Volume 37, Issue 11, November 2002

Right as Rain

Despite the Rain Plaguing New Orleans the Preceding Week, GANA’s Fall Conference Goes On, Accomplishing Much
    by Ellen Giard Chilcoat

GANACROWD The members of the Glass Association of North America (GANA) are not likely to let a little rain—or the threat of a hurricane for that matter—keep them from doing what needs to do be done. Though Hurricane Isidore had just passed through and Hurricane Lili was on its way, the group met in New Orleans September 28 – October 1 for its fall conference.

More than 100 individuals from various sectors of the industry attended the conference to discuss a number of pertinent topics. Overall, the conference earned favorable reviews, especially in regards to technical activity. 

“From my technical perspective, response to the conference was very positive,” said Greg Carney, GANA technical director. “Several members expressed that this was the most technically active GANA meeting they had ever attended, and noted that they were impressed with the issues that are being worked on currently, as well as issues that members identified as needing attention.” He continued, “A number of new task groups were developed to address opportunities to better serve the industry in areas of key technical needs.”

Mirror Division
HARRISON The mirror division meeting was the first of the conference, taking place on the afternoon of September 28. Division chairperson Drew Mayberry greeted attendees, and also took the opportunity to present an award to Lee Harrison of Walker Glass Co. Ltd. in appreciation of his years of service.

“Lee served as head of our division for nearly four years,” said Mayberry. “He led us successfully into our current status as a division of GANA [and] championed the development of an updated mirror standard. We are indebted to him for his efforts.”
Drew Mayberry (right) presented an award to Lee Harrison during the mirror division meeting in recognition of Harrison’s service to the division.

Included in the topics discussed was the division’s efforts regarding a mirror cullet recycling project, through which the division is looking for ways to recycle mirror cullet. Carney said no new information had been received, and encouraged attendees to share any ideas or information with the association. 

Economic Update
Fred Wallin of AFG Industries provided a primary glass update/economic forecast, and reported that long-term economic activity was good. He added that U.S. and Canadian glass demand is expected to increase less than .5 percent in 2003, after its 3.1-percent increase this year. In addition, U.S. and Canadian capacity utilization is estimated to be 90.8 percent for 2002, a 4.3-percent increase compared to 2001.

Gary Werner of Guardian Industries followed with a presentation on importing and exporting of flat glass mirror, and reported that the largest volume of mirror was coming in from China. According to Werner, the number of mirror lines in China is growing, with as many as 12 lines being installed in 2003, and said there was a good chance this will affect the domestic producer’s activity in the future if it hasn’t already. 

He also reported that the law firm of Stewart & Stewart had found a new legal authority, included in the U.S.-China Trade Agreement signed late last year, that is now part of U.S. Law-Section 421 of the Trade Act of 1974. Werner said this law provides a safeguard against market disruption. GANA general counsel Kim Mann said the association could not support or endorse the application of 421, and those interested in learning more on the topic should contact either Werner or Steve Farrar with Guardian. 

Laminating Division Meeting
The technical committee of GANA’s laminating division met the morning of September 29. 
An ANSI Z 97.1 committee update was provided by John Kent of the Safety Glazing Certification Council and the International Glass Certification Council. He said the ANSI committee has a December deadline to finish the standard’s revision process. He added that due to a recent appeals hearing, a re-ballot on Class C might be required (for related story and update on Class C, see "NewsNow").

Issues and Concerns
GERHARDINGER Of considerable interest and concern to GANA is the Security Fenestration Rating and Certification (SFRC) program. Reportedly, the National Institute of Building Sciences and its Building Environment and Thermal Envelope Council have been working on this issue. The effort would establish a security glazing rating, certification and labeling program. Though GANA has voiced support for the need of educational resources and an effort to increase the awareness of protective glazing materials, Carney said the group does not believe there is a need for a rating, labeling and certification program. He encouraged vocal industry participation to try and slow this effort down. He also encouraged members to talk to their customers about the issue, 
as they too need to be aware of it.
                                                                Peter Gerhardinger discussed glass, electronics and 
                                                                energy efficiency.

A product labeling task group was also established which will be chaired by Julie Schimmelpenningh of Solutia. The task group will review current practices and requirements for labeling laminated glazing materials and will study potential needs for further documentation. 

The laminating division’s membership meeting followed. One topic discussed was a proposal to form a performance composites committee that would provide a forum for companies who make composite laminates. The division is considering the development of the committee and asked interested members to work together in developing a committee, structure, mission and potential participants.

In the division’s point-supported glass task group meeting, discussions focused on concern over the fact that there is not an existing design practice or procedure [for point-supported glass] that is documented. According to Bill Coddington, task group chairperson of Oldcastle Glass, this is an issue because when glass is supported at points, rather than on the edges, different engineering and structural awareness is required, and much of the trade is not aware of this. A major area of concern lies within the use of glass canopies. 

“This is a big concern because of snow-load issues,” said Coddington. “Snow is often the greatest load applied [to a canopy].”

In addition, Coddington said another area of concern for point-supported glass deals with spider fittings.

“There are a lot of spider fittings offered that are without glass design limits,” said Coddington. “You can buy the spiders and you can buy the glass, but who’s doing the engineering of the system?” He continued, “There’s no one responsible for the design standard, and there needs to be.”

Some steps the point-supported glass task group is taking include publishing a Glass Information Bulletin (GIB) that would address design considerations for point-supported glass applications. Coddington said this should be published by early 2003. The purpose of the GIB, said Coddington, will be to get the message out that there is a concern.

Tempering Division
It was standing room only for the tempering division meeting, which took place that afternoon. Meetings of the construction subcommittee, roll-wave subcommittee and standards and engineering committee all took place respectively. 

During the construction subcommittee meeting, Carney updated the group on GANA’s continued efforts in working with the International Window Cleaners Association (IWCA). 

“We’re working with the IWCA to educate them on tempered glass,” said Carney. The subcommittee is also in the beginning processes of publishing a GIB on construction site protection of architectural glass. Reportedly, 90 percent of the time glass reaches a jobsite it is placed in a location where it will get dirty, damaged, etc. The GIB will get the message to contractors, and anyone else involved, of the steps necessary to prevent glass damage on construction sites.

The big news in the roll-wave subcommittee meeting was the standard test method for determining roll-wave distortion passed and will now be presented to the engineering and standards committee.
“An awful lot of hard work and effort went into this by a lot of people, but we’re still not finished,” said subcommittee chair Ren Bartoe of Vesuvius McDanel. “This is just the first phase, and it represents the subcommittee’s vote only. We still have to pass at the standard and engineering committee level and the general membership.” He continued, “There is still a lot of work to be done and there are still hurdles to cross. We are not there yet.”

In addition, the subcommittee voted on and passed the recommended maximum roll-wave factor. It also passed at the standards and engineering committee level and will now be voted on by the general membership. 

Revisions and updates to the ANSI Z97.1 draft, including the center-punch fragmentation test, was a topic of discussion during the day’s final meeting, the tempering division standards and engineering committee. The center-punch fragmentation test is designed to evaluate the fracture pattern of tempered glass specifications that do not break. The GANA tempering division developed the original proposed language for the document in 1997-1998. However, product changes and further testing have identified issues that have caused the standards and engineering committee to request a re-ballot to remove the center-punch fragmentation test section from ANSI Z97.1

General Session
The conference’s general session began the next morning and included sessions on new products, glass electronics and efficiency and marketing.

In the new products, services and technology session, Jeff Wareham of HHH Architectural Tempering Systems Inc., who’s also a manufacturer’s representative with Ashton Industrial, talked about Ashton’s equipment for automatic seaming and edge deletion of glass; Marko Pantti from Tamglass discussed the company’s convection technology for low-E tempering; and Hubert Haselsteiner of Lisec America discussed advanced glass fabrication using water jet technology.

Next, Peter Gerhardinger of Engineered Glass Products led a presentation on glass, electronics and energy efficiency. He talked about some of the most recent, innovative types of glass, such as switchable glass, photovoltaic glass and heated glass with transparent conductive thin films.

Switchable glass includes glass that can switch from dark to light; photovoltaic glass can generate power; and heated glass with transparent conductive thin films offers electrical resistance heating that provides comfort and condensation resistance.

“We will continue to see improvements in coating technology,” Gerhardinger said. “We are seeing more proliferations in coatings, and people are saying in five years we won’t be buying glass without coatings.”

The day’s last speaker was Linda Talley who talked about how companies, as well as individuals, can better position themselves to serve as a viable marketing tool for their organization. 

While the conference drew a substantial crowd of glass-industry individuals, other industries were represented as well. Pat Johnston with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was one such individual to take part in the event.

“The FAA, primarily concerning control towers, has very unique and stringent [construction] requirements, and glass is becoming a big deal to the FAA,” said Johnston. He said that having dealt with glass issues concerning matters such as quality control and distortion, he decided to attend the conference to try and learn more about glass. “I definitely benefited from the conference,” he said. “Especially in the contacts I made. There were a lot of big names in the glass industry there, and a lot of companies I’d worked with in the past.” 

At press time, dates and location for GANA’s 2003 fall conference have not yet been set. 



Ellen Giard Chilcoat is managing editor of USGlass magazine.


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