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May  2004

GlassBuild America Review
National Show Attracts Regional Audiences
by Tara Taffera

GlassBuild America, which took place March 10-12 in San Diego, attracted 5,600 attendees, according to the GlassBuild website (though this includes exhibitor attendees as well), which many exhibitors say was a disappointment. GlassBuild is 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. The event included a three-day trade show as well as a number of seminars and demonstrations.

Exhibitor Feedback
While the show floor was heavy with exhibitors, it was light with attendee traffic. 
“We got ready for a big party and no one showed up,” said Dick Dick Schellhase, national sales manager for Allmetal. 

“Based upon the success that we enjoyed at GlassBuild’s inaugural show (Atlanta 2003), we were somewhat disappointed in the San Diego show,” said Matt Kottke, advertising and promotions manager for Truth Hardware. “While we did have a number of ‘quality’ visits with customers/prospects at our booth—the ‘quantity’ of these attendees was less than what we had anticipated.”

Laura Basara, national sales manger for Lamatek, thought the show was a bit slow but later realized the company was busier than she thought. 

“I thought the show seemed lighter in attendance until we went through an entire roll of tape for our Expocard reader on the second day of the show,” she said. “We came home with 124 leads and had eight leads calling us before we could even get to them for follow-up.”

On the machinery side, exhibitors echoed the fact that traffic may have been lighter than in past years but that didn’t stop the people who did attend from purchasing equipment. 
Billco, Urban, Sash Systems and Edgetech were a few of the companies who reported selling machines at GlassBuild. 

Some exhibitors, however, did say that the show really had more of a regional focus because of its San Diego location.

“This is supposed to be a national show and it’s regional,” said Gina Harrison of Screen Center Sales. “We won’t come again.” 

Products on Display
Although the attendance numbers may not have been as high as exhibitors would have liked, some companies did take the opportunity to unveil new product offerings.
Others, like TruSeal Technologies of Beachwood, Ohio, left their products at home. Instead, booth visitors could look at a 50-inch plasma screen and see insulating glass unit production taking place in real-time at the WeatherShield manufacturing facility in Ladysmith, Wis. TruSeal president August J. “Gus” Coppoloa, said their 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.”

Sashlite exhibited at the show and Bob Hornung, president, said although traffic was light, interest in the Sashlite system was tremendous. 

“People were very interested to come by and check out the technology for the first time,” said Hornung. “The feedback was excellent, as people were not only impressed with the quality of the product but the speed of the process as well.”

Sash Systems, a new joint venture between Vertical Ventures and Erdman Automation, unveiled its automated IG line. According to Hornung, the line has an output rate of approximately 600 units per shift and requires only three line workers. 

“The line applies all three seals to the sash, and then glass is applied, and the cutting logic can be captured for accurate cutting of the glazing bead,” said Hornung. “This line shows the consistent quality of the product, speed and flexibility of the automated line. We are completing an insulated sash every 45 seconds and the quality is excellent, within a 45 foot runway.”

“It was truly amazing what was taking place at the booth,” said Alan Levin of Northeast Building Products. “It was incredible to see the speed of the equipment and the accuracy of the sealant application. I was very impressed by the overall quality and consistency of the IG units produced.”

“Now that there is an automated line for people to see, it’s real to them,” said Hornung. The equipment, which Hornung said was just completed prior to the show, was sold at GlassBuild to Air-Tite, a New York-based fabricator and was slated to be installed in May. 

In addition to Sash Systems, other machinery and equipment manufacturers showcased some new items.

Billco of Zelienople, Pa., introduced the new IG-Pro™ glass washer. Features include a touch screen interface that communicates in English and Spanish and offers more stainless steel components. John Musser said response to the washer was great and the company even sold one to a customer. 

Urban Machinery of Portland, Ore., showcased a variety of machines, one of which was its new AKS-1900 four-point welding system. Features include ability to load profiles into the lower and upper heads, online operation and high fixture support for double-stack frame welding. Erdman Automation featured a new vertical table, which Jolene Salgren, sales assistant, said is “hot off the press.” She added that it takes half the floor space as the horizontal table, follows the easel process line and is more ergonomically designed.
“We’ve had a lot of good leads,” said Salgren. 

EDTM of Toledo, Ohio, introduced a new product at GlassBuild—one that wasn’t officially unveiled until the end of April. Mark Imbrock, vice president, said that at the requests of customers the company combined its solar transmission and UV sensor into one unit to create the dual transmission meter. EDTM also launched a new simplified solar presentation light kit. Imbrock even gave attendees a sneak peek at Intellisense, a new non-contact low-E and glass thickness system for the production line that will be introduced in June. 

Lamatek of Edgewater Park, N.J., debuted its SDL muntin-tape applicator, which the company says speeds the tape application process by providing the required pressure and precise positioning for the application of tape to the muntin bar. Additionally, no surface pretreatment of the muntin bar is needed. 

HAECO of Loveland, Ohio, featured its automatic X-Y glazing table, but also had some other news to tell attendees. Jerry Henline, president, announced that HAECO is the new adhesive distributor for QSO Inc. 

“We now offer a complete package to the fenestration industry,” said Henline.
He also hinted of a new product to be introduced later in the year which he described as “the next generation machine” which will be programmable and may be used for special shapes. 

On the software side, GED of Twinsburg, Ohio, introduced NxWare, its new division, which focuses on process solutions. Byron Clayton, president, said many companies are now moving toward lean manufacturing techniques to eliminate waste. 

“A lot of times this comes down to software and communicating better,” he said.
The company works with window manufacturers and determines how to eliminate waste, how to simplify complex processes and looks for mundane tasks that can be automated.
Clayton said NxWare was formed at the request of GED customers.

“Over the years, most of our new product requests have been software related,” said Clayton. “We work from the machines on out,” he added. “We look at tighter integration and how we can modify the machinery to simplify IG and vinyl manufacturing. The response from customers has been tremendous.”

There were several new products on the hardware, component and sealant side of the industry as well. 

Matt Kottke of Truth Hardware said the company has made improvements to its multi-point locks and this received the most attention at GlassBuild. The company also featured a new skylight motor system that was seen for the first time at the show.

“This has a lot of bells and whistles,” said Kottke. “Everything is built right in and the remote will work well over a 50-foot distance. A lot of systems have different features. We put them all together for one complete system. People have skylights but they don’t operate them. 

Sika of Madison Heights, Mich., featured a new line of silicone products. SikaSil™-N Plus is a neutral cure, low modulus assembly silicone intended for general bedding and varied process application. 

“Adding SikaSil products to our range is a direct benefit for our customers,” said Ron Smith, director of marketing, industry products. “We have taken another step toward becoming a full-range systems supplier to the fenestration industry, based on the desire of our customers to have sole-source applicators.”

James LaJeunesse, vice president, Bronze Craft Corp., said the company received some good leads from the show, but he also talked a little about a subject that is on the minds of many window manufacturers, which some refer to as “the Chinese threat.”

“Chinese manufacturers are coming in and knocking off our line. That is forcing us to look at various issues,” said LaJeunesse. 

Frank Lowe of Farmingdale, N.Y., unveiled its new logo and marketing program at GlassBuild. The company also announced that it has patented the sash block technique for the Sashlite system. Randy Cohen, vice president of sales and marketing, gave attendees a hint of what’s to come. 

“We’ll be coming out with some new products that are really new to the industry,” he said. 

Even more new products will be introduced at GlassBuild America 2005 which is scheduled to take place in Atlanta March 22-24. 

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