Online or Hands-On: New Opportunities to Expand Your IG Knowledge

By Margaret Webb

One of IGMA’s main focus areas is education for the industry. In the past year, we’ve offered both hard and soft skills training including the Leadership Development Program, the Insulating Glass (IG) Fabricator Workshop and Preventing IG Failures. Both the Leadership Development Program and the Preventing IG Failures are online programs that can be taken from the comfort of your own desk. This helps reduce the cost of travel and time away from the office.


This past spring, IGMA launched the Preventing IG Failures program, which is based on the technical manual of the same name. This seminar series originally was offered in a classroom setting, and is now offered online with the same depth and breadth of information provided by subject matter experts. As with the manual, the seminar series follows a best practice, “Do’s and Don’ts” format. Offered by experts in their respective fields, the program covers information on all the major components of an insulating glass unit (IGU) as well as sessions on design, manufacture, investigation and determination of failure modes, plus maintaining the integrity of the unit in the field. The sessions include technical information on each topic as well as recommendations for how to handle glass and components properly and safely, all in the context of the whole unit.

There are three complimentary videos on the IGMA website related to the program that offer additional insight. These include a program overview, product certification and handling glass safely. The program is divided into two main themes: fabrication and beyond fabrication.

The fabrication sessions include glass and glass breakage; glass receiving; cutting and washing; rigid spacers and flexible spacer systems; desiccants/desiccated matrix; sealants; and gas filling. Beyond fabrication offers sessions on insulating glass design; glass performance for energy efficient fenestration (selection of glass); glazing guidelines for IGUs in residential and commercial applications; and forensic investigations of IGU failures.

The program is available in its entirety, as well as a la carte individual sessions. Subscriptions are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, so plant personnel can view the sessions during slow-downs in production rather than taking precious time away from work.


The IG Fabricator Workshop is the next evolution in training. Rather than being an online program, this is a transference of the hard skills training necessary to fabricate a quality unit with long-term performance. These are hands-on training sessions offered in small groups to ensure skills and knowledge are learned. Each workstation is facilitated by a subject matter expert who guides the participants through the methodologies and equipment to ensure they have learned the skills necessary to repeatedly execute the process. Attendees learn how to take a frost point and the importance of passing this test, as well as how to measure the gas content in their units through practice, not theory. Other work stations include checking the capacity of the desiccant or desiccated matrix, quality of the spacer materials, how to mix and gun sealants, proper cleaning of glass and consequences of not cleaning the glass properly, and how to safely and accurately cut glass to reduce breakage. The premier session of the workshop is on the last day and includes multiple workstations with IGU failures. Attendees physically and visually examine the units to determine the failure mode and are provided with guidelines and recommendations to reduce fabrication errors.

By combining the IG Fabricator Work-shop and Preventing IG Failures online, IGMA is now offering complete hard skills training and education for the industry. Visit for more information on both programs.

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