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USGNN Original StoryArrivederci, Milano

Today, Saturday, is the final day of Vitrum 2007. A lot of people have eaten many platefuls of good pasta, not to mention the parma ham, and now comes time to assess the event. How successful was it? Following are random comments and thoughts gathered from the four halls at the Fiera in Milan.

Merja Gronlund, executive assistant at Glassrobots, the Finish safety glass equipment supplier, said that the show was a good chance to see customers. She also said that the United States market remains a good one for the company. “Solar control glass continues to drive this market segment,” said Gronlund. “There is also a lot happening in the Middle East as well,” she added.

John Baxter, who heads up marketing and sales for  the U.S. company Glasstech, the safety glass equipment manufacturer, reported that traffic had been so brisk in the afternoon of the second day that he could have stayed in the booth past the 6:30 p.m. closing time.

Cinzia Schiatti, who handles marketing for Italian glass fabrication equipment supplier Schiatti Angelo, said Vitrum had been successful and that the work had just begun. “We have many good prospects which have to followed up on,” she said.

Tommi Salenius, vice president marketing and business development for Dip Tech, the Israeli company that has a much viewed but not yet purchased in the United States digital printer, said, “The decorative market continues to move forward in North America. Companies such as Goldray are using decorative glass as their business plan and as they succeed others will see the potential of pursuing this market. He said that he expects to sell a unit in North America this year and, based on interest, may well be in Mexico as “we are talking with a lot of companies there,” he said.

There was a definite but low key Chinese presence at Vitrum. Flavio Schonholz, FDS Glass Corp., Miramar, Fla., was at Vitrum in the North Glass booth, which he represents in South America. He pointed out that because many South Americans are of Italian heritage, they come to Vitrum to visit the show as well as family. This allowed him to see his customers at the Fiera. “It has been a good show,” he said. “North Glass is a known name and we are doing well.”

Vitrum retains its Italian style and remains the home show for Italian glass fabrication equipment suppliers.

Laminating glass production equipment was a strong presence at the show, as was tempering and insulating glass equipment. Paint seems to be gaining in its competition with sandblasting for making decorative glasses. The show floor had less sandblasting equipment than years ago and more paint and related companies.

There was less traditional glass fabricating equipment—edgers, bevelers, etc.—but perhaps that segment of the market has shifted to the Far East. The success of the vacuum technology section shows that the market changes but there are always opportunities.

Arrivederci, Milano until October 28-31, 2009 when the next Vitrum will be held at the Fieramilano.

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