Glazing will be ‘big and clever’ in the future

Demand increases for larger sheets of glass Demand increases for larger sheets of glass
Industry Database

Big is beautiful if the trend within the marine glazing market is anything to go by.

“Gone are the days of modern motor cruisers with small windows and white glass reinforced plastic – it’s common to find 20m yachts featuring continuous runs of glass between 6m and 8m in length,” says Trend Marine sales and service director, Jim Boulton.

“This inevitably results in greater pressures to produce that perfect seamless piece of glass as a surface imperfection or small ripple will be rejected.”

And he admits the demand for larger sheet formats will cause problems for bespoke manufacturers who are geared up to work with half-jumbo sheet sizes, so limited to 3.2m  by 2.4m widths.

“Those who cannot handle larger pieces going into a full jumbo sheet – up to 6m – will lose business. Players in this area must future-proof their businesses and upgrade their production processes.”

Million-pound investment

Trend Marine is currently investing more than a million pounds refurbishing its glass manufacturing and toughening plants, enabling it to process larger format panes with increased length and width, plus it’s invested in high-speed grinding machinery and interlayer technology to allow production of ever more complex glass.

Jim confirms ‘smart performance glass’ integrated with the boat’s technology is the next ‘must have’ item.

He explains: “Customers want glass with programmable technology such as rain sensors, heat and light reducing interlayers, open and closing sensors in portholes, hatches and doors with entry control mechanisms and it’s increasingly common for specs to include doors with automatic open and closing sensors and coded entry systems.”

In January, Trend became part of Lippert LCI – a major player in America’s recreational vehicle market.

“Lippert has many global subsidiaries so this gives us huge potential to utilise its technology and enhance our existing product lines,” concludes Jim.

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