Volume 40,   Issue 5                                 May  2005

Fun in Acapulco
Though Elvis Didn't Make it, those Attending IGMA's
Annual Meeting had fund while also Staying Abreast
of Industry Happenings

by Ellen Girard Chilcoat

When Elvis Presley made the 1963 movie “Fun in Acapulco,” he wasn’t singing about a group of insulating glass people getting together for a business meeting. 

But those who gathered for the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) annual meeting in Acapulco did, in fact, have fun … fun, that is, in addition to addressing the business matters at hand. 

IGMA’s fifth annual general meeting took place February 22-26 at the Fairmont Acapulco Princess Resort. Approximately 120 attendees took part in the event. The five-day meeting included technical working group sessions and updates, presentations and social and networking activities.

This meeting was also the inaugural event for the new IGMA president. Luc Cormier of Multiver Ltee, will serve as the president for the next two years. He succeeds Oak Moser of Cardinal IG.

Working Group Updates
The glazing guidelines working group met first. It is co-chaired by Tim Harris and Ken Shelbourn of TruSeal Technologies. The group’s objective had been to harmonize the IGMAC and SIGMA glazing guidelines into one document, which was completed last August. During the meeting members discussed the first proposed amendment to the document. 

The visual quality working group met next. This group expects to develop guidelines and definitions that will assist in determining criteria for observing visual obstruction in sealed insulating glass (IG) units, i.e. visual obstruction in the airspace. The group is co-chaired by Joel Dobson of Pella and Roland Temple of Velux. 

“Our guideline should be as strict as ASTM, if not stricter,” said Bill Lingnell, IGMA technical consultant. “If we put something out and it’s not as stringent as ASTM then it doesn’t mean anything.”

The thermal stress working group also met for the first time. Steve Crandell of PPG will chair the working group, which will emphasis thermal stress conditions in IG.

In addition, a technical document management group was formed that will review the old IGMAC and SIGMA documents to determine which ones can be rejuvenated, revised, etc. 
A working group to oversee IGMA’s involvement in the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) development of a non-residential products certification and rating was also formed (for related story, see page 20). IGMA had contracted Jeff Baker with WESTLab to review the NFRC’s program and how it would affect IG manufacturers. 

Also related to the NFRC non-residential program, Baker provided information on a follow-up study that discussed ways to simplify spacer systems. He explained that by grouping spacer systems for non-residential products and modeling them as one generic spacer (i.e. all metal spacers, all foam spacers, etc.), the program will be less costly for IG fabricators. 

Technical Services Meeting
During the technical services committee meeting Margaret Webb, IGMA executive director, reported on the standards development and harmonization process of ASTM E 2190.

“So far we haven’t had any problems,” Webb said. “We’re staring to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The standard is expected to be published in the 2005 National Building Code of Canada.”

Lingnell reported on the harmonization of the ISO/ASTM E 2188, E 2189 and E 2190 standard. He said work is still on schedule and it should be published in 2006.

Along these same ASTM lines, Bob Spindler of Cardinal IG talked about the volatile fogging test.

“There are instances in the Southwest [in which IGUs] have had tremendous fogging problems,” said Spindler. He explained that when the low-E coatings on these units are exposed to extremely high temperatures the materials in the airspace can fog. The concern stems from the fact that ASTM E 2189, Standard Test Method for Testing Resistance to Fogging in Insulating Glass Units, only requires a testing temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. CAN/CGSB-12.8-97 requires a testing temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

“We want to make certain IG manufacturers recognize there are potential problems in using the 120-degree fogging test, because sometimes it doesn’t work,” said Spindler. 

“You don’t want to see glass fabricators do all the work to meet ASTM standards and then end up with all these problems when they did everything right.” 

A motion was made that the technical services committee would make a recommendation to ASTM that it review the 120-degree temperature versus the 140-degree temperature provision. 

Reports from working groups were also given. Webb reported that Cardinal IG had applied for a patent for the calibration process utilizing GasGlass-type equipment. 

She explained that the activities of the GasGlass best practices working group have been suspended and would have no meetings until further notice.

Looking at China
Don Brasher of Global Trade Information Services provided a keynote address that focused on globalization and the development of China.

He began by saying the U.S. gross national product is $11 trillion; China’s is $1.5 trillion.
“China has begun trading in a major way, and that’s what globalization is,” Brasher said.

“China’s trade is growing faster than the U.S. economy on a whole.” 

He compared China’s growth to that of the United States during its industrialization period. 

“China is the number-one exporter of textile and apparel products,” Brasher said. “Textile and apparel traditionally has been the primary industry that begins the industrialization process. Because this will grow rapidly, it is the catalyst for China’s trade growth.”

Listen and Learn
Recognizing the importance of staying current with the latest trends and developments in the glazing industry, a number of technical presentations took place. 

Tim Harris of TruSeal began by providing an update on the new document, North American Glazing Guidelines for Sealed Insulating Glass Units for Commercial and Residential Use. 

“Our goal was to take the two documents (the IGMAC and SIGMA glazing manuals) and harmonize them into one living document,” said Harris. “In our working group meeting [that took place the day prior] we were challenged by a manufacturer for an amendment. So that was a good [test] for how we will handle such situations.”

The topic of the next presentation was the standardization and harmonization of the IGMA and Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC) certification programs. Margaret Webb of IGMA and John Kent of the IGCC discussed how the two programs are set up now that IGMA has licensed its certification program to IGCC. 

From the audience, Spindler asked to which program an IG manufacturer should test if it is selling products in both the United States and Canada.

“Probably, if you’re selling primarily in the United States, IGCC has more mark recognition,” said Kent.

 “If you’re selling mainly in Canada or internationally, IGMA probably has more mark recognition. Marg and I are in agreement on this.”

Jeff Baker of WESTLab led a presentation titled “Effect of Air Space & Gas Fill on Center-of-Glass U-Factor.” The discussion was the result of a study funded jointly by FDR Design Inc., Spectra Gases and WESTLab. Baker explained that they examined a variety of gases, fill rates and mixtures in the following types of IGUs: double-glazed with low-E; triple-glazed with low-E; triple-glazed with two low-E; and double-glazed with low-E at a 20-degree slope. Both soft coat low-E (with an emmissivity of 0.04) and hard coat low-E (with an emmissivity of 0.15) were studied. The study showed what glass fabricators can expect from different glass configurations in terms of U-factors.

Offering Quality
Mike Burk of GED Integrated Solutions next spoke about IG manufacturing quality procedures.

“I do a lot of onsite quality audits and see lots of quality issues that [need] to be addressed,” said Burk. “Sometimes thousands of units are made before someone realizes there’s a problem.” He encouraged IG manufacturers to bring learning and education into the workplace. To do so, he offered the acronym ACME: Associates, Components, Methods, Equipment.

“Ask these questions,” Burk said, “Are the defects caused by the actions of the associates?

Do the defects exist in the raw materials (the components)? Is the defect being caused by a process in the production method? Is the defect caused by equipment?

“Look at these four steps and you can find and eliminate defects.”

Growth Opportunities 
The next presenter was Ernst Bachofner of Milamy Partners LLC who talked about the new Bächli vacuum glass technology. Bachofner said that through the technology, heat transfer occurs when warmer air molecules come in contact with colder air molecules. A vacuum separates the air molecules by a distance greater than the mean free path of an air molecule so heat transfer does not occur.

Looking Ahead
Trends and forecasts for the architectural glass market was the topic of the next presentation from Nick Limb of Ducker Research Co. Inc. 

According to Limb, the forecast for commercial glass is on the upswing, with a growth rate around 6 percent.

“We’re seeing a growth shift from residential to commercial,” Limb said.

As far as product trends, he said the industry is seeing a continual evolution toward value-added. While the use of both tinted glass and reflective glass is on the decline, low-E glass in commercial buildings is increasing.

“It’s taken longer to penetrate this market,” Limb said. “We’ve seen a rapid increase since 2000.” He estimated that one in three commercial windows includes low-E glass.

The final presentation was from Jeff Baker of WESTLab and Carl Wagus, AAMA’s technical director. The two discussed the Canada/U.S. Harmonization of Standards: AAMA/WDMA/CSA, 101/I.S.2/A 440-04: Standard Specification for Windows, Doors and Unit Skylights, which was recently approved by the Canadian Standards Association. 

IGMA’s 2005 summer meeting will take place August 6-9 at the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

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