Attendees, exhibitors swarm the halls at glasstec

Sahely Mukerji
October 23, 2008
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : MEETINGS AND EVENTS

Related news:

Even though the first day was a tad slow, glasstec 2008 picked up on the second day and had crowded aisles on the third day.

“Yesterday was what was expected, a little slow, and we had about 20 visitors,” said Douglas Canfield, president, Casso-Solar Corp., Pomona, N.Y., on the second day of the show. “It will pick up today.” The company offers glass lamination, spandrel and bending equipment. “At shows like this, you get to see how many competitors you have in this world” he said. “We’re having our design engineer fly in tomorrow. She’ll walk the aisles and learn what others are offering.”

Jake Ojeda, export sales manager, Latin America & Europe, PPG Industries, Pittsburgh, said his company was at the show to promote its low-E products. “It’s a scattered layout, difficult to navigate,” he said. “But I’m learning about technologies and fields outside of architectural glass.” PPG is co-exhibiting with Henry F. Teichmann Inc., an engineering company in McMurray, Pa.

“Yesterday was the first day and we were busy for two hours,” said Merja Gronlund, executive assistant, Glassrobots, Finland. “It will pick up tomorrow.” The company is not showing any machines this year, she said. “Everybody’s talking about solar this year,” she added.

The theme of the show—solar—is pretty much is the trend in the industry today, said Jay Molter, vice president, Marketing & Sales, Glasstech Inc., Perrysburg, Ohio. “We’re getting a lot of inquiries on photovoltaics, thin films and troughs,” he said. “There’s a steep growth in inquires. Couple of years ago we were only getting a few queries, it’s a significant growth.”

Anne Pesonen, marketing coordinator, Uniglass, Finland, reported a good first day. “We had current customers and prospective customers visiting, especially from the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Arab Emirates,” she said.

“The show’s been good, traffic’s good” said Mika Seitovirta, president and CEO, Glaston, Finland, parent company of Uniglass. “It’s good to know that investment needs are still here. We got quite a few serious good contacts.” The company has a 2000-square-meter booth with about 10 machines, mostly pre-processing machines, also bending machines and furnace parts. Glaston introduced six of those 10 at the show. It also has a virtual factory at the booth.

“The show’s so far so good, busy” said Debbie Lang, marketing assistant, Vesuvius, with U.S. offices in Champaign, Ill. “It’s a lot busier than last time with a lot more customers and potential customers.” The company got about 30 leads as of the morning of Oct. 23.

Bystronic, Germany, has a 1,500-square-meter booth with six machines on the floor, a lami line and handling devices. “It’s a quite good show,” said Iris Minten, PR/Online Communication. The company introduced the Film Trimmer and the Champ Speed Grind for automotive glass at the show.

Jeff Lee, manager, International Sales Center, Landglass, China, had bit of a different story to tell. “This show is not as good as the last glasstec,” he said. “We have maybe 30 percent to 40 percent of last year’s customers. “Everybody’s talking about the economy going down. Everybody’s cautious, holding their money and waiting.”

Bottero, Italy, reported somewhat the opposite. “The show’s very well, better than 2006” said Bud Hudgins, regional sales manager, based in Kernersville, N.C. “I’ve seen double the number of Americans than last time. The Americans are skeptical about the economy, but the Europeans are not fazed, they’re spending.” The company has a 2000-square-foot booth with 18 machines, three of which it introduced at the show.

Renata Gaffo, vice president, Gimav, Italy, had a similar experience. “It’s a good show, similar to last time,” she said. “There might be a little less people, but they are better quality. They are serious about buying. The tickets to the show are more expensive this year, so there are only serious buyers.”

Larry Johnson, executive vice president, Edgetech, Cambridge, Ohio, agreed. “The show’s been very good from international perspective,” he said. “Good leads, good steady crowd; quantity is not that high, but quality is higher. They’re here to buy, not just to visit a show.” He’s seen more Americans than he thought he would, he said. The company has sold two automated super spacer lines, got a full container load of orders for spacers and finalized quite a few deals.