Volume 40,   Issue 4                             April  2005

Finlandís Finest
Industry Prepares for GPD 2005 in Tampere, Finland

     by Charles Cumpston

Glass Processing Days (GPD), the every-other-year technology conference, is set to take place June 17-20 in Tampere, Finland. Focusing on tempering and laminating issues, the four-day event features programs designed to appeal to people involved in production, marketing and management of safety glazing, as well as architects.

A GPD First
For the first time, arrangements have been made for participating architects to qualify for continuing professional education AIA/CES credits through attendance at the lectures. On the program is a special presentation by Thomas Lowther, director of the AIA/CES program, titled Trends of Marketing Opportunities through Professional Development.
Approximately 900 people from 60 countries attended the last GPD in 2003, which had 220 presentations and 16 short courses. This year Jorma Vitkala, chairman of the GPD conference, expects 1,000 participants.

Speakers at the opening program on Friday afternoon June 17 represent the scope of GPD. Arthur Ulens, chief executive officer of Glaverbel, the Belgian-headquartered glass manufacturer, will address the shifting markets for innovative glass products. Nick Limb, an analyst with Ducker Research Co. Inc., will survey the evolution of the global architectural glass market from 1990 to 2010. Ann Vereecke, a professor at the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School in the Netherlands, will examine how a company might achieve competitive success through efficient supply chain management.

Case Studies Under the Microscope
As it has in the past, the meeting is divided into three sections: automotive, architecture and markets and trends. GPD 2005 will highlight case studies covering business operations, projects and processes.

For example, on one day sessions will be devoted to various aspects of the glass coating process and technological developments.

Building project case studies will include an in-depth examination of the main airport center in Frankfurt, Germany. Some sessions will focus on the design aspects of the project while others will focus on the logistics.

Another block of sessions will examine new product developments and applications for safety glazing, including not only the glass but the adhesives and sealants as well.
Other subjects to receive in-depth treatment at the meeting include insulating glass, environmental awareness and the differences between local and global markets for products.

Some Fun in the Midnight Sun, Too
But GPD is not all educational sessions. It is also a chance for attendees to network with peers from around the globe. And because it takes place during the longest days of the year, the midnight sun provides daylight 24 hours a day. It is not unusual to see GPD attendees sitting in outdoor cafes late at night still talking about the dayís sessions or the beauty of the surroundings.

Coffee breaks and luncheons are included on the schedule each day. Evening social events provide an atmosphere conducive to networking and making new contacts. The final evening dinners are legendary and take advantage of unique locations around Tampere. The location is always a closely guarded secret, but is one that never fails to create a memory.

To register for GPD 2005 visit www.tampereconference.fi/gpd 2005. The registration fee before April 30 is $1,327 (1030 EURO) and $1,456 (1130 EURO) after May 1. Fees include a 22-percent VAT.

A complete outline of the program, including an explanation of the content of all the sessions, as well as registration information and details, is available at www.glassprocessingdays.com.

Taking in Tampere
Glass Processing Day sessions all take place in Tampere Hall, which is located in the middle of the town within walking distance of all major hotels and attractions.

The glass-clad structure has a range of meeting rooms designed to handle crowds of various sizes. 

For the first time, a separate structure is being built next to Tampere Hall. It will be used for social events and will contain the posters and exhibits area where additional papers not on the program can be read. 

Traveling to Tampere
Tampere is accessible by air, via connection from many European cities. Direct flights are available from Frankfurt, Riga and London on Ryanair; and from Copenhagen and Stockholm on Blue 1.

There are also numerous flights each day from Helsinki on Finnair, although most GPD veterans who fly into the nationís capital prefer to go into the main rail station in the city and take the train to Tampere. The train passes through the countryside offering a more complete look at Finland

The Author:  Charles Cumpston is a contributing editor to USGlass.

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