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Welcome to the first issue of the Auto Glass Association (AGA) e-newsletter.

Our industry is always changing, which is why the AGA sees information sharing as one of our core functions. So in each issue of the newsletter we’ll compile stories affecting all auto glass industry stakeholders – from technicians to sales reps, franchisees, independents, manufacturers, wholesalers and business managers. With regular features including OE bulletins, news articles, technical advice and association updates, this newsletter will be your way of staying in touch with the marketplace.

The AGA is a truly independent association that was formed last year to give all sides of the automotive glass industry a unified voice. This newsletter is your industry rag, if you will, and as such you’re free to suggest stories, provide case studies or ask for technical advice. If you have any ideas for the newsletter please email our marketing guru ally@acpublicrelations.com.au.

To our members who have already joined the AGA, we extend a thank you for your support. It’s encouraging to know the industry is filled with professionals serious about upholding the standards and safeguarding our future.

The AGA receives direction from its Executive Committee, comprising representatives from across the industry. Through committee discussions we have identified the top three industry issues are:

1.    Standards that underpin quality
2.    Technical data for ongoing training programs
3.    Environment and sustainability best practice

Sub-committees for both standards and training have been formed to oversee and drive these respective activity programs. The AGA Update section in the following will let you know what’s already been achieved in these areas.

This newsletter will give you an understanding of what the AGA is doing for the industry and its members. So how can you contribute? All we ask is that you get involved. Anyone who hasn’t joined the AGA, please email info@aga.org.au for a membership form. To existing members – start promoting your membership, use your logo and discuss the AGA when talking to clients. Engaging with our efforts is a sure-fire way to maximise the return on your investment while strengthening our cause.

I’d like to thank the committee for the hard work and time dedicated to the association and its members. On behalf of the committee I’d also like to thank Tracey Gramlick of the AWA for her support and direction, Ally Cronan for the PR and marketing program and Joanne Valvekens for the administration of the AGA.

Warm regards,
Murray McGrath, AGA President
 
 

Self-healing glass
'Self-healing' glass will revolutionize the auto glass market, predicts NanoMarkets. The idea is that smart glass windscreens will repair their own scratches. The technology is in very early stages, but some self-healing glass products have already been developed for cell-phone displays. We’ll keep you posted. Full story here.
 

Pedestrian airbags
Mercedes and Volvo have invested in the latest wave of pedestrian safety features, such as pedestrian airbags (or bonnet airbags). Volvo’s new 2013 V40, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, features sensors in the front bumper that register physical contact between the car and pedestrian. The rear end of the bonnet is released and raised by the airbag that covers the entire area under the bonnet as well as about a third of the windscreen. Full story here.
 


HUDs
According to this Techlife story - "With the advent of thin flexible OLED screens, heads up displays that are embedded in your windscreen are set to become one of the next big upgrades to dashboards”. Full story here.
 

 

 

Dash cams
Dash cams are the latest new gizmo hitting the auto accessory circuit - set to record as soon as you switch on the ignition to give you video evidence if you're ever in an accident. Multiple angles, GPS geo-tagging and G-sensor lock-recording are common extras in the better models.

 

Invisible bonnet
Land Rover has developed a camera system that seems to make the bonnet invisible — by projecting the image of what’s below it directly into the windscreen. Full story here.
 

 

 

Solar panel roof
The solar-powered C-MAX Solar Energi concept car was launched by Ford earlier this year. The car uses a solar panel roof to draw power from a special solar concentrator lens (similar to a magnifying glass) to power its battery.

 
Online training first priority
The creation of a standardised training program for auto glass specialists is one of the core functions of the AGA. This month, the AGA training sub-committee met with representatives from TAFE and AFTI (Australian Fenestration Training Institute) to discuss working together on a comprehensive training program for our members.

Three areas were discussed:
 
1.      Online Induction Course
2.      WH&S
3.      Certificate III Course

First on the agenda will be the development of an online induction course that works as an introduction to the industry, which educates someone new to the industry in areas such as terminology. The AGA and AFTI will partner in this initiative. 
 
Standard overhaul
This year the AGA executive committee pooled resources to develop a draft submission for Standards Australia, recommending changes to the existing standard AS 4739-2002 Direct glazed automotive glass replacement - Light vehicles.

Nick Street, AGA Standard sub-committee member, comments, “One of the core objectives for the AGA was to create and deliver tangible improvements in the industry and raise standards. We have taken our first step towards this goal with the new draft. We reviewed the current version of the direct glazing standard and it is based on the industry as it was in 2002. With so many developments in vehicle design, windscreen technology and complexity it was an appropriate first step for us to bring this up-to-date. This submission is a great first milestone for the AGA in 2014.”

The final proposal will be submitted to the Standards Development Committee (SDC) for consideration and selection at its May meeting. Project selection will be announced by the SDC at the end of May, and the AGA will receive feedback from Standards Australia on the outcome of its proposal at that time.

 
Sticking to the standards
The safe repair of laminated automotive glass is referenced in AS/NZS 2366. AGA members are reminded that compliance with this standard is a requisite of membership.

In addition to AS/NZS 2366, each Australian State and Territory transport authority has its own vehicle roadworthy standard for windscreen repair. It is the obligation of everyone working in the auto replacement and repair industry to be familiar with both AS/NZS 2366 and the requirements of their State/Territory.

Those working close to the borders should also get to know the standards pertaining to their neighbouring regions.

To make life easier for AGA members, the Member’s Only area of the AGA website contains links to the relevant page of each State Motoring Authority website. Simply enter our member’s only area and go to the Chip Repairs page to access this info.

This section also goes through all the standards in easy to read and understand language.

NOTE TO MEMBERS: if you do not have registration details for the Member’s Only area or have forgotten your password, please email info@aga.org.au.  
 
Welcome to the team
AGA would like to welcome these new members who, by joining our association as associate members, have demonstrated their commitment to upholding the standards and growing the industry:

Cessnock Autoglass, Cessnock NSW
Bathurst Auto Glass, Bathurst NSW
Maitland Glass & Windscreen Service P/L, Rutherford NSW
CR Mobile Windscreens & Tinting, Maitland NSW
Advanced Auto Glass, Kingsgrove NSW
Phoenix Automotive Glass Pty Ltd, Coopers Plains QLD
Sunshine Coast Windscreens Pty Ltd, Buderim QLD
Automotive Glass Solutions, Macquarie Fields, NSW
Arthurs Autoglass, Caboolture South QLD
Windscreen Wizard, Gladstone QLD
Team Windcsreens Pty Ltd, Ringwood VIC
Albury Autoscreen, Lavington, NSW
Port Adelaide Collision Repair Centre, Port Adelaide SA
Not Just Windscreens, Seville VIC
Innosolv Pty Ltd, Templestowe VIC
Australian Specialised Machinery Glass, Mt Louisa QLD
Gympie Autoglass, Gympie QLD
Bundy Windscreens, Bundaberg QLD
Novus Autoglass Perth, Malaga WA
Northwest Autoglass, Karratha WA
Novus Autoglass Riverina, Wagga Wagga NSW
APP International Pty Ltd, Yatala QLD  
The Fixer Windscreens, West Ipswich QLD
Top End Windscreens & Tinting Pty Ltd, Palmerston NT
Bryant's Glass & Windscreens, Cowra NSW
CSR Windscreens, Midvale WA
Roma Windscreens, Roma OLD

Two new Full members have also joined the association this year - SIKA Australia and Protector Group Industries.  
 
 
Recall of epic proportions
This year has seen one of the biggest recalls in Toyota's Aussie history - affecting 118,600 Toyota Yaris models built between June 2005 and May 2010, and 179,000 HiLux utes built between April 2004 and December 2009.

The Yaris recall is because of a possibility that if the seat is frequently moved forward and backward the spring locking the driver's seat track in position may break.

With the HiLux, the recall was born from a possibility the spiral cable, part of the supplementary restraint system (SRS) between the steering wheel and steering column, may become damaged when the steering wheel is repeatedly turned.

Toyota globally recalled over 6.39 million vehicles, including 26 Toyota models plus the Pontiac Vibe, Subaru Trezia, Corolla sedan and the RAV4 sport utility vehicle.

Concerned owners can call the Toyota Australia recall helpline on 1800 643 242.
 
Two new DOTS
The US Department of Transportation recently awarded two new DOT numbers to Italian companies. DOT No. 1013 went to Forghieri srl, specialising in glass for the transport industry. DOT No. 1014 was given to Vetraria Polis srl, which fabricates glass for forklifts, trucks, buses and more.

The AGRR online DOT Search Number Tool has been updated with this latest addition. Here you can use drop-down lists to locate manufacturer information by selecting either the DOT number or company name. Both options will display the DOT number, manufacturer company name and company website. 
 
 
Stretching the dollar
Let’s face it, most auto repair and replacement businesses don’t have million dollar advertising budgets. So what’s needed instead is a smart approach to marketing that will stretch the resources that are available.

It may seem like self-serving advice, but AGA membership is a shrewd marketing choice. By joining the association you’re immediately added to the online member directory (where car owners look for local repairers), which can help generate sales. You’re also eligible to use the AGA logo on business cards, website, signage, paperwork, vehicles, Facebook, emails, etc. This industry mark will establish trustworthiness and credibility among your would-be customers, and help you stand above local competitors who can’t demonstrate the same commitment to quality.

If you do have some money set aside for advertising, consider timing. The peak times for windscreen repair and replacement is often right before holiday periods, as drivers want to ensure their vehicle is safe before embarking on a road trip.

Weather also influences decisions on windscreen safety. As extreme heat or cold can play a part in auto glass breaks or when a small damaged area gets bigger. Have you considered monitoring weather forecasts and patterns when scheduling your advertising?
 
Keep on top of it with Facebook
It seems like every day there is a new OE bulletin, technological breakthrough, interesting news article and global alert relating to the auto glass industry. A great way to keep up to date is by LIKING the AGA Facebook page. The posts are brief and often contain links so you can do further research if the story interests you.  
 
Article archive
Visit the online Articles page for a selection of media articles the AGA has generated in our bid to raise the profile of auto glass in Australia. The technology articles we wrote for Paint & Panel and Automotive Engineer magazines are a great read.
 
 
E-tags and Low-E
A driver recently called the AGA asking the best place to position an E-tag on a Low-E windscreen. Our advice was within the area at the top, middle of the windscreen within the black dots. Anyone had any problems with e-tags and low-e glazing? Please email ally@acpublicrelations.com.au with feedback.
 
Product mix-up
An AGA member recently shared with us a situation where he’d used a polymer product from one manufacturer and a urethane product made by another company. The blackout did not bond with the sealant. As a rule of thumb, it is advisable to use products within the same brand category for optimal efficacy, to help prevent the glass not bonding. The AGA also recommends all manufacturer instructions be closely followed during each stage of the repair and replacement processes. 
 
Out with the old
The following story is inspired from Bob Beranek’s blog for the AGRR magazine, sharing some pointers for removing old glass.

Removing old glass has always been the most difficult part of the installation process because of its labour intensity, despite the fact new hand tools have greatly eased this part of the job. Remember, the goal is to get to the edge of the glass for easy cut-out. Here are some recommendations to ensure the finished installation is both pleasing to the eye and safely bonded to the metal.   

  • Have replacement mouldings available, whether you think you will use them or not. That way, even if the original mouldings were bent or misshaped, the job will always look good when finished. A good selection of universal mouldings come in very handy to replace stretched or damaged mouldings.
  • Have replacement clips. Even though clips are not used as often as they once were, some clips are unique. To make matters worse, many distributors do not stock a wide variety of clips. I suggest determining the dominant car dealer in your market and obtaining the clips and retainers necessary to do those brands of vehicles. That way you will have replacements most of the time.
  • Never disconnect the electrical components from the rear view mirror while the ignition is on. This could damage the vehicles’ computer or, at the very least, erase the pre-programmed memory. Either disconnect the wiring harnesses and remove the mirror and place it the back seat, or remove the mirror from its pad and leave it hanging from its wiring harness.
  • In all cases, the cowl should be removed, never just lifted up. In order to guarantee a perfect seal from the windscreen to the body every time it is important that the windscreen is installed square to the highest part of the bead of the urethane. If this important step is not followed there is a high chance it will roll the urethane bead, resulting in an inconsistent bead thickness bonding the windscreen to the body of the vehicle. (Note from the editor: this advice is from the AGA)
  • When using hand tools for removal, start with the shortest blade in the cold knife and work up to the longer blade. This increases control of the tool and makes the cut out easier. Look for blades that have extra thinness, serration and coatings to protect the paint.
  • Use your body weight rather than your upper body strength to pull the cold knife. This allows you work more comfortably and reduces the chance of muscle strains or pulls.
  • If you have a part with a rigid or metal-coated moulding system, use a plastic stick vertically to the pinchweld to break the moulding from the glass surface. Then force your cold knife blade between the glass edge and the broken moulding flap and under the edge of the glass. Then pull the cold knife normally. This method cuts out the glass and leaves the moulding in place which eliminates the need to pull the rigid moulding out to access the glass edge. The moulding also protects the pinchweld wall from damage from your tool.
  • When using power tools lubricate the tool by spraying water on the adhesive to be cut and on the blade itself. This reduces the harmful fumes caused by the high speed of the blades and also makes the tool work smoothly. Plain water is recommended over soapy water because it will not contaminate the bonding surface. All cut-out blades are flat on one side and bevelled on the other. The flat side of the blade should be to the glass surface. The blade and the glass create a scissor-type action that eases the cut-out. The closer the cutting edge is to the power source the more torque and cutting power it has. So, use the shortest blade possible to cut the material and protect the interior trim.
 
 
The ultimate goose bump
A motorist was lucky to escape after a large goose crashed through her windscreen while she was driving at around 80km an hour through Colorado, USA. Shannon Jergenson "could barely see" when her windscreen was shattered by the low-flying goose.

Fortunately she only suffered a small scratch and her hair was covered in a fine dusting of glass that took her several hours to remove. See the Sky News report here.
 
Cheeky cheetah breaches sunroof
Australian photographer came face to face with a young, inquisitive cheetah when it hopped onto the bonnet and then onto her roof to poke its head through her Land Rover's sunroof while she was on safari in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Full story here.
 

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