The Giant glasstec Recap
Looking back at glasstec 2022
This post is dedicated to the just completed glasstec event in Germany that I attended. Next week we’ll be back to normal and I’ll comment on things like the ABI, which is still up.
After 4 years, glasstec was back and it was an interesting experience to say the least. The vibe overall was positive, people hungry for new equipment especially and also new technology/products. While forecasts and worry do hang over our heads it didn’t seem to play into the overall attitude here. The floor itself was slower than previous shows. I don’t think there is any doubt that travel challenges, and those struggles were real for many who came, the Russia/Ukraine war, inflationary costs, and people being shorthanded and not wanting to get away played into that. But those that were here were hungry and ready to go. So good stuff there.
If there were a few overall plays it would be “bird friendly” is now officially everywhere, and that plant efficiencies and sustainability truly matter. Solutions and options in both of those areas were numerous. Best part is the commitment to those areas are all real, not just talking points anymore. On the flipside, some folks I talked to were surprised at the lack of solar plays for glazing but I think that is a 2024 glasstec headliner at this point, and will be mainstream before that. As I do with every big show, here’s the rundown of seen, heard, and more.
I have been to many great receptions over the years at glasstec but I have to say the Vitro event this year may have been the best. It was the right size and tempo and just a fantastic time. Class event! Thank you to Mark Seeton and Dan Plotnick for having me! It was there where I got to spend quality time with Michael and Carolyn Spellman of IGE/VIG Technologies. Happy for them on several levels, IGE is rocking, systron was the talk of the show, and the VIG with the Vacu-Max connection is a freight train gaining steam. Also nice because their daughter Erin is joining the business/industry. Bring on the new young blood! She’s going to be great!
Speaking of great folks, was awesome to see Matt Aragon and his dad Joe at the show. Aragon Construction is a force and it was fun to chop it up with them. I love seeing Jordan Richards and Rob Botman from Glassopolis. Smart guys who continue to evolve smartly in our space. Also impressive on the evolution is Shaun Gustafson and ClearShield, great steps he and the team are taking in a very competitive segment. And since I used the word “great” 90 times in this paragraph, I’ll attach it also to my longtime friend, Jon Johnson, incredible to unexpectedly see him here.
Back to the young/fresh blood angle, it was nice to meet Michael Kelley of TriStar Glass, Juan Manuel Posada of FENEX, Sebastian Rittig of Glass Lamination of America, Ahlam Alqudah Qaimari of Griffin Glass & Metal Werks, and Jonathon Linford of Jack’s Glass. All five of these folks come across with the talent and drive that our industry needs to keep moving the ball forward. Excited to see what is next for them. Heck Juan Manuel even already won a Glass Magazine award.
Catching up with industry folks
The Glass Coatings and Concepts duo of Tim McGee and Matt Hanna were great, especially since Matt figured out the crazy clip art that was placed around our stand. Nice to visit with Michael and Dave Rapp from PDS IG Equipment, good guys and a tremendous company. Also two really good guys shockingly making their first appearance at glasstec, Gus Trupiano of GGI and Rich Porayko, the jack of all trades marketing and gear guru.
Some old school catching up including Matt and Lisa Hale. Matt is rolling with his glass supply business and nice to see. I had not seen Guillermo Seta of DFI in a super long time, wonderful to visit with him. Dave Anderson of HHH, we go back a long time and just always super to visit with him.
In that same universe I did get a good few minutes with the always dapper Dan Reinhart and Mike Synon who also was looking strong as always. No Terry Hessom sighting for me, but Terry is very popular in Germany, so he was probably signing autographs. For sure a celebrity was NGA’s Andrew Haring. If you ever doubted the power of LinkedIn, don’t! People stopped on a dime when they saw him, noting that they knew the OG Glass Nerd from social media. Was very cool to experience.
Another fun one I got to watch was Burkle’s Kyle Lindersmith working an interactive monitor showing off their stunning laminated line. Kyle was like John Madden in his prime pointing things out and with the same enthusiasm. His audience was enthralled. Awesome stuff.
Also awesome some of the next gen stuff Pilkington NSG had on display. They are thinking beyond the normal every day glass approach and I think they have unlocked a few things, especially on the interior side of the structure. While in the NSG sand I met the impressive Gloria Cardoso from their Brazil operation and again, young and sharp, we need as many of these folks as we can get!
Best stand shoutout
Once again best stand? Turomas. Sorry I am partial to them and I figured out maybe why. Obviously, I have always raved about their products, but I noticed this trip, their color scheme of orange and black really stands out because I swear everyone else at this event is either or blue or green.
I will say Glaston’s setup was impressive. I wanted to say hi to my Michigan cohort Jim Hartley but I think he was buried in a flood of people in there. I believe Lance Cotton of Global/Isoclima was in town but I think he was avoiding me and meanwhile I accidently did the same to Deron Patterson, now at Apple and ex of Vitro. Bummed I couldn’t catch up in person with either excellent guy.
NGA works together for a great glasstec
Last but not least a shout out to the great NGA team I had to honor of working with. As mentioned above Andrew Haring is a rock star and tremendous friend. He gets it done every time no matter the adventure, including an interesting truck driver from Poland.
Norah Dick was at her first glasstec and 2 hours into the first day she was on fire covering the floor for Glass Magazine with laser precision. And finally, the face/soul of our industries Technical Super Heroes, Urmilla Sowell. I had the honor of being in the NGA stand as Urmilla held court with the best technical minds from all over the world, it was mind blowing and the way Urmilla works for our industry and our best interests is truly priceless.
So there ya go, another big one in the books and now full focus is on GlassBuild. The word from pretty much everyone here that is also going to Vegas for GlassBuild is that they’re excited to be on home turf and really continue to process of growing and solving the biggest issues in our space right now. I love that approach and its dead on, people come to GlassBuild for solutions, it may be a product, a service, a connection etc., but the end result is something that always helps. So if you haven’t registered yet, do it now GlassBuild.com and I’ll see you there and probably write about you here in the post-show blog!