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W&D Weekly

March 23, 2016
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The Talk

By Emily Kay Thompson

There are many ways to enumerate the Fensterbau trade show held in Nuremberg, Germany, last week. One can gauge the enormity in miles walked (24), company exhibits (796) or the single-day attendance record (38,568, including attendees to the collocated Holz-Handwerk show). But the number that strikes me is 37—the number of countries represented by the exhibitors. The experience was truly international.

As Dr. Michael Kuttner, senior manager of company communications for A+W Software, pointed out on the show floor, Fensterbau provides insight to international trends before they potentially hit the U.S. market. The automation trend, for example, was on full display at the show, with familiar names such as Sturtz, Urban, Emmegi, Forel, and GED showcasing an overwhelming display of automation in manufacturing equipment (see some of the machines and other products from the show here and here).

That automation trend, too, extended to the products on display at Fensterbau. “The technology advancements showcased here are pretty incredible,” said Steve Dillon, VEKA’s marketing director. “This year, [automation] is everywhere. And it’s not just automation, but also concealment of automation—with flush-mounted buttons and touch sensors and so on. The technology is becoming more advanced.” While we’ve seen pockets of this trend in the U.S. market with bigger companies, he says, it’s been a much bigger focus in Europe.

What is your take on the automation trend? Manufacturers, are you looking to automate more of your process? Dealers, are consumers asking for products with automation options? Weigh in on this week’s poll, post your thoughts in the comments section and/or drop me a line with your perspective.

Do you see the trend towards automation in products and equipment growing in the U.S.?
I'm not sure

Do any of your employees or contractors fall under the vertical or horizontal joint employer status?
Sixty percent of the respondents to last week's poll reported that all employees work solely for their company. Read the Full Results


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