Volume 42, Issue 11 - November 2007

Trend-Spotting
This Show Floor Focused 
on Five Continuing Trends


Glass industry professionals from around the country were eager to gather at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta September 10-12 to learn the latest from their colleagues, as much as to see updates to the products on display. The GlassBuild America trade show provided a forum for learning about new and updated products, as well an opportunity to listen in for the next big industry trends. 

1. Decorative Glass
Decorative glass has come of age, as most manufacturers and fabricators make some types of decorative products. 

Decorative glass supplier Goldray Industries showcased its Technographic interlayer, a film enclosed between two interlayers in a laminated glass. “It gives good high detail graphics and bold colors,” said Cathie Saroka, marketing director. “These are what architects are looking for.”

Garibaldi Glass Industries promoted its multi-color frit, which can now be made in sizes up to 72 by 180 inches. “As we improve our processes, we can do bigger sizes. People are always looking for bigger sizes,” said Richard Porayko, marketing manager. General Glass International had a decorative option to show off as well: a painted tempered glass. 

“Until now, you had to temper the glass and then paint it. But with this product you can take stock sheets and use it when you need it which cuts the lead time,” explained Richard Balik, vice president. The glass is made in Spain and GGI is the exclusive North American distributor.

Scott McKinley with shower door manufacturer Coral Industries said the company has added several new glass patterns recently and now offers more than 20 patterns. Rob Underwood of Cardinal Shower Enclosures observed that cast glass and art deco have been very popular.

Jack Hoey, president of Coastal Glass Distributors, said the company’s line of colorful, painted glass—GlassKote—remains very popular. “I feel like that is really an emerging look,” Hoey said. “More of a Euro look.”

Hoey noted that the product can now be used in applications with moisture, such as a backsplash. The company also is now offering spandrel glass and a number of different patterned products.

2. The Next Generation of IG Products
Among its existing products, Edgetech I.G. Inc. spotlighted its Super Spacer TriSeal system. According to Edgetech product manager Joe Erb, the spacer features a captive polyisobutylene (PIB) primary seal. The PIB is encapsulated within the spacer system to better keep moisture out and keep argon within insulating glass (IG) units. 

The company also spotlighted its next generation spacer, the SuperSpacer nXt. The hybrid technology combines the same desiccant and acrylic adhesive as the traditional SuperSpacer with a new proprietary core that offers more thermal efficiency. 

Glasslam N.G.I. Inc. introduced its own airtight spacer series at the show. The series includes the Generic, a flexible foam spacer that the company says offers warm-edge performance, and Smart Edge, the One Step Product, which is patent-pending. The company says the Smart Edge offers the same warm-edge performance as the Generic, but utilizes a pre-applied sealant.

“The response has been overwhelming. It’s been a great response for a product that meets the needs of the warm-edge market with a generic product,” said Matt Hale, the IG product sales manager.

Michael Spellman said that IGE Solutions had its new Tenon/IGE insulating glass (IG) production line on display. The line features a portable type tilting table to minimize the installation and operation area. High-speed cleaning, low noise, a self-diagnosis system and automatic control of glass thickness are also featured on the equipment. 

Rollie Meloy, vice president of sales for Texas Tempered Glass, reported, “We have new products that are being tested and when we have finished the testing, we will be bringing them to market. We’re moving into the specialty markets such as an IG unit with metal in the interlayer. It can be used on oil rigs and for the military, for example.”

3. Energy-Efficient/Green Products 
Many exhibitors used the show as a way to promote the theme of energy efficiency to the window manufacturers in attendance.PPG Industries Inc. promoted Solarban Z50 and the color options that are available. Glen Miner said the Solarban 70 XL, Vistacool and Starphire products are still popular. The company also focused on LEED and energy efficiency during the show. Miner said that PPG recently published a white paper on HVAC equipment costs and energy savings from using Solarban 70 XL in 11 different cities.

TruSeal Technologies launched its “Envirosealed Windows” campaign, which was designed to help window manufacturers and dealer sell the environmental benefits of TruSeal Dura Platform spacers. The program, which is mainly aimed at the remodeling market, has received good reviews thus far, according to TruSeal’s Ric Jackson.“The response to the concept has been overwhelming. Obviously consumers are concerned about saving energy,” he said. “It’s all about reduction in use.”

TruSeal president Gus Coppola say manufacturers who promote energy efficiency have a lot of opportunities.

“A lot of people are singing the blues in the housing market, but this campaign gives manufacturers a lot more opportunity,” he said. “People are more attentive to taking cost out of the plant. This is a great way for them to take advantage of the down market.” Some window manufacturers are concerned that their products won’t meet the new Energy Star® requirements coming in 2008.“One customer stopped by … and said ‘this is what I want to do [in terms of energy efficiency] but how do I get there?’” said Technoform’s Greg Decker.

“Energy efficiency is at the core of what we do,” said Decker, who warns that the energy regulations in the United States will get tighter and tighter.

4. Systems that Save Time
Time and labor saving products seemed to be quite a trend. Phil Powell and Phil Blizzard were eager to share information about something new from YKK AP America. The company introduced a dry-glazed option for its ProTek entrance and storefront systems. Instead of silicone, the system is simply gasket-glazed, reducing both labor and costs. The system was developed in conjunction with DuPont.

United States Aluminum also spotlighted a dry-glazed impact-resistant storefront system, which the company says is faster and more economical than other systems. “Fabricators don’t have to wait 21 days for the sealant to dry,” explained Chris Gall, impact projects supervisor for the company. “We got the system tested and approved dry-glazed. It can be punched, and the way the mullions are designed cuts down on waste.”

EFCO Corp. product manager Brad Dilbeck had a dry-glazed impact system to show off as well. Dilbeck said EFCO’s system can be shop- or field-glazed. “Field labor is high right now and so this can help reduce that,” Dilbeck noted. Karen Zipfel noted that Kawneer Co. is continuing to focus on unitized curtainwall, as it helps to save glass companies time and money.

5. The Newest of the New
There was some buzz about a product Lisec America has not yet offered in North America—a unique tempering line to produce thin, high-quality tempered glass. Geared toward its European customers, the line has helped the company to explore new possibilities with glass. 

“The machine is so unique—it’s really tempering through the glass, not just the surface,” said Manfred Lesiak, Lisec marketing manager. This has allowed the company to showcase new possibilities for bending tempered glass. Lesiak said that the tempering line was being promoted to try and give architects more ideas about all that glass is capable of doing.

Steve Van Tongeren of elumatec USA Inc. said that he had quite a bit of traffic that came to see the company’s two new lines. The SPZ140 is a 4-axis professional machining center for aluminum profiles and is used for drilling, routing, etc. The SPZ151 is a 5-axis center. 

The equipment can process aluminum and steel and is used for drilling, routing, cutting and notching. 

Groves Inc. is in the process of introducing several new products, including an IG swing arm rack that has rods that lift for easy storage and material removal and a new IG harp rack. While the products on display were all in prototype development, company representatives said they will be available in the near future. Hank Groves added that he had seen a lot of interest in the products.

Marc Deschamps, business development manager for Walker Glass in Montreal, reported that the company was previewing a new line of acid-etched pattern glass it expects to launch in January. “There’s this appetite for new products,” he said. 

For the full GlassBuild America review, visit www.usglassmag.com or click here.

USGlass Unveils Its Studio In addition to the launch of its new digital edition, available at www.usglass-digital.com, USGlass magazine gathered the first footage for its new, online video studio. Past video clips from the studio can be found at http://usglassmag.com/studio.


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