Eye-catching Glass Technology, on Display at glasstec 2016

This year’s glasstec exhibition in Germany in September impressed me with its display of truly inspiring glass products, from advancements in EVA lamination to dynamic glass flooring. This blog presents my top seven coolest things from glasstec 2016. They provide a look forward at what’s to come, as economies of scale bring these products to affordability.

Feel free to leave comments about these or other products you saw as well.

1. EVA processing without green tape 

The largest bottleneck of EVA lamination--the time needed to clean the edge of excess material after it has been processed through the laminating oven--has been solved by Hornos Pujol. While maybe not the coolest product, it is the most practical product capable of having a large effect on many operations. Hornos Pujol's technological focus in lamination has allowed them to solve a big issue for many processors. No more green tape to hold in the EVA material or trimming with hot knives! 

2. Smart Shower

Not only can you add users to this shower for varying water temperature and display settings, but this shower also has a 24 karat gold insertion. If things ever get really bad, this shower could give you a small return based on the value of gold. This shower does it all; music, weather, email, web browsing, and even has manners, wishing you a great day when you exit the shower! I might have an even harder time getting to work on time with this kind of product.  

3. OLED Screen

For a measly $18,000 you can have one of the nicest computer monitors I’ve ever seen. This screen is using black OLED screen laminated with resin between two lites of glass. Full HD resolution produces image quality exactly as you would expect. Plus, this monitor is 55 inches; a big step up from my 27-inch.    

4. Flexible Glass

Thin is in for the U.S. market, and we have all watched the progression of products like Corning’s Gorilla Glass, which continues to get stronger and thinner. This is produced by SCHOTT, but there are others on the market like Willow by Corning. This was the first time I have seen flexible glass in person, other than fiber optics of course. Applications for this type of product could be limitless as a barrier or protector of the product behind the glass.

5. Dynamic Glass Flooring

Switch your flooring from a volleyball court to a basketball court with the push of a button or a few clicks of an app. The floor is made of glass panels with LEDs behind them. The glass panels are slip resistant and perform identically to the traditional wood flooring in sports courts. In addition to courts, the glass can display images and video as well. Can you imagine a concert where they use the floors as part of the visual display? 

6. Interactive Glass Whiteboards 

Smart screen lamination has made great strides over the last 10 years. This classic glass whiteboard gives you the freedom of working just like a whiteboard with markers, but with the advantages of a computer board. With modern networking capabilities, these whiteboards can become much more, as they display in real time with you or others' ideas. 

7. Zum Schiffchen Baked Pork Knuckle 

(photo taken from Schiffchen website

No trip to Dusseldorf is complete without a visit to Zum Schiffchen for the baked pork knuckle and a few Alt beers. It's the oldest restaurant in town, and the food shows why they’ve been open for over 350 years! Rest assured you’ll experience traditional German food and enjoy a great atmosphere. This was my third visit to glasstec and to The Schiffchen. Each time we have had the same server who remembers us each time we sit down... maybe because we make him drink an Alt beer with us! Visit them the next time you're in Dusseldorf.

Brauerei Zum Schiffchen GmbH & CO.KG
Hafenstraße 540213 Düsseldorf

Pete deGorter is vice president of DeGorter Inc. Contact him at pete@degorter.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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