Volume 42, Issue 1 - January 2007

The Journey of 9 Halls …
Began at glasstec 2006 in Düsseldorf
Part 2
by Charles Cumpston, Ellen Giard and Debra Levy

 Editor’s note: This article is the conclusion of USGlass magazine’s coverage of glasstec 2006. The first part can be read in the December 2006 issue beginning on page 68.

Hall 13: A Place for Tempered Glass 

Looking for tempered glass machinery and equipment? If so, a number of machinery manufacturers and product suppliers used hall 13 as their exhibition spot. In addition to tempered glass suppliers, you could also find a lot of North Americans, too, as several chose to display there wares in this hall.

Ren Bartoe of roller manufacturer Vesuvius USA in Beaver Falls, Pa., arrived in Germany the morning of the show’s opening, but was already busy in their stand.

“I expect this to be a good show,” said Bartoe. “But it’s always a good show, though mostly for our European group.” Vesuvius was promoting several of its product lines, including its Zyrarock ceramic rollers, which are available in very large sizes.
Just a few stands away from Vesuvius, Perrysburg, Ohio-based Glasstech was also busy promoting its bending and tempering equipment. 

“glasstec is still the premium show,” said the company’s Jay Molter. “It’s a focal point to meet customers and to follow up on leads and activity.” He continued, “It helps us to look at the developments and activities of our customers,” he added, explaining that it’s requests from customers that often drive changes and innovations.

The Italian tempering equipment manufacturer Mappi was also in Hall 13. The company’s Nancy Mammaro said they wanted to be in this hall in particular since there was a strong tempering presence.

“Here there are more tempering companies, so the people who come to this hall are looking for tempering lines specifically,” she said.

Mappi was also not without new innovations. The company is now offering a heat soak test line as well as a laminating line.
Other companies in Hall 13 offering tempering furnaces included Glassrobots and Uniglass, both of which are based in Finland.
The North American pavilion was in hall 13, too. Here, 17 North American companies exhibited, including Billco of Zelienople, Pa., Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries, Guardian Industries of Auburn Hills, Mich. (under its AsiaGuard branch), and Casso-Solar of Pomona, N.Y.

Doug Canfield of Casso-Solar said one of their big new products is an autoclaveless laminating line, which they have developed with Saflex, the Continuous Lamination Technology (CLT). The system is designed to allow companies to easily make their own laminated glass, and includes a continuous lamination oven in lieu of the traditional autoclave.

Hall 14: Home of Bystronic (and Bottles)

If bottled and hollow glass had a home at glasstec, it was probably hall 14. Here, attendees could find molds, machinery and other equipment specific to this industry. Flat glass, however, was not without its own presence. 
The Swiss machinery company Bystronic, with North American operations in Hauppauge, N.Y., took center stage, taking up the largest exhibition space in the hall. Bystronic was busy with its First Factory—a line that includes equipment for all aspects of insulating glass (IG) production, from storage to gas fill and sealing. Marcel Bally explained that one unique aspect of the line is that it not only applies TPS, but can also apply Edgetech’s Super Spacer TriSeal as well. He said this allows more versatility for the fabricator.

Just a few steps away, Cambridge, Ohio-based Edgetech was exhibiting its IG spacer products. The company was also promoting the Eco-Coat glass protecting coating system for the first time in Europe, as well.

Dean Woronuk, corporate director and developer of the White Rock, British Columbia, based Eco-Coat, for which Edgetech is the North American distributor, explained that the product’s creation was driven by developers who complained about damage caused by scratching glass with razor blades when trying to remove debris. The Eco-Coat coating is sprayed on after the window or glass is manufactured, but before shipment.

Hall 15: Germans at glasstec
For the Germans, glasstec is a domestic show and their chance to show their wares to the world, as the Italians do at Vitrum in Milan, which is held the years alternate to glasstec.

Hall 15 could have been dubbed the German hall, with many large booths spaces from German companies.

Hegla, for example, was showing several new items including the Galaxtica cutting table, which features a pulse magnetic drive system that has no moving parts. It operates at 240 meters a minute and is twice as accurate as the company’s previous models, and achieves good results on grinding at the same speed.

According to Jim Van Riper, Southeast regional manager, in situations where two tables are being used for high-volume production the same amount of work can be done with one table.

Also in Hall 15, Grenzebach was showing its high-speed stacker, a fully-automated device for handling and stacking glass formats from as small as 12 x 18 inches to sizes up to 73 x 97 inches.

The system is capable of stacking multiple sizes of glass with varying orientation and gives fabricators the flexibility to adapt to product variations, as well as rack and equipment changes. 

Hall 16: When in Rome …
Caio was the password in Hall 16 at glasstec, where the members of the Italian association GIMAV were the dominant force; there were large booths with all kinds of machinery under the GIMAV umbrella of companies.

Cinzia Schiatti, who handles foreign sales for Schiatti Angelo srl, reported that her company has had strong activity in the United States. “We’re selling some of our big machines, 14 spindles, and also doing good business with our small- to mid-size units,” she stated. 

While she said that markets are fluctuating around the globe, the exception is the Far East where companies are buying more Chinese machines.

“Some of the European countries are doing better than others,” she pointed out. “For example, conditions have been better in France this year,” she added.

Saba Vasanthan, product manager of the glass division for CMS North America in Caledonia, Mich., said that the Italian company had two new machines at the show. 

The new Technometal Runner 3.70 high-speed cutting table is equipped with brushless motors on X and Y axes for higher acceleration. The Deltagrind 4 is a vertical unit that offers high speed for tempering operations. This unit has been available in Europe, but has not been introduced in the United States yet. 

“We’re seeing the bigger companies here at the show, so something is happening,” he observed. “A number of people from the United States have been interested in the grinding equipment for tempering applications,” he added.

Michael Spellman with IGE Solutions Inc. was in Forvet’s booth where the company introduced the Francesca 16 M 1600, which is capable of producing shower door notches and holes with an average production of one door every 2.5 minutes.
“This is due to its patented belt system,” he said. “This model will be available in the United States next September.”

The company showcased the Chiara M TP, a machine that can edge and polish all four sides of a glass lite simultaneously. It’s connected to the Francesca 32 M, a two-headed machine that can produce two doors every 2.5 minutes.

Other companies in Hall 16 with ties to the Americas also reported seeing many customers.

“We’ve seen five American customers so far today,” said Doug Mangus, equipment sales coordinator with Salem Distributing in Winston-Salem, N.C. “ We expect to be seeing people all five days of the show,” he added. “This is a very focused crowd.”
Representing a number of companies in hall 16, Salem was promoting new lines for Bovone, Fratelli-Pezza and Vitrododi.

The big news in the Bovone booth was the company’s laminating line. Mangus said the line saw a lot of interest due to the increasing needs and requirements in the United States for hurricane, security and blast-resistant glass.

“There are several big North American companies here with this machine as their main focus,” said Mangus.

In the Fratelli-Pezza booth the company introduced a new automatic sandblasting line called the 180 V. Mangus explained that the V stands for variations, meaning the frost on the glass can be blasted on in a level of variations, such as from heavy to light.

Also new in the Vitrododi booth was the FP5 15 edging machine, which is ideal for small glass companies with light production runs. The edger has a fifth spindle for flat-polishing edges.

Also new in Hall 16, the Italian company Cefla Finishing, with North American operations in High Point, N.C., demonstrated its KleenGlass, a reciprocating spray machine designed for spraying paint onto glass that does not have to be tempered, such as kitchen backsplashes. Tyrone Kline, product specialist, explained that the new line uses organic coatings or silicone-based paints.

“We see the potential for customers who are doing lots of colors, as it’s more flexible than roll coating. This has the ability to change colors in a matter of minutes,” he explained.

Also in Hall 16, the Italian company ForEl was displaying a number of new technologies, including its automatic SuperSpacer line. The company also announced an addition to its hot melt sealing robot, which is now equipped to apply Edgetech’s TriSeal, a thin butyl seam along both sides of the spacer for structural glazing. 

While most people don’t think of Tamglass as an Italian company, its partner in Glaston Technologies is the Italian company Z. Bavelloni and the two shared a cavernous space in the building.

They were also part of a press conference at which Pentti Yliheljo, who will retire in June as president and CEO of Kyro Corp, parent of Glaston Technologies, reported that activity in safety glass equipment has become more active after the first half of this year, and, in fact, the company’s new orders in August were just slightly off from the all-time-high for the month. “That’s extraordinary two months before glasstec and a good sign that companies are investing,” he stated.

He said that the company does approximately 29 percent of its business in North and South America, 50 percent in Europe and the Middle East and 20 percent in Asia. During the first half of the year, the Southeast had been slow, he reported, but the slack was taken up in Europe, where France and Germany have improved.

Mauri Leponen, director, architectural and OSP (One-Stop-Partner) for Glaston Technologies, introduced the new APC automatic tempering unit, which has been designed to automatically measure low-E, thickness, the load on the table and other factors for automatic furnace operation.

“What they want in the United States is high-speed automation,” he explained. “They want 24/7 operation. For them, these automatic solutions and the new preventive maintenance program we’re announcing today are a relief. It’s like what they have now with their cars—you pay for it and it works and the maintenance is taken care of.”

Leponen added that even in the developing markets, the company is finding that customers are willing to pay for reliable equipment. “They don’t want to take the chance that the equipment is going to go down and they lose a customer,” he explained.

Also at the press conference, Stefano Bavelloni, director/appliance for Glaston Technologies, introduced the Syncro concept for setting up cutting operations. “It’s a highly modular design concept that offers customized solutions from a range of models and dimensions,” he stated. 

With the Syncro system, the cutting tables can work with thicknesses from 2 to 25 mm, at speeds up to 200 m/min; loading capabilities use self-adjusting arms that adjust the suction cups automatically depending on the size of the lites. 
“We’re showing a combined processing plant for monolithic and laminated glass that can be configured with different loading and storage solutions,” he explained.

Hall 17: The End of the Road
The highest numerically of glasstec’s halls, 17, was dominated by the large Lisec booth. In addition to its traditional IG production equipment, the company was introducing BAZ — a vertical twin-track waterjet cutting and four-side edge-working unit for jumbo sizes. “Only a few companies have the need for this machine,” explained Manfred Lesiak, who heads up the Austrian company’s marketing efforts. Those who specialize in large design curtainwalls need it,” he said. For those companies, he said, “they will see new opportunities open up because of what the equipment can do. Lesiak emphasized that the machine can do edge work on all four sides of the glass vertically and simultaneously and that it handles jumbo sheets. 
In addition to its large booth in Hall 14, Edgetech took a second smaller booth in Hall 17, supporting a number of its European partners, including Stolker Glas, EWCOO and Sparklike. 

Allmetal, another IG components supplier, was also in hall 17.

Company president Phil Collin said that while domestic business is “kind of flat” his company hasn’t seen the downturn some of the homebuilders have been reporting. “Our business might be off 7 percent. Nothing like what Toll Brothers is reporting,” he explained, referring to the U.S. homebuilder’s financial statement. “Replacement is better for us because if consumers are putting in replacement windows, they’re going to be in better windows,” he explained.

From new technologies to improved designs and products, glasstec once again proved to be an event with something for everyone. glasstec will return to Düsseldorf in 2008, October 21-25. 

A Mile in Your Shoes…
glasstec 2006 the Way One Attendee Saw It…

By Ellen Giard

After five days of walking the nine halls that make up glasstec, even when wearing the greatest comfort shoes, people tend to have one thing in common: their feet hurt. As the end of the week approaches walking from one hall to the next can seem like miles, but still thousands of people push through.

In fact, every two years people from around the globe travel to Germany to take part in the colossal trade show in search of the latest and greatest glass processing technologies and innovations.

Mike Kelley of Tristar Glass in Tulsa, Okla., attended this year’s glasstec (his second time at the show) with one specific goal: He was there to learn about laminated glass equipment as he plans to start up a laminated glass production line.

“I came to this show two years ago on a buying trip and I decided this fair is probably better suited as an educational trip,” said Kelley. “For me, this is a one-week emergence of education—as much as you can take in is here.”

Kelley was kind enough to spend some time walking the show with me, and shared his thoughts on visiting with suppliers, products he was looking at and some of what he found interesting at the show.

“When visiting suppliers, what do you look for?” I asked.

“Human nature and a friendly environment,” he said. “That’s where you’re likely to be pulled in; some booths are like fortresses [where’s the information area?] and I think that hurts them.”

“What about this laminating line; why have you decided to go this route?”

“I think there’s enough demand from security and hurricane codes to justify the business,” he answered. “But before I make a decision I’m looking at other niches, too, possibly even energy control.”

The first booth we visited was that of Saflex, a division of Solutia.

“This is an inviting, open booth,” Kelley said. “It’s very busy.” 

We stood at the corner a moment looking around for someone who could talk to us, but everyone in the booth seemed busy with customers and potential customers. We stepped in closer where we saw a laminated glass production video was being played in a small walk-in cubicle area.

“This is what I’m looking for,” said Kelley as he walked in to see the video. “Now, when I’m visiting a booth, this is the sort of thing I would like to see more out in the open. I’d like to talk to someone about possibly getting a copy of this video.”

We made our way over to an information table where we were told the representatives for North America were not presently available, so Kelley left a business card with a note that he was interested in the production video.

“What next?” I asked.

“I heard there was a staircase made entirely of glass,” Kelley said. “I’d like to see that.”

The glass staircase in the glass technology live pavilion was indeed made entirely of glass, was nearly 28 feet long and completely self-supported. It drew a constant crowd throughout the week.

The staircase was collaboratively presented by Seele and the Institute for Building Construction at the University of Stuttgart. It was constructed with DuPont’s Sentry Glas Plus interlayer and a special lamination technique developed by Seele, which is what made it possible for the staircase to be 100-percent self-supported. Individual elements are joined together using fittings laminated on or into their applications in a non-positive process.

The next booth we visited was that of Sekisui. Kelley introduced himself and one of the hosts went to get a North American representative. When John Austin joined us Kelley explained what he was looking for.

“I’m looking to start up a laminating line, specifically, I want to laminate my tempered glass. I’m about two years out from starting the line, so I’m looking for information to educate myself.”

He explained that he’d mostly been looking at autoclaves so far at the show.

“I’m hearing that’s the most critical piece of equipment; the rest of the process I’m fairly familiar with.”

Austin said he would be sending some materials, samples and information to Kelley, and would follow up with him once he was back in the United States.

Walking away from Sekisui, Kelley noticed the variety of different types of equipment on display.

“At this show you see equipment you would not normally see, but it still evokes ideas,” he said as we stopped to look at a machine that was much like a computer ink-jet printer for glass.

As we walked away I asked him, “So, overall, what do you think? Do you think you get a lot out of coming to this show? Is it worth the trip?”

“You know,” he started, “Someone once said to me, ‘If you’re going to be a major player in the glass industry you have to come to glasstec.’ And I agree with that. I definitely think this is worth it.”

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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.