As glass sizes continue to increase, demand for handling and lifting equipment has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. A number of exhibitors at this year’s GlassBuild America show are highlighting equipment and machinery designed for handling glass safely and efficiently in both the plant as well as on the jobsite.

Quattrolifts is featuring its Vector 880 used for unloading and transporting large glass panels.

Salem Flat Glass & Mirror is featuring the full Bovone Robotic System (BRS), which is designed for automatic loading and unloading of glass, providing fabricators with more automation and increased production. The company introduced the BRS several years ago, but this is the first time it has shown the entire system at GlassBuild. Doug Mangus, machinery sales director, said the interest is continuing to grow and they now have 15 of these lines installed in the U.S., with some customers even having multiple lines. In fact, they even sold the line that was on display at the show.

According to Mangus, the features driving demand include the level of increased productivity, consistency of production and reduced labor.

Quattrolifts is also focusing on handling and lifting, particularly on the jobsite. The company has a number of its lines on display, designed for glass installation. The Vector 1800, for example, is for unloading, transporting and installing large glass panels. It can lift up to 880 pounds, and has a dual vacuum system. The system can rotate 360 degrees and is heavily engineered for safe installation when handling heavy loads of glass.

Smiley Lifting Solutions is another company featuring handling and lifting machinery and equipment. George Schalk, vice president of sales, said the equipment has been evolving to accommodate larger and larger sizes of glass. The company featured systems from MAVLift as well as SpyderCrane.

Some of the lines on display are capable of handling glass sizes from 400 to 3100 pounds, with some reaching up to 25 feet.

Schalk said they have a large variety of machines for both indoor and off road needs, and that the equipment can be tailored to a customer’s needs.

The number of companies exhibiting handling  and lifting equipment continues to increase. Bailey Specialty Cranes & Aerials, Manitex Vallarta, Smartlift and Wood’s Powr-Grip are also featuring products for glass handling and installation.

The GlassBuild America trade show continues this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Stay tuned to for more news and reports from the show.