Glass Fabrication Wraps Up Today in Orlando

The Glass Association of North America's Glass Fabrication 2006 will conclude today in Orlando. Approximately 140 attendees are taking part in the event, which is focusing on insulating, laminating and tempering fabricating techniques and procedures.

This morning opened with a discussion on glass breakage from Bob Maltby of R&D Reflections. Maltby covered the reasons glass can break, such as tensile stress and cracks. He emphasized that glass breaks in tension and when it has flaws. He said that glass strength is probably not the same for two pieces of glass with the same history. Maltby also covered different types of stress as well as thermal breaks.

Following Maltby was a standards discussion led by Henry Gorry and Kevin Olah, both of Guardian Industries, and Valerie Block of Dupont. They talked about three ASTM standards: C 1036, Standard Specification for Flat Glass; C 1048, Standard Specification for Heat-Treated Glass; and C1172, Standard Specification for Laminated Architectural Glass. In the presentation, the three explained the purpose of each standard, as well as how and by whom they are used. Olah stressed that standards are voluntary and do not take the place of any building code.

Rosie Hunter, also with Guardian Industries, followed with a discussion on glass coatings in architectural design. She covered different types of glass coatings and trends in the commercial market (such as an increasing amount of transparency). She also showed pictures of a variety of different applications that showed different types of glass usage.

Julie Schimmelpenningh of Solutia spoke next on laminated glass. She began with a description and explanation of what laminated glass is and the applications for which it can be used. Application trends, she said, include safety, security, sound, solar and style. The style application has begun to be increasingly appealing to architects due to the many options laminated glass affords, including color choices and graphic design capabilities, Schimmelpenningh said.

The morning's final session was lead by Jill Nowak of Viracon who talked about time studies and efficiency planning using lean manufacturing. The purpose of a time study, she said, is to evaluate individual process rates and to establish equivalencies. She explained that following "lean" procedures is not about manufacturing more quickly, but more efficiently.

"The goal of lean manufacturing is to eliminate waste in our process, as seen through the eyes of the customers," she said.

Her reasons for doing time studies included: becoming more knowledgeable about processes; establishing a baseline using the most common product produced; creating equivalencies for each product in the process based on the relationship to the baseline product; and creating a process model.

"If we don't understand the process, we can't make knowledgeable decisions moving forward," she said.

This afternoon Glass Fabrication attendees will again split into break-out sessions to focus on their specific work focus areas, be it insulating laminating or tempering.

Meetings will conclude today.

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