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Volume 6   Issue 2                March 2005

glasstec 2004:

A World-Wide Exhibition
US window manufacturers traveled abroad to see the 
latest equipment for the glass and fenestration industries

by Sarah Batcheler and Ellen Chilcoat

glasstec 2004 was an event of mass proportions. The bi-annual glass industry trade show took place November 9-13 at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany. The gigantic, five-day exhibition hosted 1,088 exhibits in 708,300 square feet of space and encompassed nine halls.

“It’s not only a great way to see what is out there, you can get a sense for where the market is going,” said first-time attendee Jason Slocomb of Barracuda IG Manufacturing.

Show organizers reported that 51 percent of the show’s visitors were interested in glass processing and finishing, 38 percent in glass production, 39 percent in glass products and 31 percent were interested in tools, spare and wear parts. How well does this show connect with the window and door industry? 

“Glass processing, in general, is only one small section of the show, but those [in the window and door industry] who process their own glass, came,” said Marcel Bally, Bystronic sales and marketing director, glass processing systems division. 

“If you are producing your own thermos, it’s useful. If you aren’t, or if you are pleased with your own equipment, it may not be helpful,” said Greg Dickie, production engineer for the Canadian company, Atlantic Windows. 

Dickie attended the show with a mission to purchase an automated glass line. The long flight from Canada put him at the show just long enough to see a few booths and attend a tour of the Lisec plant in Austria, before heading home to catch the last bit of a Canadian holiday weekend to celebrate Remembrance Day.

“I was very impressed with the three main booths I visited: Lisec America, Bystronic and ForEl Spa all provided information or displayed their automated glass lines,” said Dickie.
“We came looking for automated insulating glass equipment, and we achieved our goal,” said Slocomb.

Thousands of companies from all over the world put together their most attractive booths to exhibit at glasstec. Many of the equipment companies at the show demonstrated their latest products.

Lisec took a different approach to this year’s show. The company chartered a plane and each day took customers and potential customers to its headquarters in Austria. 

“We want our customers to be able to see our entire insulating glass facility in full production using [our] latest equipment technology, [rather than] showing them the equipment standing idle in the booth or doing a limited demonstration,” said Greg DeWeese, vice president/general manager of Lisec America.

The show was also a success for Bystronic. According to Bally, the company received more North American visitors than it had expected. 

Attendees from hurricane-prone areas were interested in Bystronic’s laminated glass cutting machine, according to Bally.

Its equipment showcase, however, wasn’t the only news to come from the Bystronic booth. The company also announced the formation of the Glass and Windows Alliance (GWA), which not only includes Bystronic, but also Albat + Wirsam, Cantor and Stürtz. The alliance will provide complete component solutions, bringing together software and production equipment, for the glass, window and door industries. 

As compared to the previous show in 2002, this year was as much of a hit as the last one, if not better.

“This year’s show had a lot more attendees there from all over the world,” said Phil Plant, sales engineer for Billco Manufacturing.

Whenever there is an event that draws so many people of the same field, approximately 54,000 professionals attended this year’s show, the result is a great networking situation for everyone.

“If you went there and didn’t have a positive experience, it was your fault, not the show’s,” said Slocomb.

Take a Look at What Exhibitors Had to Offer!

Insuledge™ and DuraSeal™ Spacers From TruSeal
TruSeal Technologies of Beachwood, Ohio, introduced Insuledge and DuraSeal. The Insuledge true dual-seal system works with structural and thermoplastic IG secondary sealants, including polysulfide, polyurethanes, hot melts and curable hot melts. According to the company, it is lower in conductivity than other warm-edge spacers because its non-metal core replaces conductive solid or foam materials with insulating air space. The product is suited for both standards and specials. 

DuraSeal is also a dual-seal spacer which results in improved condensation resistance, warm edge of glass temperature, a continuous moisture vapor barrier, argon gas retention and reduced total window U-values, according to the company. Its flexibility allows window manufacturers to produce both standard and specialty windows with a single spacer system. 

Multiple Rack-Glass Storage and Crane Loading System
Billco Manufacturing Inc. of Zelienople, Pa., showed its Model FSB, a multiple rack-glass storage and crane loading system. The product is an organized and space-saving method of storing packs of different types of glass on vertical racks, according to the company. It is also an automated system to retrieve single lites of glass from the racks and load them on to a glass cutting machine. 

The system offers operator flexibility with its teachable layout and diagnostics, which give simple messages when problems occur. It also features a dump routine, which eliminates the danger of cutting operations by permitting the operator to attempt retrieval of a broken lite from the rack. It then drops it at a secure location. Sensors are used to reduce cycle time by determining the volume of glass on a particular rack, prior to transversing into the rack, according to the company. 

The machine comes in various styles and widths. It has been designed be a flexible, easy-to-handle and adaptable glass retrieval system. It can be operated as a stand alone system or can be interfaced directly with the Billco CNC/XYZ cutting machine.

Edgetech introduces Super Spacer TriSealfor Structural Glazing

Edgetech of Cambridge, Ohio, has introduced Super Spacer TriSeal, a silicone foam warm edge spacer system specifically engineered for the commercial glazing market, used in combination with a new fully automated TriSeal Lisec line. TriSeal’s unique triple-seal design incorporates an inner acrylic adhesive seal for immediate unit handling; captive polyisobutylene primary seal for enhanced gas retention and low moisture vapor transmission; plus an outer structural seal for proven structural glazing performance. This design allows the spacer system to be compatible with silicone structural sealant, as well as with other secondary sealants for captive glass including polyurethane, polysulfide, DSE/DSA’s or hot melt butyls. The new spacer system works effectively with both structural and fixed window applications.

Like other Super Spacer products, TriSeal consists of desiccated silicone foam material, acrylic adhesive to hold the spacer in place on the glass, and continuous moisture vapor barrier. As with all Super Spacer silicone foam spacers, TriSeal provides excellent UV resistance, extreme temperature performance, fast dew-point drop, superior compression-set resistance, excellent color stability and enhanced sound dampening.

Since the introduction of Super Spacer TriSeal at Glasstec in November 2004, two fully automated Lisec TriSeal lines have been sold in North America and Europe respectively.

For more information, visit www.edgetechig.com.

Bystronic Introduces New Glass Processing Solutions 
Bystronic of Hauppauge, N.Y., presented new glass processing systems under realistic production conditions at the glasstec 2004 show. The company hosted five daily demonstrations at its booth to show how the items performed.

Smart’ verticut, which was highlighted at the booth, is a vertical shape cutting machine combined with a feeder, for low-E and float glass cutting. It offers a fast processing time, a small sorting workload and a space saving design, according to the company.

An entry-level solution for laminated glass cutting, called smart’lamicut, was also shown. It cuts and separates laminated glass in sizes up to 3.70m cutting width in a diagonal cut. Cutting, breaking and separating is controlled automatically, and only one operator is required.

There were several insulating glass manufacturing innovations also on display. The first’tps is the Thermo Plastic Spacer (TPS) warm-edge insulating glass production line with the integrated component first’arris, an automatic vertical arising machine for shapes with straight edges. TPS simplifies and automates the process of manufacturing insulating glass, according to the company.

Bystronic also showed its Space-bender, a quick automatic bending machine for unfilled aluminum profiles on the market. Visionmaster, a fully-automatic, visual in-line-inspection system for glass plates, was also on display. 

Qingdao Hengda Industries Offers Vacuum Glass
The Chinese company Qingdao Hengda Industry Corp. was at glasstec displaying just one product, a low-E vacuum insulating glass. According to the company, this glass blocks heat transfer, provides acoustic insulation and anti-dew transparency. 

The company says vacuum insulating glass is not an oxymoronic statement: the vacuum is achieved through a series of small capillary tubes placed through the glass. The vacuum insulating glass is also two to three times smaller than insulating glass, making it possible to create thin windows, according to the company.

In addition, low-E vacuum glass equipment is available. Both the Monomer and Continuous production lines have a maximum size of 2000 mm by 1000 mm and a minimum size of 200 mm by 100 mm. The Monomer can produce 3000m2 of glass annually, while the Continuous line can produce100000m2 of glass annually.

Automated Arrissing Machine From ForEl Spa 
ForEl Spa exhibited its automated arrissing machine. The new machine symmetrically arrisses the eight main edges of a glass lite in order to prevent and reduce cracks or breakages and to ensure safe handling of the glass lite, according to the company.

The machine is modular and can be installed in any double-glazing line. It can also be used upstream of the glass tempering process. Arrissing is carried out by means of an exclusive diamond wheel approach system that guarantees maximum precision and symmetry in defining the glass margin. 

It was designed to fully meet the needs of double-glazed manufacturers. 
The machine can be equipped with an optional “edges shattering” device that smoothes the edges on the four corners of the lite.

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