Visual quality, harmonization, education, top agenda at IGMA meeting
Members of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, of Ottawa, Ontario, took strides to harmonize IG standards and to bring its education programs online during the organization’s 7th Annual Meeting Feb. 21-24 in Tampa.
Several groups met, including the Visual Quality Working Group that faced some disagreement about its recent draft of visual quality guidelines. The organization’s Thermal Stress Working Group continued efforts to create a dos and don’ts guide.
About 80 industry representatives attended the meeting at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza.
IGMA will host its Summer Meeting, June 12-14 in Huntington Beach, Calif. The organization’s 8th Annual Meeting will be Jan. 22-26 in San Diego. Visit www.igmaonline.org for more information.
Harmonization nears completion
After several years of work, IGMA and the Insulating Glass Certification Council of Henderson Harbor, N.Y., are nearing completion of their harmonized standards for IGUs, said Margaret Webb, executive director of IGMA.
"The efforts of both groups to work together have been substantial and effective,” Webb said during IGMA's strategic planning meeting Feb. 22. “Both groups have a strong background in developing certification program requirements. There are two areas we are still working through: frequency of testing and quality assurance requirements."
One remaining difference between IGMA’s and IGCC’s programs is the participation requirement for gas-filled IGUs. IGMA’s program mandates that manufacturers receive IG certification in order to receive a label. IGCC’s program is voluntary.
Several members of IGMA’s Education and Certification Committee expressed concern about reducing the requirement in the harmonized certification from mandatory to voluntary during the committee’s Feb. 21 meeting.
John Kent, administrator for IGCC explained that many manufacturers using the IGCC voluntary program produce only a small portion of gas-filled IGUs. Such companies are unwilling to pay the cost of testing and certification, he said.
The committee voted to recommend that the IGMA board allow for voluntary certification initially for the program, with the intention to move toward mandatory certification as the program matures.
The other two discussion items for the committee involved testing of pre- and post-cycling gas content, and certification of triple-glazed units.
IGCC implemented a pre- and post-cycling gas content measurement with an initial gas content rate of 90 percent and a post gas content rate of 80 percent. The IGMA board is set to implement the same gas content requirements during a conference call meeting to be held in the next several weeks, Webb said.
The committee also voted to require testing of triple-glazed units every four years for both IGMA and IGCC programs, and testing of double-glazed units for the intervening years, Webb said. The triple- and double-glazed unit test requirements also will go before the IGMA board for ratification, she said.
“If the two motions are ratified by the IGMA board of directors, then implementation [of the harmonized program] would be some time this year, potentially next year,” Webb said. “However, this will be an item that is also discussed in order to allow fabricators to become familiar with the new requirement.”
Some manufacturers find visual quality guidelines too stringent
On Feb. 21, IGMA’s Visual Quality Working Group reviewed the negative comments about the visual quality guidelines ballot it issued in early February. Several manufacturer representatives in the group expressed concerns regarding the rigorous requirements listed in the guidelines.
“The most substantial responses to the ballot were comments that the draft was excessively stringent at some points,” said Joe Hayden, senior project engineer of certification for Pella Corp. of Pella, Iowa. Hayden also serves as chair for the working group.
“Several members would like us to develop something more along the lines of ASTM C1036,” he said.
ASTM C1036 outlines visual quality requirements for flat glass, defining visual impairments in terms of point- or linear blemishes.
“We don’t want to overstep ASTM C1036,” said Bill Lingnell, engineering consultant for Lingnell Consulting Services of Rockwall, Texas.
A sub working group will take back the comments from the meeting to rework the guidelines and revise the definitions of visual impairments within the document.
"We gathered comments and will develop a new draft to be balloted prior to [IGMA's summer meeting] in June," Hayden said.
Visual quality problems in insulating glass units can include adhesive residue, fingerprints, desiccant dusting and dirt.
Dos and don’ts guide in works for thermal stress breaks
The organization’s Thermal Stress Working Group continued efforts Feb. 21 to develop guidelines to prevent thermal stress that can lead to glass breakage.
The guidelines will be presented in a concise dos and don’ts format, “to assist members in understanding when they’re going to get into a thermal stress problem,” Lingnell said.
The guide will provide a check-list including items such as drapery and shadow conditions that might create thermal stress.
The guide can be used as a design tool prior to installation or when investigating failures in the field, Lingnell said.
IGMA looks to e-education
MyGlassClass.com, the online education site from the National Glass Association of McLean, Va., will soon host an online educational program from IGMA.
A PowerPoint presentation with video will demonstrate IGMA’s glazing guidelines for industry representatives to access anytime from anywhere.
IGMA will eliminate two of its three educational seminars because of the growth in online education. The organization’s Preventing Insulating Glass Breakage seminar will continue to take place in conjunction with GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo. The organization might also explore webinar education in the future.
IGMA can reach a wider and greater audience with the online program, Webb said.
“The rationale for adding this training platform to IGMA's regular educational program is to reach a broader audience and to allow fabricators the flexibility to schedule their in-plant training when it is most convenient to them without requiring plant personnel to be away from the facility,” Webb said.
Fabricators can still receive hands-on and personalized education at the live seminars, Webb said. “There is still substantial benefit to fabricators attending the on-site seminar because of the strong interaction between the presenters and the audience. … It allows for questions from the audience that are more specific to their manufacturing operation.”