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Glass sector optimistic at glasstec 2014 despite downturns

After difficult times in large parts of the glass sector, there are now clear signs of positive market developments. This was the clear message from the feedback of the 1,217 exhibitors at glasstec 2014, International Trade Fair for Glass Production – Processing – Products. About 43,000 trade visitors were also highly satisfied with their participation.

glasstec 2014 convinced the specialists from the fields of mechanical engineering, glass manufacturing, processing and finishing, crafts, architecture/construction as well as glazing/façades and solar: over 96 percent of the visitors give the world’s most important trade fair for the glass industry a positive overall rating.

They also ranked their visit in terms of achieving their goals at the trade fair just as high. A total of 40 percent of the attendees came to the event with specific intentions to invest which in turn will likely create positive impulses for the exhibitors in the coming months.

The proportion of attendees from the middle and top management again improved. More than three quarters of the visitors were from these management positions. The share of the visitors coming to Düsseldorf, Germany from abroad reached about 60 percent, and this figure continues to be unmatched in the sector internationally.

“I am delighted that there were positive signs at glasstec 2014 in the field of mechanical engineering and the glass industry. The German skilled glazier’s trade is currently doing extremely well. Our ranges at glasstec in the Crafts Center with its new glass processing and finishing arena and the participation stations in the also new area Handwerk LIVE were very popular. Together with the established themes Autoglass Arena and glass art, we offer a unique program for all segments of the skilled trades and we are very pleased with the way the trade fair went,” stated Martin Gutmann, president, glasstec 2014 and Federal Guilds Master.

“What is most important for us as organizers of glasstec is that our customers are satisfied because this is the basis for positive and sustainable growth for the event for the benefit of all involved. We once again fulfilled this goal in 2014 and have therefore again confirmed the role of glasstec as the world’s leading international meeting point with an apparent barometer effect for the entire sector,” explained Hans Werner Reinhard, managing director, Messe Düsseldorf.

A special feature at glasstec 2014 was the North American Pavilion, organized by Messe Düsseldorf North America and co-sponsored by the National Glass Association (NGA). A total of 17 companies presented their latest technologies within this successful group exhibit.

The comprehensive ancillary program at glasstec 2014, which was further extended this year, was also well accepted by the visitors. In particular, the Special Show “glass technology live” (gtl) in Hall 11, organized by Prof. Stefan Behling and his team from the Institute of Building Construction at Stuttgart University, was once again a must-see show for many visitors.

With the motto “Intelligent Glass”, “glass technology live” presented glass products from the near future. The results of the visitor survey confirmed the selection of exhibits displayed at  “glass technology live”: according to the experts, display glass/technical glass applications, glass printing/coating as well as thin glass are the top themes for the coming three to five years. A highlight at the Special Show was a 10.5 feet x 46 feet pane of glass finished using a ceramic digital printing process. Another attraction was display glass used in alternative areas of application and ultra-thin glass “off the line” for electronic applications. Popular were also the numerous façade mock-ups (with extraordinary geometries and fascinating optical effects) or outstanding insulation properties (using 4-layer insulation glass for example).

The well attended “glass technology live” was accompanied by a top-notch specialist symposium offering a variety of lectures on daily changing themes.

These façade sections of “glass technology live” were a part of the Façade Center, which also consisted of the information ranges of associations and research institutions at the “Competence Center Windows + Facades” and the new section efnMOBIL of the European Facade Network.

The two conferences “Solar meets Glass” and “engineered transparency” as well as the “Architecture Congress” attracted many participants. Already on the day before the start of glasstec 2014, experts from the solar and glass sector met to discuss their interconnected topics. With its 80 participants the two-day conference was well attended given the deep crisis in the solar sector. This was followed on the first and second day of glasstec 2014 by the engineered transparency conference attracting just over 200 participants from 23 countries, discussing the latest developments in the field of structural glass engineering. The Architecture Congress successfully closed the line-up with some 280 participants.

The next glasstec will be held in Düsseldorf, Germany from Sept. 20 – 23, 2016.

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