From the Fabricator: Bring on the Innovation

Last week I mentioned preferring old-fashioned approaches to new technology, and it dawned on me that I needed to clarify that. I am old fashioned or even the “get off my lawn” sort of guy at home. But in the workplace, give me all of the innovation you can get.

When I was at glasstec in Germany last year, I was so blown away by the automation and technology and that feeling continued at GPAD earlier this year. Seeing the high-performance machinery working at the highest of levels and the visibility that it afforded the company, well I was on board. And I still am. I think that is an area that many need to look at as we head into some tougher sledding. More automation and more efficiency is crucial. And with the fear of “what happens when it goes down” minimized by the technology itself, well, I can’t see any reasons not to make the jump. Obviously, this takes investment but it’s absolutely worth it.

So, I may not have a fancy thermostat in my house and no Alexa to shut the lights off on demand, but if I ever have a say in outfitting a fabrication plant, it will have serious automation in it!


  • When I started Sole Source I was traveling to New Jersey often for client work. On those trips, I would pass this massive monstrosity on the side of the highway. Local folks told me one day it will be a mall, or a water park, or a convention center or something. Well that hulking structure finally came to life this week with the opening of the three-million-square-foot Mega Mall, The American Dream—I hope it does well and was worth the wait! Hat tip to my pal Ted Bleecker for the heads up on Twitter that this thing opened, and congrats to him and everyone else who has products on it: there's a good video here showing the overview.
  • Really cool collaboration announcement with Guardian Glass and the University of Michigan Taubman College getting together looking at advanced glass materials. Obviously I love it for a bunch of reasons: it’s in my backyard—so maybe I’ll get a heads up on breakthroughs!—but more importantly, it could bring serious new data into our world to allow us to keep advancing the needs of the marketplace. Kudos to everyone involved on this and I look forward to the updates in the future!
  • Another very cool glass mention in pop culture; just started watching the TV show “Ozark,” and in the very first episode the star of the show Jason Bateman actually dips into talking about glass performance in a high-rise office he’s looking at. Loved it. I’m three episodes in on it now and so far not bad. But hey, any show that pays respect to high-performance insulating glass units is a winner for me.
  • Friends in Indianapolis: would love insight on this one. The iconic gold reflective glass building in downtown is getting rid of that gold glass. I think we are going to see a lot more of this in the next decade, as the heavily reflective but poorly performing glass jobs installed in the mid 70s to mid 80s need to get energy facelifts badly. The article on it just noted the gold glass would be replaced by “transparent” glass. Obviously we know it’s not going to be straight clear, but good for whomever is involved in this one. I hope it goes great so we can see more of these needed retrofits!
  • Last this week: the California wildfire situation is not good, and it’s not going to get better any time soon. My thoughts and prayers to all out there in the path of these events. It’s frightening and I can only hope the weather can somehow cooperate and get some rain and cooling to try and keep this under control. 

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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