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IGMA: Training at your fingertips

Education made the top of the list. The reason? Transferring existing capital knowledge.


November 27, 2019
By Margaret Webb

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When IGMA revisited their strategic plan a few years ago, the IGMA board of directors started with the question, “If IGMA was formed today, what would it look like and what activities would the group be involved in?”

Since IGMA’s inception, the organization has had five strategic initiatives:

  • research & development
  • technical publications and standards development
  • product certification
  • communication and advocacy

All IGMA activities fell under one of more of these initiatives. This time, education made the top of the list. The reason? Transferring existing capital knowledge to those entering the industry.

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IGMA’s original offerings were the Technical Seminar and then Preventing IG Failures (based on the manual of the same name). Both seminars were offered in “death by PowerPoint” formats. In this day of everything being accessible online, the Education Committee turned 180 degrees and decided to develop a hands-on workshop where the industry subject matter experts could share their wealth of experience and knowledge with others.

Preventing IG Failures is now an online video program with in-depth information on components, glass and fabrication. It also includes how to conduct a forensic investigation, how to ensure performance longevity and how to select the right glass for the project.

The IG Fabricator Program has limited enrollment to ensure that all participants have the opportunity to use the technology (frost point device, Sparklike GasGlass and Lase), understand how to use the equipment, know what the results can be and learn how to interpret those results. The ratio of instructor to student is 1:3 ensuring personalized attention. No other program offering provides this level of instruction. The information and skills learned are instantly transferable.

The recent workshop concluded on Nov. 14 and was sold out. As with other workshops, we received lots of feedback and the task group responsible for the program content takes this feedback very seriously, resulting in modifications and improvements to the workshop. It is a living, breathing education instrument provided by the industry for the industry. There are eight workstations, and all participants have a minimum of an hour at each workstation: frost point (how to take one); gas filling and measurement (what’s happening in the IGU, GasGlass and other measurement devices); volatile fog (determination of and viewing); sealants (butterfly test, mixing ratios, gunning); desiccant/desiccated matrix (determining viability of the material); glass cutting and washing (how deposits not visible to the eye impact the quality of the IGU); spacers (types, uses and functions); and the final workstation, forensic evaluations (looking at four to six units fabricated with known flaws and following the investigative process to determine the failure mode and the impact of that failure mode on the unit.)  A two-hour networking session is hosted, where any attendee can approach any of the instructors with a specific question in a private venue.

The combination of the online Preventing IG Failures and the IG Fabricators Workshop is a complete training program for novice and experienced plant personnel. The workshop provides hands-on experience that is instantly transferable to the work environment and access to equipment that most plant personnel may never touch but that has a direct impact on their work environment and the fabricated product. We’ve had the two-week employee all the way to the multi-decade employee. Everyone learns something new that they didn’t know before, even our subject matter experts.

For further information on the program, please visit the IGMA website igmaonline.org or call the IGMA office.  Next year’s event is tentatively planned for Nov. 13 to 15, 2020. Mark your calendar to attend.


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