Vitrum 2005 Opens Today with an Optimistic Start

by Ellen Chilcoat and Charles Cumpston

MILAN, ITALY-Today marks the opening of Vitrum 2005 in Milan, Italy. The 14th international trade fair for machinery, equipment and systems for the processing of flat and hollow glass, glass and finished products for the industry is taking place at the city's fairgrounds and runs until this Saturday. Exhibitors say they are looking forward to the show and expect it to be a considerably stronger show than that of 2003, which took place in June rather than its typical October schedule.

"We are very satisfied," said Renato Gaffo, general manager of GIMAV and Vitrum. "Worldwide exhibitions have been going down, but we have seen an increase." This year there are 438 exhibitors compared to 432 two years ago. This number includes 269 Italian companies, 53 German and 18 from China (and Hong Kong).

As far as the show itself goes, Gaffo says her goal is to see the exhibitors satisfied.

"A lot of people and a lot of business for the exhibitors. Our first goal is to satisfy the exhibitors."

And it seems that only one day into the show, exhibitors are just that.

The presence of U.S. exhibitors, however, is sparse. Among the few exhibiting is Glasstech Inc. Of Perrysburg, Ohio. Jay Molter said that he came to Vitrum directly from India, where he is in the final stages of setting up a new office for the company, which supplies safety glass equipment. He said that while a final decision has not been made yet on the location, he was looking at places in Mombai.

"It is attractive because it is centrally located for the clients that we have in different clients in that country," he explained. Molter also said that he had been interviewing candidates to staff the office, which it plans to have open by the end of the year.

The staff in the Glasstech booth said that the show was being dedicated to the memory of Norman Klatt, the former vice president of sales who passed away on Sunday, September 25.

Ellen Chilcoat is the editor of USGlass magazine. Charles Cumpston is a contributing editor to USGlass magazine.

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