From a unique product idea to some great conversations, here goes my impressions from GlassBuild America day two.

Best product: I saw a lot of innovative products today but I have to give the award to VEKA for its Solutions product—the “Sol,” standing for solar. The window includes a solar collector that harnesses the sun and then provides power to a USB or power mat allowing the charging of devices of phones, batteries and other items. One industry veteran described it as the “best thing he saw at the show.”

Busiest booth. I know it depends on the time of day and many people were busy but I have to give this award to AGC. The company introduced a variety of products and when I was there it was packed.

Best conversation. Steve Chen, president, Crystal Windows and Doors. Poor Steve was on his way to lunch when I cornered him regarding what he has seen interesting at the show. He mentioned the product that incorporates low-E on the fourth surface at the PPG booth. Fourth-surface products have received a lot of attention recently and he told me was initially concerned about condensation but with some retooling and checks and balances it’s not a concern.

He also told me he brought all his engineers to the show to see what they found of interest. Finally, he was impressed by some machinery showcased from some Asian suppliers.

Most interesting idea. Vision Hardware, The Vision Challenge. Glen Paesano explained to me this new challenge in which window manufacturer can send the company a sample of its product and the company will retrofit the product with Vision Hardware and send it back with a detailed comparison.

Best explanation of a problem. So some window manufacturers have expressed hesitancy over using a coating on surface four of the glass. I asked Guardian’s Tim Clancy about this and he explained that it depends on so many factors, frame style, spacer, and that the key is collaboration between manufacturer and supplier.

“We provide guidance [and have done studies] about what configuration is right for their specific windows based on climate and a variety of other factors,” he said.

Best way to serve the customer and save money. Train online—Mecal. A Mecal representative explained to me that the company performs some training online and for its saws even performs remote installs. It’s a great way to keep the pricing down for the customer, he explained.

Best exhibitor who rolled with the punches. Tekna. So if you went by the Tekna booth you saw a lounge area with a bar and comfy couches. But what you may not know is that the machine that was supposed to be there was not as it was damaged when it arrived after being shipped from Italy.

Best example of growth. I am sorry but I have to give it to Tekna again. Kyle Hendrickson said the company has experienced significant growth this year. I asked him how this was true when many companies are not making purchases on high-ticket items such as machines. His response: “We really followed up on leads. Business always adapts. We are seeing companies adapt to this new market but it just takes time.”

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