No, not the online video game that kept kids locked up inside all summer instead of in the pool … that would be Fortnite … but as in a period of two weeks. That’s how long it’s been since I caught a red eye home from Vegas after the GlassBuild America show. I can’t remember the last time I felt so exhausted after a show. That one kept us on our toes, with all the many exhibitors to see—who were equally as busy.

There was definitely a lot to take in this year, but I think the words “automation” and “robotics” pretty much sum up the direction the industry is headed. Everything from washers to IG lines to cutting equipment is becoming automated.

CMS North America Displayed Robotics in Las Vegas.

On the machinery side, many companies were gearing up their big displays for glasstec and didn’t have the entire lines in Las Vegas. Some, however, like CMS North America still displayed portions of the lines, which they plan to demonstrate in their entirety next month in Dusseldorf.

Among other product segments taking up a big presence at the show were the handling and lifting lines. This equipment has definitely emerged as a major product market for the glazing industry. These companies have been experiencing tremendous growth over the past few years, and much of that can be attributed to the increasing demand for jumbo glass.

Handling and lifting equipment from companies like Smartlift is in big demand.

I expect to see a lot more in automation, robotics and mega-handling equipment next month when I head to glasstec.

Speaking of which, if you’ve never been to glasstec, the show held every other year in Dusseldorf, Germany, leaves those of us in the glass industry feeling like a kid in a candy store. I’m already planning and mapping out my days to take in all nine halls as efficiently as possible. If you’re planning to attend you can also visit us in Hall 13/D14. We’d love to see you there. And I’d love to hear from you now to learn more about what you’ll be looking for at the show. Whatever’s at the top of your list, automation, robotics or some other new innovation, feel free to send an email to and tell me about it.