September 14, 2017

GlassBuild 2017: Day 2 Recap

by Erin Johnson

The second day of GlassBuild 2017 saw a significant increase in foot traffic as additional travelers arrived in Atlanta—great news for all gathered here.

As noted in yesterday’s recap, there has been plenty to take in as fenestration professionals continue seeking new ways to build efficiency into their business. During today’s extended show hours, with an increase in activity, I think there is a real sense of urgency among attendees. People are here to make investments in their business. Because in today’s market environment, doing so isn’t optional.

Here are some other things I observed on Day 2:

Service—beyond the product—is a necessity. As we see continued investment in automation and other technology, we’re seeing continuous changes in how floor operations work. And with those changes comes the need for expertise in navigating a wide range of technical, everyday needs to get the most from new technologies.

Because if you’re buying a new piece of automated equipment, you probably aren’t already an expert in how that piece of equipment operates. What kind of regular maintenance is required? How do I know if this equipment is operating at peak efficiency? Throughout the show, we’ve seen an emphasis on why service capabilities are an essential consideration in choosing suppliers. Building those new, business-driving efficiencies into your operations requires the right knowledge to make it a reality.

Investment scalability. Though some of the most eye-catching booths are running full-scale demonstrations of high-speed automated lines, that magnitude of investment simply doesn’t work for everyone’s business.

Many purchasers are looking for capital investment that works for their needs and their business, with the ability to build upon those investments in the near and long term. Suppliers need to deliver. The manufacturing plant of the future looks different from one organization to the next. Certain automated processes might make sense in one plant, but not another. When suppliers and customers work together to solve problems and challenges both have plenty to gain under current market conditions.

Door differentiation. Vinyl profiles have continued to make headway in light-commercial applications for windows and doors, and we’ve seen a continued interest in those possibilities at this year’s show.

But what’s new for PVC options on the residential side? One big thing to note is the evolution of PVC door options, in a range of new and different configurations, as consumers at the upper end of the market seek to make an aesthetic splash. Many of these options were on full display. Tilt and slide, multi-track/panel, floor-to-ceiling doors and more.

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Posted: September 14, 2017 by Erin Johnson Filed under: Glassbuild