Hot Topics in the glass industry at glasstec 2024

Date: 18 March 2024
Source: glasstec
The three Hot Topics of glasstec 2024: Decarbonisation, Circular Economy and Digital Technologies. © Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann
Photo source
The three Hot Topics of glasstec 2024: Decarbonisation, Circular Economy and Digital Technologies. © Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann

Date: 18 March 2024

The agenda at glasstec 2024 features topics that keep the glass industry busy: Decarbonisation, Circular economy and Digital technologies. From 22 to 25 October these Hot Topics will be in focus.

2024 is another glasstec year! In October the exhibition halls in Düsseldorf will again be dedicated entirely to the leading global trade fair of the glass industry, expecting exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. Then everything will again revolve around key subjects related to glass, glass products, glass applications, glass production, glass production technologies, glass finishing, glass treatment and glass tools, measuring, drive and control technologies, to name but a few!

This year the focus will be on three highly relevant topics for the glass industry in the run-up to and during glasstec: Decarbonisation, Circular economy and Digital technologies. The key question: What options for change must the glass industry explore to unearth significant potentials for the future?

Circular economy: Energy, Resources & Recycling

The glass industry is an energy-intensive industry and works continuously towards reducing CO2 emissions and becoming fitter for circularity.

Glass as a packaging material, for example, is infinitely 100% recyclable. This recyclability holds great potential for the circular economy. Nevertheless, the glass industry is not completely circular yet. The glass value chain holds further potential for reducing energy and resource consumption and increasing reuse rates. The benefits are obvious: More circularity means less raw material consumption, fewer greenhouse gas emissions and, hence, more climate and resource protection. A key approach is the use of recycled glass in melting processes because these account for up to 85% of the energy consumed in glass production. The use of around 10% cullet already cuts the energy required for melting by approx. 3%.

The flat glass industry – to name but a second case in point – faces additional challenges. In the professional article “Circular Economy in the flat glass industry“ Marc Everling reports in detail.

The series of “CircuClarity One” conferences at glasstec 2024 will deal with the circular economy, to name but one theme. In focus here: A deep dive into the progress made towards a circular economy in the glass and facade industries, including presentations of empirically tested processes, innovative products and scalable methods.

The key question of the Hot Topic “Circular economy”: How can energy and resource consumption be reduced and recycling ratios be increased along the glass value chain?

Digital technologies: Digitalization, “Machine Language” & AI

Digitalization changes the glass industry and offers all new perspectives to many companies: More efficient processes, optimised production workflows or innovative automation solutions. Digital technologies – ranging from the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the implementation of digital workflows – will shape the future of the glass industry and open up new opportunities for efficiency gains and a competitive edge.

First ideas for digital solutions come from Start-Up BISS.ID. Their very specific and meaningful approach: Simplified data exchange in the construction supply sector, specifically in the construction elements industry. To this end, the company aims to make individual product data as well as manufacturing and delivery data easily available to all users in a cloud-based, safe and protected manner. For the glass industry this can mean efficiency gains in logistics, product labelling and rack management.

The key question(s) of the Hot Topic “Digital technologies”: At which level should the digitalization process kick in and what benefits can be derived from it?

Decarbonisation: New key technologies & Sustainable raw materials

The glass industry is faced with a major challenge: The consistent move away from fossil fuels to reduce CO2 emissions. The production processes in the glass industry are highly optimised already, but the changeover to key new technologies for eliminating process-related emissions proves a major challenge. The topics of tomorrow: All-electric melting furnaces, ideally fuelled with regeneratively generated power, as well as hydrogen hybrid furnaces.

An innovative and highly topical practical example is the “NextGen” Furnace by Ardagh, using hybrid technology.

The key question of the Hot Topic “Decarbonisation”: How can the energy-intensive glass industry, which is currently still dependent on natural gas to a high degree, become CO2-neutral by 2045?

Supporting Program: Special exhibitions, conferences and meetings

Curious? Alongside top exhibitors from all over the world addressing these Hot Topics there will also be highly relevant events staged from 22 to 25 October: Supporting conferences, forums and meetings. In addition, industry representatives as well as numerous talks delivered at the glasstec conference and the innovation showcase glass technology live will flag up new solutions from research, science and industry.

600450 Hot Topics in the glass industry at glasstec 2024

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