Glass Expo Midwest™ (GEMS) ʼ18 has brought high-quality exhibitors together in Indianapolis to meet and network with regional companies. The exhibition floor features the latest in innovation and solutions to some of the industry’s most prevalent issues.
Lattuada North America is highlighting its new robot, which moves glass between two vertical machines situated across from each other. According to Joseph Gates, technical service manager, the robot has the ability to improve production by 25 percent. The company’s vertical edgers can also be motorized instead of manually set up, meaning less time required by the operator to prepare the machine. Lattuada’s Industry 4.0 software alerts users when they need to change a wheel.
Gates expects automation to grow within the U.S. due to several reasons, including the impact of the labor shortage and the desire to process more glass.
Billco is also meeting the need for added value in machinery. The company now offers more process monitoring than in the past. Maintenance tracking is built into the machinery that alerts the user when the machine needs greasing, new brushes, etc., for preventative maintenance.
According to Billco glass solutions specialist, Midwest Steve Steele, requests for laminating and tempering machines are increasing in the Midwest.
Vitro Architectural Glass is focusing on its new Acuity low-iron glass, which provides improved clarity and high light transmittance. Vitro director of architectural development Joseph Sennese said that the glass provides better connectivity between the inside and outside of a building.
He also addressed the oversized glass trend. The company launched a jumbo coater in Wichita Falls, Texas, earlier this year. Sennese said that many of the fabricators the company works with had months to make the investments to adapt their equipment for larger glass sizes, but there are many who won’t do so.
“Jumbo glass will involve a smaller group of players,” said Sennese.
He described the trend as something that will lead to a specialized channel, and expects oversized glass to be used as a feature in hotels, hospitals and offices.
The trend toward all-glass buildings and glass with minimal hardware for interior applications is continuing and companies such as C.R. Laurence (CRL) are aiming to meet that demand with its Entice series of entrance systems. According to Walter Kustra, director of sales and marketing, Midwest at CRL, the system has a low U-value and is thermally broken. The storefront system meets high energy efficiency requirements while maintaining the frameless glass entrance aesthetic.
Dormakaba’s magnetic lock for manual sliding glass doors was on display at GEMS. It includes card reader access on a manual sliding door and can tie into any security system, according to Nicole Bird, specification consultant with the company.
Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for more coverage of the event. GEMS runs through 2 p.m. EST today.