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Volume 6   Issue 3                April 2005

2005 Annual
    Buyers' Guide

Meeting Reviews

A Lot to Take In
From the Growth of China to Industry Trends,
IGMA's Annual Meeting Covered a Lot of Ground
by Ellen Girard Chilcoat

The fifth annual general meeting of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) took place February 22-26 at the Fairmont Acapulco Princess Resort in sunny, warm Acapulco, Mexico—not too shabby of a spot to spend a week in February. More than 120 attendees took part in the event. The five-day meeting included technical working group sessions and updates, technical presentations and social and networking activities.

This meeting was also the inaugural event for the new IGMA president. Luc Cormier of Multiver Ltee. succeeded Oak Moser of Cardinal, and will serve as the president for the next two years.

Working Group Updates
The glazing guidelines working group met first. It is co-chaired by Tim Harris and Ken Shelbourn of TruSeal Technologies. The group’s objective had been to harmonize the IGMAC and SIGMA glazing guidelines into one document, which was completed last August at the IGMA summer meeting. Though the document is now complete, the group’s work is not. Harris explained that the glazing guidelines is a living document, so it can be changed when necessary. 

The visual quality working group met next. This group expects to develop guidelines and definitions that will assist in determining criteria for observing visual obstruction in sealed insulating glass (IG) units, i.e. visual obstruction in the airspace. It is co-chaired by Joel Dobson of Pella and Roland Temple of Velux. 

“Our guideline should be as strict as ASTM, if not stricter,” said Bill Lingnell, IGMA technical consultant. “If we put something out and it’s not as stringent as ASTM, then it doesn’t mean anything.”

The thermal stress working group also met for the first time. Steve Crandell of PPG will chair the working group, which will emphasis thermal stress conditions in IG.

In addition, a technical document management group was formed that will review all of the old IGMAC and SIGMA documents to determine which ones can be rejuvenated, revised, etc. 

A working group to oversee IGMA’s involvement in the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) development of a non-residential products certification and rating was also formed (for related story, see pages 129 and 134). IGMA had contracted Jeff Baker with WESTLab to review the NFRC’s program and how it would affect IG manufacturers. Also related to the NFRC non-residential program, Baker provided information on a follow-up study that discussed ways to simplify spacer systems. He explained that by grouping spacer systems for non-residential products and modeling them as one generic spacer, i.e. all metal spacers, all foam spacers, etc., the program will be more cost-effective for IG fabricators. 

Technical Services Meeting
During the technical services committee meeting Margaret Webb, IGMA executive director, reported on the standards development and harmonization process of ASTM E 2190.

“So far we haven’t had any problems,” Webb said. “We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The standard is expected to be published in the 2005 National Building Code of Canada.”

Lingnell reported on the harmonization of the ISO/ASTM E 2188, E 2189 and E 2190 standard. He said work is still on schedule and should be published in 2006.

Along these same ASTM lines, Bob Spindler of Cardinal IG talked about the volatile fogging test.

“There are instances in the Southwest [in which IGUs] have had tremendous fogging problems,” said Spindler. He explained that when the low-E coatings on these units are exposed to extremely high temperatures the materials in the airspace can fog. The concern stems from the fact that ASTM E 2189, Standard Test Method for Testing Resistance to Fogging in Insulating Glass Units, only requires a testing temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

CAN/CGSB-12.8-97 requires a testing temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

“We want to make certain IG manufacturers recognize there are potential problems in using the 120-degree fogging test, because sometimes it doesn’t work,” said Spindler. “You don’t want to see glass fabricators do all the work to meet ASTM standards and then end up with all these problems when they did everything right.” A motion was made that the technical services committee would make a recommendation to ASTM that it revisit the 120-degree temperature versus the 140-degree temperature. 

Reports from working groups were also given. Webb reported that Cardinal IG had applied for a patent for the calibration process utilizing GasGlass-type equipment. She explained that the activities of the GasGlass best practices working group have been suspended and would have no meetings until further notice.

Looking at China
Don Brasher of Global Trade Information Services provided a keynote address that focused on globalization and the development of China.

He began by saying the U.S. gross national product is $11 trillion; China’s is $1.5 trillion.

“China has begun trading in a major way, and that’s what globalization is,” Brasher said. “China’s trade is growing faster than the U.S. economy on a whole.” 

He compared China’s growth to that of the United States during its industrialization period. 

“China is the number-one exporter of textile and apparel products,” Brasher said. “Textile and apparel traditionally has been the primary industry that begins the industrialization process. Because this will grow rapidly, it is the catalyst for China’s trade growth.”

He cautioned that the trade trend with China will continue to grow.

“It will affect the products you manufacture, as well as raw materials,” he said.

Listen and Learn
Recognizing the importance of staying current with the latest trends and developments in the glazing industry, a number of technical presentations took place as well. 

Tim Harris of TruSeal began by providing an update on the new document, North American Glazing Guidelines for Sealed Insulating Glass Units for Commercial and Residential Use. 

“Our goal was to take the two documents (the IGMAC and SIGMA glazing manuals) and harmonize them into one living document,” said Harris. “In our working group meeting [that took place the day prior] we were challenged by a manufacturer for an amendment. So that was a good [test] for how we will handle such situations.”

The topic of the next presentation was the standardization and harmonization of the IGMA and Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC) certification programs. Webb and John Kent of the IGCC discussed how the two programs are set up now that IGMA has licensed its certification program to IGCC. From the audience, Spindler asked to which program an IG manufacturer should test if it is selling products in both the United States and Canada.

“Probably, if you’re selling primarily in the United States, IGCC has more mark recognition,” said Kent. “If you’re selling mainly in Canada or internationally, IGMA probably has more mark recognition. Marg [Webb] and I are in agreement on this.”

Baker led a presentation titled “Effect of Air Space & Gas Fill on Center-of-Glass U-Factor.” The discussion was the result of a study funded jointly by FDR Design Inc., Spectra Gases and WESTLab. Baker explained that they examined a variety of gases, fill rates and mixtures in the following types of IGUs: double-glazed with low-E; triple-glazed with low-E; triple-glazed with two low-E; and double-glazed with low-E at a 20-degree slope. Both soft coat low-E (with an emmissivity of 0.04) and hard coat low-E (with an emmissivity of 0.15) were studied. The study showed what glass fabricators can expect from different glass configurations in terms of 
U-factors.

Offering Quality
Mike Burk of GED Integrated Solutions spoke next on IG manufacturing quality procedures.

“I do a lot of on site quality audits and see lots of quality issues that [need] to be addressed,” said Burk. “Sometimes thousands of units are made before someone realizes there’s a problem.” He encouraged IG manufacturers to bring learning and education into the workplace. To do so, he offered the acronym ACME: Associates, Components, Methods, Equipment.

“Ask these questions,” Burk said. “Are the defects caused by the actions of the associates? Do the defects exist in the raw materials (the components)? Is the defect being caused by a process in the production method? Is the defect caused by equipment? Look at these four steps and you can find and eliminate defects.”

Growth Opportunities 
The next presenter was Ernst Bachofner who talked about the new Bächli vacuum glass technology. Bachofner said that through the technology heat transfer occurs when warmer air molecules come in contact with colder air molecules. A vacuum separates the air molecules by a distance greater than the mean free path of an air molecule so heat transfer does not occur.

Looking Ahead
The final presentation was from Jeff Baker and Carl Wagus, AAMA’s technical director. The two discussed the Canada/U.S. Harmonization of Standards: AAMA/WDMA/ CSA, 101/I.S.2/A 440-04: Standard Specification for Windows, Doors and Unit Skylights, which was recently approved by the Canadian Standards Association. 

IGMA’s 2005 summer meeting will take place August 6-9 at the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Ellen Giard Chilcoat is a contributing editor to DWM.


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