IGMA Conference Day Two Focuses on Equivalency and Education

Mike Burk of Sparklike dressed like a glass plant worker to drive home the message that safety is important.

Certification, materials equivalency, safety and education were the main topics during day two of the Insulating Glass Manufactures Alliance (IGMA) Summer Conference 2018 in Vancouver, Canada.


The Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC) and IGMA certification program has established a voluntary fingerprint program for sealants and has since moved onto desiccants. The team reached out to the ASTM D32 committee on desiccants to discuss test procedures, but none currently exist.

According to John Kent, administrative manager of the IGCC, desiccants are unregulated.

“The biggest recommendation we got from the committee was to specify precisely what we want in a desiccant,” he said.

Margaret Webb, IGMA executive director, said that IGMA is the right place to develop testing for desiccants because nothing exists.

The fingerprinting program would be voluntary to give the program a starting point.

“Given the highly competitive nature of the desiccant companies it’s hard to say if anyone will participant in the program,” said Kent.


Brian White with H.B. Fuller discussed the relevance of the TM 1201 standard. He asked the group how helpful it has been. The document gives expected dimension information for sealant designs to give companies a starting point for developing a new product.

Webb said she received feedback that the document is not specific enough and many people end up going back to their supplier for information.

The Sealant Task Group voted to change TM 1201 into a design considerations document.

IGMAC Certification Program

The IGMAC Certification Program will baseline test to ASTM E2189 on units identical to those fabricated for ASTM E2188 testing. The testing will be done every four years. Companies can pick their worst case or highest volume product.

“We’re leaving the definition of worst case to the discretion of the fabricator,” said Kent.

Spacer equivalency is another focus of the IGMAC program.

“Everything in equivalency was level until we hit category two and three spacers,” said Webb.

Category one spacers act as spacers and use one material. Category two acts as a spacer but contains more than one material. Category three spacers have multiple materials and multiple functions.

“We need to have a sense of the geometry and materials to determine equivalency. If we can’t do this then the result will be that nothing is equivalent, and we’ll have to go through six months of testing to find out,” said Kent. “We need help from the spacer guys.

IG Fabricator Workshop

Bill Briese, Education and Safety Task Group chair, informed attendees that the IG Fabricator Workshop could be extended into a double session in November in Plano, Texas. That location has consistently sold out and the group is hoping to continue that success.

The workshop gives hands-on education about the process of creating an insulating glass unit.

Glass Safety Awareness Council

Mike Burk of Sparklike dressed like a glass plant worker to drive home the message that safety is important.

“Everyone in our industry should go home every day. They shouldn’t die or have to go to the hospital,” he said. “We’re getting better. Safety programs are getting better and people are wearing more personal protective equipment.”

He discussed recent regulations, such as a recent ruling that says ignorance of safety practices is not a valid defense when something goes wrong.

Burk informed attendees that incentive programs are not an effective safety method. Keeping track of the number of days without an accident can discourage employees from reporting an accident or injury for fear of losing incentives for their coworkers.

He also recommended ways to avoid caught in/between incidents. Burk suggested making sure employees have a clear escape, don’t carry glass in tight spaces, clear any trip hazards and spills, work on level floors and not attempt to catch or stop falling glass.

The IGMA Summer Conference 2018 ends today with an update from the IGMA board of directors, technical services task group session and an insulating glass fabricator workshop session.

Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for more news and updates from the conference.

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