Global Update

Gimav Report: Machinery and Glass Grow for Eighth Consecutive Year

The Gimav Studies Centre released official data on the machinery and glass products sector, which shows the growth trend is continuing for the eighth consecutive year with a 4 percent increase in overall sales from 2016.

“This marks the eighth consecutive year of growth. The upswing in exports continues, and domestic market indicators are starting to improve as a result of the Industry 4.0 Plan incentives. Our sector is growing, and it’s very gratifying to be able to say that the effects of the downward trend that marked the national and international economy in 2009 are definitively behind us now,” says Laura Biason, director of Gimav, a member association representing Italian manufacturers of glass processing machinery, systems, special products and accessories.

According to the report, there was a 4-percent increase in overall sales by the sector compared to 2016, with flat glass up by 4.9 percent and hollow glass up by 2.4 percent. Domestic sales also increased by 4.5 percent.

The sector workforce increased by 4.7 percent as a result of these trends. The overall trade balance rose to nearly $1.15 billion (Euro 984 million), up by 3.9 percent from the year before.

Exports remain the crown jewel of the Italian glass machinery industry, with an exports to overall sales ratio averaging 78.7 percent in 2017. Flat glass exports increased from 75.3 percent in 2016 to 75.7 percent, far exceeding $811 million (Euro 692 million) in value.

The ranking of countries purchasing Italian glass processing machinery includes EU Europe, Asia (up 48 percent from 2016), the NAFTA area, extra-EU Europe, Central and South America (up 14 percent from last year), Oceania and Africa.

Exports to North America decreased slightly, now accounting for 19 percent of overall global sales, while exports to Oceania continued to rise.

The top five destination countries for Italian flat glass in ranking order, after the U.S., were Germany, China, India and the United Kingdom.

“The outlook is positive if we are to judge by the companies’ survey on the general market situation: 94 percent of them, in fact, predict further growth in 2018, with a more marked improvement in foreign markets, while 78 percent of companies surveyed also expect an in-crease in domestic sales,” says Biason.

The sales forecasts for Europe, both EU and extra-EU, were optimistic, with figures for both expected to increase or remain unchanged. Confidence in Russia is improving; fewer companies expect sales to drop as the market seemingly started to recover with 15-percent growth, according to the report.

The overall outlook is positive with regard to North America and the stability, or growth, of Middle-Eastern markets; sales expectations for Central and South America clearly improved as downturn predictions decreased from 21 percent to 8.8 percent, while the number of companies forecasting their recovery increased to 41 percent.

Township Rejects Xinyi’s Application for Glass Plant in Canada

Xinyi Canada’s plans to build a new glass plant in the Guelph/Eramosa area in Ontario, Canada, came to at least a temporary halt after a vote by the township council against the project.

The group’s main concerns focused on the daily amount of water used, possible cross-contamination between water and glass and whether the pro-posed structure abides by the property zoning bylaws.

According to an article by Guelph Today, some in the Ontario community still maintain that the structure is expected to use too much water to be considered a “dry use” industrial facility.

The company released a statement expressing disappointment in the outcome.

The company added, “Our commitment to build our first North American float glass facility to serve the increasing demand of the North American market remains unchanged. We will review our position and consider possible options to go forward.”

Xinyi Glass manufactures float, architectural, automotive and solar glass. —Emmariah Holcomb

Eiffel Tower Gets Security Upgrade with Bullet-Resistant Glass Wall

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited landmarks in France, but visitors to the famous tourist attraction will have to go through a bullet-resistant glass wall to see the site up close. The Eiffel Tower has been under close surveillance since the deadly terrorist attacks in November 2015 that killed 130 people.

The Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), which manages the Eiffel Tower, wanted to increase security beyond surveillance.

“The square of the Eiffel Tower was still, at the time, accessible to anyone very easily,” SETE president Bernard Gaudillere told ABC News. “Therefore we decided to build a new perimeter around the Eiffel Tower to increase the security.”

Austrian architect Dietmar Feichtinger designed the $40 million (EURO 35 million) security upgrade following recommendations from the Paris police force to secure the Eiffel Tower. The glass walls feature glass provided by Vetrotech Saint-Gobain fitted with anti-ram raid bollards. Glass security booths have been set up along the bridle paths of the East-West axis to admit visitors to the site.

The glass wall is approximately 2.56 inches thick. Each unit weighs a maximum of 1.5 tons and is 118 inches high by 86 inches wide. A total of 450 units surround the Eiffel Tower with 420 anti-ram raid bollards around the entire perimeter.

The glass will be installed parallel to each other along the front and back of the site, while wire fences designed to resemble the style of the Eiffel Tower will be installed along the two sides of the perimeter.

According to the Associated Press, French soldiers and police will continue patrolling the area around the Eiffel Tower after the glass installation is complete.

C.R. Laurence Opens New Service Center in Perth, Australia

C.R. Laurence has opened the doors to a new service center in Perth, Australia. The 50,000-square-foot facility will allow the company to boost its distribution capabilities and decrease its lead time in Western Australia.

The center features an expensive warehouse, office spaces, a showroom, and a dedicated will-call center. It will stock architectural hardware, railing systems, frameless shower door hardware, and glazing tools and supplies. Mick Mahony will act as the service center manager and oversee the facility’s operations.

“The new Perth Service Center represents our commitment to maintaining our position as the preeminent supplier to the Australian glass and glazing industry,” says David Bremner, managing director of C.R. Laurence Australia Pty Ltd. “This expansion will let us provide the products and services our customers need to grow their business much faster.”

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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