Volume 39, Issue 5, May  2004

Show Days, 
Slow Days

A Look Back at Glassbuild America 2004
by Ellen Giard Chilcoat and Brigid O'Leary

Horace Greely said “Go west, young man,” but not too many seemed to heed that advice, at least not from March 10-12, 2004, when Glassbuild America took place. The show, co-sponsored by the National Glass Association, Glass Association of North America, American Architectural Manufacturers Association, the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance and the Bath Enclosure Manufacturers Association, was held at the San Diego Convention Center and included a three-day trade show as well as a number of seminars and demonstrations. Show reports say 5,600 attended (this number includes both exhibitors as well as attendees). Exhibitors were permitted to register up to ten people per booth. There were more than 1,400 booths at the show.

Where Have All the People Gone?
While the show floor was heavy with exhibitors (nearly 400 companies), it was light with attendee traffic. A number of companies complained about the lack of attendance. 

“There’s no one here at this show,” said one exhibitor who preferred to be unidentified. “It’s been horrible,” he added.

“It’s been slow,” was another common comment.

Though the show didn’t render a high turnout, exhibitors did find quality in attendance. Specifically speaking, those companies showing decorative glass products seemed to get very good responses.

“It’s been excellent,” said Jaime Flatekval with Joel Berman Glass Studios Ltd. “We’ve been able to really learn what glaziers are looking for. This show has given us the opportunity to talk to customers and learn their business.”

Following the Trends
Right now, there are a number of “hot buttons” in the glass industry—and a number of exhibitors were pushing their involvement in these areas—protective glazing, energy efficiency and decorative glass.

Tremco of Beachwood, Ohio, exhibited, offering silicone sealants that can be used as a component in creating an impact-resistant window. Mike Sebold, business manager for the sealant/weatherproofing division of the company’s commercial glazing systems business, said it had recently finished testing blast-resistant windows with YKK, which they will be marketing jointly. He said they are also beginning blast testing with other manufacturers.

“Protective glazing is going to maintain its course,” Sebold said. “ … an increased [usage] of laminated glass or filmed glass is going to skyrocket,” he said.

Graham Architectural Products of York, Pa., also exhibited blast-resistant products. According to Raj Goyal, director of business development, all General Service Administration buildings will be retrofitted with some degree of blast resistance. High profile buildings, military bases and other such locations are also recognizing the need for security. 

The question of how do you [design a window] to mitigate, though, is an important one that Graham is trying to answer. The company offered a number of window systems designed to meet blast criteria. One such product is the new security screen windows. The windows feature either a stainless steel wire mesh or a perforated-steel-plate infill that is designed to serve as a security barrier.

With the screens, said Goyal, “we can combine a tremendous amount [of protection] in one package.”

Wausau Window and Wall Systems of Wausau, Wis., is not only involved in developing protective glazing products, but also energy efficient ones as well. The company introduced its 310i-SH series single-hung windows, which feature the Insulbar® thermal barrier. The windows have been engineered for energy efficiency and feature double-silicated pile weather-stripping and hooded weeps. They can accommodate up to 1-inch insulating glass with extruded aluminum glazing beads.

Also on the window scene was Eagle Windows and Doors of Dubuque, Iowa, which is now doing more in the commercial market.

“We’ve been very well received here,” said Sharon Rea, marketing manager. “The quality of the leads has been high … we’ve found a lot of value in being here.”

Some of the products the company is offering can be used in storefronts, restaurants, schools and other light commercial applications. They also offer anodizing, which, according to Rea, architects like. The company also has its own paint line that includes 50 standard colors. Custom colors are also available.

When it comes to decorative glass, the possibilities are almost endless. Joel Berman Glass Studios exhibited and introduced a new company and line of products. The new company is called Berman Glass editions, and it is offering a line of pressure-formed glass products that are available off the shelf. The three patterns are être, ima and aqui, which means “to be here now.” 

“And that’s the essence of the product,” said Jaime Flatekval, director of marketing. The company currently has three North American distributors—Garibaldi Glass, Vancouver, British Columbia; Coastal Glass Distributors, Charleston, S.C.; and Torstenson Glass Co., Chicago—and is hoping to expand into Europe. “Our goal is ten distributors in North American and eight in Europe,” said Flatekval.

Providing an alternative to sandblasting, IIMAK of Amherst, N.Y., offered the DecoTherm process. With DecoTherm, customers choose one of the company’s 250 stock designs (or provide their own) to be transferred onto glass.

“It doesn’t collect dust like sandblasting,” said Karen Clemens, senior marketing manager. “It’s value-added 
decorative glass without any capital investment.”

Currently available through Oldcastle Glass and Arch Aluminum and Glass, Clemens said the feedback they had received from exhibiting was very good.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response,” she said.

Establishing a Presence
Some companies came to GlassBuild with a brand-new look; others came to secure their spots in the industry.
Frank Lowe Rubber & Gasket re-branded its company image and unveiled a new logo and color scheme.

“We wanted to freshen up the company,” said Randy Cohen, vice president. “The industry is changing and we recognize that … we needed to re-energize.” On the product scene, the company offered a foam to protect glass during shipping. Cohen said they will also be bringing to market a product to protect low-E and low-maintenance glass specifically, as well.

Taking glass from the cold end of the float line straight to fabricators, Schneider Specialized Carriers introduced its new Rack-N-Roll system.

The system facilitates loading and delivering of crated and uncrated glass sizes up to 102 by 144 inches without a crane. All that is required is a truck dock and a 6,000-pound capacity forklift, and 45,000 pounds of glass can be safely off-loaded by one forklift operator in 15 minutes. 

Also on the glass transporting scene was the new transport rack from Groves Inc., which, according to company president Hank Groves, is the strongest fabrication rack available, having a 4,000-pound capacity.

“You can transport fabricated products in your shop and store them on the rack until installation time,” Groves said. “Pick [it] up with a forklift, remove the casters by pulling the quick release caster pins and place it on the delivery truck.”

According to Groves, rubber strips on bottom pads and uprights protect glass from scratching and shifting. 

C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (CRL) of Los Angeles had much to offer in its booth, including a number of new products for the shower enclosure industry. From pull handles and towel bars to new hinges, if attendees were in the market for shower door hardware, chances were good CRL was offering it.

Among the company’s offerings were two new door hinges, the Cologne series and the Roman series. Both are solid brass with all moving parts in stainless steel, and available in either wall mount or glass-to-glass styles that accommodate 3/8- to ½-inch glass. The Cologne hinges feature radius corners and beveled edges, and are designed for wide, heavy doors. The Roman series has rounded corners and comes with a reversible pivot pin; the 90-degree side of the pin comes activated. The pin can also be rotated to activate the 85-degree side.

In the Spotlight: Edgetech I.G. Shines at GlassBuild
Cambridge, Ohio-based Edgetech I.G. was one GlassBuild exhibitor that enjoyed much of what the show offered. The company displayed one of three fully automated Super Spacer IG lines that it sold to Anlin Window Industries of Clovis, Calif. 

“The booth was very busy when we were running the line,” said Edgetech’s Erin Johnson. “We have a strong West Coast market, so we had a lot of support there. We saw several of the top window companies at the show and sold two lines,” she added.

The Lisec True Warm™ system features vertical, automatic Edgetech Super Spacer application as well as automatic gas filling and automatic secondary sealant application. According to Edgetech, the system allows for fast, efficient material flow with vertical-to-vertical glass handling while accommodating all glass sizes and glass coatings. The company adds that in fully automated configurations the system can produce up to 1200 units per shift with no direct labor.

Eleven lines have been sold worldwide—nine in North America and two in the United Kingdom.

A new structural glazing tape, the Gaska VK series, was available from Capital Tape of Cleveland. According to Ken Hegyes, president, the new series is designed to meet the stringent performance standards of curtainwall silicone glazing applications. The foam tapes are coated with aggressive acrylic adhesives and are compatible with silicone sealants used in the field, said Hegyes.

TruSeal Technologies of Beachwood, Ohio, left its products at home, and instead offered attendees the opportunity to view insulating glass unit production in real-time at the WeatherShield manufacturing facility in Ladysmith, Wis. The company aired production on a 50-inch plasma television. TruSeal president August J. “Gus” Coppoloa, said the company’s products are best seen on the manufacturing floor. 

“Live window production is the best way to show our products, manufacturing equipment and processes in action,” he said. 

“Visitors to our booth were intrigued by the concept of simulcasting live production as well as the source–Weather Shield–which we noted for their innovation and quality in window manufacturing,” said Ric Jackson, director of marketing.“We feel the technology has tremendous value in a variety of applications, including future trade shows.”

There’s more to come on GlassBuild. Be sure to catch the second part of this article next month.


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