GlassBuild America Heads to Atlanta

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 A variety of equipment for fabricating glass, vinyl and aluminum will be at GlassBuild in Atlanta.
 

Window and door manufacturers, enjoying a rebound in the new construction and remodeling/replacement markets, are expected to make their way to Atlanta this fall for what will be a busy GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo. Organizers predict more than 7,000 industry professionals will be at this year’s show, scheduled for September 10-12 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

“We’re very excited about our 2013 event as we’ve lined up an incredible and innovative floor that will allow our attendees to gain knowledge, network and ultimately grow their businesses,” says Denise Sheehan, VP of industry events for the National Glass Association, the show's organizer (and publisher of Window & Door).  Nearly 280 exhibitors were signed up as of press time, with more than 320 expected to be on the floor in Atlanta, she notes.

“We’re expecting a strong turnout from window and door manufacturers,” she continues. “Those involved in the new construction side of the business have already seen a rebound in sales, and the replacement and remodeling market is now gaining momentum as well.”

Exhibitor Expectations
Exhibitors are optimistic about this year's event as well. "As the economy is improving and fabricators are increasing investments in their business, we expect that the show will be very busy and beneficial," says David Jacobson, director of marketing and innovation at Deceuninck North America. "We expect that fabricators and manufacturers will be looking for innovative solutions in energy efficient window systems, improved aesthetic options, and service solutions to improve their business."

"At last year’s GlassBuild, there was a general feeling of optimism from our customers and we expect that to continue," says Mike Hovan, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Quanex Building Products. "The market is slowly continuing to rebound, especially for companies who’ve focused on developing high-performance products that meet today’s performance targets and tomorrow’s expected requirements. At GlassBuild and beyond, companies will be seeking the latest energy-saving technologies to differentiate themselves in the competitive landscape."

"We’re energized and eager to showcase our product lines at GlassBuild 2013," says Kimberly Kenzevich, director of sales and marketing, fenestration, for the Amesbury Group. "The industry is increasingly confident, demonstrating positive signs over the past several years. We would hope these signs will lead to a successful show in Atlanta. Our customers tell us they are looking for innovation and energy enhancements to upgrade existing product lines or to differentiate new products in development."

"Our expectations are for the show attendance to be higher than the past couple of years. The economy seems to be improving and more people are remodeling and building again," says Mark Back, director of operations for Diversified Lineal Systems, a new supplier of fiberglass window and door products that will be making its GlassBuild debut in Atlanta. "It’s a great time to be launching new products to the industry."

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Vinyl extruders focused on new finish options and higher performance levels at last year's show in Las Vegas..
 

Also expecting higher attendance than last year is Alan DeMello, president of Ultrafab Inc. "Atlanta is more cost effective for our customers in the East and the Southeast, so we expect a solid turnout from that geographic area," he says. "We are also expecting that attendees will be looking for components that improve the performance of their fenestration products to meet the new or revised standards they are facing."

Equipment suppliers are also optimistic for the event, as they expect increased demand from window and door manufacturers. "People are looking for equipment to improve their quality, launch new products or reduce their costs," says Jessica Erdman, marketing manager at Erdman Automation Corp. "Despite higher unemployment the labor market continues to be difficult so manufacturers are looking for ways to automate while staying on a budget."

Industry Developments
“Window and door manufacturers face continued demands to upgrade the performance of their products as well," Sheehan notes, "and Glassbuild America remains the top venue for them to review new component options.”  Last year, many exhibitors focused on products that help manufacturers reach the new more stringent Energy Star guidelines, while others focused on components designed to meet even higher standards, such as R-5 and passive house demands.

"Customers continue to look for cost-effective ways to improve performance and, in some cases, achieve Energy Star Most Efficient Windows status," agrees Quanex's Hovan. "To accomplish this, they are looking for holistic packages that help them achieve the performance numbers they require. For the best results, packages should include a combination of vinyl, cellular vinyl, vinyl composite or other composite materials, as well as high-performance insulating glass components, such as glass, warm edge spacers, sealants and insulating gasses. The latest and greatest in all of these categories will be on display at GlassBuild America, so anyone looking to improve performance shouldn’t miss the opportunity to participate."

Two other industry trends evident at last year's show in Las Vegas are also predicted to be evident in Atlanta.  The first is the introduction of new color and finish options for vinyl windows.  Suppliers of laminates and paints, as well as vinyl window extruders, are all expected to showcase a variety of new offerings, many designed to make vinyl windows and doors more appealing to the commercial market. 

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 Several equipment suppliers are planning to demonstrate new machines this year.
 

The increasing popularity orf wide-opening door systems is also expected to be evident in Atlanta.  Last year, suppliers of lift-and-slide and bi-folding doors and hardware were in Las Vegas featuring a variety of multi-panel systems and several are expected to be at this year's event as well.

"Large doors seem to be the trend right now, as well as unique operator types, says Steve Dillon, marketing manager for Veka Inc., which plans to showcase a variety of door systems at this year's event. He expects manufacturers to come looking for innovation, noting "the same old vanilla window doesn't cut it."

Traditionally, exhibitors bring more window and door equipment when GlassBuild America is held in Altanta. That is true this year, with suppliers such as Emmegi, Elumatec, Fom, Joseph Machine, Pro-Line, Rotox, St├╝rtz and Urban bringing equipment for fabricating vinyl and aluminum.  Glass and IG processing equipemnt will be featured by Billco, Bystronic, Erdman  and Lisec, among others. 

A list of exhibitors can be found on the GlassBuild America website.  A special section of WindowandDoor.com provides a comprehensive preview of window and door industry products on display in Atlanta.

Dealers Forum
In addition to the trade show, GlassBuild America will feature a variety of educational opportunities, including the fourth annual Window & Door Dealers Forum, organized by the Window & Door Dealers Alliance. In addition to the WDDA event, scheduled for Monday, September 9, GlassBuild America will also host the NGA Glazing Executives Forum and a number of seminars.

Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Hanley-Wood and senior vice president, national research and BPM channel for Metrostudy, is teaming up with Brett Boyum, director of marketing at Marvin Windows & Doors, to offer a state-of-the-industry presentation to kick off the WDDA forum. Also featured is Stephen Simpliciano, VP of business development for the AGI-Goldratt Institute, who will be discussing the theory of constraints. 

 
WDDA's Dealer Forum last year featured several interactive  presentations, as well as break-out sessions enabling dealers to learn from each other. 
 

The event will also include a number of interactive break-out sessions and will conclude with a panel discussion on Internet lead generation programs moderated by Tom Higgins of Superior Products, a Colorado-based home improvement dealer.   

“This is my second year as a host for the WDDA Forum,” states Rick Jones, an industry consultant. “The WDDA Advisory Committee, made up of dealer member volunteers, works  to assemble speakers and topics that are important not only to our members, but to many dealers who attend the forum each year. Last year we had a very large attendance of dealers and associates from across the country and several from countries outside the United States. We covered many topics of interest, including several national speakers.”

“At the past forums, the presentations were extremely educational, but what may be most valuable this year is the opportunity to network with peers and share ideas in the breakout sessions," notes Jim Gandorf, WDDA's VP. "The sessions will be moderated by industry leaders, but the real goal of each session is to have attendees interact and share their own knowledge and experience on the topics with each other.”

"Early indications are we will see attendance increase again this year," Jones adds. "I urge dealers of windows, doors, siding and home improvement companies to register early to have a seat. We will be covering topics from marketing, to selling, to installation at the dealer level; plus several national speakers to help us improve our businesses."

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Scheduled for September 10, the Glazing Executives Forum focuses on the commercial and architectural markets, and will feature an economic update, a state-of-the-industry panel discussion and structured roundtable discussions on such topics as making a bid stand out, liability and contract issues, improving project costs, finding and keeping good installers, and codes. Seminar sessions, scheduled for September 11, include a look at trends and technologies in decorative glass, a presentation on the latest in marketing and an overview of legal issues facing the glass and window industries.

GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo, will take place September 10-12 at the Georgia World Congress Center. The trade show will run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday.  In addition to the trade show, forums and seminars, the event will feature a welcome reception at the convention center on the opening night of the show. 

Designed to provide a single venue for the glass fabrication, architectural glass, and window and door industries, the all-encompassing event is organized by the National Glass Association, the Window & Door Dealers Alliance and sponsored by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, Glass Association of North America and Bath Enclosure Manufacturers Association. More information about the exhibition, including details on hotels, registration, seminar content and exhibitors, as well as a floor plan and exhibitor information is available at www.glassbuildamerica.com.