From computer-numerical-control machines to access door hardware, GlassBuild America 2023 (GBA) in Atlanta featured a wide range of products for all aspects of the glass industry. The three-day event at the Georgia World Congress Center, which took place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, was an opportunity for attendees to view new products and garner fresh solutions to current problems.
One challenge facing the commercial office market, says Jeff Graveline, who is in architectural hardware sales at Accurate Lock and Hardware, is installing credentialed access control on frameless glass openings.
“Predominantly, commercial office space is glass,” explains Graveline. “Everyone wants an access control system, but the lingering question is, how do you wire that? How do you put wires into glass? That’s the next challenge.”
Graveline says manufacturers need to recognize the problem and offer solutions. One such solution is hiding components in the lever. Batteries can be an answer, but they’re not elegant enough, says Graveline, especially when end users want to blend minimalism with refinement.
“There is some utility to battery packs,” says Graveline. “But form-wise, they’re terrible. The solution with the components is a great one. More of those ideas are needed.”
Logistical problems, such as supply chain issues, labor shortages and trucking hiccups, have long plagued some glass companies, F. Barkow Inc. has sought to simplify the glass transporting process by offering more mobile solutions, such as the recently released slide-out glass/stone carrier.
According to company president John Weise, the slide-out platform can be welded to the bed of a pickup truck or van. It can hold up to 1,000 pounds retracted and up to 700 pounds fully extended. The carrier is 94 inches long and about 60 inches tall. It features five rows of B-load-holding slates, glass cushions, a caulk holder and a tool trough, along with a neoprene rubber baseplate with a double row of stake slots, among others.
“This is our 144th year in business, so I like to think that we know what we are doing,” states Weise.
Privacy glass was also heavily featured at GBA. Privacy Glass Solutions (PGS) displayed its recently released Clarity View switchable glass for entry doors. CEO and founder Kevin Roth says the technology allows quick and seamless transitions from opaque to transparent.
“Clarity View is a switchable glass that is done with a battery instead of electricity,” he explains. “The battery will work for about 300 days before it needs to be changed. It works on anything up to 10 square feet at the moment.”
Roth adds the privacy market continues to grow, pushing PGS to develop new products to meet demand. However, prices continue to be a sticking point. Roth says it takes a while for prices to go down on new innovations, which can be detrimental for smaller companies.
PGS also showcased two additional products that had just been released: PolarShield and Clarity Wave. PolarShield is an ultraviolet (UV)-activated film that changes from transparent to dark when exposed to (UV) rays. Clarity Wave is a hand-gesture-controlled switchable glass that uses sensors to detect hand movements.