A Look Back: Highlights of the IGMA 2018 Winter Conference

By Jordan Scott

Thermal stress, certification up-dates and education were all on the agenda at the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) 2018 Winter Conference in Tucson, Ariz., where members provided solutions to important industry issues from January 31 to February 2.

John Kent, president of Administrative Management Systems (AMS), gave an update from the Safety Glazing Certification Council (SGCC), which is developing an online training tool to outline how to run safety tests correctly. SGCC plans to launch the training tool before its next meeting in October. The council will also consider integrating quality system requirements with existent testing and sampling requirements.

SGCC is also launching a voluntary pilot study to review equivalency of tempered glass and coated tempered glass testing.

The Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC) will look at which internal components should be tested according to the ASTM E2190 series of test standards.

“We’re looking at testing worst-case and highest-produced products for grilles, decorative inserts, blinds and the ‘other’ category,” said Kent.

IGCC approved a voluntary fingerprint process for sealants. Companies can submit a sample of the sealant to get a chemical fingerprint. Companies will be able to compare the sealant from one year to another or pre- and post-test.

“It will give you a shape of a curve and you can see if something is going on that you might not understand,” said Kent. “Are your materials possibly changing?”

Kent said the Council is focused on product equivalency to allow switching between products in the same generic category. Current codes define the three spacer categories as single-material single-function spacers, multi-material single-function spacers and multi-material multi-function spacers.

“What we’re going to do first is gain graphics and descriptions of all the different types of spacer systems, so we know what we’re looking at. We’ll create some sort of equivalency groupings,” said Kent. “Otherwise, fabricators will have to do around a hundred tests a year because nothing’s equivalent. We need to have some things that are reasonably equivalent.”

Roland Rossman of Garibaldi Glass, chair of the certification committee, called for a task group to establish guidelines for design considerations for complex insulating glass units (IGU), which includes oversized glass.

“Fabricators need to come on board and help to set up some type of frame-work. It’s real and it’s coming,” said Rossman. “We see people asking for particularly large units. There are risks and liabilities involved in creating oversized glass.”

“IGMA is about being proactive instead of reactive,” added Margaret Webb, executive director of IGMA.

The committee voted to form a task group to create a scope that will develop design considerations for over-sized IGUs.

The insulating glass thermal stress task group’s Bill Lingnell, of Lingnell Consulting Services and IGMA technical director, reported that the committee is analyzing dynamic thermal stress.

“Max thermal stress conditions hap-pen when you have a major temperature difference in 20 to 30 minutes’ time. It’s not instantaneous. It happens over time,” said Lingnell.

The committee’s goal is to predict the probability of breakage due to thermal stress, such as major temperature difference exerted upon the internal and external parts of the glass simultaneously.

IGMA’s full-day Leadership Development Program will be offered again in 2018 in conjunction with IGMA conferences. The organization is planning to team up with the Facades Tectonics Institute (FTI) in Vancouver to offer a half-day or full-day building envelope symposium.

The Preventing IG Failures online program will launch this spring. Sessions will be available a la carte or as part of an annual subscription service.

TM-5000, the IGMA Manual for the Do’s and Don’ts of Safety, is under development and will include how to conduct a safety risk assessment for an IG fabrication facility.

IGMA’s IG Fabricator workshop will be held November 2018 at the Intertek facilities in Plano, Texas. IGMA may run back-to-back workshops to accommodate the demand as it has had to turn people away in the past.

In addition to educational and technical sessions, attendees were also treated to a keynote presentation from Dustin Anderson, owner of Anderson Glass in Waco, Texas, who has been featured on HGTV’s Fixer Upper. He spoke about his experience and industry issues such as hiring millennials to fill the workforce shortage.

“You’re competing with companies that meet millennials on their level. They have basketball courts and nap rooms. It’s hard to compete with that,” said Anderson.

He suggested using quality social media content to reach out to young people.

“I’m more likely to use social media to see how others in the industry are doing things. It’s a great tool to reach more people,” he said.

The next IGMA meeting will be held July 31 to August 2 in Vancouver, Canada.

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