Volume 40,   Issue 3                             March  2005

Changing Pace

Glass week 2005 Returned to Sunny Orlando for the Second Year Running 
Offering Outlets for Meetings, Networking and Knowledge
   
by Ellen Girard Chilcoat, Charles Cumpston and Debra Levy

Glass Week did something different this year. Typically alternating between West Coast and East Coast locations, the annual event returned to Orlando, Fla., for the second consecutive year. While there was speculation that this may have been a cause for the smaller than usual attendance, the Royal Pacific Resort, a Loews hotel, was a class-act location, and received rave reviews.

Glass Week did, however, grow in terms of length and format. The event is sponsored by the Glass Association of North America (GANA), which now has six divisions. GANA added a third full day of technical meetings this year, followed by two days of general sessions.

Faced with the dilemma of how to please everyone, the new format lead to complaints of the meeting being “too technical,” while others still said it wasn’t “technical enough.” To address these and other concerns GANA is working on improving the format in a way to offer everyone a little bit of everything. 

Despite the concerns, Glass Week still proved to be a top-notch, well-organized outfit. Much was accomplished during technical meetings, while general sessions offered up an opportunity to learn about trends, technology and business practices.

Mirror Division 
The mirror division kicked off this year’s Glass Week with an afternoon long meeting on Saturday.

During the technical committee meeting, attendees discussed the current effort to update ASTM C 1036, the standard specification for flat glass, and whether there are any changes, which will have an impact on the mirror manufacturers.
Following on the success of its first Mirror Informational Bulletin, Proper Procedures for Cleaning Flat Glass Mirrors, the group discussed topics that would be strong candidates for future attention. Two areas came to the front: proper fabrication techniques for mirror, and installing mirror to preserve the life of the mirror or how to avoid edge deterioration.

At the membership/business segment of the meeting, a report was circulated updating attendees on Chinese mirror and dumping charges. A final determination was issued at the end of last year that Chinese wooden bedroom furniture is being imported into the United States at less than fair value. On January 4 the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) imposed anti-dumping duties on dozens of designated Chinese manufacturers on all such furniture sold since June 24, 2004 at a rate of 6.65 percent, down from the 8.64 percent originally imposed in November 2004.

According to Kim Mann, GANA general council, the report stated that the imposed anti-dumping duty margins are too small to have any significant impact on the volume of bedroom furniture imports from China. 

The bedroom furniture subject to the dumping duties includes vanities that incorporate mirror and dressers with framed mirrors either attached or hanging.

Mirror division chairperson Drew Mayberry pointed out that this action was separate from the effort the mirror manufacturers had undertaken to prove Chinese mirror was being dumped. This effort failed because the manufacturers could not prove that U.S. manufacturers were being hurt because a significant number of these same manufacturers were importing mirror themselves.

Tempering Meeting
Members of the tempering division discussed the group’s future. 

Having published a standard test method for clear, architectural glass, discussions centered on disbanding the roll wave subcommittee. However, many members disagreed, saying that because optical distortion is an important issue, the group is one for which there is a strong need, and one that should be kept active within GANA. 

“The roll wave subcommittee has been in operation for more than six years and during that period the industry’s sensitivity to the causes of roll wave distortion, methods for measuring roll wave distortion and glass fabrication equipment have advanced significantly,” said subcommittee chairperson Ren Bartoe of Vesuvius McDanel. “Today the tempering division members indicated that they feel there is an important method for looking at total distortion opposed to just roll wave.”

With that in mind the group agreed to disband the roll wave subcommittee and reconvene as the optical distortion subcommittee. GANA will issue a call for members and Bartoe will continue as chairperson through Glass Week 2006.
Other activities for the tempering division include updating the Standards & Engineering Manual, the publication of two new Glass Information Bulletins, one on quench patterns in heat-treated glass and the other on thermal stress in today’s architectural glass.

GANA technical director Greg Carney discussed the benefit in creating these bulletins. The group’s document, Heat-Treated Glass Surfaces are Different, has already been downloaded more than 5,000 times from www.glasswebsite.com in 2005.

“This is certainly showing the value of these documents,” said Carney.

Laminating Meeting
With the growth of laminated glass usage—thanks to hurricanes and codes, and terrorism and detention—the laminating division has increased its educational efforts with a number of Glass Informational Bulletins, as well.
Work on the point-supported Glass Informational Bulletin was completed. Bill Cottington, who has been heading up this effort, explained that the hole and the hardware have to become a system. When there are any modifications made to this—size, location—it changes the system. 

“You have to understand the whole system and that is the point of this educational bulletin,” he stated. He also made the point that it should be a tested system, adding that this does not mean to test each job but to be certain that the hardware has been tested.

It was resolved that the bulletin be presented to the board of directors for publication.

Another bulletin is being prepared on product labeling.

Also related to the educational effort is the push to develop a test method for ball drop impact. It was decided in Orlando to publish a test method for now. 

“This should be relatively simplistic,” stated Julie Schimmelpenningh, chairperson of the ball drop test method task group. “The next step, specifications, will be much more complicated.”

The marketing committee also finished its generic PowerPoint presentation about the basics of laminated glass and the suggestion was made that it be submitted for AIA education credit.

Insulating Division Meeting
Marketing and technical committees of the insulating division met to discuss the future of GANA’s newest division. 

In the insulating marketing meeting, chaired by Tracy Rogers of Edgetech I.G., the group talked about what its activities would be and how it would focus its efforts.

“We have within our association many of the components that make up an insulating glass unit—temperers, laminators, the BEC division, etc.,” said Arthur Berkowitz, interim division chair. “We need to use that to our advantage.”

The group plans to communicate with and educate the BEC division on the benefits and issues pertaining to insulating glass. Possible future plans include development of a brochure about the new insulating division and developing an “IG 101” PowerPoint presentation. 

In the technical meeting, chaired by Tim Moore of P.D.C. Glass & Metal Services/United Glass Corp., the group talked about future projects as well. One proposed Glass Informational Bulletin would cover how to describe an insulating glass unit properly. The committee also discussed the possibility of creating a standard for specification of acceptable sight lines.

During the membership meeting, Berkowitz announced that effective in August, Bob Larson of Craftsman Fabricated Glass would become the new division chair. Ashley Charest, GANA account executive, also mentioned that the insulating division has seen considerable membership growth, and is now the third largest GANA division.

Jim Benney with the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) also talked to the group about the NFRC’s development of a non-residential rating. Many of the commercial insulating glass manufacturers are concerned about this because of a perceived lack of representation on the committee. Over the past year the NFRC non-residential task group has held several meetings, but until recently few members of the insulating glass community had been aware of or involved in the meetings. Benney did agree that the insulating glass community had not been involved the way that it should have been initially.

“This group [GANA/insulating glass community] has to be involved,” said one member in attendance, “And the NFRC is not making it easy for us.”

Benney responded that he would bring their concerns to the attention of the NFRC for consideration in the development of this program.

Flat Glass Manufacturers Meeting 
Education was the keystone of the flat glass manufacturers division meeting.

Chairperson Mauro DiFazio of Visteon set the tone at the beginning of the afternoon-long session when he said, “Lots was accomplished in the past year.” He noted that one new member had been added in the last year—Saint Gobain—and that he hoped to add one additional member in the coming year.

The big education effort was the development of a slide presentation, which serves as an introduction to glass. The division plans to have the program in the GANA booth at the AIA show in May in Las Vegas and to allow architects to receive education credits on the show floor.

It was also decided to make the program available to other GANA members so that they can start making preparations to give the presentation to architects throughout the country.

A decision was also made to make the program available online to allow architects to take the course that way. A test must be developed in order for this to be done; no fixed time was set for having the online version functional.

“What do we want to do next on education?” DiFazio asked the group. “We’ve done flat glass 101, now what is 102?”

Echoing that, Steve Farrar of Guardian Industries added, “Let’s talk about where we go from here.” He stated that the group needs to be more visible to the users of glass—architects. He cited the Michael Duffy article in the January issue of USGlass (page 44). “What do architects want from glass? That’s what we have to find out,” he told the group. “We have to go out to the architects and give them the information they need. We have to give them information about the issues they are wrestling with—the types of glass that are available,” he said. Farrar suggested putting together another AIA credit program on solving new problems architects are facing as it concerns glass.

Growth Opportunities
With a dynamic presence and powerful message, keynote speaker Steven Little delivered a presentation on growth strategies and opportunities for the glass industry. Little, who has served as the president of three fast-growth companies, as well as a consultant for Inc. magazine, is a professional speaker who talks about growth strategies in business. His first book will be published next month.

In his presentation he covered what he called the seven irrefutable rules for business:
1. Have a sense of purpose; a good “foundation” story;
2. Outstanding market intelligence. “This,” he said, “is the ability to recognize and adapt to the macro forces of change within the company and the industry;
3. Effective strategic planning and growth planning;
4. Have a customer-driven process;
5. Pay attention to the power of technology. “You have to have knowledge,” he said. “No one should be a better expert on how technology affects your business than you.”
6. Hire the best and the brightest people. “Employee retention equals customer retention, which equals growth,” he said.
7. See the future more clearly than the competition.

Good News From an Economist
Robert Fry’s economic forecast at Glass Week came at a good time. As GANA president Dennis Csehi said in introducing the DuPont economist, “I’m sure you’ve all finished your budget cycle based on a rosy economic outlook and are now hoping to hear from Robert that your projections were conservative.”

Well, he did say that the outlook is a little brighter than it was a few weeks ago. However, he also pointed out that record oil prices last year are still having an impact on the economy because no one is taking them seriously.

“Oil prices have taken the steam out of the economy but consumers are continuing to spend,” he told the audience. Fry said that he is seeing a slowing in economic growth, “but not as much as we would have thought.”

He also reminded the group that since its last meeting imports of glass to United States have exceeded exports for the first time. 

“The United States glass industry has gone from a surplus to deficit in just two years,” he said. Unfortunately, the depressed state of the dollar on international markets does little to help trade with China, as the Chinese dollar, the yen, is pegged to the U.S. dollar rather than the Euro. “They stay right with us,” he said.

Participants in Glass Week were most interested in expectations for the flat glass market. “Flat glass was declining but demand is now moving slightly upward,” he said. “We are pessimistic about the short term but much more upbeat about the long term. 2004 will match 2000 as the best year for growth since 1988,” he added.

He described retail sales as having slowed from ridiculously high levels to high levels. “The consumer has kept the U.S. economy afloat the last few years,” he said.Fry also said that there has been an increase in capital spending. “The last quarter was pretty good. We had been seeing a lot of replacement spending, but not on new plant. Now, we’re starting to see some of that,” he stated.

In terms of the gross domestic product (GPD), Fry said that we’re seeing a mid-cycle slow down. “It’s not as bad as we thought. It’s a soft landing, but we need some more growth to be where we really want to be.”

Fry said that he has revised his forecasts regarding interest rates. “We now expect the Fed [Federal Reserve] to raise interest rates four more times this year.”

Product Showcase
Glass fabricators have a number of new products to look forward to this year, according to a panel of five company representatives who discussed their new products at the New Product Showcase during Glass Week.

Jeffrey Nixon of Glass Coatings & Concepts LLC (GCC), in Monroe, Ohio, talked about his company’s foray into the architectural glass coatings arena. GCC has supplied frits, enamels and more for the decorative glass industry for a number of years. It has now developed a completely new line of architectural enamels for spandrel glass. Two lines are available: a bismuth-based one and a hybrid system.

While practically jogging out the door to catch a plane, Pilkington’s Chris Barry presented his company’s new products on the fly, literally. “We are introducing a new gold Eclipse® glass this summer,” he said. “We are working on a building with it right now and expect it will probably be released in June.” Barry said the color properties are a vast improvement over other types of gold glass. Pilkington’s new Optivue® anti-reflective coating is expected to be released at that time as well, he said. “Optivue removes the last four percent of reflectivity in the glass. It’s bendable, temperable and more, and will be a great product,” he said.

Mark Abbott of LiteSentry Corporation in Dundas, Minn., explained his company’s new online defect detection system called Hawkeye. It inspects the front and rear surfaces of monolithic glass by incorporating seven cameras to provide 100 percent coverage. “The cameras do not actually touch the glass,” said Abbott, “yet you get to see the actual scratches the camera saw.”

“Jerry’s over in the park being made into a character,” said David Vermeulen of Technical Glass Product’s absent leader, Jerry Razwick. “He sent me to talk with you about some new fire-rated products.” Vermeulen discussed the new fire-rated glasses and frames. “Schools in Oregon are being retrofitted with these new products in place of wired glass,” he said.

Finishing out the session was PPG’s Mark Rupert, who sang the praises of Starphire® ultraclear glass and talked about the new Solarban 60 Starphire. “This glass has a lot of desirable properties,” Rupert said. “It even has ‘sustainable’ characteristics of energy efficiency and daylighting that are so important.” 

Design Trends
Wednesday’s sessions opened with presentations that covered a variety of building design trends. 

Kevin O’Connor of Ross-Barney+Jankowski Architects discussed his company’s involvement in the design of the new Oklahoma City Federal Building Campus. Some of the factors that were taken into consideration for the design were security and LEED. A large amount of glass was also used in several windows, walls and skylights, increasing the amount of daylighting and decreasing energy costs from artificial lighting. 

On the Green
“Energy efficiency is critical in the design process,” said Valerie Block of DuPont during her presentation on green buildings. She added that within this criteria there are numerous opportunities for the glass industry to get involved in green building design.

Discussing hurricane codes were John Bush of Oldcastle Glass, Nanette Lockwood of Solutia Inc. and Jaime Gascon, a Miami-Dade County code official. When asked about the cost efficiency of using laminated glass in new construction versus shutters, Bush explained that laminated glass was very cost effective in that it falls in a price range between the board shutters that are installed manually prior to a storm and the upper-end roll-down shutters that are installed on windows. For retrofit applications, though, laminated glass does cost more since the entire window is being replaced.

Squaring Off
During the afternoon’s square table meeting attendees joined together for lunch and to discuss issues they are faced with in business. In discussing the growing presence of China in manufacturing, the group talked about the importance of building a relationship with companies in Mexico and Latin America. “The Chinese are everywhere,” said Steven Little, who added that he would not be surprised to see China start building float plants in Mexico. He encouraged the importance of learning to speak Spanish as a way of showing our support and our interest in partnering with companies in those countries. Other topics on the agenda included the complexities in order entry due to the increased amount of products and their level of sophistication; health care costs; the improving commercial construction market, which is offering a prime opportunity to sell more value to the marketplace; and the issue of freight shipping/transportation. “It’s a problem waiting to happen,” said one attendee, who noted that while there are few shipping delays now, the shortage of quality drivers and therefore trucks, could soon led to bigger issues. 

Special Recognition
This year during the annual banquet, typically held on Tuesday night (this year held on Wednesday night), two members of the glass industry were recognized.

Stan Joehlin of S.W. Joehlin Inc. was recognized with the Harry Miles Award of Excellence. Joehlin, who worked for Glasstech Inc. for many years before launching his consulting company, is highly regarded in the industry for his tempering expertise and experience.

Both Ren Bartoe and Tom Noe of Glasstech introduced Joehlin and presented the award to him last night. Family members and friends joining Joehlin included his wife, two sons and one of his two daughters, as well as his college advisor.

“I’ve known Stanley Joehlin for 29 years and during that time he’s been a competitor, a client and customer, a technical resource, a mentor and a friend,” said Bartoe. “Stan is the poster boy for integrity, modesty and a technical champion of the industry.” 

Joehlin’s annual presentations at the Glass Fabrication educational seminar have been a favorite of attendees for many years. This year’s seminar conference, which will take place in April in Las Vegas, will be Joehlin’s 29th year as a presenter. 

“It is fitting that Stan is recognized for his individual contributions to the technical advancement of GANA and the glass industry,” added Tom Noe of Glasstech. “As the cornerstone of the tempering educational seminar for nearly three decades, he has proven to be one of the industry’s leaders in diagnosing and solving glass tempering problems. His integrity and unassuming demeanor are envied by myself and others fortunate to have considered him as a mentor.”

Also being honored was Dennis Csehi as outgoing president of GANA. Lee Harrison with Walker Glass will serve as the new president. 

Glass Week ’06
Plans are already in the works for Glass Week 2006. Next year the annual event will return to the posh Marriott Laguna Cliffs Resort in Dana Point, Calif. The location was the venue for the 2003 event and was a favorite for many. The event will take place January 28-February 2.

The Author: 
Ellen Girard Chilcoat, Charles Cumpston and Debra Levy are the editor, contributing editor and publisher of USGlass magazine respectively.


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