I’ve just returned from the Glassman Latin America trade show in Mexico which, judging by exhibitor feedback, was well received and deemed a successful event.
Visitors attended in their numbers and were from the majority of the Mexican container and hollow glass manufacturers.
The glassmaking professionals who attended represented the entire spectrum of the container glassmaking process, from the batch plant to the furnace and forming process, to the cold end and inspection and packaging.
It is clear that glassmaking is thriving in Mexico in particular at the moment. Its rise has been rapid and sustained in recent years, with new furnace openings in the past year alone, such as at the combined O-I and Constellation Brands IVC plant at Nava on the US border.
Growth is set to continue, with Heineken’s glass provider Crown Vichisa’s $200 million bottle plant currently under construction in Meoqui, Chihuahua province.
When it opens in October it is set to provide 145,000 tonnes of container glass, or 750 million bottles, a year.
New glass plants will inevitably lead to more people working in the sector.
Mexico already has a rich glassmaking heritage, with its famous beer and tequila leading to equally innovatively designed and crafted glass bottles.
Mexican professionals are held in very high regard and can be found working in glassworks all around South America and further afield.
What is the next step for the Mexican industry? It is likely to continue its growth, with the world’s appetite for its beer and spirits showing little sign of diminishing.
The Central American nation has the expert glassmakers, who, thanks to the growth of the industry in their homeland, may decide to return home.
Mexico has more container glass plants than a number of neighbouring countries combined, such as Colombia and Ecuador.
Yet for such a sizeable glass industry, it does not have the same amount of leaders on the global stage.
For example, the world’s largest container glassmaker, O-I, has several senior executives originally from South America, but they are from Colombia and Peru.
Now is the time for a young Mexican executive, brimming with energy and belief, to become a leader outside of their homeland.
Such an example may inspire a new generation of Mexicans that glassmaking is a fulfilling career.
Pictured: Glassman Latin America 2018 was deemed a success by everyone involved.