glasstec Is Global King
September 28, 2010

In today's unsettled markets, technology is king. Countries around the world are having their own internal economic problems, as well as exporting problems to other countries around the globe, which are in similar domestic conditions. So when the global architectural glass community meets at glasstec, what wins out is the best and the brightest--new technologies that make the glass itself, as well as its production, better and more efficient and productive.

On the first day of the show in Düsseldorf, we examined the question of domestic market strength and exports. And what country comes immediately to mind on those two subjects? China. Chinese exhibitors have been a presence at glasstec for the past decade, and this year there seems to be even more than in the past.

Part of the reason for this is the question of domestic consumption and exports, according to a number of Chinese exhibitors™/USGlass magazine spoke with.

"Business is better in China than any place else in the world," states Rita Jiang, general manager assistant for international sales at South Glass Technology Co. Ltd., Foshan, Guangdong. Globally, adds the company's general manager Canming Zhou, more people are looking to China for equipment.

Michael Spellman with IGE Solutions Inc. in Jupiter, Fla., says that the Chinese domestic market is stronger than ever.

"It is so strong that companies do not need to go outside China, but those companies that have a broader view set aside a certain percentage of their production for the United States and Europe,” he explains. However, he adds that looking at Chinese equipment is akin to finding a 'diamond in the rough.' "So much equipment is being built in China that it is hard to find the companies that are making equipment that performs to European standards," he states.

Indeed, in talking about this global demand, the subject of quality comes up very quickly. Juha Karisola, director sales and marketing for Glassrobots, the Finnish glass processing equipment supplier, points out that the Chinese are not competitive in the high-convection furnace market.

Mark Xing, sales manager of America for North Glass, Shanghai, points out that his company's low-E coating machinery is manufactured primarily for the Chinese market. "There is a need for the low-E products in China, but the market is not as large as it should be because of the economic situation," he explains.

However, in general economic terms, since last September the Chinese economy has continued increasing while the rest of the world has not, points out Jiang of South Tech. This has shown up in the increased number of Chinese companies attending glasstec, as well as exhibiting at the every-other-year-show in Düsseldorf, adds Karisola.

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