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IGMA: The Preventing IG Failures course offers training on demand

Preventing IG Failures and the IG Fabricators Workshop is a complete training program for the novice and experienced plant worker.

July 30, 2019  By Margaret Webb

What is an insulating glass failure? IGMA defines it as fogged units with or without sealant adhesive loss; cracked glass; damaged coatings; displaced spacer; contaminants inside the unit, loss of inert gas fill and non-flat glass which may result in a visual or thermal issue.

Two of IGMA’s main areas of focus are developing technical manuals to support the quality manufacturing of insulating glass units for long-term performance and education. Since its formation, the IGMA has offered technical seminars based on providing information on the basic components used in the fabrication of insulating glass units.

Fast forward a few years and the focus of the seminars changed with the development of TM-4100, Preventing IG Failures, a manual developed on how to handle and integrate the IG components into a successful insulating glass unit. Targeted to the manufacturing floor, TM-4100 is a dos and don’ts approach to components and quality management. Each page in the manual is designed to be posted in the corresponding area of the plant as a quick reference. The new face-to-face seminar launched in 2006 with this new focus and has expanded over the years to include how to select glass for a specific function, how to avoid common glazing errors to preserve long-term performance and how to investigate failures if and when they do occur.

Education programs are very different today than even five years ago, especially for Millennials. “Death by PowerPoint” is a thing of the past, so IGMA developed the IG Fabricator Workshop, which provides hands-on experience for participants. It also led to the development of the Preventing IG Failures online program, a 12-month subscription provided directly to the employee and available at their convenience. Still based on PowerPoint, it also includes video to engage the individual.

The Preventing IG Failures online education seminar includes 10 hours of training material – available at any time, for a 12-month period – given by subject-matter-expert instructors. The program is available as a complete package or a la carte if there is a specific topic of interest. Each session is an hour long and the topics include glass receiving; cutting and washing; spacers; internal components and connectors; desiccants and desiccated matrix; sealants; gas filling; glass and glass breakage; glazing guidelines; handling glass safely; selecting glass for optimum performance; and how to investigate insulating glass failures using tried and true forensic examination techniques.

Preventing the above list of failures is what Preventing IG Failures is all about as well as determining if these failures are due to components, workmanship, glazing, installation or the environment. The seminar provides guidelines for the testing, fabrication, packaging, shipment and glassing of IG units to assist in achieving long-term performance by minimizing seal failures using existing technology for edge seal design along with the selection of sealants, desiccants, spacers, gases, glass and other components used for the manufacture of quality insulating glass units.

The combination of the online Preventing IG Failures and the IG Fabricators Workshop is a complete training program for the novice and experienced plant worker. The workshop provides hands-on experience, 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 produced product. Preventing IG Failures provides the in-depth background to the manufacturing process to allow employees to understand the complete process; how other stages in the fabrication process affect each step in the process; and how a failure at one stage can lead to overall failure in field performance.

For further information on the program, please visit the IGMA website (, call the IGMA office or visit us at GlassBuild 2019 in Atlanta. We will have the entire program available for preview.

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