The hottest trends for the coolest windshields

Exciting developments in the automotive industry have had a major impact on windshield design and functionality in recent years. This development is forcing windshield manufacturers to up their game. Not only do they need to adhere to increasingly stringent end-product safety and quality requirements, their windshields must also answer designer demands. They must feature “smart” functionality, be fast to produce and environmentally friendly. Let’s look closer at some of the hottest trends that are now shaping the automotive glass processing industry.

Larger glass size means better visibility

 New and exciting shapes and sizes, such as panorama windshields and moon roofs, increase driver and passenger satisfaction. This puts more pressure on windshield manufacturers to ensure they are capable of processing glass and bending it into the required shapes and larger sizes to match rapidly advancing design demands.

More comfort with extra functionality

Today, a windshield isn’t just a piece of glass that separates the driver from the outside elements and provides visibility. It’s a transparent component that can feature a variety of integrated functions including rain sensors, GPS, radio, Wi-Fi or new head-up displays (HUDs). Particularly, the future of HUDs is incredibly promising. HUDs allow drivers to focus on the road ahead because all information they need is displayed on the windshield area and easily within view. These kinds of applications call for printed or wired applications for antennas integration or other systems.

Better aerodynamics for lower fuel costs and emissions

Thinner, lightweight glass contributes to energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions. The windshield’s defrosting, defogging, and UV and IR blocking capabilities are features that are naturally expected from modern windshields. Good UV/IR blocking also means that there’s less AC use, which also saves on fuel. To meet car designer requirements for such advanced windshield features, special glass coatings need to be applied, which increases challenges for windshield manufacturers.

 End quality that meets designer and safety demands

Passenger safety is the initial purpose of a windshield – and the ultimate goal of all windshield manufacturers. However, car designers are continually asking for more elaborate end products in terms of design.

Yet trends that always stay hot in the automotive industry are: cost efficiency, reliable processing and top-notch windshield quality. That’s why it’s important to invest in machinery and equipment that can help you stay cool.

Keep up with the following blog articles to find out what challenges these and other evolving trends present for windshield manufacturers.

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About the author

Juha Karisola

Over 20 years of experience in finding solutions for glass processors in automotive, architectural and appliance sectors. Main expertise in tempering and in glass bending applications. Currently heading Glaston's Business Unit for laminating, bending & tempering technologies.