Observations from GlassBuild 2022
Now that the dust has settled following the largest annual industry trade show in North America, I wanted to share some notes from the floor at GlassBuild America. I had been to the big show before, but not for several years! This year, GlassBuild featured 386 exhibiting companies and drew more than 8,200 participants. The show drew participants from all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as attendees from Canada and 53 other countries. Since this was my first time there as a member of the FGIA staff, I wanted to share with our members some of my key takeaways.
- Automation and robotics had a large presence on the showroom floor. Whether it was automated fabrication and IG lines, or AI solutions for individual machines or entire manufacturing facilities, the industry is moving towards more automated processes. This is in part due to labor shortages that companies are trying to overcome, but hopefully, this technology will also help attract younger, tech-centric workers to the industry.
- Many companies showed off new products at the show including things like higher performance insulating glass and high-performance spacers and components to help meet ever-increasing thermal performance requirements. I also saw tons of fabrication and handling equipment and software solutions for everything from estimating and bidding to material optimization to improved UI and communication between suppliers, their customers and end users.
- I also got to see new machine technology including aluminum profile processing, new CNC technology, films, new glass coatings and higher thermal performing fenestration solutions. Plus, new product developments such as vinyl colors and textures like architectural bronze, earthtones and black were all on display.
- I noticed a trend in finishing solutions for aluminum extrusion using anodizing to help combat global paint shortages. Anodized aluminum is being offered in a variety of colors outside of traditional clear, bronze, and black.
And finally, a big highlight at the show was the Women in Glass + Fenestration session. It was incredible to see how many women are in our industry, making our workforce more dynamic and diverse! For more coverage on trends and what happened each day of the show, check out this article from US Glass Magazine. Did you go to GlassBuild? Let us know in the comments what you took away from the show!