glasstec 2018 celebrates Successful Anniversary & Generates Important Impulses for Future

At the 25th anniversary event the glass industry presented itself in high spirits and top investment shape thereby impressively confirming the position of glasstec as a leading trade fair and premiere platform for the international glass sector. On the four trade fair days from 23 to 26 October more than 42,000 visitors from over 120 countries came to Düsseldorf to convince themselves of the innovative power of this industry. The percentage of guests travelling to Düsseldorf from abroad remains unrivalled in the industry. 1,280 exhibitors from 50 countries showcased their product highlights in nine halls. Exhibitors unanimously reported promising new contacts and concluding good to very good business deals. The favourable situation in the industry was also reflected by the positive atmosphere in the halls.

“glasstec remains the leading international platform for global launches in the glass industry, that the whole glass cosmos follows. The industry works in sync with the two-year cycle of glasstec and gears its innovations to precisely this moment in time. No other trade event can present such a plethora of forward-looking solutions, products and applications. This is also appreciated by the constantly rising proportion of international visitors,” commented Wolfram N. Diener, operative Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf.

The VDMA member companies are also highly satisfied with the fair as a whole. “Many high-level specialist discussions that look likely to lead to orders were held with visitors to the fair. Machine manufacturers were clearly focused on the issues of digitisation and networked production. Digitisation has reached the glass industry,” he said. “Many exhibitors are working intensively at developing future-proof products. And they showcased their solutions at their stands”, confirms Egbert Wenninger, Chairman of the Board of VDMA’s Glass Technology Forum and Chairman of the glasstec Advisory board.

More than 70% of trade visitors travelled to Düsseldorf from abroad – this means the percentage of international guests continues to be very high. The high proportion of executives from top management (more than 70% of visitors come from this decision-making level) underlines the excellent quality of the trade fair. The wide and varied range of products and services is also reflected in the varied conference programme and the special shows. glasstec offers an ideal platform for knowledge transfer and shows all target groups, from craftsmen to architects, from glass processors to manufacturers and from upstream suppliers to the industry to technology providers, all the innovations and visions of tomorrow.

“Glass is a trend and this year’s glasstec has made this perfectly clear again! The industry keeps moving and the current upswing evidences that the millennia-old history of the material that is glass continues with amazing innovations. As the trade association of the glass industry and conceptual sponsor of glasstec we can look back on an exciting trade fair week. It never ceases to inspire me to see glass in all its diverse applications,” says Dr. Johann Overath, Director General of Bundesverband Glasindustrie e.V.

glass technology live and the glasstec conference link theory and practice
The special show glass technology live once again proved the central point of contact for all glasstec visitors presenting itself in a fresh new look for the anniversary event. By extending the team of conceptual partners to include not one but four Technical Universities (Darmstadt, Dresden, Delft and Dortmund) the organisers placed a stronger focus on scientific glass research that put exciting glass products and applications on display. The focal themes staged by glass technology live included interactive façades and display glass, energy and performance, structural glass (solid glass, thin glass and hollow glass) as well as new technologies.

For the first time, the glasstec conference pooled the various conferences at one location under a common umbrella brand. This brought theory closer to what was happening in the halls, at the same time deepening the background knowledge of the experts on the trend topics of the industry and skilfully linking up with the exhibits on display.

Conferences included:
The technology conference function meets glass, which addresses the challenges of, and solutions for, producing and finishing functional glass and functional glass applications, brought together in excess of 100 participants and experts from the fields of mechanical engineering, production and their users over two days.

Under the heading “Perspectives – New Architecture in Glass” the International Architecture Congress introduced to 200 participants the diversity of applications for glass in architecture. Here both the design and functional potential resulting from the innovative use of glass were highlighted.

Current developments and scientific research results in structural glass construction and façade technology were discussed at the scientific conference engineered transparency. In addition to the constructive aspects, contributions here focused on energy efficiency and resource conservation in façade construction. 210 participants attended the event.

Conferences organised by conceptual partners
The topics of glass melting and emissions were dealt with by the partners HVG-DGG (Hüttentechnische Vereinigung der deutschen Glasindustrie e.V. and Deutsche Glastechnische Gesellschaft e.V.). (DGG). For the first time this year, the Bundesverband Glasindustrie e.V. (BV Glas) (Federal Association of the German Glass Industry) addressed the topic of environmental and climate policy in Germany and the EU. (BV Glas). Connected production and new technologies formed the thematic focus of the presentations of the forum organised by the Verband Deutscher Maschinen und Anlagenbauer e.V. (VDMA). For the first time, the new event “Daylight by EuroWindoor” took place. It covered the latest news on legislative frameworks and planning aspects of daylighting in buildings.

START UP-ZONE opens the door to the glass industry
glasstec is the central ideas and contact platform for new business models and connections. The new START-UP-ZONE in Hall 10 offered 15 young, international companies the opportunity to present their ideas and products to an expert audience, make contacts, build networks and meet a large number of decision-makers. Participants from ten countries (Norway, Finland, India, Italy, Switzerland, Lithuania, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Taiwan) took advantage of this opportunity. “In the glass industry start ups find it especially difficult to make contact with companies although these could clearly benefit from innovative technologies. The START UP-ZONE has allowed us to obtain valuable feedback and take concrete steps for installations. This is exactly what the industry needs,” noted Daniel Valenzuela, Business Development Manager at Actyx AG.

Federal Guild Association of the Glazier Trade Shows the Crafts of Tomorrow
This year, the Federal Guild Association of the Glazier Trade presented its vision of the craft to trade visitors. In addition to numerous innovative applications, which will expand the glazier’s product range, the glass schools exhibited their masterpieces. The special show “Handwerk LIVE” (Crafts LIVE) presented the topic “Finishing Glass: from Warehousing to Finished Products”. Visitors from the glass processing trade were able to find out here which requirements, processes and products facilitate the processing and transportation of glass.

“The glass industry once again impressively demonstrated its many facets and its potential in Düsseldorf. Visitors here could experience an innovative craft in Hall 9, as well as a versatile, innovative industry in the other exhibition halls. Even in times of political turbulence and quarrels that cannot be overlooked, we have every reason to look to the future with optimism. The glazier trade does not need any “retrofitting” in order to be able to survive in the future,” said Federal Guild Master Martin Gutmann, President of glasstec 2018 with optimism.

“glasstec Challenge” – New Competition for Young Professionals
Another new highlight on the programme was the “glasstec Challenge”. The three large glass schools from Vilshofen, Hadamar and Rheinbach sent teams of two – consisting of students from their 3rd year of training – to Düsseldorf. Here the students were able to demonstrate their specialist knowledge and skills under competitive conditions. A wide variety of glass products were produced at various hands-on stations. In addition to the quality of the exhibits, the time of implementation, preparation and use of personal protective equipment and workwear was also evaluated. The winners received attractive prizes such as training vouchers and free participation in seminars.

glass art – the Artistic Side to glasstec 2018
The special exhibition “glass art” in Hall 9 showed the artistic side of the glass industry. The spectrum of exhibits showcased by artists from internationally renowned galleries and ranged from glass vessels and sculptural objects to glass painting.

The next glasstec will be held in line with the regular cycle in two years from 20 to 23 October 2020 in Düsseldorf.