Bohle’s Liftmaster attracted big crowds during Fensterbau.

The 30th edition of Fensterbau, the world’s biggest trade show for doors and windows, opened at the Nuremberg Convention Centre in Nuremberg, Germany on Wednesday and welcomed about 110,000 enthusiastic attendees from all over the world, including the U.S. The show features 813 exhibitors from 40 countries, and several of those companies are showing products designed for commercial applications.

“I’ve been here many times, and it’s a fantastic show,” said Mitch Lewandowski, the vice president of North American sales for Soft Tech. “Anybody who is anybody is going to be here. If you’re looking to buy or sell, this is definitely the place to be. And as we’ve said for years, what you see here is so far ahead of North America, so if you want to find out what’s coming, or what you want to be on the cutting edge, this is definitely the place to be. I’m like a kid in a candy store.”

Software companies had a strong presence at the show, which is appropriate because, much like the U.S., countries in Europe are struggling to find qualified labor for manufacturing.

A+W Software showed off its popular Cantor system, which integrates the online configurators of many suppliers to the door and window industry into one software solution.

“We’ve been very busy,” said A+W CEO Peter Dixen, who said more companies seeking automation solutions are helping his business grow.

“It’s having a good, positive trend for us,” he said, adding that the ongoing global recovery in construction is helping as well.

“Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), all that is a big trend, and it’s getting a lot of people to our booth,” Dixen said.

Sika introduced a new product for Europe that could also show up in the U.S. soon — a sealant that can protect glass from burglars who try to pry a window open.

“If you do the bonding, it’s much more difficult to break,” said Robert Tonolla, regional manager for Sika. “The advantage is you use the stiffness of the IG unit for a better and stronger window.”

The fenestration industry is rapidly evolving into a high-tech industry, and products that fit that description were inescapable at Fensterbau.

Attendees crowded into Rehau’s booth to see its Smart Window Solutions, including its SmartGuard system for burglary prevention.

Another innovation grabbing attention was its Smart Blind system. With a quick touch, the glass is darkened to ensure privacy. Show goers couldn’t get enough looks at the innovative display. The company also showed off its Innovent system which filters out everything, including pollen, and only requires a filter change one time per year.

At the Renolit booth the company went back to basics with its “Das original” theme, as the company points out that it introduced the first exterior films 30 years ago. Additionally, the 20-year warranty for the Renolit EXOFOL FX films has now gone global, said David Harris, product manager. The new warranty periods are the results of extensive testing under laboratory and natural weathering conditions.

Renolit also created a Product Marker so its films can now be distinguished from imitations, which does happen often in other countries, said Harris. Now, even 20 years after an installation, it will be possible to identify Renolit films that have been laminated onto a profile.

The company also is launching a repair service, and in the U.S., customers will come together in Chicago in April to learn how to do repairs in the unfortunate event that a film is scratched during installation.

“Before you had to take the window out, but now we can train you on how to do a repair,” said Harris.

At Forel’s booth, the focus was on profile bending and its vertical edgers.

Carlo Zuccarello, area manager, reports that “more and more window manufacturers are processing glass internally.”

The company showcased two of its profile benders for plastic, aluminum or steel. Zuccarello also said the company’s vertical edger “is a best seller” and can be sold standalone or inline. He described the machine’s versatility for processing a variety of glass types including laminated and tempered glass, solar panels and more.

Elumatec’s big booth featured a couple of new products.

The SBZ 141 four-axis profile machining center is the latest addition to the company’s SBZ 14x series. The machine bed is more stable and has a more ergonomic design, while the autonomous clamp positioning is also new. That allows for more efficient cycling of the machining steps, which accelerates pass-through times, according to the company. The hood and the control panel have been redesigned to make operation more efficient.

The company also displayed a new contemporary design for its SBZ 151 Edition 90 profile machining center.

Assa Abloy showed off dozens of products, including a door closer with escape route technology. Handling and lifting equipment from both Bohle and C.R. Laurence was also popular at the show.

Fensterbau continues through Saturday. For more about the show, watch these videos from Door and Window Market magazine, a sister publication of USGlass magazine:

Fensterbau: Robotic Equipment and News from the Profile Suppliers

Fensterbau: Hardware Gets Even More High-Tech