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Volume 6   Issue 9               October  2005

Return to Atlanta a Good Move
by Tara Taffera

Comparing the comments from last year’s GlassBuild exhibitors to those from 2005: one thing is for certain-exhibitors are glad to be back in Atlanta. The show, held September 13-15, attracted more than 9,000 participants including exhibitors and attendees and 482 exhibiting companies. While some did say there were periods of slow activity, many agreed that the quality of those attendees was positive. Next year’s show will be held September 20-22 in Las Vegas. 

New product launches were especially plentiful after an 18-month gap since the last large U.S. show. While there is not enough space in this issue to cover all of these products, we bring some to you here and ask you to look to future issues for more Glass Build America introductions.

Edgetech Makes it Fun
Attendees (and exhibitors alike) were abuzz about one company-Edgetech. One exhibitor even said admirably, “Edgetech is the fun company.” Fun, indeed. 

This year, instead of bringing its equipment to the show the company opted for a Vegas-style booth complete with gambling tables, a Marilyn Monroe look-alike and a jazz trio. The company also offered what it deemed the 360° lounge which played off the company’s message. 

“With 360, our message is that everything comes back to the customer,” says Erin Johnson, director of marketing.

Although there was no equipment at the booth, this was still a strong focus of the company’s message. Plasma televisions in the booth showed the various lines by different suppliers including Billco, Bystronic, For.el., LD Industries, Lisec, Spadix and Uvekol. 

“Our message is that customers don’t have to get boxed in by one supplier,” says Johnson. 
Edgetech even gave visitors incentives to visit the equipment suppliers. Any visitor to the booth was given gambling money. And, if they visited any of the other suppliers then came back to Edgetech they were given additional money with which to play. 

Integration is Key at GED
Another company you couldn’t miss at the show was GED Integrated Solutions. The company took up nearly 25,000 square feet of space to display it’s i3 integrated technology. It brought roughly 80 employees to talk to attendees about the system. In fact, the GED booth was set up as a manufacturing plant so attendees could see how all the technology works together. 

“People really get i3 now that they see it all together,” says Pete Chojnacki, director of marketing and information technology. 

All the machines integrate with GED’s NxWare software, which offers features such as scrap reduction, process improvement and downtime reduction. For example, “This will save people $40,000-$90,000 per year in glass that they would have wasted,” says Chojnacki.

Following are a few of the machines shown at the booth:
• CleanCut i3, shown for the first time, performs cutting and edge deleting simultaneously and offers the fastest cycle time, according to Chojnacki.
• The Intercept i3 frame machine increases productivity by 30 percent, as compared to the previous system. 
• The i3 extruder has the capability to produce 3,000 IG units per eight-hour shift and changes sizes automatically.
• The IG assembly system assembles IG units robotically.
• The i-track system employs wireless technology, based on chips and antennas that are placed throughout the plant, making bar code tracking no longer necessary. 

“I firmly believe that someone currently using Intercept will save $2-3 per window while someone using a competitive system will save $3-4 per window,” he adds.

Machinery Suppliers Make News
Fenestration machinery suppliers were out in full force at the show. One of these companies, TruSeal Technologies, unveiled its enhanced Tape-AT machine which offers a simplified design. The company has partnered with Besten Equipment to design a machine that is 30 percent more compact than the previous version. 

According to Darcy Meyer, general manager for Besten Equipment Inc., the TAPE-AT system has been simplified substantially.

“The more functions it has, the less time it takes for production,” says Meyer. 

A great feature of the machine is that it can be customized to meet the needs of individual manufacturers. According to Meyer, the machine shown at GlassBuild was a little more compact but features can be added back in as needed. 

The machine, which can produce 1,100 IG units in a typical shift, can also mix and match between single and dual-seal spacer systems. 

“We’re trying to show the market that we offer single and dual-seal systems,” said Kevin Zuege, director of technical services.

Another machinery manufacturer, Bystronic Inc., had a successful show, according to Marcel Bally, sales and marketing director.  

“The automated Super Spacer line has created a lot of interest,” he says. Additionally, the company’s Verticut machine was sold off the show floor which Bally says was unexpected.

“The value is seen when they see it in action,” he says.

Bally adds that GlassBuild lived up to his expectations.

“We expected it to be better than any American show,” he says. “We had a constant flow of attendees.” Though he did say he wonders how next year’s show will fare as it is scheduled one month prior to Germany’s glasstec show. Other fenestration companies say they are still weighing their options, again due to GlassBuild’s proximity to glasstec. Many machinery manufacturers also told us that they were making GBA an every other year event and would not exhibit in Las Vegas in odd years and if they did they would have smaller booths.

Stürtz Machinery Inc. of Solon, Ohio, brought several machines to exhibit and when Mike Biffl, national sales manager, was asked what machine received the most attention he said, “Everything has received interest.”

One of these machines was the company’s redesigned corner cleaner, the SMI CNC 2K 18, twin head sash corner cleaner. The machine, is an upgraded version of the company’s SMI CNC 2K 16 and has an added drilling operation.

Additionally, the company had a development machine at the show, a friction welder that the company is billing as a new concept in welding that will eliminate corner cleaning. 

New to the Show
There were many exhibitors new to GlassBuild, one of which is Technoform, a European-based company that is new to the North American market. 

We’ve been growing 20 percent per year for several years,” says president Mark Silverberg. “We wanted to bring high-performance products that can be made more productively.”

One of those products is the i-spacer, which features a hybrid design that offers superior warm-edge performance, argon retention and condensation resistance, according to Silverberg, as well as size and colors to match any requirement. 

“Four of the top ten window manufacturers have stopped by. We’re definitely on the radar screen,” says Silverberg. 

On the window side, variety and customization reigned.

Deceuninck North America displayed its new impact-resistant casement windows, both single- and double-hung. Steve Brownfield, fenestration marketing manager, says customers are not only looking for impact resistance but DP-50 ratings. He adds that the company has certified all of its windows to the levels required in coastal applications. 

But that’s not all they want.

“Customers increasingly want differentiation,” says Brownfield.

To meet this need, just a few of the many options offered by Deceuninck include the ability to offer different colors on the inside and outside of a unit and four interior laminates. 

The windows displayed at Chelsea’s booth also showed the trend toward differentiation. In fact, Chelsea Windows displayed 12 different products and Les Lundeen, marketing communications manager, says the company may need a bigger booth next year as there wasn’t enough room for all the products and attendees. “The show was absolutely outstanding,” he says.

Chelsea, who has now added new construction products to its line, has a product to offer in any market area, according to Lundeen. 

One of these windows, the 400 S Series window system offers a 3 1/4-inch frame depth, a strong multi-chambered frame design, a European style bevel, among other features. 

In fact, Chelsea says interest for this product was even greater as the Sashlite booth featured Chelsea’s products so after visiting Sashlite many people then stopped by the Chelsea booth. 

Speaking of Sashlite, John France, vice president, says every day of the show was a success. “Everyone who came through validated that this is the technology now and for the future,” he says. 

France says that current fabricators of the Sashlite technology were also present at the booth to speak to attendees. 

“Last year’s show was an introduction to the technology,” he says. “This year’s show was a confirmation of the technology. Everyone is excited that this is now in the commercial stage.”

Decorative Glass
On the decorative glass side, Glasslam unveiled a new way to laminate decorative film to glass. 

David D’Amico, North American sales manager for the company says, “there is nothing like it.” DecoPane replicates the pattern of stained glass, and is a vacuum formed UV stable PET film laminated to glass. The product offers strength and security, and any color can be applied, according to D’Amico. It also offers 99-percent UV blocking capabilities and is lighter in weight than a triple-pane unit. 

According to Steve Howes, president, no other company offers a product like DecoPane, who adds that this is an important product since “everyone is importing decorative glass from China. This allows you to get more intricate designs and to replicate patterned glass and stained glass. You can fabricate this at much lower costs than Chinese imports,” he says.

Howes summarized his company’s success at the show simply by saying, “This is the best show we’ve ever done.” 

Tara Taffera is the publisher/editor of DWM magazine. 

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