Glass innovations secure development potential for the crafts and skilled trades

Date: 2 September 2014
Once again this year the theme of glass and interiors will occupy a great deal of space. This glass bath tub was one of the eye-catchers on the BIV stand at glasstec 2012.
Photo source
Messe Düsseldorf

Date: 2 September 2014

In just two and a half decades glass has very quickly made the transformation from simple window glass to an almost universally applicable material.

The crafts and skilled trades are benefiting from the ever-growing diversity of the glass products range for building shells and interior design. Glass-processing companies but also associated trades and sectors, which are keeping track of the current trends and developments, are presented with a constantly expanding field of operation.

For years, the innovative strength of the glass sector and the urgency for optimization on the part of the glass machinery manufacturers have been driving forward a trend, which has been more striking than in hardly any other material. In just two and a half decades glass has very quickly made the transformation from simple window glass to an almost universally applicable material.

The basis for this material revolution is the constant further development of the processing and finishing technologies along with the continual work on new products by glass manufacturers. Today glass is a trend material, with a diversity of variations in building shells, interior architecture and interiors, which opens up an incomparably high degree of design freedom.


At glasstec 2014 all the products, services and ranges for the glass-processing trade will be concentrated in the “Crafts Center”. The focal point this year will once again be the presentation area of around 1,000 square meters staged by the Federal Association of German Glazing Guilds (Bundesinnungsverband des Glaserhandwerks – BIV).
Photo: Messe Düsseldorf

Growing product diversity

In modern all-glass façades, high-performance functional glazing ensures maximum energy efficiency, both in windows and doors. In this connection, glazing can be produced and finished individually according to the building contractors’ or owners’ requirements. It offers efficient heat insulation, variable sun protection and soundproofing, and when it comes to design there are hardly any limits either.

Silk screen, enamelling, digital printing and a large number of possible lamination variations make it all possible. For a long time glass has also been subjected to static stress. Glass engineering has developed into a separate, individual discipline and, with impressive all-glass structures, has set architectural highlights worldwide. Visual and energetic highlights can also be created with building-integrated photovoltaic systems. Here too, the material glass is playing a decisive role with regard to the energy turnaround.

There are just as many variations in the use of glass in interior design. Compared to alternative construction materials, glass walls, ceilings, floors and staircases are creating a new, modern and open room ambience.

In the bathroom perfect-fit glass showers, mirrors and washbasins produce a unique elegant fair. And in kitchens too, glazed wall claddings in a completely free choice of designs along with individually designed worktops are being increasingly preferred to conventional materials. The broad spectrum of glass products for the modern design of commercial and residential interiors is complemented by individual glass furniture.


The joint stand of the Federal Association of German Glazing Guilds is more than a demonstration of the glazier trade’s skills and crafts. In specialist lectures trade visitors can inform themselves about the most diverse themes on all aspects of glass. A new feature in Hall 9 is the activity platform “Crafts LIVE”. Here, fair visitors can for the first time also actively join in and test products and techniques.
Photo: Messe Düsseldorf

Skill provides the competitive edge

Not only the glass industry and the small and medium-sized glass finishing companies are benefiting from the continuing trend towards glass, but also the crafts and skilled trades. The glaziers’ trade, in particular, can capitalize on the increased demand for glass products through its own individual products and acquisition of already-finished articles, if it keeps up with the trend and is always up to date in relation to the latest developments in the market.

Stefan Kieckhöfel, Executive Director of the Federal Association of German Glazing Guilds (Bundesinnungsverband des Glaserhandwerks – BIV), expresses his confidence in this connection: “The glazier’s trade with its broadly structured range of services has been able to both consolidate and further extend its position globally and in the domestic market in the areas of glass finishing and glass art, as for example in interior design. The architecture of our time and that of the future would be inconceivable without glass – and absolutely impossible without the trade and craft specialists.”

There is increasing demand for glass products also among carpenters, shop fitters, metalworkers and kitchen studios. At the interface to the end-customer, the crafts and skilled trades pick up on new trends very early and have their ear on the building owners’ pulse, so to speak. Stefan Kieckhöfel explains in this connection: “The glaziers’ trade is developing seismographic capabilities when it comes to market development.”

But this capability alone is still no guarantee for successful business development. In order to ensure that this is the case, the skilled trades and craftsmen must know which products and finishing technologies on the market they can use to comprehensively fulfil the requirements of their customers. Only those who know what is currently feasible and will be feasible tomorrow will have a clear competitive edge.


Once again this year the theme of glass and interiors will occupy a great deal of space. This glass bath tub was one of the eye-catchers on the BIV stand at glasstec 2012.
Photo: Messe Düsseldorf


glasstec 2014 presenting the latest developments and trends

A unique opportunity to obtain a comprehensive overview of the current status of trends and developments in glass products, processing and finishing processes will be presented by glasstec in Düsseldorf. This year the world’s leading trade fair for the glass sector is being held from 21 to 24 October.

In addition to new products and production technologies, it will also be showing the entire spectrum of glass applications in interiors and building shells. In addition, the integrated “glass technology live” special show with supporting specialist symposium offers a unique look ahead to the future of glass along with diverse information on innovative products, processing technologies and applications.

Diverse ranges for craftsmen

The once again clearly extended range of products and services for the glass-processing trade is concentrated at glasstec 2014 under the umbrella term “Crafts Centre”. As was already the case at the previous events, the Federal Association of German Glazing Guilds (Bundesinnungsverband des Glaserhandwerks – BIV) will once again be showing the entire spectrum of its craft service portfolio in a 1,000 m² presentation centre.

On display among others will be numerous glass applications for interior design – ranging from the glass shower to glass walls and floors right up to glass furnishings. In the run-up to glasstec 2014 the BIV Executive Director Kieckhöfel has already announced that the trade visitors to the BIV stand will experience the “Magic of glass”.

Diverse know-how will be conveyed in the integrated glass finishers’ area. Under the motto “Glass meets design” specialist speakers from the sector will be presenting new products and finishing technologies on all four days of the fair.

Among other themes on the agenda are the laser processing of glass, new coating and layering systems, bent glass and innovative adhesive technology. In addition, such important themes as the correct glass dimensioning, assessment of glass damage and restructuring of the master craftsman examination ordinance will be covered and tips given for new areas of activity.

The comprehensive information package makes the visit to the “Crafts Centre” not only interesting for glaziers, the associated sectors and trades will also find plenty of inspiration and specialist input.


In the “Autoglass Arena” the entire focus will be on the theme of vehicle glazing. Numerous companies are presenting their latest products, specialist papers will cover the latest trend and development themes and the Auto Glaziers’ competition will decide the “Autoglass Champion”.
Photo: Messe Düsseldorf


Presentation of the Glass Finishers’ Award and Glaziers’ Award

As was already the case in previous years, the Glass Finishers’ Award will once again be presented at glasstec 2014. The competition held prior to the event has been restructured with a new concept. Now, not only individuals can participate, but also companies.

The presentation of the Glass Finishers’ Award 2014 will be held on the trade fair Thursday (23 October) at 15:00 hrs on the BIV stand. Also on Thursday, within the framework of the Get-together (from 17:30 hrs) at the same location, the “Glaziers’ Award” will be presented to Germany's most innovative craftsman's glass company. Key assessment criteria for the award are leadership skills, dynamics, innovation, success, motivation and appeal.

Crafts LIVE invite you to join in

A new feature in Hall 9 is the “Crafts LIVE” (“Handwerk LIVE”) activity platform. Here the glass-processing crafts and trades are invited to actively participate themselves with tools and materials at ten of the practical-application, join-in stations on the key themes Cutting (cutting + storage), Processing (drilling + grinding), Finishing (coating + adhesives) and Installation (among others fittings).

Participants can experience the action forum live as it shows how new products, machines, tools and auxiliary aids can be optimally applied. In addition, the general, key themes such as for example “Handling”, “Transport” and “Industrial safety” will be covered in more detail. In the direct vicinity of the join-in stations in a demonstration area, experienced fitters will be showing daily how to erect a glass façade, construct a shower cubicle and assemble sliding glass doors.

Craftsman’s ambition is what is required for two installation and assembly competitions. On each day of the trade fair at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, teams in the activity area of “Crafts LIVE” can compete with each other to see who is quickest to assemble and disassemble a glass cage on a transporter and completely install a sliding door.


The “glass art” exhibition has for years been an integral part of the glasstec program in the glass-processing trade sector.
Photo: Messe Düsseldorf


New performance potential for the glaziers’ trade

Participating at the supporting specialist symposium in the “glass technology live” special show is the Federal Association of Young Glaziers and Windowmakers (Bundesverband der Jungglaser e. V. – bvj) with a series of lectures based on craftsman’s practical applications. In keeping with the special show’s four main themes “Innovations in Glass”, “Intelligent Building Shells”, “Façade + Energy” and “Glass Design”, on the fair Friday (24 October), the young glaziers will contest the specialist symposium along with the Federal Flat Glass Association (Bundesverband Flachglas e.V.).

Under the main heading “New Perspectives and Market Opportunities for the Glaziers’ Trade”, expert specialist speakers from the glass sector will be discussing possible ways the craftsman’s glass companies can open up additional service and performance potential in the areas “Laser engraving”, “Colour and glass”, “Lamination of glass” and “French balconies”. Following this, the BF will be providing specialist information on the “Glass in Windows and Façades” theme.


Eldorado for auto glaziers

Also organized by the Federal Association of German Glazing Guilds (Bundesinnungsverband des Glaserhandwerks – BIV) is the “Autoglass Arena” in Hall 10. It complements the support program for craftsmen. Numerous renowned companies from the auto suppliers sector make use of the unique environment to present their products and services covering all aspects of the auto glass theme.

Once again this year, following the great success at glasstec 2012, the heart of the “Autoglass Arena” is the “Auto Glaziers’ Plenary” with free-admission lectures and workshops. In addition to technical topics, commercial themes will also be on the agenda here such as for example leasing concepts or insurance matters.

The Auto Glaziers’ competition will once again be a highlight at glasstec 2014. On 23 and 24 October in Hall 10, Germany's best auto glaziers will go head to head to see who can remove and install front, side and rear windows, quickly and with perfect craftsmanship, as well as repairing stone chip damage to windscreens. The winner along with the second and third-placed competitors will pick up vouchers worth 5,000, 2,500 and 2,000 Euro respectively from Hella Gutmann, PMA/Tools Division Autoglas-Zubehör and ProGlass.

The “Crafts Center” will be complemented by the “glass art” special show in Hall 9, which is showing objects of art in glass. The spectrum of exhibiting artists from internationally renowned galleries, Glass museum Hentrich as well as the Glass Art Society North Rhine-Westphalia (Glaskünstlervereinigung Nordrhein-Westfalen – GVK), extends from glass vessels through to sculptural objects right up to glass painting.


glasstec 2014 press contacts

Sebastian Pflügge
Brigitte Küppers (Assistant)
Tel.: +49(0)211/4560-464 or -929
Fax: +49(0)211/4560-87 464
E-Mail: or


600450 Glass innovations secure development potential for the crafts and skilled trades

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