The Asian glass industry—and to a large extent, the international glass industry as a whole—is congregating in Beijing this week for the 28th annual China Glass exhibition, taking place from May 24-27.
While the show features a majority of domestic businesses, the international presence is strong, particularly from Germany and Italy. Even the U.S. is in on the action, with companies such as Quanex Building Products exhibiting.
“There were eight full halls loaded with anything from hand tools to fully automated seaming and insulating lines,” says Quanex vice president of sales Larry Johnson, who was on site for much of the event. “We found several companies that impressed us on the quality of the equipment they were showing.”
Johnson says Quanex had visitors to its booth from multiple countries, including the U.S. and Canada.
“The companies that visited were positive about the potential growth in their markets,” he says. “The Canadian customers that visited were looking for additional equipment for when their market improves. The other comments were about the changes in their markets moving from single-glazed windows and doors to insulating glass—this was from several different countries.”
The Italian industry is also well-represented, with at least 30 companies from the country showcasing their offerings.
“Chinese trade professionals consistently have expressed great interest in what Italy’s glass processing technology has to offer and, now more than ever, the focus on Italian products is growing as a result of China’s production raising its own qualitative standards in order to stand up to global competition,” reads an announcement from GIMAV, the association of Italian manufacturers and suppliers of machinery, equipment and special products for glass processing.
Mappi is one of those companies and considers China Glass “one of the main events of the global glass industry. The company stated it “believes in the importance of China Glass as the main entrance to the Eastern market.”
“This year, in fact, the networking has definitely been valuable thanks to the good presence of North American, Australian and New Zealand existing customers and potential ones,” says Mappi owner Nancy Mammaro.
Another Italian supplier is Fenzi Group, which is receiving positive feedback from the local market, where it has been in business for more than three decades. “We are able to reach a quintessential customer base that goes from China to Southeast Asia,” says Alessandro Fenzi, CEO of Fenzi Group.
Fenzi China Paints and Sealants Company Limited is the group’s operations and production hub in the area, and has been open since 2006.
Fenzi is featuring a live demonstration of Tecglass, which joined the group last year. Tecglass is a Spanish producer of machinery and components for digital printing on glass.
“In China, it is crucial to be increasingly competitive in all areas,” says Fenzi. “Consistency is prime, along with offering products of very high quality. It is a challenge we committed to ten years ago and that today ensures us a key niche and a leadership position. We plan to continue along this path and trust that, to a large extent, 2017 will reflect last year’s results, which were very favorable for the Group.”
The German industry has another 30 companies represented in its pavilion, which is presented by the country’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry and the Forum Glass Technology within the German Engineering Federation.
An underlying theme German companies are highlighting is “Industry 4.0,” which the organizations say “plays a key role in the manufacture and processing of glass. From the float glass process through to further processing up to glass finishing, digitalization and increased integration leads to maximum performance coupled with minimum energy consumption.”
As for the Chinese market, China Glass organizers say the Chinese glass industry “faces some turns for the better” thanks to “supply side structure reform, overcapacity cutting and demand increasing.”
This event, they say, “attracts tremendous attention from the global glass community as a weather vane of the glass industry,” according to a release. “This grand glass fair provides not only a communication platform of new technologies and new products in the atmosphere of transformation and upgrading of domestic glass industry, but also a purchase platform for global cooperation on production capacity and business communication.”
Check out what’s happening at #ChinaGlass on Twitter: