glasstec 2008 “extremely successful” despite economic climate

The theme of “Glass and Energy” was high on the agenda at the 20th glasstec in Dsseldorf which closed on 25 October 2008. Over 1,300 exhibitors from throughout the world presented their innovations in…

The theme of “Glass and Energy” was high on the agenda at the 20th glasstec in Dsseldorf which closed on 25 October 2008. Over 1,300 exhibitors from throughout the world presented their innovations in the fields of glass manufacturing, machinery and equipment construction as well as the glazier trade. For the first time glasstec occupied in excess of 73,000 square meters of net exhibition space. Commenting on the results, Joachim Schfer, managing director of Messe Dsseldorf GmbH, said: “Despite the tough economic situation glasstec 2008 was extremely successful for all parties involved. Glass boasts incredibly innovative potential – one leveraged by producers, finishers and machinery manufacturers here in an exemplary manner. The solar theme, in particular, provided this year“s glasstec with fresh momentum.” About 55.000 visitors, a slight increase on the the previous edition, attended the world“s most important trade fair for the glass sector. Fifty-eight percent of visitors came from outside Germany. As the most important countries of origin, France, Italy and the USA once again posted increases in their attendance figures. Over half the visitors were from top management. Exhibitors also praised the event: “For us glasstec this year was more successful than ever. It has fully lived up to its reputation of being the glass sector“s foremost trade fair throughout the world and proved to be a meeting point for visitors from around the globe. Many first-time customers signed important contracts on site where we installed a fully networked, automatic manufacturing unit at the stand,” said Manfred Lesiak, manager marketing & event at Lisec. Apart from solar technologies, top subjects covered by glasstec 2008 included the latest finishing and treatment technologies, innovations for technical glass, as well as energy-efficient glass products and applications. Many solutions were launched and presented to the public for the first time at glasstec 2008, such as an anti-microbial glass that kills up to 99.9% of all bacteria, making it ideal for use in hospitals or nursing homes. For architects these new types of functional glass give greater scope for creativity. Exhibits presented included glass which can be switched from transparent to frosted at the touch of a button, making shutters redundant. In the solar sector innovations such as thin-film modules were on display offering a promising alternative to conventional silicon-based solar cells with their films measuring as little as a few thousandths of a millimetre thick. Siegfried Glaser, chairman of the glasstec exhibitors“ advisory board, summarised the overall verdict of the trade fair: “There are happy faces of both exhibitors and visitors to be seen everywhere. The industry can report pleasing orders in the pipeline which means we can look to the future with optimism despite the financial crisis”. The “glass technology live” Special Show proved to be a major attraction for visitors. The exhibition and accompanying symposium provided insights into the future of glass technology. Its organiser, Professor Stephan Behling, senior partner at Foster and Partners, and his team from the Institute for Building Construction at Stuttgart University compiled a spectacular array of current product developments, architectural projects and tomorrow“s technologies. The main attraction of the Special Show was a bent bridge of cold-formed glass with a thickness of just 3.7 centimetres and a carrying capacity of seven tons. In addition, on 24 October 2008, The Architecture Congress focused on the topic “Transparency! Glass and Faade Technology” and internationally renowned architects, structural engineers, climate engineers and faade planners such as Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote Architecture in New York presented their latest projects. The next edition of glasstec will be held in Dsseldorf from 28 September to 2 October 2010.