[Image above] Glass industry suppliers and manufacturers converged in Columbus, Ohio, for the 77th Conference on Glass Problems to tackle some of the industry’s biggest challenges. Credit: ACerS

The 77th Conference on Glass Problems took place this week in Columbus, Ohio, and brought together glass manufacturers and suppliers worldwide to exchange innovations and solutions.

The meeting, hosted November 7–10 and presented by the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council (GMIC) and Alfred University, is the largest glass manufacturing conference in North America. Attendance this year surpassed previous years—more than 500 attendees came together to share the latest research in a robust field. And the next generation of the industry made their presence known this year, too.  

“We’re on track to have about 100 more attendees than last year—more than 500—which is great. One of the remarkable things about it is that we’ve had a lot of growth with our students,” says Robert Weisenburger Lipetz, executive director of the GMIC. “When we first started organizing this conference about five years ago there were no students attending, and this year we had 43 students participate. And that’s really well received by an industry that’s looking toward the next generation.”

The meeting also gives industry professionals the opportunity to reconnect with old colleagues and make new connections.

“We’ve seen a lot of old faces, a lot of new faces. It’s been a great opportunity for us to exchange ideas about our solutions to some of the challenges that continue to face our industry,” adds Lipetz. “And that’s really what you want out of an industry trade association meeting.”

And Lipetz pointed to the increased activity at this year’s meeting. Walking through the exhibit hall, conversations hummed between attendees and exhibitors during and after technical sessions. “Our exhibiting sold out, the meeting’s been popular, the industry seems to be picking up.”

When it comes to tackling the glass industry’s biggest challenges, discussions tend to turn to the usual topics, including operations, hot repairs, refractories, design of furnaces, and modeling for design of furnaces, Lipetz explained.

“Every year, the GMIC organizes a symposium that allows us to delve into some depth into topics of interest in the industry—this year we’re doing it on modeling in glass manufacturing, and it looks to be a pretty popular topic for our attendees,” says Lipetz.

Planning is underway for the 78th Conference on Glass Problems, including the 11th Advances in Fusion and Processing of Glass Symposium in Columbus, Ohio. Mark your calendars for November 6–9, 2017.

In the meantime, check out some highlights from this year’s meeting and visit ACerS Flickr page for more photos.


Tuesday’s first technical session of the day drew a packed house. Credit: ACerS


Attendees gathered in the exhibit hall between sessions to learn more about the various products and services on display at this year’s meeting. Credit: ACerS


“Exhibiting sold out” this year, says Robert Weisenburger Lipetz, executive director of the GMIC. Credit: ACerS


Attendees take time to check out what this year’s exhibit has to offer. Credit: ACerS


Connections were made and important discussions took place at this year’s meeting. Credit: ACerS


Students reviewed the technical program and planned their day Tuesday. Credit: ACerS