Sunday, October 16, 2016

It's All About GlassBuild

Since a major majority of the industry will be there in one form or fashion I am dedicating this entire post to GlassBuild America.  Obviously I am heavily involved with the show.  Those of you who go, know I’m running around the floor, camera in hand, wearing a bright yellow vest looking like I just left an earlier post of parking cars or landing planes.  So first and foremost if you are a reader of this blog, please feel free to stop me to say Hi.  I’d love to meet you and say hi!

As for the show itself, this year is lining up to be off the charts on several levels.  First off do yourself a favor and download the GlassBuild Amercia App.  That and all of the things I will cover below can be found by clicking HERE.

--  Major first key of this show for me?  They’ll be more than 400 exhibitors from all over the world.  If you are not looking to improve yourself or your business by adding or upgrading products and services, you’re missing out.  As I have been planning my route around the show I am blown away at the amount of diverse options that can be seen. 

--  Next is the education- between the forums and the incredible Express Learning, there is plenty to get your arms around.  On the Express Learning, the schedule was slimmed out a bit so you can have time to walk the floor and network and still make sure you are catching plenty of free educational sessions.  One session that I find fascinating is the “Cyber Security on the Plant Floor” – we are in a new world and with all the automation I keep harping on here comes the opportunity for bad guys to disrupt.  This will be neat to hear about. 

--  Wait until you see the new!  It will revolutionize training as we know it and it the re-launch of this program makes it debut at the show.  I was lucky enough to see a sneak preview and this program is absolutely off the charts awesome.  The program features some seriously important collaboration with heavy hitters out there too- so the training you get will have a longer range effect than you may realize.  Sorry for being cryptic overall, I don’t want to blow the surprise of the launch.  The official kick off is at Noon on Thursday, so if you care at all about training and growth (and you should) you will want to be at booth 314 for this and learn more about throughout the event.

--  Networking.  This is my favorite aspect of the show and one that is truly the key of the event.  Pre-registration was up 27% over last year as of 2 weeks ago.  So between that and so many exhibitors on the floor, they’ll be no lack of opportunity to meet with people, renew and expand relationships and grow your personal and company brand.  Too many times the people who may not be fans of this show point out that some of the bigger companies do not exhibit anymore.  (Though plenty big ones still do like Guardian, CRL, Quanex, PPG/Vitro and many more) It is true that some companies may feel like they don’t need to exhibit.  As a marketing and communication strategy professional I understand and respect the various reasons they have for not exhibiting.  However those companies that DON’T exhibit are still sending multiple people to the show to work/walk it.  Why?  Because they hit the floor and they network as they know so many in the industry ARE THERE.  And while they may miss out on the potential business gain by having an exhibit, they are still making sure they are involved.  So at the end of the day, everyone that has an impact on the industry, or wants to have an impact on the industry is there… in one way or another.  AND THAT'S what makes this show so important and so good.

--  So there you go… my passion pitch and preview of the week ahead.  It really should be a great one.  Next week I’ll recap it with my standard of best exhibits seen, those folks who I was fortunate enough to run into, those I missed and much, much more.   I hope to see you there!


--  Not sure if you saw this clip from Jeopardy and the fall out- but very odd and harsh from Al Trebek. 

Finally a drone used for something worthwhile!!


As I have said before I will not watch the debates.  But this video adding music to it was too hilarious not to watch and post!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Automation and Glazing

When it comes to automation, one area of our industry that has taken advantage of it are the fabricators.  Years ago those companies who put in an automated IG line had some sort of halo effect- they were above and beyond.  Now it’s commonplace.  And the next steps of automation continue with advanced robotics.   Especially with many of the exhibits I saw at glasstec and figure to see at GlassBuild America- more and more fabrication plants are becoming more reliant on the robotic/automated side of things.  But what about the glazier?  Is installing framing and glass robot-proof?  I have to think it is.  Obviously I am talking about field fab and install and not unitized.  So does that mean that unitizing is going to keep along the growth path and become a majority of the style of material installed?  I am curious on what the glazing community thinks on that and will be one of the questions I’ll be asking when I see everyone in a few weeks in Las Vegas.  If you want to chime in ahead of time on automation, unitized, and the glazier- please drop me a line.


--  My friend Gary Tongco of FreMarq Innovations sent me this excellent article on the continued growth of green and sustainable projects.   Many companies like Gary’s truly get it with the focus on advanced performance and I think the days of just having only “everyday” sorts of products are waning.

--  The Vitro acquisition of PPG went official last week.  I’m interested to monitor the next steps for the new Vitro Architectural Glass. Obviously Vitro announcing a jumbo coater is surely a signal of some serious desire to grow the space.

--  I did have to laugh when I saw the Pittsburgh Penguins arena is changing its name from Consol Energy Center to PPG Paints Arena.  PPG PAINTS.  I guess they had to make sure the word PAINTS got in there in case one of us lowly glass people got confused eh?  Funny thing is reading many of the message boards; many in the real world have no idea PPG is not in the glass space anymore.  So they were commenting like crazy on why the word “paints” was so dominant.  Example comment:
“What about the glass… doesn’t PPG stand for “Pittsburgh Plate Glass?”   I guess the commenters are not reading my blog eh?

--  Glass Magazine is the official media partner of this week’s Fa├žade Tectonics Institute World Congress.  The agenda looks outstanding and the show is promoting itself as one that goes deep into the info and not just a place for the “starchitect.”  Unfortunately I won’t be there in person but knowing between Glass Magazine’s awesome twitter feed and that of John Wheaton (who I saw on twitter is attending) I am positive I will at least get as much flavor as possible.  Events like this one can serve a great purpose in our industry for providing significant high level insight that is needed for us to keep pushing the envelope further.

--  Last this week… a Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the awesome country of Canada.  Hope everyone enjoys with their family and friends and can give thanks to all we are so fortunate to have!


Tremendous article on the real cost of EpiPens and ideas that could reduce it (but the owner never will.) It’s insane how the drug companies have such a free pass in our world.  (And on a side note, I am nervously waiting to see if my insurance is renewed for next year and at what increase… another depressing part of life)

So this High School team should really play up a division or two.  The fact that hasn’t been done is all on the area admin’s sound asleep at the wheel.

A link to some seriously unhealthy foods… like a sandwich with 100 strips of bacon on it… and more…


When Shep Smith decides to go waaaay overboard with his advice…  I think just advising to get evacuate would do…

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Q4 Is Here

The last quarter of the year is now upon us as time simply keeps on flying. For some it’s been a tremendous year to date and the obvious desire stands to finish it out strong. For some the 4th quarter is a chance to make up on some lost ground and make 2016 better than what it was looking like a few months ago. The good news for both parties is current confidence in our markets remains high. The only potential bad news is in some areas the release of work from backlog to actual order continues to be delayed resulting in some uneven expectations. In the end this quarter will end an era- the last of the current administration in power in the United States. Q1 of 2017 will start a new time and we’ll see how that goes…


--  But in thinking about next year, the news from an economic forecasting standpoint is positive. Though this week we did get mixed results, the overall looks promising. You just always have to take some of these indexes with a grain of salt because so much can change, quickly. The positive is absolutely the non-residential building starts. The August results were the 2nd highest month since early 2008. So starts at that level right now surely will be a good thing for our industry and when we get to work in 2017.

--  On the flip side the Architectural Billings Index did trend down last month, only the 2nd time in 2016 for that. None of the analysts seem worried about the negative result, and I am not either at this point as all of the metrics are still healthy. But we’ll continue to watch to see if there’s any cracks in the foundation.

--  One of the biggest parts of GlassBuild America this year is the re-launch of the The need for education and training in our industry is massive and this program is going to be an incredible resource for that. The new MyGlassClass features an updated roster of comprehensive, interactive online courses specifically designed to meet the training needs of contract glaziers, full-service glass companies and glass fabricators. Believe me you will love it. When you are at the show they’ll be ample opportunity for you to check it out for yourself. Please make some time to do so…

--  GlassBuild America is October 19-21 in Las Vegas. The buzz ahead of this event is off the charts….

--  MUST READ article of the week… folks this one is an amazing and will get your blood boiling a little bit for sure… especially when it comes to the tremendous waste of money that goes into running a political campaign. It is an inside look at the political consultant and basically the huge amounts of cash squandered with no ROI measurements or angle of actual proof of performance ever in sight. Seriously one of the best pieces I have read this year.

--  Last this week… and with so many of us headed to Vegas in a few weeks… I present to you the release of the Nevada casino August winnings…. Take a look at the last one… for the casinos those pennies are obviously adding up!!!

   Blackjack $81.19M
   Craps $26.47M
   Roulette $25.42M
   Baccarat $73.65M
   Sports $1.93M
   Penny slots $257.04M

LINKS of the WEEK 

Technology is awesome except when it isn’t… like in the case of Siri being able to unlock your front door.  

One of my best friends is a world-class soccer manager. Would love to know his thoughts on this… 43-0 game… in soccer???

This computer is epic. A Commodore 64 still working great more than 25 years since it started… wow!

VIDEO of the WEEK 

 I am not watching the “real” debates. But I am enjoying South Park’s version of them.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

glasstec 2016 recap

The 2016 glasstec show is now in the books. It was an incredible experience and it did surpass 2014 on many levels.  So here's my take on the products, equipment, people, and scene from Germany.

Glass and glazing product wise the push at decorative and colors is still a driver.  There was a ton on the floor.  Also impressed by the anti reflective options.  That material is getting so clear, it's really invisible.  There were a handful of energy related products, I really liked a product called Light Glass that could switch from clear, to opaque, and then even to a light that could illuminate the room.  I also was really impressed by Glaze Alarm. This was a product a I saw 2 years ago here and it advanced nicely.  It has the potential to change the market when it comes to security systems for residential and commercial applications.  Plus it's inventor, George Schaar is easily one of the nicest fellows I've ever met.

Equipment wise this show always gets you going.  I love the automation advancements, and the overall improvements that the manufacturers keep making on their machines.  My favorite was one I would've missed but thankfully Nick Sciola of Hartung told me to check it out.  It was the Grezenbach guided vehicles for moving packaged glass.  These were automated vehicles and, forklifts and they were mesmerizing to me.  It's just a matter of time to see these in plants in North America- especially in job shop fabricators.

Exhibit wise, the marketing folks from around the world had bigger budgets to play with and really used some healthy creativity too.  I liked Glaston doing a remote tempering session.  A crowd of folks at the Glaston booth watching a big screen of tempering in Finland.  Evidently others have done this but this was a first for me.  Other stands featured all sorts of efforts to get an audience, including a contemporary dancer, painted woman,back to the future theme, music and more.  The best overall
booth and the one most people talked about was Guardian.  They had a concrete and glass structure that stood out.  I was in awe.  The structure showed the products they wanted to promote perfectly.
On the people side I missed many that were coming- folks like the great guys from Glassopolis Jordan Richards and Rob Botman.  I also was bummed to miss Dick and Mike Macurak from DM Products.  And I only got a second with Devin Bowman of TGP.  He though is so popular that's probably the amount of time he scheduled for me.  I did get to visit with many great folks though.  Loved seeing Donald Press and Peter Stattler of Okalux North America.  Good folks do I get well out there!  Also great to spend quality time with Kris Vockler, Chris Fronsoe, and Abram Scurlock of ICD Coatings.  The last time I saw Deron Patterson from PPG was glasstec 2014 so it was good to visit.  Running into Bill O'Keefe and Tim Nass of SAFTIFirst was very cool. You know I love everyone from Canada, so to run into the various company contingents from that great country was tremendous for me.  Always fun to get to chat with Thomas Martini of Vitrum.  He keeps me on my toes. Was also nice to meet his guys Adam Byrne and Tyler Boult.  Good young talent there.  Seeing Peter Garvey and Tim Richard and the team from SAAND was enjoyable.  Though I talked their ears off for sure.  Old friend Matt Hale was making his glasstec debut and he and Eric Channel of Global Glass Solutions were out of business cards by mid day 1. Not a surprise with how friendly those two are.  And speaking of friendly, I am always grateful for the friendship of Max Hals and Ian Patlin of Paragon.  Great guys who do super work and are as smart and hard working as they come.  Last on this section Bernard and Linda Lax of Pulp Studio were great as always.  Congrats to them on the new facility and all the good they have going on.
So aside from 4 solid days of seeing so much glass and glazing materials there was one really notable event that I was honored and quite frankly humbled to attend.  The Guardian Gala.  This event was off the charts with regards to food, entertainment, networking- you name it.  I'm just a consultant hustling to make a living and to be amongst the best glass people in the WORLD is incredible to me.  It was great to chat with so many people there but it's always great to catch up with Chris Dolan.  But I can't call him "Megatron" any more since that name retired from football.  So I'll work on an updated moniker there. And I must mention it was really special to see Amy Hennes be mentioned by the president of Guardian's glass division at the gala.  Those of us who work with Amy (putting my media hat on)know she really rocks at what she does.  With how busy she is at these shows, I was thrilled to get a few minutes with her.
All in all this really is a glass geeks dream event.  Just so much to see and experience.  And it gets me even more pumped for GlassBuild America.  Yes it's not the same but the ability to meet up with people, see new products, and learn are there and I never take any of those areas from granted.  Plus it's a lot closer than Germany!!!
No links or videos this week.  Writing and posting from my hotel in Dusseldorf, and I am afraid if I post a video it could crash the internet here.  Ha Ha.
Next week I'll have reactions to the first slip in ABI in a while and more....

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Getting to glasstec and more

So this week I will be in Germany for the bi-annual glasstec show.  This event attracts people from around the world and my true hope is to see some new things- especially on the product side.  On my last trip there the equipment on display was dominant and impressive, but the actual product technology left me a little cold.  We’ll see and I look forward to reporting back here on what I find and what may make an impact on our world going forward.  Also this is a nice chance for me to get familiar with many exhibitors who will also be at GlassBuild America.  I counted around 100 glasstec exhibitors who’ll also be in Las Vegas in October.   So that will be a neat sneak preview for sure. Last I always look forward to and also get a kick out of the fact that I’ll run into people from North America there that I won’t see ever over here.  Depending on wi-fi connections I am going to try and tweet, so feel free to follow along at @maxpsolesource 


--  The good news via the monthly forecasts keeps coming.  The latest Dodge Momentum Index was up again for the 5th straight month.  We’re still far from where we were during the crazy pre-recession times, but we’re also now getting far away from the depths of the recession itself.  Obviously we all look towards November and we’ll see happens then and the effect it may or may not have on the economy.

--  I was very happy to see my friend Scott Hoover and Solaria back in the news again in a collaboration with the NSG Group.  I love innovation and technology and the more steam fresh products can get- the better.

--  Time for the monthly review of Glass Magazine.  And this is an issue that you will want to devour.  A few pieces of note…. Katy Devlin went inside with a piece on the PPG-Vitro deal.  Story was great but I also must say the appearance and layout of it was even better.  Really loved how it looked! Also really liked the piece from Gary McQueen of JE Berkowitz on design assist.  Well done.

--  But the real focus of the issue was GlassBuild America and what to expect and who and what to see.  It was really an excellent primer to get you ready for the show.  So if you are going, you really want to read through this.  And if you are not going, it surely gives you a great taste of what you are missing. 

--  Ad of the month?  Because this issue was gigantic I could not just pick one ad winner.  A lot of companies raised their creative game this month… so I have 3 who get this extremely valuable honor of being named my ad of the month… so here goes…

Guardian is back in the winner circle again- loved their ad featuring a sketch drawing and calling out where the glass goes.  Just caught my eye and was impressive.

Schuco is also a winner this month- they showed an old typewriter and headlined “Don’t become a thing of the past.”  BRILLIANT.  Congrats to them on a great hook.

Lisec takes the last spot with their “Velocity” ad.  They wanted to promote speed and the ad caught my eye and did that.  It was a simple, clean piece that was effective.

All in all though tons of good creative this month… congrats to all out there working that angle!

--  Last this week… US News and World Reports released their top colleges lists this week and it’s always interesting to see what’s considered the best here and there.  But I had to laugh that they listed the top “value” colleges and #1 was Harvard… and the “value” price was just….. 62K per year.  I guess value has a different meaning in the college world. 


Tons of news on bathrooms and rules, but  how about this- a youngster doing something positive and helpful with regards to bathroom signage.

The story of an arranged marriage ruined by a dog.  Seriously.  On both accounts.

This one is interesting.  Kid sues parents over Facebook photos.  Personally if my kid hates me that much to want to sue my about this, I’d probably not want the photos up there!!