Another GlassBuild America wrapped up last week in Atlanta, and it did not disappoint. The show was likely bigger and stronger than ever, with just about everyone I spoke to reporting a positive experience. It definitely kept me busy from start to finish, with so much to see, so many to talk to and so much to report, including stories and video for our USGNN™ daily e-newsletter. I’m taking a cue from USGlass publisher Deb Levy, whose blog was brought to you by the letter E, and bringing you one today that’s brought to you by the letter P.

Partnerships – That was a big theme for a number of companies this year, as many had recently announced new ones, or did so right at the show—like Arizona Shower Door and DreamLine. The two announced a strategic partnership, with DreamLine’s parent company MPE Partners completing its purchase of Arizona Shower Door a couple weeks ago.

Arizona Shower Door president Paul Knadler told USGlass assistant editor Jordan Scott, “I’ve seen other companies partner up. We wanted to do the same to grow our business. We were looking for a strong partner and we found it. Big companies are getting bigger, so we decided to become one of the biggest.”

Salem Glass & Mirror was at the show with a number of its partners—including 11 machinery lines in its booth. One of its long-time partners, Bovone, was also there, and excited about the upcoming opening of its new U.S. branch in 2020. The new location will be in Winston-Salem, N.C., also home to Salem, further strengthening the two companies’ synergy and partnership.

Salem also has another new partner in HHH, which it acquired in July.

HHH, which was acquired by Salem in July, featured with North Glass, a jumbo, curved, laminated glass display.

People – Of course, there are always lots of great people to talk with at GlassBuild. I was excited to see the one and only Ren Bartoe walking the show. Although he retired a couple months ago, he decided to walk the show for a day to visit many of the people and companies he will no longer see on a regular basis. Ren has been a good friend to me since I met him in 2002 at my first (what was then) Glass Week. It was during the Tempering Division meeting, where roller wave was the big discussion topic. I’m sure many of you remember those days, too …

Catching up with Ren Bartoe during the show.

I caught up with Adrian Ray from Enduroshield, where they brought some unique entertainment to the show—a caricature artist. I never had the chance to get one done for myself, but our sales manager Josh Lentz did. If you know Josh, what do you think? Does this look like him?

Does this look like the real Josh Lentz?


A caricature artist gave attendees a new look in the Enduroshield booth.

I also had the chance to sit down for a few minutes with Phil Plant from Billco. His company is doing a lot in the way of new developments, which takes me to my next point:

Production – The big focus for Billco was its partnership with Seegrid to offer its first automated handling solution. This new collaboration between the two companies provides fabricators with a fully automated way to move handling equipment without operator intervention, which helps keep employees (people) safe while also saving on labor costs.

Billco introduced a fully automated way to move handling equipment without operator intervention, helping keep employees safe while also saving on labor costs.

You can also check out even more new production technologies in our show videos:

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Whatever brought you to the show in Atlanta, there was definitely plenty to see.