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New office bearers

The AGA is pleased to announce the appointment of new office bearers, voted in at the AGM on the October 17. Rick Janssen is the new President and Steven Simpson is Vice President. After doing an outstanding job as Treasurer, Hiliary Bradbury was re-elected to the role once again.

 

The entire executive committee would like to thank outgoing President and Vice President Murray McGrath and Nick Street respectively for the time end effort they contributed to the association in the fulfilment of their roles.

 

Standard setting

The revised automotive glazing replacement standard, the main Australian Standard covering the AGRR industry, has been published.

 

This past week, Standards Australia published AS4739:2017 Direct Glazed Automotive Glass Replacement – Light Vehicles. Outlining current windscreen replacement practices, the document is a better reflection of the modern AGRR market than its predecessor.

 

President of the AGA and member of the Standards Australia AS4739 revision committee, Rick Janssen, comments, “The release of the revised standard is a huge milestone for our industry and the AGA. From the outset, the association’s mission has been to lift industry standards. Our most important undertaking was to help shape clear, relevant and current guidelines for autoglaziers to work towards. Working closely with Standards Australia and other industry representatives to publish the standard that sets modern safe practice, means we’ve achieved that goal.”

 

Rick added, “The most obvious area not addressed previously regarded ADAS. The revised standard references the Thatchum Research Code of Practice* for industry best practice when recalibration is required. The emphasis is also on training to use appropriate installation methods and products. For example, using glass that meets AS2080. Also using direct glazing adhesives specifically engineered for this purpose, that meet or exceed the frontal impact test requirements of FMVSS 212 Windscreen Mounting.”

 

In a carsguide.com.au article from 2015 titled ‘Safety tech adds complexity to windscreen replacement’, Nissan Australia CEO Richard Emery stated windscreen substitutions and camera calibrations “…will need an industry-wide approach.” This new standard and its reference to the Thatchum Research Code of Practice is the approach the industry has been waiting for.

 

The AGA executive committee extends its appreciation to Rick Janssen for the countless hours he dedicated to the project, and the pivotal role he played in protecting the interests of autoglaziers and road users during the revision process.

 

Industry stakeholders are encouraged to purchase a copy of AS4739:2017 Direct Glazed Automotive Glass Replacement – Light Vehicles, and become familiar with its requirements. As ours is not a licenced trade, compliance with the revised standard is even more important as it sets the only official framework for viable, safe and effective business practice.

 

If you’re interested in buying AS4739:2017 Direct Glazed Automotive Glass Replacement – Light Vehicles please visit the SAI Global website here. If you’re interested in becoming an AGA member and joining the association that helped write the industry standard, contact us here.


End of an era

After 69 years of local production for Holden and almost a century of car making in Australia, the last Holden rolled off the production line in Elizabeth, Adelaide, on October 20.

Around 1000 past and present factory workers were there to witness the manufacture of the red Commodore V8, which signified the end of car manufacture in Australia. 

Since 1948, 7,687,675 Holdens were built in Australia.

 

Auto report

Despite the end of the Australian car manufacture industry, the auto industry in this country is still going strong according to a comprehensive report launched by Senator Nick Xenophon in Canberra on August 15.

 

Geoff Gwilym, VACC Executive Director, said, “A key finding in the report is Australia’s automotive industry is here to stay. Passenger vehicle manufacturing will cease in October this year, but that is, and always has been, a small component of the entire automotive industry, which is still very robust with 69,365 businesses operating across the country.”

 

Key findings include:

  • Repair and maintenance businesses account for 54% of the $37.1 billion auto industry
  • Motor vehicle retailing accounts for 8.3%
  • Vehicle and parts manufacturing is 4.4% of the industry
  • 96.5% of auto businesses are small and family run enterprises
  • Profit margins for repair/maintenance businesses in 2015/16 was 12.2%

 

Click here for more info.

 

ACCC report addresses right to repair issue

It’s the ongoing debate between independent auto repairers and OEMs. While auto manufacturers push for aftermarket repairs to be conducted through approved outlets, the independents lobby for their right to unimpeded access to repair information and data.

 

The AAAA has been fighting the good fight for years through its Right to Repair campaign.

 

In August 2017 the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission released a draft report - New Car Retailing Industry – a market study by the ACC. You can view a copy of the full report here.

 

The following excerpt is from pages iv and v of the report:

 

Concerns remain about the effect of limited access to information and data required to repair and service new cars. 

The repair and service of new cars is increasingly reliant on access to electronic information and data produced by car manufacturers. Independent repairers, which are not authorised or affiliated with car manufacturers, are reliant on car manufacturers voluntarily sharing information and data. Around one in ten new car buyers have their car repaired or serviced with an independent repairer. The ACCC is of the view that the competitive discipline imposed by independent repairers on the aftermarkets for the repair and servicing of new cars remains valuable and of benefit to consumers.

 

While voluntary commitments have been offered by car manufacturers to provide independent repairers with the same technical information to repair and service new cars that they provide to their dealers, problems with the breadth, depth and timeliness of the technical information offered appear to be enduring. 

 

ACCC response: The ACCC considers that consumers benefit from competitive aftermarkets. As voluntary commitments to share technical information have not been successful in meeting their aims and there has been only a limited improvement in access, the ACCC recommends regulatory intervention to mandate the sharing of technical information with independent repairers on ‘commercially fair and reasonable terms’.

 

AGA President Rick Janssen comments, “Until the final version of the report is released there is no official indication of what ‘regulatory intervention’ will look like, but the fact the ACCC found in favour of regulating the sharing of technical data is a positive step for the Australian AGRR industry, and one that is fully supported by the AGA.”

 

The AGA will keep its members updated of future developments.

 

Outlander recalled again

Mitsubishi Outlander SUVs are in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons again, when a second recall was issued in August regarding its windscreen wipers. A corroding wiper link ball joint was to blame for the first recall in June. This time, the same year models (2007-12) could have possible water intrusion into the windscreen wiper motor. It affects all vehicles sold between November 2006 and February 2013. 

 

From iPhone to windscreen

Gorilla Glass, once rejected by the car industry in 1960, could be set to revolutionise automotive glazing in a big way. Gorilla Glass is the impossibly thin and incredibly strong glass seen on the face of over 5 billion devices around the world – tablets, smart phones, laptops, etc.

 

According to its manufacturer Corning, the latest generation of the glass (fifth generation), at less than 1mm thick, can survive four out of five times when dropped facedown from a height of 1.6 meters onto a rough surface.

 

While the applications of the material are numerous, one of the biggest growth areas could be in cars.

 

Dashboard instruments are already being replaced with touchscreens. As glass can be formed into different shapes, these screens can be curved to match a vehicle’s interior. It could also be used to make car windows. Thinner and lighter than existing windows, Gorilla Glass windows would save fuel and electronics could be incorporated into the glass, to project images onto the windscreen.

 

A version of Gorilla Glass is already being used for the windscreen of Ford’s GT sports car. Ford claims it’s about 30% lighter than the glass used previously, and is stronger and more scratch-resistant.

 

New VLT for QLD

In September 2017 the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) changed the regulation to allow 20% VLT on windows rear of the driver.

 

Details of the revision can be found in Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Vehicle Standards and Safety) Regulation 2010, under Part 4 General safety requirements.

 

For all light vehicles (vehicles with a gross vehicle mass not more than 4,500kg), windows rearward of the driver’s seat can now have a VLT of no less than 20%, provided the vehicle has a rear vision mirror on each side.

 

Windows next to or in front of the driver must still adhere to a 35% VLT limit.

 

The 20% and 35% VLT allowances cover the combination of glass and film. So, if window film is applied to privacy glass behind of the driver, for example, the combination of glass and film cannot be any darker than 20% VLT. Installers must be aware of the VLT of the privacy glass before they apply film, to ensure the combination will not exceed the limit.

 

The regulation prohibiting the use of window film (even clear window film) on the greater part of the windscreen remains unchanged.

 

Film with a reflectance of more than 10% must not be used on any windscreen or window.

 

A goods vehicle may have a luminous transmittance of 0% provided the vehicle has a rear vision mirror on each side.

 

Details can be found in the Minor Modifications – VSI G19.7 document issued by the DTMR. AGA advises autoglaziers involved with the aftermarket application of window film to download the document, study it, and become familiar with the new requirements that are effective immediately.

 

AM vs OE

As more ADAS enabled vehicles hit our roads, the AGA is receiving more and more enquiries about whether aftermarket windscreens can be fitted. The AGA is in the process of developing a fact sheet exclusively for  members, for members to hand out to customers, upload to your website, post on Facebook, etc. that addresses the various commonly asked questions about matching windscreens to ADAS vehicles.  

 
 

Keeping pace with ADAS

Author Arthur C. Clarke once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic”.  It follows then that your first drive of an ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) equipped vehicle may seem miraculous, when functions like self-parking, traffic-jam assist, fatigue warning, blind spot monitoring, auto braking and lane departure warnings kick into gear.   

 

ADAS systems monitor the environment around the vehicle using radar, camera, laser and/or infra-red sensors. With a high portion of this technology embedded in the windscreen, it’s safe to say these developments have had a massive impact on the auto glazing repair and replacement (AGRR) industry. What was once a simple matter of changing the glass is now far more complicated. How can the local autoglazier meet the challenges presented by these systems? What is their role when it comes to recalibration? Have their obligations to the customer changed? 

President of the Auto Glass Association (AGA), Rick Janssen, comments, “While the repercussions have been gradual, the Australian AGRR industry is irrefutably changed by ADAS. The ripple effects we’re seeing now will only become more pronounced as the percentage of ADAS enhanced vehicles increases.”

 

The reason for this is calibration, or recalibration to be more precise.

 

When the windscreen of a vehicle with ADAS is replaced, its ADAS systems may not function as intended until it has been recalibrated. Repairers have a duty of care to follow all vehicle manufacturer recommendations concerning system recalibration. However, not all vehicles equipped with ADAS need recalibration, but they do all need a diagnostic check to determine what should be done.

 

Calibration can take two forms - static (done indoors) or dynamic (done while driving). Using a calibration tool that may include aiming targets, wheel alignment equipment or diagnostic tools, a static calibration does not require driving the vehicle. Dynamic calibration happens while driving on the road, following the vehicle manufacturer’s prescribed method and using the correct diagnostic tool. In either scenario, calibration should only be undertaken with the right diagnostic procedure, the correct equipment and by trained experts.

 

“That doesn’t mean every repairer needs to purchase calibration equipment, which can cost thousands,” Rick said. “But it does mean that every responsible repairer, certainly all members of the AGA, will establish an approach to calibration that meets or exceeds best practice. As an industry standard, the AGA has adopted the Thatcham Research Code of Practice (CoP), which clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of the repairer in these situations.”

 

First published in July 2016 in the UK, the Thatcham Research CoP sets out the recommended replacement procedure for windscreens fitted with screen-mounted ADAS – from diagnosing the requirements and the type of calibration required, to informing the customer, to pricing, scheduling and undertaking the job.

 

The AGA has been working with Standards Australia revising the relevant standard AS4739, Direct glazed automotive glass replacement—Light vehicles. AS4739:2017 references the Thatcham Research CoP for current best practice guidance.

 

Rick states, “ADAS is still relatively new terrain for AGRR specialists and car owners alike, so communication and awareness is vital. The onus is on both the car owner and the repairer to understand their responsibilities when it comes to recalibration, especially in terms of insurance liability and the safety functionality of the vehicle. That’s why a set procedure like the Thatcham CoP is so valuable. It can be used as a checklist by autoglaziers, to ensure they’re doing right by their customer, the vehicle manufacturer, the insurer and all road users.”

 

One of the many implications of ADAS is the importance it places on windscreen matching. Fitting the right windscreen to a particular vehicle to guarantee the correct operation of all ADAS functions has become an integral part of the replacement process.

 

AGA board member Nick Street, O’Brien AutoGlass, a supplier of windscreens, comments, “We have seen the evolution of assisted driving technology in Australia accelerating rapidly since late 2014. Our estimates suggest that ADAS figments within the market are doubling each year.

 

“The windscreen now functions as part of the automated driving system,” Nick adds. “This responsibility means it’s crucial the products used are of equivalent OE standards, the screen has high optical quality, and attachments and brackets are all within the required tolerances. Where relevant, windscreen removal and installation methods must incorporate caring for the in-car technology to ensure its safe usage after figment, and the vehicle must be correctly recalibrated with an approved method and device.”

 

Nick adds, “Upholding these standards will ensure the ADAS systems are functional, so that our customers continue to benefit from their investment in these technologies.”

 

In March this year Mercedes-Benz announced that Australia had been selected as a right-hand-drive testing ground for its ADAS technologies. The diversity of conditions and road surfaces and the easy access to metropolitan, urban and rural settings makes this country an ideal test location. While driving in Australia, data regarding roads, signage, satellite navigation and traffic behaviours will be shared with the German research team for analysis.

 

Rick Janssen comments, “As an international testing ground for ADAS technologies and with year on year growth of new car sales with increasing technological advancements, the Australian AGRR industry is on the brink of major changes. As the peak independent industry association, the AGA is well positioned to help autoglaziers navigate the shifting landscape brought about by ADAS.”

 
 

When the cracks start to show

The AGA has produced a fact sheet educating motorists about the do's and dont's of windscreen repair. Available to all current members, the AGA can brand the A4 page with your logo so you can hand it out to your customers as a promotional tool. Contact ally@acpublicrelations.com.au for more info. 

 

Certification option

For anyone with at least three year’s AGRR experience, gaining your Certificate III in Automotive Glazing Technology is possible through the Recognised Prior Learning program. A joint initiative between the AGA and TAFE NSW Riverina Institute, it’s the first program of its kind in Australia that acknowledges on-the-job training and existing experience.

 

You don’t have to travel anywhere or have teachers visit your work site. It’s done entirely online through a strict, evidence-based verification process that protects the integrity of the certificate.

Expected time to complete will vary depending according to the time management and organisational skills of the applicant. On average, it’s expected it will take at least one week to gather the evidence, at which time you can submit your RPL request.

 

For AGA members the cost is $1,980 inc. GST per applicant. For non members, it’s $2,700 inc. GST. Please note – the AGA does not make any money out of this initiative.

 

For more information, please download the fact sheet here.

 

Member discounts

The AGA has negotiated a variety of deals for our members with third parties, like RAMS, Fleet Card and Employsure. To learn more please download the flyer here.


Return visits

Visited the website recently? Remember we have a member’s only section where you can access information and advice. Our member forum allows you to communicate with the industry. And of course, the member directory promotes your business to motorists searching for technicians in their area – so make sure your details are correct.

 

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