During today’s Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) educational seminar, Bill Briese, R&D/engineering manager for GED Integrated Solutions, presented “Glass Receiving, Cutting & Washing.” The presentation focused on the many practical techniques handlers can use to ensure high-quality insulating glass (IG).

Many of the tips Briese offers were commonsense reminders such as “always wear gloves and keep them dry,” “don’t process glass right off of the truck,” “don’t let racks sit in the sun,” “inspect glass cleanliness,” and “the more you manipulate glass the more you’re going to risk creating an IG failure.”

One of the less obvious tips Briese presented, however, was to “use a water-soluble fluid.” Briese explained that water-soluble evaporative cutting fluid is the best to ensure the removal of all contaminants. “If there is an oil residue or contaminant, you’re going to create a seal failure,” he said.

Breise also offered advice on utilizing lighting to catch imperfections. When asked by a participant about his preference for backlighting to catch imperfections, Breise responded, “Green lighting tends to draw out—it takes the light and it hits an imperfection. What happens is the light highlights defects. There are also automated systems that can be affixed onto the machinery to quantify this. I think you’re going to see a lot more with colored backlighting, diffused lighting. We always migrate back to this diffused fluorescence.”

Another important tip Briese offered is to use as little pressure as possible when handling and cleaning glass. “The goal to cutting glass effect is to use as little downforce as possible,” he said.

When cleaning, increased pressure on the glass does not create a cleaner product, but is more likely to mar the surface and will degrade the cleaning brushes a faster rate, according to Breise.

Though Briese presented a variety of precautions and considerations to take when handling and preparing glass, he best summarized his position on the seriousness of regulatory standards by saying, “garbage in is garbage out.”

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