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Calibration is topic of the day

The advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in a vehicle often ‘view the road’ through cameras and sensors on or near the windscreen. So once a replacement windscreen is fitted, recalibration of the cameras is essential to ensure these features function properly.

 

Why is the relationship between the windscreen and camera important?

 

Bill George of NSG Pilkington North America chaired the ‘ADAS and Solutions to Recalibration Issues’ session at the US Auto Glass Week earlier this month. He commented, “…glass has a three-dimensional cross curvature. At the centre line there is 12 to 13 mm of cross curve. If this isn’t exact, you are changing where the camera is pointing. You can end up out of specifications.

 

“If AGRR companies are late to the table learning how to handle calibration”, he continued, “…they will lose out to the dealership channel.”

 

Industry research in the UK revealed a worrying lack of awareness about this safety issue. Two in three drivers (67%) admitted they didn’t know the cameras and sensors that control such safety features were installed on or near the windscreen.

 

Industry event hits Melbourne

Victoria’s first auto glass industry event, hosted by the AGA, was held at the Novotel St Kilda on Saturday, 22 October. Including guest speaker John Simpson talking about ways to keep your auto glass business relevant in today’s changing market, and a review of the latest business tools and training/certification options available to auto glaziers, the event was deemed a success by all participants. For more information, please contact ally@acpublicrelations.com.au.


Access to data: that old chestnut

In June this year a draft mandatory Automotive Repair Code of Practice was released by Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator for Victoria, Ricky Muir. The code seeks to ensure Australia’s 17 million car owners continue to have free choice of repairer as future vehicles become increasingly complex.

 

Senator Muir said, “As vehicles become more sophisticated with each new model, particularly with the increasing number of computer systems on board, the access to codes and special tools is vital to keep them safe and reliable. By withholding technical information from independent repairers, the powerful vehicle manufacturers are manipulating the service and repair market. Government must act now to protect consumer choice. As technology advances and more consumers’ cars are driven to dealerships, small family owned workshops will close. There will be less competition. There will be less choice of repairer,” said Senator Muir.

 

The impact this debate has on AGRR specialists is compelling. The AGA has supported the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) and the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) in their respective campaigns to allow independent crash repairers to have the same access to technical data as dealer service centres.

 

Senator Muir and the AAAA believe the voluntary Heads of Agreement – Access to Service and Repair Information for Motor Vehicles signed by auto industry stakeholders in December 2014 has failed consumers. It called for a trial period of 12 months followed by a performance review in early 2016.

 

AAAA Executive Director Stuart Charity said, “The review is long overdue. As a result, we surveyed the key political parties leading into the election and they all agreed that further government action is required to ensure an open and competitive vehicle service and repair sector,” Stuart Charity said.

 

To read a copy of the Automotive Repair Code of Practice, please email a request to Senator Muir’s Advisor Matthew Midson.

 

Outback recall

Over 37,000 Australian vehicles are affected by the recent recall of the 2010-14 Subaru Liberty and Outback models. The fault lies in the windscreen wipers, the concern being the bottom of the front windscreen wiper motor could melt, posing a fire risk.

 

A VIN list for the affected Liberty and Outback vehicles can be viewed here. Owners of the recalled vehicles should have already been contacted by Subaru, and encouraged to contact their local dealership to arrange to have the recall work carried out.

 

Barnacle replaces boot

The boot placed on your car tyre when you park illegally could soon be replaced by a device called the barnacle.

 

Designed by New York based company, it is a plastic sheet that attaches to the windscreen with commercial grade suction cups, obstructing the driver’s view. Once the driver pays the fine over the phone they’re given a code that’s punched into a key pad, to dislodge the device.

 

An anti-tamper alarm will sound if someone attempts to remove it illegally. Once the device is removed the motorist must return it to a drop off location within 24 hours.

 

Farewell Ford

Ninety-one years of manufacturing came to an end on the October 7 when Ford of Australia closed its Broadmeadows assembly plant and said goodbye to 600 manufacturing employees. 160 employees were reassigned to design and engineering roles in Ford’s product development sites.

 

Pacific Highway best of the worst, again

For the fifth year in a row, the winner of the worst road in NSW has gone to...the Pacific Highway. According to the NRMA’s annual survey of 8,000 motorists, Penant Hills Road and Parramatta Roads came in second and third.

 

NRMA president Kyle Loades attributes this driver angst to regular bottlenecks at Pacific Highway intersections with Pennant Hills Road in northern Sydney, at Hexham near Newcastle and Coffs Harbour. 

 

Active windscreen to protect F1 drivers

In September it was announced that former Ferrari engineer Enrique Scalabroni has been working on an active cockpit protection system for F1 vehicles. It would launch a windscreen up in front of the driver, as well as a hood to protect his helmet, if flying debris is detected.

 

The final decision to purse the idea will be made by the FIA.

 
 

Web connection

Since 2015 most European vehicles have an embedded SIM card, connecting the vehicle to the internet. The card is used to alert emergency services in the case of an accident, transmit data, receive internet radio, etc.

 

AAAA chief executive Stuart Charity comments, “What a web-connected car does is give the vehicle manufacturer the power to communicate to the vehicle owner directly through the vehicle itself. The vehicle can tell the dealership when it has an issue…book itself in for a service…even order the parts it needs online directly.”

 

Mr Charity said there was talk car-makers were considering doing away with the OBD port and conducting all vehicle diagnosis wirelessly. This would cut third parties out of the loop and deliver control of the data to the car manufacturers.

 

“There’s a whole lot of issues that are then thrown up in terms of who owns the data the vehicle is generating,” Mr Charity said.

Dash for cash
Consider this – when self-driving cars are commonplace, people will have the time to use their in-vehicle internet systems for shopping, research, communication, etc.

Ford Motor Co. and others are already angling to cut search engines like Google out of the picture, denying them access to the juiciest data that will be amassed once millions of people are shopping in their cars.

Gorilla Glass
 
The Ford GT supercar, set for production later this year, will feature a windscreen made with Gorilla Glass - the same that’s used for your smartphone screen.

The hybrid windscreen combines triple-layered glass – a toughened automotive-grade hybrid glass inner layer; a noise-absorbing thermoplastic middle layer; and an annealed outer glass layer.

It is 32% lighter and 25 - 50% thinner (3-4mm) than in similar cars, more resistant to damage and at least as strong as traditional laminate glass. Ford and Corning are working to bring the costs down, so we may eventually see this glass in more affordable vehicles.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Repairs to avoid

I heard that certain chip repairs cannot be undertaken on a windscreen. Can you expand on this?

The Australian Standard covering chip repair systems, equipment and procedures is Australian Standard AS/NZS2366.1:1999. It dictates that if any of the following apply within the critical vision area of a windscreen, repairs cannot be undertaken (and the windscreen should be replaced).

 

  • Previous repairs in or adjacent to this area have been undertaken, and if new repairs would obstruct the vision of both eyes of the driver
  • When the overlay area is centred over the new damage, any dull spot from a previous repair is fully or partly located within that area
  • When the overlay area is centred over the new damage, any dull spot from a previous repair (even if only partly within the overlay area) is also fully or partly located within the overlay area
  • The damage entails a crack extending more than 25mm, a star exceeding 15mm, bullseye exceeding 10mm in diameter, or a crater exceeding 2mm in diameter
  • There are two or more previous repairs fully or partly located within the critical vision area

 

Please note – the critical vision area lies directly in front of the driver’s seating reference plane at a width of 300mm.


Defogging demystified

What’s the fastest way to defog a windscreen?

Former NASA engineer and current YouTube science star Mark Rober has scientifically determined the best and quickest way to defog the inside of your windscreen.

 

In a six minute video seen here he tests all the different air conditioning settings you've probably got in your car to find the absolute quickest setting to defog.

 

Here are the settings Rober advises will clear fog the fastest:

 

  • Defroster fan on highest setting
  • Temperature control on its hottest
  • A/C turned on
  • Recirculate turned off
  • Crack your windows
 
 

New option for certification

For anyone with at least three year’s AGRR experience, gaining your Certificate III in Automotive Glazing Technology just got a lot easier with the launch of a 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.

 

What’s the big deal? 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.

 

Replacement standard gets replaced

An AGA committee member is on the Standards Australia review committee, which is responsible for updating AS4739 Direct Glazed Automotive Glass Replacement – Light Vehicles.

 

Once the standard had run its ten-year course, a decision had to be made regarding whether the standard would cease to exist or be renewed. The AGA and other industry groups lobbied for the revision of the standard, so that it would better reflect modern windscreen replacement practices and become more relevant in the current market.

 

The latest AS4739 review committee was held at the end of October, to agree upon the new wording of the standard. The draft standard will then enter public comment stage, giving all industry stakeholders the chance to provide feedback.

 

It is estimated the new AS4739 Direct Glazed Automotive Glass Replacement – Light Vehicles will be released early 2017.

 

Standard seller

If you're interested in purchasing a standard, the AGA is a licensed reseller and offers a reduction on the cost. This opportunity is for AGA members only.

 

When purchased through the AGA you will receive a hard copy of the standard, which cannot be published, reproduced or printed in any way. As AS4739 is in review stage, we recommend you wait until next year to purchase this particular standard.

 

Contact info@autoglass.org.au for more information, prices, etc.


Australasian Road Safety Conference

The AGA attended the ‘Replacement Windscreens’ discussion at the Australasian Road Safety Conference 2016 in Canberra on September 6 2016. The issues paper and subsequent discussion mainly revolved around adhesive specifications in the Australian Standards. AGA executive committee representatives attended the conference to ensure the interests of AGRR specialists were protected.


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.


Training portal opens its doors

AGA members now have free access to over 40 courses through the AGA industry training portal. It’s basically a website, and every member is given a login that enables them to access a range of courses relevant to their business.

 

Compliance courses cover topics such as Dealing with Consumers; Dealing with Other Businesses; OH&S Fundamentals; Work Health and Safety Harmonisation; Injury Management for Managers and Supervisors; Electronic Communications and Social Media in the Workplace; National Information Privacy Awareness; Driver safety and Conflict resolution.

 

Then there are industry-specific courses, such as the induction course designed specifically for those new to the auto glass industry.

 

For more information please download the fact sheet here.

 

What are you up to?

We’re often asked by AGGR businesses why they should join the AGA, what’s in it for them? To learn more about the member benefits, please download the fact sheet 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.

 

Facebook

Join us on Facebook for weekly Aussie auto glass industry updates.

 
 

Winds wreak havoc on drivers

The entire country has been battered with extreme and erratic weather of late, causing havoc for drivers. Floods, heatwaves, winds, storms all bring with them different challenges for motorists. One man was travelling down the Wakehurst Parkway in Sydney’s Northern Beaches recently, when strong winds hurled a branch through his front windscreen, pictured here.

 

Luckily, the driver suffered only superficial injuries.

 

Cow takes on greyhound

A branch flying through your windscreen is one thing - a whole cow is another story.

 

A Greyhound bus driver survived just that while transporting passengers in the Northern Territory. The driver broke his wrist when a cow smashed through his windscreen and hit his arm, but his six passengers were unharmed. Before seeking medical help however, he drove his passengers to the nearest roadhouse, proving once again they’re bred tough in the NT.

 

Territory Police continue to warn motorists to watch out for cattle when driving in the evening, early morning or night.

 

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