Volume 39, Issue 3,
The Industry Found a Source for Information and
More at Glass Week ’04
by Ellen Giard Chilcoat
|There’s something about Glass Week. It’s an event many
in the industry anticipate eagerly. One month, sometimes even two months,
before the event’s arrival, people are already talking about it. It’s
not uncommon for phrases such as the following to make their way into
pre-Glass Week conversations:
“Are you going to Glass Week?”
“Will I be seeing you at Glass Week?”
“Let’s plan a meeting and discuss during Glass Week.”
“We’ll grab a drink and catch up during Glass Week.”
But what is it that causes the industry to anticipate this annual event’s arrival? Is it being with old friends and associates? Is it learning about trends, new products and changes in the industry? Maybe it’s the opportunity to take part in decision-making discussions that help to shape the industry and the direction in which it’s headed. Whatever the reason, it’s an event that many look forward to.
This year’s 18th annual Glass Week took place February 7-12 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla. More than 220 attendees convened for technical meetings, educational discussions and presentations and, of course, a little fun and socializing. While the total number of attendees was down slightly compared to last year, this could be due to the absence of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA), which co-sponsored the 2003 event. (For 2004, IGMA chose to hold its annual meeting separately.)
Springing to Action
Technical meetings on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday are the typical beginnings of Glass Week. This is where great minds gather to create documents, standards and other pertinent information for educating the industry.
The mirror division meeting took place Saturday afternoon and featured the development of a new design awards competition that will be called the Mirrorlink.org Design Awards 2005. The competition will recognize both the designer and installer of the mirror.
The division also is reviewing the document titled Mirrors: Handle with Extreme Care, and planning to update it. Once completed, the document will be available at both GANA’s website (www.glasswebsite.com) and the division’s site (www.mirrorlink.org).
In addition, the division also created a Canadian standards subcommittee, chaired by Lee Harrison of Walker Glass, which will work to harmonize the Canadian mirror standard and ASTM C 1503.
At 7 a.m. on Sunday members of the tempering division gathered for the center-punch fragmentation subcommittee meeting. The center-punch fragmentation language is being removed from the ANSI Z97.1 standard, and this subcommittee is now in the process of developing a center-punch fragmentation test method. The subcommittee has drafted the test method, and once it is reviewed and approved at that level it will next go to the standards and engineering committee for review and approval and then to the division for final approval. Test method approval is expected by or at the Fall Conference. Once approved, it will be a GANA test method.
GANA’s relationship with the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) continues to be a topic of discussion for the construction subcommittee.
“Discussions and activities with the IWCA membership and its leadership is very positive,” said GANA technical director Greg Carney, who said the two groups are working together to revise the glass information bulletin (GIB), Proper Procedures for Cleaning Architectural Glass.
Another document published by the subcommittee, the GIB on site protection of architectural glass (see the November 2003 USGlass page 10), has been downloaded from the GANA website more than 580 times. The goal architects, etc.
With its standard test method now in effect, the roll wave subcommittee next plans to publish it as a GANA test method. The test method will be released to members at no charge. A motion was voted on and passed to also publish the test method in the next GANA Engineering Standards Manual.
With the cooperation of the membership, the committee plans to collect data on all types of glass and substrates (i.e., colors, coatings, substrates, etc.) to determine where it will next focus its efforts.
Task groups of the laminating division met individually Sunday morning and used their time in the afternoon division meeting to report on current activities.
The optical distortion task group recently published a GIB on designing for laminated glazing (see the December 2003 USGlass, page 12). Pete Anderson of Viracon, task group chairperson, reported that the bulletin has been downloaded almost 1,000 times from the GANA website.
Other divisions are also working on GIBs. The emergency egress task group is working on one titled Emergency Access Through Laminated Glass. The point-supported glass task group is continuing work on its document, as well. The group expects the document will most likely serve as a guideline/dos and don’ts list for working with and designing with point-supported glass.
A GIB also is in the works for the product labeling task group and the Laminated Glazing Reference Manual task group. All of the division GIBs are expected to be completed at the Fall Conference.
New Faces, New Divisions
There were two new divisions meeting at this year’s Glass Week: the flat glass manufacturing division and the insulating glass division. The flat glass manufacturers held a division meeting and the insulating division hosted a panel discussion on warm-edge alternatives in commercial insulating glazing.
The flat glass manufacturing division is in the process of creating committees and tasks that it wants to complete. Projects on which it currently is working include a dramatic enhancement of its website and updating the former Primary Glass Manufacturers Council’s Specifier’s Guide for Architectural Glass.
After a long day of technical meetings, many welcomed Monday morning’s keynote presentation. This year’s keynote speaker invited and encouraged attendees to have fun and play games at work (yes, play games) in an effort to create a more rewarding work environment. Harry Paul, co-author of Fish! Fish Tales! and Fish Sticks!, began by telling everyone that what you take away and get from your job is all about attitude. To prove this, he had everyone perform what he called a meet-and-greet exercise. For the first part of the exercise, everyone was told to introduce himself to three people, acting as though each person he was meeting was the most unimportant person he had ever met. For the next part of the exercise, attendees were told to meet three people and act like each was the most important person they’d ever met. The results were astoundingly different. In part one, people were introducing themselves quietly, and no one was happy or smiling; in part two, echoes of cheerful hellos and happy chitter-chatter rang throughout the room.
“Did you see the difference?” Paul asked. “The change was in your attitude.”
The Fish Philosophy, he said, is all about attitude.
Using the Pike’s Peak Fish Market in Seattle (famous for its ribald style and its workers who throw fish), Paul encouraged a strong, positive culture at work, so it would be a place that employees want to be.
And, of course, to tie it all together, he tossed a couple of plush fish to audience members who provided feedback throughout the presentation.
Products and Technology
Six new products presentations were made next, which included the following: automatic vertical cutting, Marcel Bally of Bystronic; Pilkington’s Eclipse Advantage™ low-E glass, Paul Baskwell, Pilkington North America; high convection technology for tempering, Eero Jalkanen of Tamglass; new glass coating technologies, Scott Thomsen of Guardian; multi-convection flat tempering, Anders Holmqvist of Glassrobots; and Virtual Digitizing from USK Glass’s Jonathan Cullum.
|Fit to be Square
During the square table meeting those taking part came to discuss and debate an array of topics and concerns. Those leading discussions were:
• Mike Weiss, Schneider National, on hours of service transportation regulations;
• Arthur Berkowitz, J.E. Berkowitz LP, on coping with higher energy costs;
• Kevin Schulz, Oldcastle Glass, on making safety a priority;
• Leon Silverstein of Arch Aluminum & Glass, on liability and health insurance costs; and
• Stan Smith, GANA, on ethics and business.
The topic drawing the most discussion was the new trucking regulations (see February 2004 USGlass, page 56, for related article). Some of the new glass rack systems available were mentioned as ways to help reduce loading and unloading times.
Guardian’s ultraviolet blocking glass, which is designed to improve fade reduction, drew quite a bit of interest.
“We’re finding there’s an increased demand for fade reduction in the home,” said Thomsen.
“We’re trying to improve the fading management of windows.”
Also drawing interest was the new Virtual Digitizing. This software solution is designed to eliminate typical problems when working with templates and shapes.
“Templates are often not made well and the accuracy is questionable,” said Cullum. Virtual Digitizing combines digital photography with software and allows companies to process templates without large, expensive digitizing tables. It also serves as a tool for creating accurate dimensions, both on- and off-site, so templates are not necessary.
Words from the Panel
The tragedy of 9/11 affected the world nearly three years ago, and during the Pentagon panel discussion, which took place Tuesday morning, listeners were able to experience and feel just how the event affected the glass industry.
Prior to 9/11 plans had been set to retrofit the Pentagon with blast-resistant windows. Only one portion of the Pentagon had been retrofitted when the plane crashed into it, and the plane just happened to strike that area, in turn saving lives and reducing injuries. Suppliers involved on the project discussed their individual roles. Speakers were: Brad Austin, Viracon, glass supplier; Tim Feast, Solutia, interlayer supplier; Ken Hays, Masonry Arts, glazing contractor; and Bill O’Brien, Dow Corning, sealant supplier.
Austin began with a video of how the world is changing as the need for blast-resistant glazing is increasing.
“The glass industry has definitely changed and the opportunities before us are enormous,” Austin said.
Feast’s discussion covered the industry pre-9/11, going back nine years to the bombing of Oklahoma City’s federal building.
“The lesson we learned [from that] was there is far too little laminated glass being used. Oklahoma City was a wake-up call,” Feast said, “and the Pentagon was our opportunity to show what we learned.”
For the sealants, O’Brien explained that the focus is on the area where the glass touches the aluminum. He, too, reiterated how important it is that all the products work together.
And while all the presentations had an impact, none were as strong and as real as the one from Hays. He put his whole self in front of the room, sharing his thoughts and feelings about the Pentagon project and what it meant not only to him, but also to those in the Pentagon on 9/11.
Hays said when he was first approached about the project he didn’t see the need.
“I thought, this is the Pentagon. Who’s going to attack the Pentagon?” But the construction team wanted the retrofit. “It was, I’m sure, the most unique construction I’ll ever be involved in.”
Hays showed pictures taken by his staff just hours after the attack that illustrated how the window system worked, allowing people the opportunity to get out of the building. He also explained the retrofit process and how construction on each section was being completed.
|Get a Warm Edge
GANA’s recently created insulating glass (IG) division took the Glass Week opportunity to host a panel discussion titled Warm-Edge Alternatives in Commercial Insulating Glass. The presentation was well-attended and gave attendees the opportunity to learn about some of the different spacers available to the IG industry.
The presenters were: Randy Braun of Edgetech; David Cooper of ADCO Products and Marcel Bally of Bystronic; Michael Gainey with Azon USA; Jan Gottner of Allmetal; Gary Johnson of Helima Helvation International; and Al Lutz of PPG.
Gainey, for example, discussed thermal barriers. He explained that the need for thermal barriers was being driven by the change in energy codes.
“Commercial buildings,” he said, “consume 30 percent of the nation’s energy, and most is lost through the roof and windows.”
Discussing stainless steel spacers were Gottner and Johnson.
“Stainless steel spacers are less conductive than aluminum,” said Johnson.
Lutz led the final discussion on PPG’s Intercept technology.
“Up to now,” he said, “this has been only a residential product, but that’s changing. We’re moving into commercial.”
Forecasts and Insight
“Are things looking up for commercial construction?” was a question on the minds of many during the economic forecast. Nick Limb of Ducker International was on hand with the answer. Limb provided economic outlooks for North America as well as the world economy.
“Non-residential [construction] has started to turn the corner as its rate of decline is slowing,” said Limb. He also said the overall demand [for glazing products] was down by 50 percent in 2003, but added that he expects to see the need for commercial glazing products increase by mid-2004.
For the flat glass market specifically, residential window production increased 3 percent last year, lead by vinyl windows.
“Vinyl will grow strongly and [we’ll] see wood having challenges over the next few years.”
For non-residential windows, production was down about 3.9 percent from 2002.
“We’re seeing growth and product demand in the second half of 2004 and going into 2005,” said Limb optimistically, adding that a quarter of all float glass produced goes to the automotive market.
Limb also provided a customer perspective of the glass industry, as he explained his company had surveyed more than 100 end users. Based on the survey, some of the trends they expect to see are: more low-E/energy coatings, more laminated glass and more silkscreens and colors.
Some matters with other countries also were discussed. As many expected, Asian countries are gaining strength.
“Asia will have a significant impact on your business over the next five years if it hasn’t already,” said Limb.
Concerning relations with Mexico, Limb said NAFTA was working, so we could expect to see more integration between the United States and Mexico from a glass standpoint.
Q & A
Following the economic forecast, five fabricators led the “Ask Your Glass Fabricator CEO” panel discussion. The panel included Arthur Berkowitz of J.E. Berkowitz LP, Jack Deyo of Mid Ohio Tempering [a United Glass Corp. company], Chuck Kaplanek of Floral Glass & Mirror Inc., Don Pyatt of Viracon and John Stilwell of AFGD Inc.
The first question coming from the floor concerned the issue of consolidation.
Deyo answered, saying he sees it slowing because the merits of consolidation are [not] positive. He also said the past few years have not been good for buyers.
Panelists also were asked for their take on low-maintenance glass and whether they were using it. None were overwhelmingly optimistic about it.
Berkowitz said that based on its cost, handling issues and problems with its use with silicone sealants (for more on this see February 2004 USGlass, page 48), his company doesn’t see the product as viable at this time.
Don Pyatt said Viracon, too, had had concerns with the products and was not using them either. Stilwell agreed and said he hadn’t seen much demand.
“I think everyone has re-trenched from it,” Stilwell said.
A Pleasurable Experience
But Glass Week isn’t just about meetings. There were events, activities and social opportunities as well.
Two tours were arranged for participants to enjoy in the afternoons—Kennedy Space Center and a Winter Park tour.
Receptions were held as well, garnished with a bit of Disney flare. During the first evening’s reception Mickey and Minnie Mouse visited, and many took the opportunity to have their photos taken with the famous mice (check out the Glass Week photo gallery online at www.glassweek.com).
The second evening’s reception took place at 8TRAX, a club on Disney’s Pleasure Island that sports a 1970s-themed atmosphere.
The Glass Week formal dinner featured a special awards and recognition ceremony. John Dwyer of Syracuse Glass was honored as the outgoing GANA president; Dennis Csehi of Atwood/Spec-Temp will serve as the 2004 president.
In addition, John Mulvanerty, formerly with FLT Glass, was presented the Outstanding Service Award by Ren Bartoe of Vesuvius McDanel, for his work as the tempering division, standards and engineering committee chairperson.
Despite all that Glass Week had to offer, there was a downside to the experience. Many attendees felt the total Disney immersion was not very conducive to business. There was only one full-service restaurant on the property, one small bar with spotty hours and lodging was spread across a massive area. Disney does a great job of making sure its audience is a captive one, and getting off property took a lot of time. Earlier in the year GANA had discussed possibly returning to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in 2005, but has decided against it. Planning for next year’s event is still in the works, but the date and location will be announced soon.
In the meantime, be sure and visit www.glassweek.com to learn more about the annual event.
© Copyright Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.