IGMA executive director Margaret Webb discusses the proposed organizational chart for a combined IGMA/AAMA organization.

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) Winter Conference 2019 continued Wednesday with presentations, task group meetings and a discussion about the potential combination with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA).

IGMA executive director Margaret Webb and AAMA executive vice president Janice Yglesias went over the proposed structure of the groupings and task groups for a combined organization. Both encouraged members to voice their opinions or concerns on any aspect of the potential combination.

“It’s not a done deal,” said Webb. “This is a membership decision by both organizations. If one votes for it but the other doesn’t it’s over.”

Stealthcase CTO Juha Lilja explains how laser ablated antennas on glass can improve wireless connectivity.

IGMA and AAMA will hold a joint meeting in June to allow members to experience how the other organization works. A vote will be held in July. According to the IGMA bylaws, only manufacturers can vote on the combination. Many members expressed their desire to expand that to suppliers as well.

If approved, the combined organization will meet three times a year, as AAMA does now, instead of two times a year as IGMA does currently. Two meetings would be held in the U.S. with the third located in Canada.

Certification Task Group

AMS Inc. president John Kent updated members on the North American Contractor Certification and the Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (AGMT) program. Kent said that the development of the AGMT certification will be done in a few weeks and he expects it to gain ANSI accreditation in March 2019. The full program could be rolled out by May 2019.

Smart Glass

Juha Lilja, CTO at Stealthcase, gave a presentation titled, “Connected Smart Glass for Selectively Repeating Wireless Signals.”

He explained that people are using more wireless signals, but the signals can have a hard time penetrating the building envelope. Low-E coatings can prevent wireless connections from being as strong as they would be passing through glass without a low-E coating. Invisible laser ablated antennas on glass can allow the signals to pass through the glass.

“Glass is becoming the enabler of indoor connectivity,” said Lilja.

He said that ablating a small section of the coating does not impact the glass’ energy efficiency.

Education and Safety

Bill Briese, chair of the education and safety task group, updated members on the Insulating Glass (IG) Fabricator Workshop. The next one will be offered from November 12-14 in Plano, Texas. IGMA will only offer a single session and registration will open sometime in September.

Mike Burk, North America technical representative for Sparklike, emphasized the importance of training maintenance workers in safety. He said that maintenance workers should have a total comprehension of plant-wide lock out/tag out requirements.

“A lot of injuries happen because someone didn’t do lock out/tag out,” said Burk.

He said that maintenance workers must be able to operate all equipment, software and adjustments. They should also be what he calls a “jiggler catcher,” or someone who is on the lookout for unauthorized equipment alterations such as sensor bypasses, disabled interlocks or fixing anything with duct tape, rope or wire.

Burk also showed a video where men were “glass tipping” to get to a lite in the back of a stack, and became caught in/between the panels once the glass became too heavy. Nearly 20 people were needed to push the glass off the men. Burk hopes showing the video will prevent future incidents.

The IGMA Winter Conference 2019 concludes today in Austin, Texas. Stay tuned to USGNN™ for more coverage from the conference throughout the week.