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Value-added Products Driving Development, Demand

Post Time:Sep 19,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:45

The glass industry has become a value-added business, with everything from new decorative glass, to high-performance glass coatings, to more efficient equipment and trucks on display at GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo, in Atlanta.

“We’re seeing more complex projects, such as tempered, laminated, insulating units with silkscreen,” said show attendee Kirk Johnson, COO, Hartung Glass Industries. “Insulating and laminated glass are seeing the most growth. Silkscreen is growing for us tremendously.”

Digitally printed glass also continues to make its mark on the industry. In the seminar, “Decoration and Printing on Glass: The New Frontier,” John Bush, vice president of operations for GGI, and Sarah Jacobson, senior associate for Gensler, spoke of the creativity and design freedom that printed decorative glass offers the architectural community. “[Printed glass] allows us to do things where there really was no substitute before,” Jacobson said. “There’s complete freedom. Whatever you can print on paper, you can print on glass.”

“The glass industry is converging with the digital industry to take advantage of an opportunity,” said Frank McGuinn, vice president, Arrow Systems Inc., a show exhibitor and digital glass printer supplier. “Today, there is a pent-up demand. Because of the economy of the past several years, capital expenditures have been held in check and attention to payback and rates of return have intensified. [That payback] is easier to quantify with digital printing than with other [technologies]. I also believe that as more people become aware of the [digital printing] process, the more demand there is going to be.”

Glass companies are being asked more and more to deliver custom products, said Mandy Marxen, vice president of marketing for Dreamwalls by Gardner Glass Products Inc. “Custom is really growing, whether it's custom colors or custom fabrication—holes, notches, shapes. It's really become a two-pronged approach in that we need to do both stock sheet cases and amazing custom [fabrication]. We've added a new edger and a new tempering oven that allow us to do more in house.”

Energy efficiency continues to be a top priority for the industry as well, as companies in all segments look to improve the performance of glass and glazing products. As demand for energy efficient glass products intensifies, GlassBuild America exhibitors such as PPG Industries and Guardian Industries continue to add to their product portfolios. In Atlanta, PPG debuted Solarban 67, a new solar-control, low-E glass that features a neutral coating for a clear appearance that delivers excellent solar control performance, with visible light transmittance of 54 percent in a 1-inch IGU and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.29, according to the exhibitor.

Guardian Industries promoted the SunGuard Neutral 78/65 product in Atlanta, the newest addition to the SunGuard portfolio of low-E glass. According to the exhibitor, SunGuard Neutral 78/65 is ideal for commercial applications in cooler climates, and offers high visible light transmission and high solar heat gain.

Emerging energy efficient glass products, such as dynamic glass, also had a presence at the show. “Architects love glass; they want to use more of it in more challenging ways. The glass industry is going to be challenged to help them deliver on that design concept while still meeting codes,” said Helen Sanders, vice president of technical business development for Sage Electrochromics. The company’s electrochromic SageGlass “allows you to solve that problem because you can have multiple solar heat gain coefficients in one window. So you can meet the energy codes without a problem and use more glass,” she said.

The code community is beginning to recognize dynamic glass’ performance abilities, said Erich Klawuhn, VP of sales for dynamic glass supplier View Inc. “What we’re seeing is that a lot of the codes are now starting to adopt carve-outs for dynamic glass. They are using the same methodology of solar heat gain coefficients, U-factor and thresholds for static glass … but they are recognizing that dynamic glass, because it can change, shouldn’t be held to that same single threshold. We’re seeing [recognition] that dynamic glass should be considered differently within the codes. This is step one, because then incentives can be built on those codes for some of the advanced green building standards, LEED standards, etc.”

Efficiency is also driving trends in the transportation segment of the business. Fuel efficiency, for example, remains a top priority for glass companies, said Robin Donker, sales and marketing for Unruh Fab Inc. Aluminum and stainless steel are becoming more common for glass truck racks, as they provide “more payload,” she said.

F. Barkow is looking to boost fuel efficiency by offering a Ford F450 model with super-single rear tires. “This allows customers to have full-length glass racks on both sides of the truck,” again helping to increase payload, said John Weise.

For additional GlassBuild America product coverage:

Read about equipment sales on the show floor here.View photo galleries of new products debuting in Atlanta.Read Glass Magazine's complete coverage ofthe products and services on display at GlassBuild America 2013.Share this article:

Source: http://www.glassmagazine.com/news-item/commercial/value-added-products-driving-development-demand-1311727Author:

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