Mr Thomsen, President of the Global Flat Glass Group for Guardian, told about 500 delegates at the Glass Performance Days (GPD), Finland conference that the industry needed a faster clock speed if it were to survive.
Major industry innovations currently take place every 15 to 20 years compared to other materials such as semi-conductors which innovates every year, automobiles which innovate every five to seven years and the pharmaceuticals industry, which innovates every 10 years.
The only other materials with the same innovation rate were aluminium, steel and timber he said. “Glass is too sexy to be compared with timber,” he added.
Mr Thomsen’s presentation was the opening talk in four keynote speeches at GPD in Tampere, Finland. The others were by Viracon CEO Kelly Schuller, DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions Director Jonathan Cohen and Dow Corning high Performance Building Solutions Vice President Dan Futter.
The conference has 160 presentations about different aspects of the flat glass industry.
A full report of the conference will appear in a forthcoming issue of Glass International.