The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) Winter Conference continued Wednesday, with presentations, task group meetings and discussions about a potential combining with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA).

IGMA executive director Margaret Webb and AAMA executive vice president Janice Yglesias went over the proposed structure of the groupings and task groups for a combined organization—both encouraging members to voice their opinions.

“It’s not a done deal,” advised Webb. “This is a membership decision by both organizations. If one votes for it but the other doesn’t, it’s over.”

Stealthcase CTO Juha Lilja explains how laser ablated antennas on glass can improve wireless connectivity.

The two associations will hold a joint meeting in June, where they will allow members to experience how the other works. A vote will then be held in July. According to IGMA bylaws, only manufacturers can vote on the potential joining, though some members expressed a desire to expand that to suppliers as well.

If approved, the combined organization will meet three times per year, as AAMA does now, instead of two times a year (like IGMA). Two meetings would be held in the U.S. with a third located in Canada.

Certification Task Group

Following overviews for the potential combination, discussions turned to North American Contractor Certification (NACC) and the Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (AGMT) program. AMS Inc. president John Kent said that the development of the AGMT certification will be completed in a few weeks, after which he expects it to gain ANSI accreditation in March. The full program could be rolled out by May 2019, Kent said.

Smart Glass

Amid a presentation titled, “Connected Smart Glass for Selectively Repeating Wireless Signals,” Juha Lilja, chief technology officer for Stealthcase, explained that people are using more wireless signals these days, but those signals can have a hard time penetrating building envelopes. Low-E coatings can prevent wireless connections from being as strong as they would be passing through glass without a low-E coating. Meanwhile, invisible laser-ablated antennas on glass can allow signals to pass through, Lilja suggested.

IGMA executive director Margaret Webb discusses the proposed organizational chart for a combined IGMA/AAMA organization.

In such cases, instead of prohibiting, “Glass is becoming the enabler of indoor connectivity,” Lilja said, adding that ablating a small section of the coating does not impact energy efficiency measures.


Mike Burk, North America technical representative for Sparklike emphasized the importance of training maintenance workers in safety. He said that maintenance workers should have a total comprehension of plant-wide lock out/tag out requirements.

“A lot of injuries happen because someone didn’t do lock out/tag out,” said Burk.

He said that maintenance workers must be able to operate all equipment, software and adjustments. They should also be what he calls a “jiggler catcher,” or someone who is on the lookout for unauthorized equipment alterations such as sensor bypasses, disabled interlocks or fixing anything with duct tape, rope or wire.

As a cautionary example, Burk showed a video of men who were tipping glass, to reach a lite in the back of a stack, ultimately being crushed by the glass once it became too heavy. Nearly 20 people were needed to push the glass off the men.

The IGMA Winter Conference 2019 runs through today in Austin, Texas. Stay tuned to for more coverage from the conference throughout the week.

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