A quick glance through this issue’s news pages reveals it has been a busy month in the glass industry, particularly in the flat sector.

The segment’s largest manufacturers, including AGC, Guardian, Saint-Gobain and Pilkington have all been busy, making investments, securing contracts and modernising themselves for the future.

Clearly this is a positive sign for the industry, particularly in Italy, where AGC and Pilkington have both been involved in the news.

The news featured in the printed issue is only a tiny minority of the events that have taken place in the past month.

For news junkies, I suggest taking a look at the Glass International website, or join our Linked In group or, better still, to sign up for our free weekly newsletter.

While print is still the favoured material for most of us (including me!) the rise of online and the digital age has been the movement of our time.

For those of us in the publishing industry online offers vast opportunities, alongside the traditional printed medium.

There are no space restrictions online, so it means news articles can be given the breadth they deserve. It is also immediate.

Readers located thousands of miles away from Glass International in the UK can stay up to date each day rather than wait for weeks for the latest printed issue to arrive in the post.

Regular readers should already receive our digital issue direct to their inbox.

In this digital world, when people are used to receiving information immediately and in small chunks, we hope to bring the glass media up to date.

The glass industry itself is facing up to the digital era.

Industry 4.0, digital glassmaking, A.I, Big Data and the Internet of Things are increasingly common terms heard throughout the sector.

Anecdotally, I’ve heard the flat glass industry is at the level of Industry 3.6 while hollow glass is lagging at Industry 2.8. The hollow and container sector has some catching up to do!

We launched the successful Future Glass Forum in Lyon in September, which is a free-to-attend conference with the aim of discovering more about how digital can improve the glassmaking process.

The next event is in Bangkok in January alongside the Glassman Asia exhibition.

It is possible to pre-register for the event – digitally of course – at the Glassman Asia website.

Pictured: The flat sector is regarded as further ahead in digital glassmaking than the container industry.