IG Market Worldwide: Up or Down?October 25th, 2012 by Editor
Does insulating glass (IG) production remain strong around the world? The logical place to ask this question is at glasstec in Dusseldorf. After all, Lisec, the Austrian IG machinery supplier, has the largest booth at glasstec this year. So is this a sign that the segment is strong?
Manfred Lesiak, the company’s marketing and event manager, explains that in Europe the trend is toward triple-glazing. “Lowe’s is now in the European market, and it is promoting energy efficiency, and this is helping the triple-glazing market,” says Lesiak. However, more broadly around the globe, cost is holding production down. “For example in Brazil they are building and using lots of glass, but it is not IG,” say Lesiak. “And Brazil is not a third world country. In developing countries, it is difficult. There is less emphasis on IG.” He adds, “But you can’t forget China and there it is growing for sure.”
Klaus Puschmann, manager product management for Bystronic Lenhardt in Neuhausen-Hamberg, Germany, agrees with Lisec’s Lesiak about triple-glazing. “In Germany it is a constant market, but triple-lite glass is growing dramatically,” Puschmann says.
Lisec is showing a number of innovations itself including a crane loading system. “We have a new way of transferring the glass,” Lesiak explains. “When the unit is going back to the pick-up position there is a time saving because it travels diagonally.”
So what does it take to fill the largest space at glasstec? Lesiak says that the company has set up the equivalent of two factories in its booth if you consider all the machines that are in it. “We had 40 trucks just to bring in the machinery,” he explains. “I have it set up in two U-shaped configurations, and it is an excellent use of the space.”
Charles Cumpston is contributing editor for USGlass magazine, DWM’s sister publication.