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Staying Competitive in a Global Glass Economy

The glass industry is a cornerstone of the US economy, with nearly $30 billion in products shipped annually and close to 150,000 employees. Glass has been produced en mass since the industrial revolution with technological advances creating growth through new products, new materials and new applications for glass. The current forecast for the glass industry is positive, but finding new ways to improve efficiency and reducing energy consumption are important factors in keeping the US glass market competitive in the global glass economy.

Proper Handling Equipment

With the increasing amount of glass customizations being called for and specialty glass products, investing in proper glass handling equipment is a necessity. Many glass manufacturers are using thicker and heavier glass, which requires special handling devises. The triple pane curtain wall design is one example, which is growing in popularity.

A variety of lift assist devices are available which use powerful suction cups to move heavy glass panes. Other equipment options include custom sized racks and dollies, which help ensure proper handling throughout the production process.


The benefits of automating processes are obvious: reduced labor, increased efficiency, and reduced waste. It might seem counter intuitive though that in this age of customized products, that tools exist to automate production.

Even if every window and every cut is unique, there are tools, like TigerStop, which help ensure that those same cuts are made properly every time and therefore will ultimately reduce the overall amount of extrusion waste.


Regardless of what industry you are in, collaborating with the right people and having the right team in place are crucial to success. Staying competitive in the global economy can often be the result of how closely you work with your suppliers and partners.

Wakefield’s success is directly related to the solid partnerships that we have formed with both our customers and the product manufacturers that we represent. Contact us today to find out more about our full product offerings and how your glass shop can benefit from Wakefield’s expertise.

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