Report from GlassBuild America in Las Vegas

GlassBuild America 2016 EntranceOn October 19-21, key members of the Dynamic Closures team checked out the latest in the door and window industry at GlassBuild America 2016.

This is easily the biggest yearly glass manufacturing conference on the continent. Almost 9,000 attendees represented more than 430 exhibiting companies from 73 countries. There were also over 14 hours of lectures and other educational content.

Production Engineering Manager, Mike Svenson, and yours truly (Jack Roy, Sales Manager) were there to see what other industry leaders were doing in terms of production automation and production development. We’re always looking for more efficiencies and higher quality within our manufacturing process. This enables us not only to make new and better products, but also to provide them to our customers faster and for a lower price point.

GlassBuild America 2016 Conference Floor

There were hundreds of amazing new tools, systems, and material applications to take in. Many of the residential applications are highlighted in this video:

What We Loved at GlassBuild

Some of our favourites included several products and processes we can see offering to our clients.

Printed Glass Advancements

The big news in printed glass is the incredible level of detail that can be achieved with the new machinery. It can also happen much faster than ever before.

Laser Etched Glass

Again, the speed and level of detail is better than ever, especially the 3-D photo printing from Cerion Laser.

We can see a future where company logos are etched across security doors for added after-hours brand recognition. We see this being more for offices than stores – with stores, there is a window-shopping opportunity that you wouldn’t want to interfere with, so maximum transparency is often the goal.

Realistic Wood Grain-Printed Aluminum

Where the look of wood is desired without its natural vulnerabilities to moisture, UV, insects etc., the new printed aluminum offers an attractive solution. The Decoral Systems booth walked us through their new process:

They are able to create other effects using this process, including a granite look, and a graffiti-proof finish.

New Handles, Locks and Hinge Hardware

Many architects and designers are finding new ways to conceal hardware, or provide touch-activated locking. When locks and hardware were visible, finishes were generally matte black with squared off lines – gone are the silver-toned rounded forms we’ve seen in the past few years. We’re definitely looking at adapting some of these ideas for our own clients, for example the Slim Line Perforated model stocked in a black anodized finish.

Production Efficiencies

For us, one of the most important aspects of the conference was seeing advancements in production line technology.

In particular, FOM Industry and Elumatec working and cutting line saws impressed us, as well as their mitring and compounding machinery.

Safer Glass Handling During Construction

Architects, construction companies and glaziers will be very excited about some new advancements related to cladding and windows, and other glass uses.

Casadei Industria has an incredible machine that mills and bends composite paneling for exterior cladding. This machine eliminates hours of painstaking labor normally required to mill and bend.

Walker Textures showcased their incredible variety of glasses that solve any architectural dilemma, including acid etched glass and mirror, anti-slip glass, low-E coated acid etched glass, bird-friendly glass, etc.

In the video below (starting at (4:03), you can see a new “Smart Lift” glass handler machine from Great Lakes Lifting that is able to lift, position and hold today’s heavier types of glass without injury to valuable employees.

Ideas Fuelling Innovation

Overall we found an incredible amount of inspiration at GlassBuild, and are excited by the new ideas and possibilities. Stay tuned for announcements of how we’ll be putting these into practice in the future.

Architects and designers should attend, if they can, to ensure they’re on top of the latest advances in glass doors, windows and walls for both residential and commercial architecture. From the latest updates in curtain walls to the smallest invisible window hinge, you’ll find it at GlassBuild.

More to Explore

If you need to catch up with the range of creative possibilities in security door design, why not check out our free AIA-accredited course?

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