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.