Posts Tagged OEM Glass
A couple of weeks ago my mother experienced shortness of breath along with chest pains. Two hours later she called her sister who lives close by and told my aunt she was thinking that she should go to the emergency room. They could’ve called 9-1-1, but instead together they made the decision to have my aunt drive my mother to the closest emergency room in a hospital about 30 miles away.
My aunt is 91 and my mother is 90……
They made it to the E.R. and after a few days in hospital my mother was released and is doing fine. I talked with them about whether they thought they really made the best decisions to drive down themselves based on the symptom’s my mom was experiencing, the fact that ambulance service was readily available and that it was snowing that day. I hesitated to mention their age to them.
They both are very independent women who have great genes. I’m very happy that they both are very independent and it’s great that they rely on each other, but they reluctantly agreed that they probably made a bad decision even though it turned out okay so it wasn’t that bad of a decision. I suggested that perhaps they should’ve called 9-1-1 and they said that next time they would. I’m not so sure they will though.
If you look up the definition of decision in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary you will find:
“a determination arrived at after consideration”.
We make countless decisions every day just like my mom and aunt did. There are good decisions and bad ones, and all are based on a myriad of bits and pieces of information that we take into consideration. Most decisions we make are uneventful, but some carry great consequence for those who can be affected by them. Consequential decisions are often forks in the road and generally require more information and greater evaluation of the right or wrong road to follow. Those consequential decisions will most likely be based on the values or principals you hold. They therefore provide a clear view of who you are and what is truly important in your personal and business life.
You can be decisive in your decision making or you can hesitate and be indecisive. Indecision makes all decisions more difficult because when you’re uncertain, unsure of your decision, it will often lead to less-than-positive results. Even after giving great thought and consideration to a decision it can turn out badly, but with careful consideration and a look at all the information available, those difficult decisions you make tend ultimately to be the right ones.
If you’re an auto glass shop owner or manager you make decisions relating to whom you hire to work for your company. You decide what kind of on-going training you provide to your employees. You decide the quality of the auto glass you buy for them to install and you make a really big decision on the urethane adhesives that you buy for your auto glass technician (AGT) to use when they install windshields for your customers.
Does the urethane you buy cure in 1 to 4 hours and provide a safe drive away time for your customers and their passengers? Do you tell your customers when their vehicle is safe to drive? Is it really safe for them to drive? As the shop owner it’s your decision. You make a decision on whether your company will join the Auto Glass Safety Council and follow the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard – AGRSS® as a registered company or not. If you become an AGRSS Registered Company you open your doors to an independent 3rd party validation process proving that you adhere to AGRSS®. That decision is important to all consumers who expect that their auto glass replacement is installed safely. I strongly feel that supporting the Auto Glass Safety Council is an easy decision for anyone who provides auto glass replacements to consumers. What do you think?
Your AGTs are responsible for making decisions when they are installing auto glass too. An AGT could make the decision to take a short-cut during the installation, or he could go forward and complete an installation of a windshield where a rust issue exists which could cause an adhesion problem effecting the safe installation of the glass. Or he could contaminate the surface of the pinch-weld or glass, he could use an outdated urethane which could affect the adhesion of the glass installed, etc. Whether your company is a small one or the largest, you have AGTs making decisions that affect safety with each install. Are they making the right decisions for your customers?
When an insurance company makes decisions regarding which company it chooses to replace auto glass for policyholders, what information do you think it uses to make those decisions? What information do you think is important for agents or brokers who are in a position to recommend auto glass service providers to policyholders?
What are the key drivers for these decisions? Quality should certainly be the key driver. Price is also certainly a factor as is the importance of an efficient claim handling process for the insurance company, agent and/or broker. The service and convenience provided to the policyholder should also be a factor in the decision making of those who are in a position of influencing where a policyholder has their glass replaced. Neither the steering of a customer to a particular AGRR company that also happens to be answering the call for the insurance company nor the practice of handing a gratuity to the agent/broker should be a part of the decision-making process. Sadly it is. What do you think the key factors for those making these important decisions should include?
We all have had to make many consequential personal and/or business decisions over the years. When we make those consequential decisions they often affect not only you and your family, but they also often have an unintended effect on others too. They aren’t easy, but they say a lot about your character.
The last stanza of the poem “The Road Not Taken”, penned by the great America poet Robert Frost says:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Today we’re going to be talking with Bill George who is the Director of Marketing for Pilkington NGS. In that role Bill has many responsibilities including his participation in the developing the North American AGR product range, new model introduction, along with working on product life cycle, part acquisition and Key customer development. Bill has been with Pilkington NSG since 1997.
First let me thank you for participating in my blog Bill. I had the pleasure to introduce your session on “Glass Quality” that you participated in at Auto Glass Week 2011 in Memphis last month. I know that it was one of the best attended sessions and had a lot of very positive feedback on the information that you presented, which is one of the reasons I thought that there would be interest in hearing from you by those who were unable to attend Auto Glass Week.
With your extensive background working at one of the premier O.E.M. auto glass manufacturers in the World, I was wondering how you see the state of auto glass manufacturing in the United States?
Bill George: I see the state of auto glass manufacturing getting more and more complex in theU.S. marketplace. All the way from asymmetrical construction to intricate sensor clusters on and in the glass. Just a few years ago the primary value add component on a windshield was a molding.
Are there differences in the manufacturing processes for O.E.M. glass versus aftermarket manufacturers? Can you help us understand what those differences are?
Bill George: There are differences not only in the process of how the glass is made, but there are differences in the glass itself, as well as the quality of the value add and how it is applied. The primary differences manifest themselves in the areas of optical distortion, solar & acoustic specifications, sensor clusters, edge work, and surface control.
How do the different manufacturing processes affect the quality of auto glass?
Bill George: In many ways, here are two:
- Glass batch “ingredients”
- What you add to the glass itself has a great deal to do with its quality and performance. For example, there is no law requiring generic glass manufacturers to return a consumers windshield back to (or better than) its original solar performance specification, so they tend to leave out these components (less expensive to produce). This can lead to large temperature differences in a vehicle, requiring added air conditioning to keep the vehicle cool and increased Ultra Violet light exposure.
- Optical distortion
- In general it is more efficient (and less costly) to increase the flow rate of a furnace. This reduces the cost to manufacture glass and also can reduce the optical quality of the glass. Not meeting an O.E. optical performance specification means greater distortion to a manufacturer and potential eye fatigue, eye strain, and headaches to a consumer.
Pilkington NSG is an O.E.M. manufacturer with plants throughout the World. In how many countries do you currently manufacture auto glass?
Bill George: We have primary fabrication facilities at 32 sites in 16 countries around the world with a major presence in Europe,Japan, North America, andSouth America.
In how many of those countries do you manufacture O.E.M. auto glass parts?
Bill George: All of them.
What O.E.M. car makers does Pilkington manufacture O.E.M auto glass for?
Bill George: We supply every major vehicle manufacturer in the world.
Is your primary source of auto glass parts that you sell in the United States from Pilkington NSG O.E.M. plants?
Bill George: Yes, for example 97% of our windshields distributed in theU.S. come from a Pilkington plant.
Can you explain the advantages of O.E.M. auto glass versus others available in the marketplace?
Bill George: Getting this message to the consumer is important, it’s the reason we created the Pilkington Clear Advantage™ program. The advantages in getting glass manufactured to an original specification are many. A few key advantages are:
- Acoustic attenuation (think – my car is quiet when I drive)
- Solar Optimized (think – UV blocking & heat reducing)
- Premium Optics (think – undistorted line of sight across all glass parts)
- Precise surface control (think – wiper blades removing rain)
- Reduced or no acoustic properties (think – now I hear a lot more road, wind, and tire noise)
- Non-Solar Optimized properties (think – increased heat buildup in your car & needing to use the air conditioner a lot more which leads to added CO2, and reduced gas mileage)
- Poor optics (think – distortion leading to fatigue, eye strain & headaches)
- Poor surface control (think – wind noise & wiper blade missing spots)
Do all aftermarket windshields go through the same safety testing and quality control as O.E.M. windshields?
Bill George: All aftermarket windshields sold in the U.S. are required by law to meet minimum safety standards, but not quality controls. O.E. quality / performance specifications are much higher than generic glass.
Why should the driving public seek out glass shops that prefer to use O.E.M. glass as their replacement choice for their customers?
Bill George: With my technical hat on I would iterate the below points.
- Acoustic attenuation, Solar Optimization (UV & IR), Premium Optics, Precise surface control, Antennas with the same range, Sensors with the same range / effectiveness (critical in vehicles with collision avoidance & brake assist systems), and construction that is built to last.
With my consumer advocate hat on I would say, because it is what they deserve, what they are paying for, and what they believe they are getting.
When shopping for a new windshield, what questions should a consumer ask a glass shop regarding what glass will be installed in their vehicle?
Bill George: Here is what I would ask:
- Am I using a reputable installation facility?
- Am I getting replacement glass with equivalent performance specifications to my original equipment?
- Will my vehicle perform the same?
- Am I choosing replacement glass that meets or exceeds Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards?
- Am I getting a value by choosing a less expensive glass?
Thank you Bill for answering the questions I asked today. You’ve provided some excellent information and advice in understanding what the differences are between O.E.M. manufactured auto glass products versus the non-O.E.M. manufacturers.
Bill George: Thanks David, it’s always a pleasure to speak to auto glass specifications.
It’s pretty obvious that replacement auto glass that is manufactured by O.E.M. auto glass manufacturers provides consumers products with higher quality components and the most up-to-date engineering techniques that are required by the O.E.M. car manufacturers they make auto glass for today. Reverse engineering of auto glass used by non-O.E.M. manufacturers adds variables into the manufacturing process that can effect fit and quality to those seeking replacements; and with vehicles manufactured today versus cars of the past, fit and quality is a key to safety.
I hope you enjoyed this blog. I would appreciate any comments or thoughts you might like to share or ideas that you may have for topics.