Glass Expo Pacific Northwest™ (GEPN) ′18 continues today in Bellevue, Wash. (suburban Seattle). The two-day glass and glazing event has given exhibitors a chance to network with potential customers in the booming Pacific Northwest region.
Portals, which is part of Bohle, is just beginning to penetrate the local market.
“It’s tough to crack,” said Justin McNutt, sales representative of Portals. “I’m hoping to run into people I’ve talked to on the phone here at the show.”
According to McNutt, the company has a hands-on approach with the design and manufacturing of its products, allowing for greater quality control.
Portals’ backplates for shower doors have a scallop rather than a cutout which gives the hardware a metal look while still creating room for the glass to be close to the wall.
At the Northwestern Industries booth, sales manager Earl Mercado said that glass has been getting larger and laminated glass is being required more.
“Laminated glass helps meet safety requirements and can spice up the aesthetic with custom colors and embedded images. Lamination can also have acoustical properties,” he said.
Northwestern Industries recently installed a new digital printer at its facility in Yuma, Ariz., to meet the demand for digital printing in large projects. Previously, the company used a silkscreen method.
“The market in the Northwest is robust and exhibits signs of stability and predictable growth,” said Mercado.
Salem Flat Glass & Mirror displayed some of its robotic line on the show floor. The machine helps with loading, unloading and transferring glass on edging and beveling machines.
“The robotic line increases safety and reduces risk. It also reduces fabrication labor by redistributing the labor elsewhere on the line. We’ve seen an exponential growth in production,” said Mike Rosato, machines sales engineer/owner.
He also explained that Salem’s vertical CNC machine requires zero set up compared to horizontal machines which require 15 minutes of set-up time.
“The time has been dramatically reduced and as a result of placing the glass vertically, there are fewer rejects and defects,” said Rosato.
He pointed out that as jumbo panels grow in popularity, customers have approached the company looking to upgrade their laminated machines to meet demand.
“The market in the Pacific Northwest has been steady lately,” said Rosato. “We’ve received inquiries about fabrication equipment which is a good sign that consumer confidence is up.”
Vetrotech Saint-Gobain is showing its fire-rated impact glass Safeguard. The glass is designed to slow down intruders and can take seven to eight minutes to be compromised, giving first responders more time to arrive on the scene.
The company’s butt-glazing system is growing more popular according to Patricia Hernandez, Northwest regional sales manager.
“It can be used structurally, and it also provides daylighting and LEED points,” she said.
Hernandez is also vice president of the Washington Glass Association (WGA), which co-sponsored the event.
She said the group has scholarship fund announcements and an annual golf tournament coming up soon.
“Washington is the busiest state in the country right now,” said Hernandez. “I’d attribute the building boom to the big tech companies in the area like Expedia and Google.”
GLG Canada Limited’s GLG 425 SP-3D was on display at GEPN. It has the capacity to lift 937 pounds. The machine has a telescopic boom and zero turn radius with removable counter weights.
According to David Smith, GLG director, an upcoming law will prevent workers from lifting more than 25 pounds. In anticipation of that law, the counter weights are 25 pounds each.
“As the demand for heavy glass grows, there has been more demand for lifters to reduce injuries,” he said.
GEPN runs today until 2 p.m. (PST) at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue.
The event is co-sponsored by the WGA, USGlass magazine, USGNN.com™ and Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal magazine. Visit www.usglassmag.com/gepn/ for more information.
Check back at USGNN.com™ for more GEPN coverage on Monday.