by Bob Beranek
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I’m sure that many of you have noticed that there has been a higher number of noise complaints recently. Have you ever wondered why? The answer is exposed edge glass mounting. Since the popularity of exposed edge glass mounting came into being with the Saint Gobain’s Pre-Applied Adhesive System (PAAS), many other vehicle manufacturers have noticed the benefits of its design.

  • There are fewer parts to design and manufacturer;
  • Less labor costs to install the finishing moldings;
  • Without an over-glass molding there is less drag and better fuel economy; and
  • More aesthetically appealing.

There are also some pros and cons for the auto glass technician as well.

Pros

  • No moldings to take off so installation times are reduced;
  • No clips to be broken and replaced so costs are reduced.

Cons

  • Removal damage easily visible;
  • Bead application must be precise or cleanup is a problem;
  • Noise complaints increase.

Today, I want to address the noise complaint issue. Have you ever had a customer complain, “That ever since the glass was replaced, there is a noise they’ve never heard before?” I think we all have. The fact is that the noise is not new, it is just different.

All vehicles have noises manufactured in them the day we drive it off the lot. If the noise is such that we cannot tolerate them, we don’t buy the vehicle. However, if the sounds are minor, or don’t irritate us particularly, we will buy the vehicle and live with the noise. Eventually, we don’t hear it anymore because we get used to it, and, in our minds, it ceases to exist.

Then comes Otto’s Glass to replace the windshield and the gap between the exposed edge of the glass, and the wall of the pinchweld is slightly different than before. If it is a smaller gap, there is a higher pitched “whistle.” If it is a larger gap, there is an “air rush” sound. Either way, the sound is different not new. There is no such thing as zero sound.

Air has to go somewhere when it comes in contact with the vehicle. If it is forced between the glass and the body gap, the rush of air will create a noise. How that noise is heard depends on where it enters the gap, travels through the length of the gap and how it escapes. The only way to stop the noise complaint is to disrupt the air flow thus stopping the air from creating a rush or whistle.

Here are some actions you can take to reduce the noise complaints:

  • Add a moulding – Yes, it will change the look, but does the customer want a quiet ride or stylish looks? Sometimes you can’t have both. If you are a good salesman, you can sell them on a “J” moulding which will most definitely remove the noise issue, but it will also be the most noticeable to the customer. Or, you could suggest or install an underside moulding which will be far less noticeable but is not as fail safe as the addition of a “J” moulding. The underside moulding will divert the air causing the noise.
  • Measure and replicate the size of the gap – Use a shim or measuring device to note the size of the gap between the glass edge and the wall of the pinchweld. Then exactly replicate the gap upon setting the glass into the opening. Adjust where needed.
  • Disrupt the air flow by adding a strategic ball of adhesive – If the vehicle has “A” pillar moldings but has an exposed edge top, you should place a small ball of butyl tape or dollop of urethane under the side moldings and between the glass edge and the pinchweld wall. This will disrupt the flow of the air and eliminate air rush or an upper corner wind whistle.
  • Make sure the glass surface is slightly below the flush-point of the roof line – It is a little known fact that the glass should be slightly inset into the opening for exposed edge glass. This directive came from BMW many years ago for their vehicles. BMW even had a tool that looked like the shape of the state of Nebraska to measure the indentation. That tool should not be used to measure all vehicles because all vehicles have different roof configurations, but the glass should be slightly indented into the opening and not be flush to the roof line.

I hope these tips and ideas will help with your reduction of noise complaints. Just remember that the noise they hear is not new, just different.

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.

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.