Volume 39, Issue 5, May  2004

From the Ground Up
Educational Programming Helps Fabricators Learn the Basics
by Ellen Giard Chilcoat

Every business looks for ways to do it better, faster and more efficient; glass fabricators are no exception. Whether it’s insulating, laminating or tempering glass, if you want to get the product in a building it takes more than a stellar sales and marketing team. It takes a competitive product that looks and performs the way in which the manufacturer intended. Creating such a product starts with those workers on the plant floor—it starts from the ground up with teams of people washing and cleaning glass, operating the lines, handling and loading the glass.

The Glass Association of North America (GANA) offered programming to educate the industry in this area March 29-31 in the way of its Glass Fabrication 2004 educational seminar. The two-day event took place at the Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport and included presentations that covered insulating, laminating and tempering procedures.

1. Look at all the people: More than 110 people took part in Glass Fabrication 2004. The seminar program is designed to educate those who are relatively new to the industry. The two-day program included general sessions in the morning, and in the afternoon attendees could take part in either insulating, laminating or tempering break-out sessions.

“With our break-outs, attendees are able to get the specialized attention they need to bring them up to speed with the technology and innovations of their industries,” said Ashley Charest, GANA account executive.

2. Insulating Impressions: “The three-day Glass Fab program was an excellent opportunity for members of the glass industry to learn and reinforce their expertise. New members of the industry were able to develop a broad understanding of glass fabrication while more experienced professionals were able to engage some the industry’s leading experts in more detailed discussions,” said Dow Corning’s Bill O’Brien, insulating glass educational seminar chairperson. “I was particularly pleased with the insulating glass sessions where topics ranging from automated processing to new trends and designs gave the attendees a well-rounded overview of insulating glass fabrication with an emphasis on commercial applications.”

3. Bend and snap: As part of the tempering break-out session, Stan Joehlin of S.W. Joehlin Inc., talked about analyzing glass tempering concepts. In his presentation, Joehlin heated several different pieces of glass to varying temperatures in order to show what can happen if glass is not heated or cooled uniformly. In one instance the glass made a popping noise when it was torqued.

4. Laminating Lessons: Laminating educational seminar chairperson Dan Laporte of Solutia welcomed attendees participating in the laminating breakout session. “I thought the program went extremely well this year and we had solid numbers, including a large number of first time attendees,” said Laporte. “The laminating sessions were very successful and we have had positive feedback from the participants who, in general, said they learned a lot and would definitely recommend this conference to others in their company.”

5. Low-E, Laminated Glass: Ivan Zuniga with AFGD Glass talked to those participating in the laminating session about low-E coated laminated glass. Some of the areas covered included an explanation of the laminating process, interlayers and glass surfaces, the pyrolitic and sputtering processes and an explanation of how coated glass works.

6. What’s the temperature? Cliff Monroe of Arch Aluminum and Glass served as the tempering division educational chairperson. Tempering break-out sessions covered topics that included ceramic roller maintenance, wave distortion and measuring roll wave, glass heating technologies and measuring residual stress.


7. Seeing double: During the first day’s general session Jeff Haberer of Cardinal IG lead a presentation on handling coated glass. He explained that one way to determine which side of the glass is coated is to hold a pencil at an angle against it. If a single image is reflected it is coated, a double image is uncoated. Haberer also talked about storage, cutting and washing in his presentation. 

Other general session topics included float glass technology by Scott Hoover of Pilkington; automated glass cutting and edging by Chuck Beatty of Edgeworks; understanding a glass washer by Bob Lang of Billco; glass breakage by Bob Maltby of R&D Reflections; roll wave distortion by Ren Bartoe of Vesuvius McDanel; standards and specifications by Valerie Block of DuPont; spandrel glass by Tony Mazza, ICD; safety and security glazing by Julie Schimmelpenningh, Solutia; and GANA’s electronic resources by Brian Pitman, GANA.

8. Fill ‘Er Up: Joe Almasy of TruSeal Technologies was a speaker during the insulating session. He discussed gas filling of insulating glass units. 

Taking part in a number of sessions, including insulating, Darin Vietmeir of United Plate Glass in Butler, Pa., also had three of his employees attend. “Glass Fab is a great opportunity to train new people,” he said. “Sometimes it’s better if someone else, such as a third party, tells your employees what to do and the consequences of doing something because it reinforces that what I tell them is pretty important.”


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