The GlassTrend-ICG seminar Innovation in Glass Production has begun in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

The three-day event, hosted by CelSian Glass and Solar, was attended by about 100 people and in an opening session on innovation, featured five presentations from glass industry figureheads.

In a paper titled Gaps in Glass Melting Technology – what are we searching for? CelSian’s Ruud Beerkens discussed the challenges facing the industry and forecast what the industry would be like in 2025. In a 30-minute talk he discussed the challenges posed by reducing energy consumption, reducing emissions, improving the characteristics of glass and dealing with legislation.

Perhaps the strongest challenge, he said, was finding the next generation of young people willing to work in the industry. There is a shortage of good people at universities who want to work with glass technology.

Earlier, Vetroconsult/Vetropack’s Guenter Lubitz had introduced Hardglass - An Innovative Technology for Container Glass Production, which is a joint project with Emhart Glass.

Dr Arjen Steiner, of Schaumglas Global Consulting talked about From Glass Waste to Glass Foam, a path for sustainable reuse of natural resources.

To conclude the first day’s session Schott’s Hildegard Romer outlined the R&D needs of a speciality glass manufacturer in the next 15 years while PPG Fibre Glass’s Jaap van der Woude discussed the Netherlands Roadmap 2030 and if a 50% energy efficiency improvement in the glass production chain was feasible.

A full report of the event will appear in a forthcoming issue of Glass International.