Technical activities to top upcoming IGMA meeting

Katy Devlin, Glass Magazine
June 8, 2009
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : MEETINGS AND EVENTS

Q&A with Margaret Webb


Margaret Webb, executive director of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, Ottawa, Ontario, says certification, technical activities and new product presentations will top the agenda at IGMA’s summer meeting, June 17-19, in Montreal.

What are the main items on the agenda for the upcoming meeting?

IGMA’s focus for the meetings is technical and certification. The theme for our technical presentations is introducing new products to improve the thermal performance of products. Two of the three presentations are introducing new products to the industry and IGMA is the first organization to showcase these products. 

  •  Thermoreflective smart glazing
  • Building integrated photovoltaics
  • Photo/electrochromism hybrid technology for today’s smart windows

Tell me about some of your new technical activities.

This will be the first meeting for the new working group, Design Considerations for Multiple Airspace Insulating Glass Units, which will specifically address the particulars of triple- and quad-glazed insulating glass units.

Are there any notable updates on already existing technical activities at the association?

Phase two of the gas permeability project, Evaluation of the Gas Permeability of Edge Seal Assemblies, is well underway. Stage one, which is the design and validation of a new test cell, will be completed by the end of this week. A full report will be presented to the Gas Permeability Working Group next week during that session, and the written report will be submitted to IGMA by the end of June. IGMA has a reputation for getting things done quickly, but even we are surprised that this leading-edge research has been completed in four months. The next stage will be the actual testing of the samples and we expect to have this completed by the end of the summer.

We are also undertaking a major re-write of TM-4000-02(07), IG Manufacturing Quality Procedures technical manual. This is the core quality control program for the certification programs and we are looking at splitting this document into two distinct publications. The first will be a performance-based document, written to mirror the ISO 9000:2008 standard. The second document will be prescriptive examples on how to meet those requirements and we expect this section to expand both in content and sample forms.

Hand-in-hand with certification, a small task group under the Certification & Education Committee is developing a PowerPoint presentation to explain simply the core and details of the quality control system and how to implement one specific for IG manufacturing.

How will those technical activities affect the industry as a whole?

Gas retention and permeation may very well be the single largest liability issue for the fenestration industry. It crosses residential and architectural alike. To date, there has been no definitive, independent test that a manufacturer can use to determine the gas permeation rate. This test will provide manufacturers with empirical test data to substantiate their production and claims.

Will you be addressing the proposed merger of IGMA and the Glass Association of North America, Topeka, Kan.? 

We are currently conducting a telephone survey of the manufacturer members and are about a third of the way through those calls. There is support for undertaking more activities not just with GANA but also with other organizations such as the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Schaumburg, Ill. IGMA and GANA collaborated on Glass Fabrication and Preventing IG Failures seminars this past April, and IGMA’s next annual conference will be in conjunction with GlassWeek and the Building Envelope Contractors Conference. We expect to see an increase in that type of cooperation in the future.