Fensterbau Growing with Industry Globalization
February 1, 2008
Meetings & Events
Already the world’s largest window and door industry event, Fensterbau/Frontale is getting larger. The 2008 edition, scheduled for April 2-5 at the Nuremberg Messe in Germany, has expanded with the addition of two more halls. The new space is designed to accommodate both its growing international audience and its expanding scope that now includes facades and related architectural products, in addition to windows and doors.
Fensterbau/Frontale is held in conjunction with Holz Handwerk, a woodworking fair, and for the first time, attendance topped 100,000 for the combined events in 2006. With a weak window and door market in Germany in recent years, much of the growth in attendance has come from abroad.
Rising steadily since the fall of the Berlin Wall, international attendance at Fensterbau grew first as more and more Eastern Europeans made their way to the show as window and door industries emerged within those markets. This growth was followed by an influx from China and other Asian countries in recent years.
More than any single product or technology, globalization took center stage at the 2006 show. Not only did it attract more international attendees, it featured a notable increase in exhibitors from outside Germany. For the first time, window manufacturers came from such countries as the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia and Romania, all showing their wares ranging from typical PVC tilt/turns to high-end clad wood products. The growing international scope was also clearly on display in Fensterbau’s first ever Chinese Pavilion, which featured well over a dozen companies. Perhaps a dozen more were scattered around the show’s halls, featuring hardware and a variety of other products.
Whirling dervishes in the booth of one window manufacturer highlighted the steadily growing number of exhibitors from Turkey. Over 30 companies, including several equipment suppliers, window manufacturers and PVC extruders, came to Nuremberg from Turkey in 2006. The roster of exhibitors also included two U.S. companies, with Allmetal and Edgetech making their Fensterbau debuts.
Growing demand for space from window and door manufacturers and suppliers from outside Germany was also given as one of the reason for expanding the size of this year’s event from 12 to 14 halls at Nuremberg’s huge trade fair complex. Representing nearly a 20 percent increase in space, the two additional halls are expected to be filled when Fensterbau opens its doors in April, with organizers already planning for a larger event in 2010.
A prime attraction for many visitors from North America continues to be the variety of window and door production equipment on display. At least three of the show’s halls will be filled with machines for processing wood, vinyl and aluminum, with equipment incorporating robotics and many other features often not seen at North American exhibitions. Companies active in the North American market that will be exhibiting include manufacturers of vinyl welding and corner cleaning equipment, such as Urban, Stürtz, Rotox and Pertici. Suppliers of aluminum cutting and processing equipment include Elumatec, Emmegi, Fom and Tekna.
The show typically features more than two halls of door and window hardware, and organizers note that space among door hardware suppliers is increasing considerably. Again, the list of hardware exhibitors includes many names familiar to North America, including Assa Abloy, GU, KFV, Roto and Winkhaus. One trend evident among these suppliers in recent years at the show has been a steady increase in electronic offerings.
Edgetech will return to Fensterbau this year, and it appears, with names like Pilkington and Saint Gobain on this year’s list of exhibitors, that the show will begin to feature more exhibitors involved specifically in glass and insulating glass. Also noteworthy, Aquasurtech OEM, the Canadian manufacturer of paints for vinyl, will be making its debut the international show.
Altogether, this year’s show will feature about 1,200 exhibitors. In addition to the show itself, the event will feature an international forum on windows and envelope systems focusing on the topics of sustainability, energy efficiency and CO2 reduction. Complementing these activities, IFT Rosenheim, one of Germany’s leading research organizations focusing on window technologies, is organizing a display that will provide more technical background and real-life examples of products that address climate change concerns.
More information about Fensterbau/Frontale is available at www.ask-frontale.de. The new Web site features a complete list of exhibitors, information on new products and other tools and resources for attendees to optimize their visit. Information is also available the Concord Expo Group, the show’s North American representative, at 978/456-9673.