by Bob Beranek
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There was a great deal of interest in the introduction of Pilkington’s new Calibration Tool, the Opti-Aim™, at this year’s Auto Glass Week held in San Antonio, Texas.

Every time the tool was demonstrated on the show floor, the Pilkington booth was surrounded by an interested audience. The Opti-Aim is not for sale yet; estimates are it will be available during the first quarter of 2017, although Pilkington did accept pre-orders during the show.

The tool is simple to use and effective with both dynamic (in motion) calibrations and static (in shop) calibrations, although Pilkington recommends that a test drive be done after every calibration to assure systems are working properly.

According to Pilkington, the tool will come with everything needed to calibrate the vehicle including the aiming panels, an electronic device that plugs into the OBD port, and the necessary training to successfully complete the calibration.

Corning Glass had a booth that featured their Gorilla Glass product. The first use of a Gorilla glass windshield in a production vehicle was in the 2016 Ford GT model. The glass is lightweight and resists breakage better than regular annealed glass. I predict Gorilla Glass will be looked at seriously by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to aid in weight reduction and better fuel efficiency in new vehicles. Corning even brought along a device to demonstrate the features of the Gorilla Windshield and the break-resistant properties.

The Replacement and Repair Olympics did not disappoint either. Both competitions brought participants from all over the world. The repair champion came to from Lugo, Spain. Braulio Lopez did a great job and we congratulate him on a job well done.

Alfredo Calva of Alfredo’s Auto Glass in Corona, Calif., captured the Regular-Sized Company award after several times trying. You may know Alfredo from his YouTube installation videos. Desmonde Ellington from GlassPro in Mount Pleasant, S.C., won the Large Company award. Congratulations to all the competitors, not just the winners. They all did extremely well. The competition is not easy to win, but these technicians show that attention to detail and perseverance will take you far in the AGR Industry.

This year’s event drew more than 30 percent more attendees than last year and had rave reviews from all who attended. I urge all who read this post to plan on attending next year’s Auto Glass Week in Florida and be prepared to thoroughly enjoy yourself and learn new things.

We just returned from Auto Glass Week in San Antonio, and as always, it was an eventful week.

I am a member of the Education Committee, a Board member of the Auto Glass Safety Council, and the chairperson of the Standard Committee. Each had their meetings with an agenda filled with important work to be done and issues to be discussed and solved. In the next few posts I plan to keep those who were unable to make the trip to Texas updated on what occurred in the areas I was involved.

The Education committee, headed up by chairperson Jeff Olive and populated by the best technicians, trainers and experts in the industry, worked on cleaning up past submitted questions for the Certification Exam and writing new ones. The Education Committee keeps the question database current and makes sure questions are psychometrically correct. We are also charged with oversight of the continuing education programs and the certification program in general. Our goal is to have 1,000 questions in the database that can be interchanged easily to make our exam unique every time it is taken. Much was accomplished and we still managed to have some fun.

The AGSC Board meeting is a crucial meeting where decisions are made. Last week, we discussed the progress of all the committees. We reviewed and critiqued videos, promotional brochures and committee work submitted for approval. We discussed fundraising ideas and received financial reports for consideration and adjustment. I always enjoy the planning of our next meetings and trade show, in this case Auto Glass Week 2017. The dates are almost set, but the location is not yet secured. Look to Glassbytes and AGRR magazine for the announcements and details.

The Standards Committee had a goal to compose and finalize the language addressing the Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) prevalent in our industry. At last count, we have 41 members in our committee, not including alternates and visitors. Everyone shared the valuable information they collected since our last meeting and came with ideas for moving the industry forward. Like the professionals they are, after some heated debate, the committee agreed to language we could accept.  The proposed language is as follows:

We proposed 4.2 to the Vehicle Assessment section:

4.2 The vehicle has an ADAS system or related device which could require recalibration after any automotive glass replacement, and the technician chooses not to follow the guidelines in 8.9. The owner/operator then shall be so notified.

Under Additional Requirements, we proposed the following:

8.9 The vehicle has an ADAS system or related device which may require recalibration after any automotive glass replacement. Those engaged in automotive glass replacement shall have documented procedures to either recalibrate, sublet recalibration, or shall advise the owner/operator verbally and in a clearly understandable document, countersigned by the owner/operator, that:

(1) The vehicle has an ADAS system or related device;

(2) After automotive glass replacement, vehicle manufacturers may require the recalibration of the ADAS system or related device;

(3) The replacement glass technician will not recalibrate that ADAS system or related device;

(4) There are locations where recalibration may be obtained; and that the replacement glass installer is not responsible for the selection of any recalibration location.

Documentation of customer notifications shall be kept as records.

Please understand that these changes are proposals and not part of the official standard at this point.  Once the changes are approved by the AGSC and sent to ANSI for inclusion, they will be published and made official.

The language above was designed to give our industry a choice in how we run our business and some industry support to back us up. Once this language is given to our attorney for legal acceptance, it is sent to ANSI for their procedural steps of acceptance. After that, the language becomes part of the standard.  Obviously, we do not know how ADAS will evolve. It could become more complex and intricate, or could go the way of Cadillac and GM to become self-calibrating. However, our industry must be proactive and not reactive when it comes to this technology because it is only going to grow.

Next week I will give you the high points of the events and the new products introduced.

sa2Auto Glass Week™ is October 5-7, and your visit to the international trade show and festivities is the best way to get involved with your industry and take a few days off. San Antonio, Texas, the location of this year’s show, has a lot to offer. Walk along Riverwalk, sip a margarita and enjoy the music seeping out of the many restaurants and bars along the way. Go to historic San Antonio and visit the Alamo. Walk your industry’s trade show floor and learn what is new and upcoming.

I believe that being a good industry citizen is an important part of your commitment to your career.  Getting involved with the AGRR industry means that you make the difference regarding the direction we follow in the future. How can your presence at an international trade show help your own business and further the automotive glass industry? The show is more than a big convention center with lots of booths:

  • It is seminars, demonstrations and building lasting relationships that can help you in your daily work. Earn Continuing Education (CE) credits towards your Auto Glass Safety Council™ Certification by attending many of the seminars.
  • It is watching the glass replacement, tinting and windshield repair competitions. See how the best compete under scrutiny and side-by-side challenges. Learn some techniques that will make your job easier and increase the quality of your work.
  • It is getting involved with or just sitting in on the industry committee meetings that are going on before, during and after the show. Learn and share your thoughts on how the industry works. You never know, you might bring up an idea that has never been tried or thought of before.
  • It is networking with clients, suppliers and fellow automotive glass professionals. Share a beer or cocktail with your peers. They have tried different things and succeeded or have failed and can share the reasons why.
  • It is also a lot of fun through a golf tourney, pub crawl and silent auction.

sa1Yes, a trade show does cost you a little money and time but it gives back much more. Deduct the cost as a business expense. You can’t do that with vacation costs.

Maybe an annual visit to Auto Glass Week is not in the cards or the budget, but a bi-annual visit to the international show and a bi-annual visit to regional shows would work great. Look at the international trade show as one of your annual vacations that can be fun and informational at the same time. Get involved and enjoy yourself.  See you in San Antonio.