From the Fabricator: Automation and Glazing

When it comes to automation, glass fabricators have truly taken advantage of the innovations. Years ago those companies who put in an automated IG line had some sort of halo effect--they were above and beyond. Now it’s commonplace. And the next steps of automation continue with advanced robotics. Especially with many of the exhibits I saw at glasstec and figure to see at GlassBuild America--more and more fabrication plants are becoming more reliant on the robotic/automated side of things. But what about the glazier? Is installing framing and glass robot-proof? I have to think it is. Obviously I am talking about field fab and install and not unitized. So does that mean that unitizing is going to keep along the growth path and become a majority of the style of material installed? I am curious on what the glazing community thinks on that and will be one of the questions I’ll be asking when I see everyone next week in Las Vegas. If you want to chime in ahead of time on automation, unitized and the glazier, please drop me a line.


  • My friend Gary Tongco of FreMarq Innovations sent me this excellent article on the continued growth of green and sustainable projects. Many companies like Gary’s truly get it with the focus on advanced performance, and I think the days of having only “everyday” sorts of products are waning. 
  • The Vitro acquisition of PPG became official last week. I’m interested to monitor the next steps for new Vitro Architectural Glass. Obviously Vitro announcing a jumbo coater is surely a signal of some serious desire to grow the space.
  • I did have to laugh when I saw the Pittsburgh Penguins arena is changing its name from Consol Energy Center to PPG Paints Arena. PPG PAINTS. I guess they had to make sure the word PAINTS got in there in case one of us lowly glass people got confused, eh? Funny thing is, reading many of the message boards, many in the real world have no idea PPG is not in the glass space anymore. So they were commenting like crazy on why the word “paints” was so dominant. Example comment: “What about the glass… doesn’t PPG stand for “Pittsburgh Plate Glass?” I guess the commenters are not reading my blog, eh?
  • Glass Magazine is the official media partner of this week’s Façade Tectonics World Congress. The agenda looks outstanding and the show is promoting itself as one that goes deep into the info and not just a place for the “starchitect.”  Unfortunately I won’t be there in person but knowing between Glass Magazine’s twitter feed and that of John Wheaton (who I saw on twitter is attending), I am positive I will at least get as much flavor as possible. Events like this one can serve a great purpose in our industry for providing significant high level insight that is needed for us to keep pushing the envelope further.
  • Last this week, a Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the awesome country of Canada. Hope everyone enjoys with their family and friends and can give thanks to all we are so fortunate to have!


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

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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