Exhibitors enjoyed a successful Glassman Europe in Turkey last week.

The event took place in Istanbul two days after the tragic earthquake in eastern Turkey and the mood was understandably subdued.

A minute’s silence was held at the start of the event and visitors were encouraged to donate to the Red Cross appeal to help those affected by the earthquake. The organisers of Glassman Europe agreed to add TKL200 for every donation received.

The event also contained a two-day conference, with Turkish glassmakers Sisecam and Park Cam each providing keynote papers.

Speakers Cetin Egri, Deputy General Manager at Park Cam, and Sisecam's Director of Melting Technologies Tolga Uysal and its Environmental Sustainability Manager, Efe Caglayan each provided tributes at the beginning of their presentations.

The decision to attend was a difficult one for exhibitor Nihan Unsal Yazici and her colleagues at Turkish company Mimsan.

There had been long discussions internally about whether they should attend, she said.

“We were emotionally in a very bad situation, we couldn’t look at our phone and see the news without crying. It was a hard day for us but we overcame this to come and visit our main customers as well as new ones.

“We drew strength about what had happened from talking to our customers and fellow countrymen. Even those visitors from abroad felt the same as us about the event so it was nice getting good, positive vibes from these people.”

The company specialises in cold end systems and has worked with Sisecam for 40 years. As well as receiving visitors from fellow Turkish container manufacturer Park Cam, it received guests to its booth from Rus Cam as well as from Iraq and Iran.

Mike Davies, Managing Director of TECO, said it was the best Glassman show he had ever attended.

“I’ve been coming to Glassman for a long time and I can honestly say this is the best one I have been to. We have a large customer base in Turkey and have seen lots of visitors both from Turkey and the region.

"It’s been a well organised show, the stands are good, the location is great, so it’s been a good show for us.”

The company had meeting with its customers the Turkish manufacturers Park Cam and Sisecam as well as visitors from Pakistan, India, Iran and Iraq.

The primary topic among guests to the booth was that of decarbonisation and how manufacturers can reduce their carbon footprint.

It believes hydrogen is several years away so is focused on electrical melting and increasing boost levels in end-fired container furnaces.

“We believe electrical is the way forward at the moment. Pure electrical melting is limited on size for containers, so we’re pushing the envelope of increasing boost capacity in container furnaces.

"In the past it has typically been around 15-20%. We believe we can push it to 30-35% and that will go a long way to reducing a glassmaker’s carbon footprint.”

Sam Leaper, director of glass business development at HFT, said: "We were concerned when we heard the terrible news of the earthquake just days before but, all things considered, it’s been two busy days and very positive.

"Similar to glasstec, we’ve seen the same buoyancy in the market. A lot of people are looking for opportunities to add additional capacity and new production lines, particularly in container glass.

"You look at what is going on with energy crisis which could potentially dampen interest but, going by the past two days, that is not the case.

"The glass industry is thriving at the moment, especially in the Middle East, North Africa, USA and South America, there is a lot of growth in those markets."

Giordano Colli, Sales Director at Italian cold end specialist EMS, said:

"I would say that it was, by my memory, if not the most, one of the most crowded Glassman events I have ever participated in.

"Because there were visitors not only from Turkey, but also from many other countries close by.

"So, we got customers and potential customers/potential leads also from, for example, Algeria, Egypt, Pakistan, and Russia as well."

The company was reinforcing the message of it being a one stop approach supply dedicated to cold end glass manufacturing equipment.

"But with the possibility to have only one player from the exit of the lehr, up to, not only to the palletising area, but also going forward including LG shuttle cars and automated warehouses," he said.

Papers from the Glassman conference will be made available on the Glass International website shortly.