Technology on Display at Vitrum 2017

Thousands of visitors gathered at Fiera Milano Rho in Milan, Italy, last week for Vitrum 2017, where more than 230 exhibitors displayed everything from cutting-edge glass machinery to innovative glass products.

A key theme of this year’s event was Industry 4.0, the next phase of industrial manufacturing that relies on automation, integration and cloud-based technology. "I've seen more than 20 companies on the show floor saying they are [pursuing] Industry 4.0,” said Miika Appelqvist, director of the tempering business unit for Glaston Finland Oy, during a presentation in the “What’s hot in glass processing” seminar at Vitrum.

Industry 4.0 is driving automation and digitalization. It is "removing things that don't add value" from your processes, Appelqvist said. "Industry 4.0 isn't in the future. It is already happening. What are you doing in your processes to get there? How will you be impacted in the future?"

In addition to pursuing Industry 4.0 goals, companies continue to promote machinery and equipment solutions that increase productivity while addressing the glass industry’s continuing labor shortage. “Customers are looking to increase production and do jobs faster, but they don’t have the people,” said Joseph Gates, head of Adelio Lattuada’s new North American business unit. “We introduced a handling robot that has been very big among our customers at the show.”

To see photos and videos from Vitrum 2017, check out the gallery below. For additional coverage, check out Glass Magazine on Twitter, @GlassMag.

Katy Devlin is editor in chief of Glass Magazine. Contact her at kdevlin@glass.org. Follow Glass Magazine on Twitter.

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