by Steve Coyle
With the recent ANSI acceptance of ANSI-AGRSS 001-2000, our industry now has its first opportunity to align our installation practices to a standard. The standard addresses issues that will assure the vehicles structural integrity is not compromised by a replacement. It discusses proper urethane storage temperatures and usage procedures, shelf life, traceability and proper application of the adhesive products, just to name a few of the issues.
The recent ABC 20/20 segment on windshield installations noted that the adhesive manufacturers application instructions are not always followed. The smallest deviation from these instructions could result in a failure.
Most technicians in the industry have received some type of training. Unfortunately, this training sometimes focuses more on how to remove the mouldings, cut out the glass and sometimes even short cuts to get the job done quicker. The specifics of the adhesive are sometimes limited to generic information or not covered at all. It is these specifics that can make the difference.
Methods of preventing contamination on the bonding surface are specific to each adhesive manufacturer. You will find that the instructions vary within one manufacturers product line. Approved cleaners and the proper combination of primers or activators all need to be considered.
Safe drive-away times vary widely throughout the adhesive industry. Again, different products within a manufacturers line will react differently depending on the weather conditions at the time of the installation. Based on current weather conditions, the technician must decide which product to use to allow the customer to safely drive the vehicle within a desired time frame. The method for preparing the adhesive products prior to installation is also very important. Some products, for example, require cold weather procedures when temperatures are at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
I dont believe any technician would compromise a customers safety intentionally. The fact is that most believe they are performing the installation correctly when, in fact, they are just not aware of all the factors involved in the installation. The AGRSS standard also addresses this by requiring technicians to successfully complete a comprehensive training program with a continuing education component. This will assure that each technician will stay up-to-date with the most recent adhesive instructions. This will allow all technicians to become better informed and thus improve the professionalism within our industry.
Steve Coyle is part of the Perfor-mance Achievement Group, an auto glass training company in Madison, Wis.
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