Volume 38, Issue 2, February 2003

Turning Points
    by Ellen Giard Chilcoat

Just as many consider glasstec to be the trade show of all trade shows for the glass machinery and equipment industry, Glass Week may be considered the not-to-be-missed event for fabricators, glaziers and laminators—anyone involved in glass fabrication or its management. In its seventeenth year, Glass Week took place January 18-23 at the Marriott Laguna Cliffs Resort in Dana Point, Calif., and more than 300 individuals attended, significantly lower than in previous years, but up from last year’s conference.

This year’s event also marked the return of the industry’s insulating segment. For the past two years the Glass Association of North America (GANA) has solely sponsored Glass Week. Prior to that Glass Week was often co-sponsored by GANA and the former Sealed Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association (SIGMA). This year, however, with SIGMA’s decedent, the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA), jointly sponsoring Glass Week, several sessions, presentations and events were included that were targeted toward the insulating glass industry specifically.

Divisions and Committees
Discussions concerning the publication of a new glass information bulletin (GIB), “Design Considerations for Laminated Glazing Applications,” began early Sunday morning during the laminating division’s optical distortion task group meeting. The GIB focuses on basic issues, considerations and product awareness, such as aesthetics, color, optical distortion and heat-treated glass, for laminated glazing and materials. Once the task group is in agreement on the document it will then go to the division’s technical committee for approval.

During the laminating division’s membership meeting the issue of the Security Fenestration Rating Certification (SFRC) program, promulgated by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), was again a topic, as it was during GANA’s fall conference (see the November 2002 USGlass, page 33 for related story). GANA and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) have gone on record against such a program, saying it would be much like that of the National Fenestration Rating Council. It was announced during the meeting that NIBS “has taken the recommendation to industry,” by allowing the AAMA blast-resistant product task group a role in going forward with the concerns and finding ways to address them. According to discussions during the meeting, AAMA has no intention of developing a new standard, but will develop a roadmap of test procedures and protocols for architects/engineers.

“AAMA has a good grasp on the considerations brought forth by NIBS,” said Greg Carney, GANA technical director. “But [AAMA] also understands the needs of the industry.” Carney also suggested the laminating division may want to consider forming a protective glazing task group. 
A GIB is also in the works from the point-supported glass design task group. According to Bill Coddington of W.S. Coddington Consulting LLC, task group chairperson, the industry needs to learn more about point-supported glass because a lot of companies are selling the fittings and laminated glass, but there is no standard design practice. The biggest concern, he said, involves overhead glazing. 

Julie Schimmelpenningh of Solutia provided an ANSI Z97 update, the committee for which she serves as secretary. The committee’s re-ballot concerning Class C was due just two days earlier, so results had not yet been tabulated. An ANSI Z97 committee meeting is presently scheduled for March 3 in Baltimore to address comments received via the ballots (see related story on page 29).
Schimmelpenningh also noted that the update of the Laminated Glass Reference Manual (formerly the Laminated Glass Design Guide) is in its final formatting phase. The committee met later that morning to firm up its scope, procedures and ground rules.

The emergency egress task group also met that morning led by Mark Gold of Solutia. The group discussed putting together a GIB, but will first work toward putting together an outline document and is hoping to have a proposal document by the fall conference.

Window Cleaning and Roll Wave
Since the Standard Test Method for In-Plant Measurement of Roll Wave in Heat-Treated Architectural Glass and the GANA Recommended Maximum Roll Wave Factor for Clear Glass Intended for Use in Commercial Architectural Glazing both passed at the general membership level, the tempering division roll wave subcommittee meeting wasn’t as heated as some in the past. The committee agreed to include both documents on the GANA website. 

“The committee agreed to better inform and educate the members and temperers in general,” said subcommittee chair Ren Bartoe of Vesuvius McDanel. A demonstration and explanation of the test method will be presented during the educational seminar, Glass Fabrication (Glass Fab) 2003, taking place April 1-2 in Chicago.

“We need to emphasize this is the recommended maximum roll wave factor,” added Bartoe. “The committee needs to encourage all members and fabricators to apply this and offer feedback. We’re not [yet] at a specification.”

The tempering division will hold its next meeting the Monday before Glass Fab to investigate the next distortion areas to study. Candidates include tinted and coated glass, as well as thinner residential glass, according to Bartoe.

Another major area of concern relates to the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA). According to Carney, GANA is continuing its efforts to communicate with the IWCA on issues related to product awareness and potential joint efforts in areas such as a construction site protection information bulletin.

Just as the ANSI Z97 committee had recently voted on Class C, they had also just balloted GANA’s proposal to remove the center punch fragmentation test. Kim Mann, GANA’s general counsel, said during the GANA membership meeting the following Tuesday that there was “strong indication” that the fragmentation test would be removed.

The mirror division, lead by Drew Mayberry of Lenoir Mirror, also met during Glass Week. Mayberry said the division would be working to spread the word on the new ASTM mirror standard. “We think it will benefit both [mirror] producers and users,” he said. 

In other mirror division news, the group announced its new website, www.mirrorlink.org. It is also reviewing its technical documents to determine which ones to update, disband, etc.

Driving Home the Point
  After a Sunday of technical meetings, Monday’s keynote address from Ken Schmidt, former director of communications for Harley-Davidson, gave attendees a chance to relax, laugh and even ride a Harley… well, sort of.

HDSlide In an effort to make the point that every company makes a noise, Schmidt had the audience first pretend to ride a Japanese motorcycle, grasping low handlebars and making the common “buzz” noise of those bikes. Next, he asked, “Who wants to ride a Harley?” This time, the audience reached up to high, invisible handlebars and everyone made the loud grumble typical of Harleys.

Schmidt’s presentation focused on understanding what customers want and finding the best ways to meet those needs.

During the general session that followed the keynote address, attendees had the opportunity to learn about a number of new and innovative products.
From C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. (CRL), Paul Daniels talked about the company’s new web-based solutions for heavy glass applications. CRL recently introduced its new Showers Online program, which allows customers to design enclosures online.

Dr. George Sakoske from the Ferro Corp. provided information on the new super hydrophobic self-cleaning Lotus-Effect® glass surfaces. Lotus-Effect glass can potentially be used in applications such as shower enclosures, automobiles, solar panels, architectural construction and more.

Offering information on the Glass-Pac packaging system was Ian Brooks of ITW Reddi-Pak. Benefits of the system, according to Brooks, include a 20- to 40-percent reduction in material costs; and from a labor standpoint, one person can complete a package in seven to ten minutes. 

Jerry Razwick from Technical Glass Products talked about the importance of not only fire-rated glazing, but framing as well. “The glazing has to work with the framing,” he said. Of the new developments to unfold, Razwick said the industry is beginning to see fire-rated curtainwall.

Tim Singel of Guardian talked about the company’s low-maintenance glass, Diamond Guard. Singel said the product is designed to offer value at both the consumer level and the industry level.

Wrapping up the products and technology session was Hubert Haselsteiner from Lisec America, who provided information on the company’s advanced automated glass seaming system.

Squaring Off
Technically speaking, the table was actually a rectangle, not a square, but those attending the GANA Squaretable meeting on January 21 had plenty to discuss. Moderated by John Dwyer, 35 individuals (with a 40-person maximum) took part to talk about various relevant topics such as lobbying, enforcing employee handbooks, personal employee e-mail/Internet usage and securing credit, among others.

Quite a bit of discussion revolved around the topic of employees’ usage of e-mail and the Internet for non-business purposes. Some said their companies enforced a zero-tolerance policy; for others, personal usage is allowed so long as it’s in moderation. 

One interesting point was brought up by Andrew Naryinski of Albat + Wirsam. “I wonder,” he said, “are you tracking who’s getting into your system as much as you’re keeping track of what your employees are doing online?” Many said their companies had firewalls on their systems for protection against such occurrences.

Securing credit was another topic. Some steps to take that were discussed include keeping a record of jobs with bonding issues, being aware of lien rights and letters of credit. Considering whether a potential job is out of state is also important to consider, since collecting from across state lines can often be difficult.

Windows, Energy and a Lobbyist
During Tuesday’s joint general session attendees were able to sit in on two presentations: the first offered a Department of Energy (DOE) perspective on the glass industry and energy codes, while the second encouraged manufacturers to become active in the legislative process.

Mark Ginsberg with the DOE began the session on energy efficiency and the glass industry. His discussion focused on various efforts including research and development, the ENERGY STAR® program and building energy codes—all of which have affected the glass industry. “Billions of dollars of energy use can be directly tied to windows,” he said. In fact, he added that the DOE has worked closely with the glass industry to develop a glass industry roadmap. “We’re creating the next generation of products that are value-added,” he said. 

He also pointed out that more than one third of all windows produced are Energy Star® rated. “Over the next 15 years $7 billion could be saved if all windows produced were Energy Star-compliant.

The next presentation came from Patrick Cleary, a lobbyist for the National Association of Manufacturers. Cleary spoke on how business representatives need to be more involved in the legislative process to balance a well-funded liberal lobby that is relentless in trying to pass laws that threaten our nation’s manufacturing competitiveness.

Also taking place that morning was the GANA membership meeting. In addition to updates provided by each division chair, GANA president Pat Rome announced that since the Primary Glass Manufacturers Council disbanded, the board of directors had decided to install a new division—the flat glass manufacturers division. The new division includes five member companies: AFG, Guardian, Pilkington, PPG and Visteon.

In addition, the board chose to disband the distribution division and has decided to form an insulating division. According to Rome, they are hoping to work with IGMA on this and to have something formed by June. Likewise, GANA also invited the Protective Glazing Council to merge as a division. 

Kim Mann provided the general counsel’s report and addressed the topic of the recent ANSI Z97 Class C re-ballot, which concerns wired glass usage.

He also commented on the new International Building Code’s model building code, which precludes wired glass from being used in schools and athletic facilities.

“The model building code is just that, it’s not a law. States and cities may or may not adopt it and until it’s adopted by a state or city, it’s not a law,” said Mann.

In addition, Mann updated those in attendance on a lawsuit that had been filed in federal court last September by a victim of a wired glass accident (see October 2002 USGlass page 24 for related story). The suit was filed against ANSI, the ANSI Z97 committee and the manufacturer and the distributor of the wired glass. Mann said that while the suit had been filed, the defendants were never served. 

“The plaintiff learned he sued the wrong glass companies … and as a result, the suit will not proceed beyond filing,” said Mann. He said it was likely the plaintiffs would re-file against the correct companies, though.

Changing Times
For Tuesday’s dinner, attendees abandoned meeting/golf attire and dressed to the nines. The evening offered an opportunity to not only relax, dance and unwind, but to also recognize a number of individuals.

AWARDS John Dwyer (left) presented Pat Rome the Outgoing President’s Award.

Outgoing GANA president Pat Rome of Brin/Northwestern was recognized by the association and presented the Outgoing President’s Award by incoming president John Dwyer.

“We are blessed to have had a man of his ability lead our team,” said Dwyer. “The word that comes to my mind to describe him is builder. Builder of curtainwall, a builder of members at GANA … and a builder of relationships, partnerships and friendships of GANA.”

Glasstech’s Tom Noe, who currently serves as the GANA tempering division educational chair, was honored with the GANA outstanding service award.

IGMA also used the evening as an opportunity to recognize some of its members. The association announced that Oak Moser of Cardinal IG will be taking on the role of president as Frank Caporiccio’s [of PPG] term ends. The association also remembered and recognized one of its founding members, Mark Markham, who passed away in December 2002 (see related story in the January 2003 USGlass, page 52).

Straight From the Top
Definitely a Glass Week staple and one of the event’s most popular sessions, “Breakfast with the CEOs” began the last day’s meeting before a crowd eager to hear what the top guys had to say. Guardian’s Russ Ebeid was lead on the panel, followed by AFG’s Roger Kennedy (for more on Kennedy, see related story "The Artful Roger."), PPG’s Barry McGee and Al Tervalon of Visteon. Quite noticeable, was the absence of Pilkington’s representation. 
“If this group played musical chairs,” said Ebeid, “we’d never run out of chairs.” 

Each CEO began the session with brief updates on what their companies were doing presently. For Guardian, Ebeid talked about recent global expansions in countries that include Poland, Egypt, Mexico and Luxembourg. He added that Guardian’s Science & Technology Center is working on new product developments. “We’re test-piloting our low-maintenance glass,” he said. “A product I guarantee will work … so long as you use S & S—soap and squeegee.”

Commenting on the self-cleaning glass frenzy, Kennedy said he saw it becoming a “memory.” “Low-E is evolving, and it requires development and patience,” he said.

For PPG, McGee said the company was excited about its three new products, Solarban 80, Caribia and Caribia Cool. “We’re trying to be environmentally friendly,” he said. He added that the company’s focus is on what the customers want. “It’s important to produce the right products. We’ve got to bring technology and value in the United States to the global marketplace.” In addition, he said that this year PPG will be celebrating 120 years in the business.

Tervalon, who was the new guy on the panel last year, seemed to have adjusted well to his new role. He said Visteon’s glass operations were going through a lot of changes, including strengthening relationships with architects and its sales force.

Points to Ponder
Typical of many conferences, by the final session the crowd had thinned. But those who remained listened to DuPont’s Robert Fry’s economic forecast. “The U.S. economy is recovering, but it’s a very slow recovery,” he said. He added that interest rate cuts triggered the recovery, keeping both the automotive and housing markets strong, even during the recession. 

Relating specifically to the glass industry, the forecast wasn’t quite so optimistic. While Fry pointed out that the glass industry has done a bit better than the overall economy, glass production and non-residential construction has dropped; residential construction has been very strong.

End of the Line
At the session’s conclusion, those remaining headed off in various directions: some to airports and home, others to the golf course and still some took part in a mission tour organized as part of Glass Week (earlier in the week, a whale-watching excursion was offered). But regardless of the direction taken, it’s quite certain that everyone left feeling more knowledgeable and informed on the current state of the industry and with good ideas of what to expect in 2003.

Ready for Glass Week 2004? Mark your calendars now to attend February 7-12 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla. 


ELLEN Ellen Giard Chilcoat is managing editor of  USGlass magazine.


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