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Earlier this month AGA representatives convened for a comprehensive strategy meeting. Here we reviewed our achievements to date and mapped out a clear, feasible yet inspirational plan for the future.
 
As I heard the status reports from the sub-committees I couldn’t help but be impressed and grateful. Impressed at how far we’d come and grateful for the mountain of freely-given work it’s taken for us to get here.
 
The AGA was formed to give all sides of the auto glass industry a unified voice. Our aim was to become a central conduit for communication, training and representation operating in the interest of the industry as a whole. We’re about lifting the standards, and in doing so safeguarding the livelihoods of everyone involved.
 
This newsletter will provide updates on the initiatives and activities we’ve embarked on to reach these goals. And rest assured this is just the beginning.
 
As a united group we will identify and plan for the shifting market conditions that will affect the AGRR industry in the future. Technology, culture, financial market conditions, political factors, compliance – will impact the way we do business. Therefore, it’s vital that we, as an association and an industry, are aware of these influences so we can ensure they work for us and not against us.
 
It’s been a tumultuous year. Extreme weather along the eastern seaboard of Australia, particularly the fierce storms in Queensland, had many of us on the hop. This demonstrates how our businesses can be affected by factors outside our control, highlighting again why it’s so important to have the standards, processes and training in place so we’re always prepared.
 
I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our members, office bearers, AGA executive committee, sub-committees, administration officer Joanne Valvekens, the team at the AWA and our marketing manager Ally Cronan. Your combined support and input has been invaluable this year.
 
I look forward to working with you all next year.
 
Warm regards,
Murray McGrath
AGA President
 
 

Crash alert
'Crash alert' technology is in development where a radio beacon continually transmits between cars each vehicle's position, heading, speed, etc. Cars would communicate this information to each other, so you would be alerted to an impending crash.     

   

Optical night vision assistant
As well as an advanced HUD unit, the new Audi A8 boasts an "optical night vision assistant". This feature detects a person in the critical area in front of the car and highlights them by blinking the individual LEDs three times in quick succession. It also detects and marks larger wild animals without blinking on them, to avoid scaring the animals. Read more here.

 

Folding glass roof
    
The new Porsche 911 Targa features a party-piece folding glass roof that can open/close in 20 seconds.

 

 

Augmented reality display
It’s a step on from HUD, and automakers are working on bringing it to the next generation of cars. Say you’re driving in fog and you can’t see the car ahead suddenly brake. With an augmented reality screen working with infrared or laser sensors on the front of your car, your car would start emergency braking and display an outline of the unseen vehicle on your windshield. Jaguar and Toyota are both working on this technology now.

 

Acoustic
According to Kia, the new 2014 Sportage has increased resistance to noise and vibrations, with a new windscreen designed to reduce wind noise on the highway.    

 

 

Water control
A special coating is applied to the glass surface to help repel water and sleet. When combined with the wind from the movement of the vehicle, the coating repels water droplets, reducing the need for windscreen wipers and improving visibility. 

 
Standard seller
Last month a licence agreement between the AGA and SAI Global was signed, enabling the AGA to offer reduced rates to our members who want to purchase the standards that pertain to the repair and replacement of auto glass. Contact info@autoglass.org.au for more information.

The table below provides costings, which exclude GST. When purchased through the AGA you will receive a hard copy of the standard, which cannot be published, reproduced or printed in any way.

 

Product   
SAI Price to Public
AGA Member Price  Member saving
AS 4739-2002
$66.00
$46.00
$20.00
AS/NZS 2080:2006
$94.17
$64.17
$30.00
AS/NZS 2366.1:1999
$66.00
$49.50
$20.00
AS NZS 2366.2:1999
$66.00
$49.50
$20.00
There is one important factor to note when deciding on whether or not you need to purchase the standard/s. The AGA is currently reviewing two of these standards and providing update recommendations to Standards Australia (SA). Our recommendations for AS4739 have already been submitted (see update below) and we’re now reviewing AS/NZs 2366.1.:1999 Windscreen Repairs – Repair Procedures and AS NZS 2366.2:1999 Windscreen Repairs – Repair Systems.

This process is extremely detailed and we do not envisage the release of revised standards before the end of 2015, however, it’s something to keep in mind.  
 
AS4739 update
Changing an official standard is no easy business. It involves detailed, labour and time intensive processes that can stretch out for years before the new standard is released. Since the AGA launched last year, our standard committee has already submitted its recommendations regarding AS4739 and earlier this year we received a positive response from SA stating the changes will be reviewed. This turn-around is impressive.                                                                                                                                                  Last month an SA project manager and a new sector manager for auto was assigned to the case. They are contacting relevant bodies to gauge interest in being part of the committee to review AS4739.  They aim to have an initial meeting in March/April 2015. The AGA has been told, however, the process could take up to 18 months.

Training update
Members of the AGA Training Sub Committee travelled from far and wide to meet on Saturday 8th August to further their work on developing an Online Induction Course.  This course is aimed at newcomers to the industry, providing an introduction to commonly used industry terminology.  The AGA aims to have this training course available to our members by the first quarter of 2015.
 
Committee
Congratulations to Murray McGrath and Nick Street, voted as President and Vice President respectively at the AGA AGM held in Sydney early December. Visit the website for a full list of committee members.
 
Moving house
The office of the AGA secretariat has moved. The address is now Suite 1, Level 1, Building 1, 20 Bridge Street Pymble, NSW 2073. Phone numbers and email addresses remain the same. 
 
Christmas wishes
To everyone in the Aussie auto glass industry, the AGA wishes you a safe, happy and relaxing festive season. The secretariat office will be closed from December 23 to January 12 and the AGA  marketing office from December 18 to January 20.

 
 
The driverless factor
OK so we’ve all heard report of driverless cars being the way of the future. They’re still a way of, but they’re closer than ever before with Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo rumoured to have autonomous vehicle initiatives in motion.

The implications on the auto glass industry will be staggering.

An unfortunate reality is the bulk of windscreen replacements are generated by car crashes. With driverless cars fitted with sensors that drive faster, safer and are packed closer together can only result in fewer accidents.

Another consideration not so obvious is the idea of ‘on demand’ vehicles. One study suggested a car is an unused asset 95% of the day. On demand usage would mean drivers could access vehicles whenever and wherever they wanted one. This will mean less vehicles on the road, with fewer accidents, no need for parking, etc. All factors combine to mean less windscreen repair and replacement.
 
New code could restrict trade
In October the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, representing car makers and importers, announced it had pulled out of negotiations for a code of conduct between independent repairers and car companies. The code provided for open access to vehicle service and repair data. It did in fact announce intent to establish its own voluntary code of conduct for car servicing that would restrict the availability of this information to independent repairers.

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA), representing motoring consumers, expressed concern the move could leave motorists with less choice in vehicle repairers including windscreen replacement technicians. Business would be driven back to the car dealerships. The AGA officially announced its support of the AAA in future negotiations regarding the code of conduct to ensure our members are represented. We will keep you updated.

Read the Choice article here.
 
Driving in Ireland
Independent research commissioned by Autoglass in Ireland in 2012 found that up to 89,000 cars on Irish roads may have poorly-fitted windscreens, while more than 14% were judged to exhibit safety issues rated as “high” or “medium”.

 
At least it’s consistent
Sydney's Pacific Highway has the dubious title of 'worst road in NSW' for the fourth year in a row, so says the 12,000 NRMA members who voted.

 
Panoramic views
At the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP 29) meeting in Switzerland, member nations agreed to negotiate the revision of panorama sunroof rules. Korean delegates proposed revisions to ceramic coating on tempered glass regulations and coating areas restricted.

The tests on panorama sunroofs found the coating area, 30-70% of the whole sunroof area, was more fragile than the regular glass pane. In acceptance of the proposal WP 29 will create an informal meeting in order to discuss the panorama sunroof rules. 

 
 
Keep ‘em coming
The AGA implements a marketing program alongside its standard, training and membership initiatives. The aim is to promote the industry standards and educate motorists on the factors to consider when their auto glass is damaged.

To get the most out of this campaign, I need your input.

Let me know if you have an idea for a story – what do your customers ask you about the most, are there concerns or challenges facing the modern auto glass technician, technical tip ideas, trends or patterns in the industry you’ve noticed? I can turn these ideas into articles that will help drive business back to our members and promote the AGA - a win win scenario.
 
Return visits
Visited the website recently? Remember we have a member’s only section where you can access information and advice. Our members 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.
 
The top ten
Just so you know why it pays to be a member of the AGA, we listed some of the accomplishments from our first year in the member benefits flyer that you can download here.
 
 
Re-gelling sensors
Can rain or light sensors be re-installed?
Re-gelling existing light or rain sensors can be done with the right products and know-how. Liquid gel products are available that work on all vehicle models, with short curing time and high transparency so it’s a clear finish. Here’s some advice from an AGA member…

1.    Remove the light or rain sensor
2.    Remove the control unit
3.    Clean the sensor surface by thoroughly removing old gel, then place sensor on a level surface
4.    Apply gel to the clean optical surface making sure it’s applied slightly higher than the sensor to guarantee contact with the glass
5.    Leave to cure on the level surface. In cold weather this could take up to 20 minutes, and only 5 minutes in warmer weather. May help to cover the sensor with a big enough object that does not touch any of its surfaces, to prevent contamination
6.    Sensor can now be attached to the windscreen
 
Trim down?
Does the existing urethane bead need to be trimmed down once the glass is removed by the new wire-out tools, or is the bead height adequate for bonding immediately?

In all cases the cowl should be removed, never just lifted up. It’s important that the windscreen is installed square to the highest part of the bead of the urethane to guarantee a perfect seal from the windscreen to the body. If this step isn’t followed there’s a high chance it will roll the urethane bead, resulting in an inconsistent bead thickness.

AGA member Sandrina Esposito comments, “Different technicians have different techniques when applying urethane. The urethane should always be trimmed down as there should only be 1 – 2mm thickness left on the pinch weld.”

 
 
Product confidence at its best
The lengths some people will go to prove confidence in the product their selling is staggering.

This footage shows the President and CEO of an armoured car company sitting behind the wheel of one of his vehicles while its windscreen is peppered with twelve bullets from an AK 47 rifle.

He doesn’t even seem to flinch.
 
Swansong
This shocking scene confronted an English college student when she discovered the windscreen of her car had been smashed to pieces, not by vandals, a construction site mishap, another vehicle or bad weather, but by a swan. Veterinary experts postulate the swan may have fallen from the sky from exhaustion when it struck the parked car. 
 

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