It has been three years since Glass Expo Northeast™ took place in March 2019, which opened this morning at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale, N.Y. The event brought together industry colleagues anxious to see and learn from each other.

The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the event, which is co-sponsored by USGlass magazine and the Long Island Glass Association, to take a hiatus of an extra year and both attendees and exhibitors appear eager to be back in the halls and aisles again.

Seminar speakers sparked a morning of shared discussion by spotlighting pertinent industry topics.

Economic Footing

“We’re thrilled to have you with us,” said USGlass magazine publisher, Debra Levy, before delving into “The Glass and Glazing Industry Economic Outlook for the Northeast.” Levy was substituting for Nick St. Denis, director of research for Key Media & Research. He and his wife, Tammy, welcomed their second child, a little girl, into the world late last week.

Early risers received Levy’s industry report.

Levy discussed construction and fabrication trends, including the fact that approximately 25% of fabricated glass volume is laminated, and impact/security glazing is on the rise. This includes increased applications in schools and a rise in awareness for commercial/retail in metro areas.

Companies note a lack of labor availability, reconfiguring setups to maximize output with fewer employees (implementing automation). Several Northeastern fabricators supplied similar insight in Forging Forward: Fabricators Provide Regional Snapshots, a feature in the March issue of USGlass magazine.

Glazing Systems: Does It Pay to Delegate

Levy was followed by Stewart Jeske, president of JEI Structural Engineering, who took participants through all the factors involved in delegated design, providing information and highlighting areas of caution for glazing contractors.

Watch the Railing

Jorge Alberto Alarcon, marketing specialist for Kuraray Trosifol® interlayers, examined safety concerns surrounding glass in railing systems and the new building code requirements addressing the use of these systems.

Alarcon cited falling handrail glass in several major North American cities, including Austin, Texas, Toronto, Houston, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, Cleveland, and the Northeast’s New York City. Many railing specifications now call for laminated glass to provide safety from falling glass, connecting to Levy’s report on trends in fabrication.

Alarcon tested the difference in stiffness between PVB (left) and ionoplast (right).

Alarcon demonstrated the difference in stiffness between Polyvinyl butyral (PVB) and ionoplast in light of the need for safety. Viewers raised their cell phones to record the moment  their colleagues put the material to the test, analyzing post-breakage behavior. The demo saw the ionoplast maintain its composure amid breakage and attempted bending; the PVB succumbed to the efforts.

A Body of Body Language

Attendees returned from lunch to attend body language expert Janine Driver’s session on body language, “Saying More than You Think.” The ever-popular Driver used her audience for real live examples of what people say with the movement of their bodies. “This is my third time hearing Janine and I never get tired, because I always learn new things,” said one attendee.

It’s Showtime

Of course, the centerpiece of Glass Expo Northeast™ is its trade show. More than 110 companies are displaying their goods and services on Wednesday and Thursday. Machinery and equipment, computer software, services and various types of glass are on display on the show floor. A cocktail party, sponsored by the Long Island Glass Association with drinks sponsored by Door Controls, takes place on the show floor from 5-7 p.m.

The show is also open tomorrow, Thursday, April 7, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Free passes can be found at Stay tuned to USGNN™ and throughout the week for our continuing coverage of the show.