Hugh Trautmann, a longtime Billco engineer and a pioneer in the glass industry, passed away peacefully on June 9, 2018 at the age of 84. Trautmann was an influential contributor to the development of technology in the glass industry.

In 1972, Trautmann developed a single head glass cutting machine. At the time, no such machine existed in the glass industry. By 1974, he had successfully engineered and built the first Numerically Controlled (NC) glass cutting machine. This new technology became the standard for cutting automotive glass, eliminating the need for templates during cut-ting. The development of single-head cutting generated the demand for cutting layout optimization and the emergence of software for the glass industry soon followed.

Shortly thereafter, Trautmann expanded upon his design to include shape-cutting capabilities. As the industry developed, he continued to advance his design, eventually integrating Computer Numerical Controls (CNC) in 1983. In the early 1990s, Trautmann began experimenting with magnetic (linear motor) drive systems. He was quick to realize the potential impact this technology could have on glass-cutting operations.

In 1994 he introduced and patented the Ultra Series glass-cutting table. By 1999 Trautmann was able to develop and build an architectural cutter using a linear motor drive system. The Ultra Series eliminated the rack-and-pinion system, giving fabricators the ability to achieve greater cutting speeds and higher accuracy.

“Hugh’s unique way of thinking, combined with his profound vision, has had a tremendous impact upon our industry,” reads a company statement. “His creations are the foundation of our business and the cornerstone of machinery in facilities everywhere. His designs are still the highest standard for modern glass-cutting table drive systems across the globe. Billco is proud to have had the privilege to work with Hugh. He was not only a brilliant engineer but also a kind, funny and dear friend to many. He will be missed dearly, but his legacy will remain.”

Trautmann is preceded in death by his wife Barbara J (Bittner); his brother, Phillip Trautmann (Mary Asher) of Laguna Beach, Calif., and his fraternal twin, John Trautmann (Jane McCleeve) of San Jose, Calif.

He is survived by his five children: Susan Crist of Saxonburg, Pa., Timothy Trautmann of Columbus, Ohio, Peter Trautmann of Columbus, Ohio, Merrill Jacques of Rocky River, Ohio, and Anne Trautmann of Taos, N.M.

He is also survived by five grand-daughters and one grandson, two great granddaughters and one great-grandson.


YKK AP America recognized its top performers of 2017 during its annual meeting in Stone Mountain, Ga. The recipients were selected based on performance and growth during the 2017 fiscal year, as well as embodying the company’s core values.

Honorees included the Orlando, Fla., branch, which received the Branch of the Year Award and architectural sales representative, John Spelman, who was awarded the company’s most prestigious individual honor, the President’s Award. The Branch of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievements in sales, profitability, operations and customer service excellence. Barry Wampler, w ho manages the Orlando team, accepted the award on behalf of the branch.

Spelman, also a member of the Orlando team, was humbled to take home the President’s Award, which recognizes the company’s highest-performing sales representative.

Wampler also received the fourth annual YKK AP Core Values Award, which is given to a sales team member who consistently brings the company’s core values of creating opportunities, insisting on quality and building trust, transparency and respect to life through daily practice.


Vitro Architectural Glass has announced three new appointments. Paul Bush is the new director of quality and technical services, Deron Patterson will be architectural market manager in Mexico and Guillermo Martinez has been named manager of general marketing for architectural glass operations in Mexico.

Bush, formerly director of technical services for Vitro Glass, will direct the company’s quality initiatives, including product quality and customer crisis management.

Bush has held several management positions with PPG since 1986, including in product development, product quality and technical services.

Bush is the AAMA representative for Vitro, where he is vice president of AA-MA’s Glass Material Council. He also has been Vitro Glass’ representative with the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) since 1997, where he has assumed numerous roles, including vice chairperson of the board of directors in 2016. Bush currently is board chairperson for the NFRC.

A 19-year sales veteran of the North American glass industry, Patterson spent the last five years as international sales manager covering Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and the Asia-Pacific region.

In his new position, Patterson will direct a team of national architectural managers and support the Vitro-certified fabricators in Mexico.Patterson previously managed Vitro Glass architectural accounts in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Mexico. He held roles in the sales and marketing departments, both domestic and internationally, for PPG’s flat glass business.

As a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate since 2010, and through his memberships in the U.S. Green Building Council and Sustentabilidad para México (SUMe), Patterson has made hundreds of presentations about the role of high-performance glass in promoting sustainable building at top architectural firms throughout his sales territories.

Martinez, who has spent his entire 14-year career with Vitro, will oversee customer and channel marketing strategies, lead strategic marketing projects across the United States and Mexico, and promote the use of energy-efficient glass through compliance with regulatory codes.

Martinez previously was strategic planning manager for Vitro’s flat glass business and strategic planning and marketing manager for the company’s automotive division. He also served as a member of the mergers and acquisitions and post-merger integration teams when Vitro acquired PPG’s flat glass manufacturing and glass coatings operations in 2016 and Pittsburgh Glass Works’ (PGW) automotive original equipment manufacturer glass business in 2017.

Martinez currently is pursuing credentialing as a LEED Green Associate to further support energy efficiency and sustainable building practices.


Dustin Anderson is Chip and Joanna Gaines’ go-to guy when it comes to replacing windows, doors, shower enclosures and all other things glass on their hit HGTV show Fixer Upper. Now, Anderson is also the the official spokesperson to represent® on its website and at industry events.

Teaming up together,® will utilize Anderson to bring much-needed insights about door and window replacements to the public eye in order to educate consumers about glass replacement processes and product options. This will help consumers be more knowledgeable so there are fewer surprises when it comes time for remodeling.

“Through this relationship with®, I look forward to bringing to light how much of a difference updating a home’s windows and doors can make, and the creative glass options out there that can really make a home pop,” says Anderson.

Not only is® an excellent informational resource for all things glass, the website also features a hassle-free way for consumers to request quotes for their projects and schedule consultations with reputable local companies.“® really brings the glass-buying process into the 21st century—a much-needed update that the industry has been waiting for,” according to Anderson.

Anderson is the owner of Anderson Glass, which has been in business for 30 years. He operates out of Waco, Texas, where he was born and raised. Anderson, in partnership with C.R. Laurence, also invented numerous products for the glass industry. Anderson will also write a column for USGlass magazine.® is based out of suburban Washing-ton, D.C., and was launched in 2016. It has helped tens of thousands of consumers schedule glass re-placement for their homes, businesses, vehicles and more.® has received multiple accolades and maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.


Installers and contract glaziers are fundamental in the process of turning a design into a real-life building for occupants and passersby to enjoy. Unfortunately, they don’t always get the attention they deserve for the important work they do in the industry. The installer spotlight gives companies a chance to show appreciation to their best employees, like Craw-ford-Tracey’s head superintendent Angel Garcia.

Ray Crawford, president of Craw-ford-Tracey Corp., describes Garcia as not just its head superintendent, but so much more.

“As a young man, he came to this country from Cuba, not speaking the language, but eager to learn and willing to conquer any challenge that would provide him opportunity. He began his career in the glazing industry 30 years ago when he started working odd jobs in our shop,” he says. “His strong work ethic, drive and determination raised him through the ranks to become the point person for our most complex projects, consistently improving our construction process and keeping operations smooth and on track. He is admired both by our corporate team and our general contractor partners, who often compliment his professionalism, meticulous work and dependability.”

Crawford refers to Garcia as a consummate leader who offers his crew support, encouragement, trust and respect.

“He is a talented superintendent and manager, always going above and beyond for the sake of his team and their projects. He personifies the quality and performance expected from Crawford-Tracey,” says Crawford. “Aside from all of this, he is a man of integrity and has a heart of gold. With all sincerity, he lives up to his name, and we are lucky to have him.”

Garcia is happy to be acknowledged by Crawford-Tracey for doing what he loves.

“I am grateful for the opportunity they’ve given me to live, learn and grow in this country and within the company,” says Garcia. “I embrace the responsibilities and challenges that my profession as a superintendent has put in my path. I get an adrenaline rush when I’m out in the field, and have a great sense of accomplishment and pride completing a project with my team. Crawford-Tracey is like family to me, and I am proud to be a part of its growth and success.”

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