Glasstec wraps up successfully, unscathed by U.S. economic crisis

Sahely Mukerji
October 26, 2008
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : MEETINGS AND EVENTS

Despite the abysmal economy in the United States, glasstec ended on a successful note with more than 1,300 exhibitors and more than 55,000 visitors from across the world. The attendance was a slight improvement compared to glasstec 2006, according to a Messe Dusseldorf release, Oct. 25. About 58 percent of the visitors were from outside of Germany. France, Italy and the U.S. posted increases in their attendance figures, and more than half the visitors were in the top management.

“The show has been very good from an international perspective,” said Larry Johnson, executive vice president, Edgetech I.G., Cambridge Ohio. “The economy hasn’t slowed the attendance down as much as we thought.” This is the time to lean the manufacturing process and get better machines, he said. “There are a lot less IGs and windows being made, and there is a 300-million-feet shrinkage in the IG spacer market, according to research,” he said. “So the share of your pie will shrink with that. People can’t be just looking at reducing prices by using inferior, non-tested equipment. They have to buy machines from well-known companies.”

And what better place to buy name brand products than the world’s largest glass equipment show?

“People from all over the world buy here because it’d be more expensive to buy in their own country or the product would not be available at all,” said Ralf B. Ackermann, sales director, Bohle AG, Germany. The company had an 1100-square-meter booth with 12 machines for glass processing, and varied manual and industrial glass cutting tools. “It’s been an excellent show,” he said. “It’s been overwhelming. We sold Euro 200,000-Euro 250,000 worth of just small tools. And we’ve gotten a lot of inquires on big machines, which if they come through, we’ll be busy supplying far into the new year.” Bohle recently opened its 14th international location in the U.S., in Charlotte, N.C.

Lisec, Germany, also had a very successful show. “I expect this glasstec to be the best for us in history,” said Manfred Lesiak, Marketing, event manager, who has been with the company for 30 years. “It’s just amazing and unexpected. We’re not experiencing the economic crisis in the U.S. GBA was a surprise too. I’ve never had such a good American show.”

Domenico Tanera, export area manager, OmniDecor, Italy, said they had a better show than last glasstec. “The economic trouble hasn’t touched us because we’re a niche company,” he said. “People who buy Porsche and Ferrari will continue to Porsche and Ferrari. We’re specialized, so we’re OK.”

Mauro R. DiFazio, vice president float glass sales, Zeledyne, Tulsa, reported a busy show. “It doesn’t seem like the economy’s affecting,” he said. “I’ve seen quite a few Americans, similar number as the last glasstec. We got new leads and have had a better show than the last glasstec.”

Said Mike Boyle, president, GlasWeld, Bend, Ore: “This is one of our more successful shows, better than last glasstec.” The company reduces glass scrap by 90 percent in the U.S. and is the largest glass repairer franchise in the United Kingdom. “Europeans have more value-added glass and are more environmentally friendly. We’re pioneering a sustainability message in flat glass.”

Sevasa, Spain, reported a good show, “better than last glasstec,” said Mercedes Cifuentes, sales manager. “We made about 200 contacts, 150 of which are new. There were many Americans this time; last time there weren’t so many.”

C.R. Laurence Co., Los Angeles, which will expand its German location and open an office in the United Kingdom, also had positive reports. "We had a very good show, at least as good as the last glasstec, and made hundreds of good contacts," said Paul M. Daniels, vice president of sales. The company introduced its Taper Loc and locking ladder pull at the show.

Allmetal,  Bensenville, Ill., saw “about as many visitors as last glasstec and got real good leads, especially from Middle Eastern and Eastern countries, such as the Russian states,” said Jon DeVoogd, midwest regional sales representative. “They asked smart questions. The Americans were looking and talking about where the market is going, somewhat of a wait-and-see approach.”

Glasstec returns to Düsseldorf Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2010.

Read more about the final day of the show.