Volume 6, Issue 6, November - December 2002

    The Latest Industry News

Wired Glass Developments Unfold

It seems the wired-glass controversy may have reached its climax. For many, the question “is wired glass a safety glass?” has been one of much conflict and discussion. In the past two years the debate has become one of the industry’s most heated and controversial topics. Included in the controversy’s most recent events are a federal lawsuit and a Consumer Reports article. The Children’s Safety Network (CSN) listserve, CSN Discuss, also sent out a message providing information on wired glass.

In recent months, film has been considered an option for strengthening wired glass (see July-August 2002 Window Film, page 14). The International Window Film Association (IWFA) , along with the Association of Industrialized Metallizers and Coaters window film committee, currently is studying the effects of film on wired glass’s impact resistance, but had not completed the study at press time.

“We do not have copy of the written lab test report yet, so we have not modified our prior printed and published industry position statement,” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association.

Federal Lawsuit
The first lawsuit was filed on September 9, 2002, by Jarred Abel, 23, against Northwestern Industries Inc. of Seattle and Central Glass Co. of Japan, as well as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and its accredited standards committee (Z97.1). Abel was injured in January 2001 in a wired-glass accident and suffered severe nerve and tendon damage in his left arm (see related stories in Window Film’s sister publication, February USGlass, page 55 and the July USGlass, page 44).

According to the September 11, 2002, Register Guard, the lawsuit claims that “wired glass is unsafe and regulators are negligent for not recognizing the risk posed by the material …” 

Abel’s lawsuit is seeking $25,000 for medical costs and $250,000 for loss of function in his arm. According to the Guard, attorney Rob Miller “will seek punitive damages after a hearing to argue that the glassmakers and regulators showed ‘outrageous indifference’ to the product’s risk.”

Since the accident, Jarred’s father, Greg, has done much to make both the state of Oregon, as well as the country, aware of the potential dangers of wired glass when used in inappropriate applications. He, along with the parents of other children injured by wired glass, have started a non-profit organization called “Advocates for Safe Glass” that is working to spread this message.

IWFA Seeks Photo Contest Entries
The International Window Film Association (IWFA) is gearing up for its annual photo contest. Entries can range from a company’s best or worst installation, to basic photos of the shop, employees working, creative uses of window film or any other favorite photos. Photos can be e-mailed to the IWFA at admin@iwfa.com no later than December 15.

Cash prices of $300, $200 and $100 will be rewarded for first, second and third places, respectively.

Photos will be judged by an independent third party, and the winning photos will be published in the March-April issue of Window Film, and will be announced at the International Window Film Conference and Expo™, which will be held in San Antonio January 23-25.

AIMCAL and CEMA Plan Merger
The board of directors of the Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) and the board of trustees of the Converting Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA) have voted to merge the two organizations under AIMCAL’s supervision. If approved by the members of both groups, the merger will create an AIMCAL organization of more than 200 member companies, with a CEMA division focused on the interests of the converting equipment manufacturers. The organization will be headquartered at AIMCAL’s existing offices in Fort Mill, S.C.

“We’re very excited about the potential benefits and synergies the merger with AIMCAL will bring and believe that the strength and weaknesses of each organization are a perfect complement,” said CEMA president Matt Tielkemeier of Dri-Tec Inc., which is based in Milwaukee.

AIMCAL executive director Craig Sheppard agreed.

“It is important to note that this merger is being driven by strategic opportunity, not economic need,” he said.

CPFilms Installs Sputtering Equipment
Martinsville, Va.-based CPFilms, a business unit of Solutia, has installed a state-of-the-art, wide-width, high-speed sputtering machine. 

Working to expand its vacuum coating capability, CPFilms’ new machinery features on-line monitoring systems, enhances deposition uniformity and includes the latest in process control software. 

According to the company, the new machine will enable metallic and reactive deposition and multi-layer stacking on films from thicknesses of 0.5 mil to 10 mil and widths up to 72 inches.
The machine, which became fully operational in September, is used to manufacture the more sophisticated and solar-control film markets and high-quality precision coatings market for the electronic display markets and markets where high precision metallic, alloy or oxide coatings are required, the company adds.

FTI Promotes Adams to National Sales Representative
St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Film Technologies International (FTI) has promoted national sales representative Tom Adams to national program coordinator. Adams will now be responsible for FTI’s Elite flat glass and Diamond automotive dealers and marketing 

“Tom has worked with window film dealers throughout North America for the past few years,” said Bill Stewart, national sales manager. “It made sense to put him in charge of the two programs—Elite and Diamond—that are putting our best dealers on the map in their communities with exclusive, high-quality film and marketing support.”

Adams will be responsible for signing and setting up prospective Elite and Diamond dealers nationwide.

“It’s a great feeling seeing dealers using our Diamond in-store signage and literature and our entire Elite sales kit,” Adams said. “I want to see all of our dealers get to that next level in their business. These programs matched with FTI’s hands-on service approach seems to be getting them there.” 


© Copyright 2002 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.