Big data and digital glassmaking were among the themes among exhibitors at the glasstec event last week.

glasstec exhibitors said they were happy with the amount and the high quality of the visitors, although some commented numbers seemed down on previous shows.

Tiama’s Marketing and Communication Manager, Ursula Baudry, said the show had been a great success for the French company.

“It has been an interesting experience for us. We introduced a new concept called YOUniverse and we were happy to see the pride of our team and then the interest our customers showed towards this concept.

“Youniverse is our way of describing the smart factory. It provides users with business intelligence possibilities through five areas of expertise: intelligence, monitoring, traceability, inspection and service.

“Basically customers got the chance to discover this for the first time when they stepped into our booth and entered the Tiama Youniverse.”

The booth included Tiama machines, virtual experiences and a huge screen where the concept was introduced.

Continuing the digital theme, Sorg together with its partner Borton Lawson, demonstrated a virtual reality environment which allowed booth visitors to explore a melting furnace, based on a Gallo Glass furnace in Modesto, California.

Fred Aker, Sorg's Sales Director, said: “The digital world has become a trend and the leveraging of data and making more use of it will definitely become more commonplace in future.

“Visitors who used the virtual reality set up were impressed and they were surprised to know it was built using existing Inventor data.”

He added: “It’s been a very good show, it was great from out of the gates. Tuesdays have traditionally been slow but it was busy from the very beginning.”

Another popular stand was the Glass Technology Services booth in Hall 14, which highlighted the virtual reality project it has partnered with tech start up VRMT.

Even late on the last day of the event, visitors were still waiting to try the virtual programme.

VRMT’s Tony Pawinski said: “We have some really good interest from machine suppliers and customer alike. We had some fabulous comments, several people said it was the best and most industry change product they had ever seen at glasstec.”

Simon Parkinson, of the UK’s Parkinson-Spencer Refractories, said they had welcomed visitors from all around the world.

He said “It’s been a successful show for us and we have seen most of the customers we wanted to see. It’s been busy, on a par with previous glasstec’s I have been to and there have been a few prospects that have come out of it.

"It’s also been good to catch up with other colleagues in the industry.”

Marc Meersschaut, futronic sales executive, said: “Everyone is here and everyone can exhibit their new technologies. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet customers and reinforce good relationships.

"We had a successful trade fair. For the first time, we received orders at the fair."

Visitors from around the globe attended the FAMA booth, reported its Sales and Marketing Director, Luis Zertuche. The Mexican group had launched a new full servo machine which attracted a lot of interest.

“FAMA was formed 75 years ago but was dedicated to the container business unit of Vitro. But now we are more open to the market and we have a strategy to start penetrating the globe," he said.

“Our strategic plans see FAMA as a global supplier and global solutions provider for the container glass sector.”

A glasstec review will appear in the November issue of Glass International.