All in a Day’s Work

Another glasstec has come and gone, and by all accounts, it did not disappoint. Keeping in mind the mega-show encompasses nine halls, each roughly equal to one U.S. convention center exhibition area, and you start to get an idea how big this show is. glasstec covers all facets of the glass industry, from arts and crafts to bottling and of course … architectural glass. There was so much to see, it’s tough for me to figure out where to begin, but here goes … a look back at my week at glasstec.

Robotics were a hit: A few years ago there were some machinery companies featuring robotic equipment. This year a LOT of companies showcased this equipment. As several manufacturers I spoke with explained, more and more fabricators are investing in this equipment, and a lot of that is driven by the need for labor. Robotics can take on tasks such as loading and unloading, and do so safely and efficiently. That means a big decrease in the chance of injury, as well as boost in production.

Many exhibitors including CMS featured robotic innovations during the show.

Glass gets playful: You never know what you’ll find when walking through the glass technology live area. This year brought a serious wow factor in the way of some fun creations. Eckersley O’Callaghan worked with sedak to create a glass see-saw that was approximately 393 inches long and weighed 1.3 tons. It was made with 11 layers of low-iron laminated glass bonded with SentryGlas from Kuraray.

The glass seesaw grabbed a lot of attention at glasstec.

Swing set spectacular: A few more steps through glass technology live brought you to a glass swing set. Researchers from BK Bouwkunde TU Delft developed a functioning structural glass swing, together with Arup, Schott, and RAMLAB. The structure was created from glass struts, and each strut was composed of five rods. 3D printed steel nodes are used to connect the glass struts.

Just hanging around: Since we’re glass people we don’t need to be convinced that glass is one tough material. But when I got a look at “Gravity,” I have to say, it was a bit of a mind-blower. The display featured a car weighing 1.5 tons, standing upside down and hanging only on two super-thin glass laminates. The project was a collaboration between Define Engineers, Carpenter | Lowings and seele. It was also constructed using super-high strength and crystal clear structural bonding technologies from Dow. The car was suspended from the two 2- by 2-mm laminated glass panels and swung just above the floor.

The “Gravity” displayed offered a look at just how strong glass can be.

Glass gets fit: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell me if I’m doing this squat the right way.” That might sound a little crazy, but the SOLOS Mirror measures your movements without having to wear sensors. The mirror provides a visual explanation of how to do the exercise and then recognizes and corrects the mistakes in real time. The feedback is displayed on the mirror surface via visual elements during training.

Assistant editor Jordan Scott squeezes in a workout before the show starts.

There is so much to see at glasstec and I’ve barely scratched the surface here. You can catch more of our show coverage in our videos below.

Glasstec 2018 Opens in Dusseldorf

Day two at glastec

Spotlight on Automation and Innovation

October Newscast

If you were at glasstec I’d love to hear about your favorite displays. Share a comment below or email me at