glasstec 2014 president Martin Goodman, in his opening remarks, said the glass industry can look forward to a "successful future." Photo by Messe Dusseldorf.
glasstec 2014 president Martin Goodman, in his opening remarks, said the glass industry can look forward to a “successful future.” Photo by Messe Dusseldorf.

While it disappears every other year, glasstec always returns to make one thing clear: glass is not going away.

That was the theme of glasstec 2014 president Martin Goodman’s remarks during the opening ceremony for the show.

“We can look forward to a successful future,” Goodman said. “There is still [much] potential for this material. Even if houses are really produced by 3D printers one day—as we have been reading recently—no one will want to do without the unique transparency of glass.”

Goodman went on to say that glass “is conquering ever new areas of application, both in interior design and in architecture.”

Those new areas of application are exactly what show exhibitors are thankful for as the entire glass industry is in the midst of a comeback—especially in the U.S.

“Business in the U.S. is picking up right now. The economy’s just getting stronger and while people didn’t spend money on equipment, we’ve now had the best year in five years,” said Bud Hudgins, U.S. sales manager for Bottero Glass Technologies, based in Italy.

Hudgins was confident the company would have a presence in the show that echoes its past year’s success.

“We have people coming to the show from the states and will probably get new orders here. More people are using laminated glass in for high-rises [and] architects are asking for it. The northeast is very strong and the west coast is starting to come back,” he said.

And while sales are strong in the U.S., glasstec exhibitors also see signs of growth internationally as float glass plants spring up in Asia.

“New growth is mostly in India and there are activities in India and there are activities in Indonesia,” said Bill Flowers, sales engineer at the New Hudson Group, a company that manufactures rollers for float glass machines.

Daniel Chan, vice president of business development at Henry F. Techmann, Inc. agreed. The company contracts its float glass plant technology out to glass fabricators and, according to Chan, is expanding its operations into China and the Middle East.

Also making news during the show was some major personnel transitions.

Vitrum has appointed Aldo Faccenda as president of the company.

“Vitrum is a superbly organized and efficient operation. I will focus all my efforts on continuing the fine work accomplished by my predecessor,” Faccenda said. “We started off at full throttle, without skipping a beat: at glasstec we are geared up to add some significant tiles to the mosaic that will become Vitrum 2015.”

Dino Zandonella Necca will succeed Faccenda as vice president. Necca is a past company board member and will be responsible for press relations.

Also confirmed as vice president of Vitrum was Cinzia Schiatti, former president of Gimav, the Italian manufacturers’ Association of machinery, accessories and special products for glass processing.