01. Sales increase in 2018. Seventy-one percent of Top Glass Fabricator respondents reported an increase in sales from 2018, the same percentage that reported year-over-year gains in 2017. However, it is down from 2016, when 88 percent of respondents reported gains. In 2018, 24 percent reported no change in sales, while five percent reported lower sales.
02. Fabricators take on jumbo glazing. Larger glass sizes continue to trend. Forty-two percent of Top Glass Fabricators currently fabricate jumbo glass. Based on survey responses, companies that fabricate jumbo glass are distributed throughout the list, suggesting that businesses of different capacities and sizes are taking on jumbo glazing.
03. Companies add space and equipment. A significant majority of respondents reported adding production capacity in 2018. Eighty-one percent of reporting Top Glass Fabricators said they added equipment or completed facility expansions, largely to keep up with market demand.
Most respondents reporting an increase in production capacity point to capital acquisitions. A plurality of Top Glass Fabricators cited a need to add fabrication equipment for specialty fabrication and production efficiency, due to increased market demand and a limited labor force.
“The hospitality industry’s growing use of glass in broad applications has opened a new market for custom glass fabrication. Specifically, the areas of digital ceramic in-glass printing and lamination have provided unique opportunities for our company to expand our product reach.”—HMI Cardinal
“Greater emphasis on security laminates on the inboard lite of a commercial insulating glass unit such as Sentry Glas, as well as the use of heat-treated MSVD coated laminates also on the inboard lite of a commercial unit [has been a design trend]. The market is also trending toward larger units with thicker glass and increased sound control requirements.”—Saand
“The design trends continue to demand larger sizes of glass, and customization of opacity, digital images and color … The trend for open space concepts and the sharing of light between interior spaces has heightened the demand for custom glass fabrication ranging from glass wall partitions, digital imaging and fire-rated. … In addition, we are seeing the demand increase for bird protection glass.”—GGI