September 01, 2017

What to Watch Out for At GlassBuild 2017

by Erin Johnson

GlassBuild is right around the corner. As a marketer, I look forward to seeing the new and unique ways exhibitors reach customers, suppliers and other associates. And as a fenestration professional, I enjoy learning how colleagues are navigating new challenges and opportunities.

This year’s event may have some major implications. It’s been reported that this year’s show, held in Atlanta, is set to include 459 vendors across more than 180,000 square feet. That’s the biggest show footprint since 2007, according to Molly Grenn, events director for the National Glass Association (NGA) and the Window & Door Dealers Alliance (WDDA).

And indeed, our industry is facing heightened demand along with some unique challenges, and I expect how we’ll collectively move forward as an industry will be topic of discussion at many points this year. Here are some things to look out for this year:

The Labor Shortage.
We know there’s a labor shortage—and it’s time to get proactive. Whether it’s partnering with local trade schools, developing apprenticeship programs, or other forms of outreach, it’s the responsibility of our industry to foster the best and brightest of tomorrow. I expect we’ll hear a lot of discussion around how we’re tackling these challenges throughout the show.
It’s changing how we do business. It’s helping us maximize our labor and do more with less. As more and more manufacturers invest in the technology—be it semi-automated or full, high-speed lines—maintaining a competitive edge becomes a priority. How to do this? I think you can anticipate hearing some new theories.
Vinyl Takes a Stronger Hold.
Vinyl and composite materials are continuing to evolve in both the residential and commercial markets. Composite materials have homeowners considering the more cost-effective option with the same aesthetic benefits compared to traditional wood, and advancements in performance have seen vinyl profiles gain significant new traction in the light commercial and even commercial high-rise markets. As the benefits become clear, and proof of performance is established, don’t think this trend is slowing anytime soon.
The Multi-Generational Workforce.
One in three people in the American workforce is now a millennial, and it has businesses across industries thinking about how to manage this changing dynamic. Employee communications, engagement techniques, and more must account for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. This year’s keynote speech will cover these challenges.
Rethinking the Plant Floor.
Fully automated lines for glass and window manufacturers don’t just help you boost volumes—they come with the opportunity to reimagine what’s possible on your plant floor. Are you maximizing the value of your product line? Utilizing floor space properly? Leveraging software to make better business decisions?

Meanwhile, Quanex has some great things to show at this year’s show. We’re debuting Plant Transformation. We have the resources, technology, capabilities and expertise to unite a range of changing industry dynamics into an actionable, winning strategy for customers. And we can’t wait to show you more.

Check out to learn more about the show, and stop by Booth #1919 while you’re there!

For more information about Quanex visit
Posted: September 01, 2017 by Erin Johnson Filed under: Glassbuild, industry, tradeshows