. Add in the foreign influence that always is willing and able to provide oversize material, and you have a full-fledged trend on your hands. 2016 will see a lot of this.
  2. Security Focused. No question we live in a scary world right now. I don’t think there’s ever been a time that we’ve all had to worry about security the way we have to now. Glass is a big part in the protection effort. Security glass is now more available than ever and being used in more applications than just federal buildings and high-risk areas. Schools are getting specific security-based glass applications and more and more businesses are choosing these options for their workers comfort and safety.
  3. Greenfielding is back and new players emerge. I think 2016 will see a few greenfield locations from established fabricators. There’s some very ripe markets that can use more fabricators and I have a feeling that you will see new plants pop up in 2016 with familiar names. Meanwhile, there’s quite a few players overseas looking to come to North America to set up shop, and I have a feeling they may choose to greenfield instead of buying someone established, though I am not totally convinced of that. But I do think you will see new players in North America in 2016 in one form or fashion.
  4. Codes and Certifications. I think the NACC takes off; it's too important for the industry not to. I also think individual certifications of installers also grow. We as an industry need to have that to show that we have the craftsmen and workmanship that is expected. On the code side, it’s been pretty quiet, so something tells me there’s going to be an issue coming up. It makes me think of a horror movie--just when things get really calm is when the monster jumps out with a chainsaw. Thankfully I am confident that folks like Dr. Tom Culp will be there to protect us…
  5. More focus on birds. Yes, I know this was on my 2015 list, but this is simply both a growth area and a meaningful process to protect wildlife. With more companies getting into the field, and more designers realizing what is happening, this grows in stature again. 

As always these are my opinions and thoughts and I always welcome yours, privately or publicly. So feel free to reach out.

Elsewhere…

  • Those of you who know me know I love lists and info. And I have to say that the infographics being put out by the folks at SaveOnEnergy.com are amazing. Here’s one they posted about EnergyStar, with who’s getting certified and where. It’s an incredible setup and worth your time.  
  • During the holidays, my family got me a FitBit. Really neat little apparatus that can tell me that I never sleep at night and need to take a ton more steps. But seriously though, it’s a cool piece and I am into it. But a question for any of you who got one recently: was it absolutely impossible for you to get it out of the packaging? I’ve never experienced anything like trying to get that thing loose. 
  • Last this week, the movie “13 Hours” comes out this coming Friday. The book was absolutely fantastic. Will Hollywood ruin the movie? I hope not, but I always get a feeling that it will happen. If the great Steven Spielberg can ruin a book (like he did with “Munich”), than it can happen anywhere.

Read on for links and video of the week...

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2016. It should be a very interesting year in both our industry and world with so much happening, including a Presidential election that looks to be like nothing we’ve ever seen before.

But before we move forward, it’s time to take a glance back at the predictions I made for 2015.

 

  •  Prediction: Instead of one big acquisition in our industry, I am predicting several smaller ones, maybe along the lines of five or six this year. I do think one sale will be someone who no one expected would sell.

    Result: I was half right. One sale no one would expect would surely be C.R. Laurence Co. to Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope. But the level of smaller sales did not happen. And, surely the CRL one was bigger than big.
  • Prediction: The “Bird Safe” revolution for glass will grow with more and more architects starting to ask for it.

    Result: Nailed it. It’s a growing area, and thanks to products that launched in this segment from Walker Glass and Pleotint Suntuitive, that process will continue.
  • Prediction: With North America now loaded with more digital printers for glass than ever, 2015 will be the year where its usage in several industry segments takes off.

    Result: The term “take off” was not accurate. The usage grew and did it at a solid pace, but not as off the charts as I expected. It’s still an area to monitor.
  • Prediction: At least two major companies return to participate heavily in GlassBuild America. With the show being a premier attraction, some companies who have skipped will realize they can’t miss it again.

    Result: The show was incredible, and the return of many impact companies and players to the floor and education was exciting. From what I can see, 2016 (in Las Vegas in October) will be even better.
  • Prediction: The glass shortage will have an effect, but the transportation issues will be even worse. These are items that the industry will have to be very creative and proactive to deal with.

    Result: Getting trucks was a challenge, and the companies who heeded the advice of being proactive and using communication had an easier time navigating a challenging landscape. These issues are not going away either.

 Overall: Not bad. Better than my football predictions… I’ll have my 2016 predictions next week!

Elsewhere…

  • We lost a good industry person and good man over the holidays. Tony Oliver passed away in December. I worked with Tony at Arch and he was a tremendous man. He was a sales guy, but surely not the typical one. Fun, unique, cool guy. Condolences to his friends and family.
  • I covered the Section 179 issue during the year. Before the end of the year, we got great news that the 179 deduction was officially raised to $500,000 and also made permanent. This is tremendous news for business and for many in our industry who supported this effort, especially David Dillmeier of Dillmeier Enterprises who brought this to my attention.
  • I assume many of you may flew somewhere during the holidays, and there are the road warriors in our industry that fly a lot. I think all of us can put together a list of best and worst airports. Recently such a list was created, and I can agree with some of the worst.

    Here are the bottom five:

 5- Northwest Regional Arkansas- Fayetteville- I have never flown in and out of here—the only one on this list I haven’t visited.

 4- O’Hare- Chicago- Absolutely. I try and avoid this airport with everything in my being.

 3- Dulles- Washington, D.C.- You know I’ve never had an issue here. It’s not a great airport but I think there’s many worse. Hope I didn’t jinx myself. I also may be biased since I love all the glass used here.

 2- LaGuardia- New York City- No question. It’s old; there’s nowhere to sit or eat; it’s expensive; and every flight is late.

 1- Newark Liberty- Newark, New Jersey- This is absolutely the right call in saying it’s the worst. Whether you are flying into or flying out of, your flight is never on time. Half of the place is usually out of order, and if you get stuck flying out of a terminal going through remodeling, enjoy that seat on the floor for three hours.

In the end I’m stunned LAX is not on this list. The same with Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

In a few weeks I am going to do my own rankings of “best” airports, and then put it out there to vote within the industry. I’m curious to see what other opinions are.

Read on for links and video of the week...

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

 
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.
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