074 GGP 0115

GGP January 2015

INDUSTRY I N S I G H T Total recall As Edgetech celebrates its 25th year manufacturing warm edge spacer bar, Andy Jones, MD of Edgetech UK, talks about how watching the pennies can actually cost businesses pounds. In June this year, Toyota recalled another 650,000 cars after another batch of faulty airbags got into the supply chain. The problem has now affected over 12 million vehicles worldwide for major car manufacturers including Toyota, Honda, Nissan and BMW. The faulty inflators, manufactured by Takata, could cause the airbags to explode in an accident. While the only failures recorded for Toyota have caused seat burn, every product fitted has to be replaced with a new one. The cost of an airbag is about £50. It’s not much in relation to the total sum of the components of a car. But get it wrong and the costs of recall, replacing the product and the loss of reputation mounts up to a lot more. This reminded me of a situation a few years ago when the window industry went through something pretty similar. Pinking was a big problem. Many of us remember the fallout from this, and how it changed the industry’s path. Pinking was the result of one small “Comparison testing on other foam spacer shows these high performance levels cannot component part of the profile material being changed. The company supplying the product claimed the component did the same job and did not compromise the integrity of the formulation. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Pinking affected hundreds of businesses throughout the supply chain, many companies either had to replace the affected product completely or carry out expensive remedial work. Like Takata’s airbags, the problems carried on over many years. Unlike Takata, which has made special loss provision to compensate the affected car manufacturers, many companies in the window industry were unable to cope with the financial repercussions of the problem and didn’t survive. So how does something like this happen? It’s likely that at the top of the supply chain someone wanted to make some small savings. However the consequences clearly offset any short term economy and many companies downstream got caught out. For me, this is the reason why even the smallest components need to be right. Spacer bar might be a small component, but it plays a key role in the overall unit performance. The guaranteed performance of Super Spacer has given many IGU manufacturers the confidence to invest. On 1 December 2014, Super Spacer was 25 years old. The stability and consistency of Super Spacer has made it possible for many companies to switch to automated production. Edgetech has worked with major glass machinery manufacturers to create the most efficient lines delivering high quality glazed units more cost effectively. In 25 years we’ve seen the benefits Super Spacer has brought to the industry. But we understand that choosing Super Spacer is a big step for a glass unit manufacturer. Unlike traditional rigid spacer, foam spacer predetermines small but crucially important factors such as the amount of desiccant and the primary seal. It also has to perform in extremes of temperature. With over two decades in the field, Super Spacer has earned the trust of IGU manufacturers and invests in continuous testing to guarantee performance. We test beyond the requirements to make sure that our products can stand up to the task. For example, we don’t just test to 50° to meet the existing requirements for EN 1279, we test at 60°, 80° and 100°, too. For triple glazing on a south facing wall we believe that, on a hot day, temperatures could reach this high in the UK. Comparison testing on other foam spacer shows these high performance levels cannot be taken for granted. Some products can deteriorate at lower temperatures and create volatile fogging. This hazing can happen as low as 50°, and at 80°, we’ve seen oil running down the glass inside the unit. Desiccant level is another critical factor as adding too much can lead to deflection of the unit. It draws too much moisture from the unit and bends the glass. Its problems like deflection and fogging that can cause extensive recalls. With an extruded product such as Super Spacer it is critical that it measures up to expectation. If a competitive spacer does not make the grade, the product may look the same but will potentially have mass failures in the field. A company making 1,000 sealed units may save themselves a few hundred pounds per week but the potential liability could cost millions of pounds in remakes, refitting costs and compensation, not to mention the loss of reputation. It is highly likely that if a company of this size were to see large-scale failures they would not be able to survive. Helping customers Edgetech’s 40 year guarantee on Super Spacer demonstrates the confidence and trust needed for this critical component. Choosing the wrong component can cost more than money. Edgetech has a duty to protect its business by protecting its customers. With over 100 million sealed units manufactured with Super Spacer sold worldwide every year and the support of multimillion dollar listed company Quanex, Edgetech will keep helping customers look after the pennies and the pounds. 74 www.ggp.com January 2015 be taken for granted.” Edgetech says that the 40 year guarantee on Super Spacer demonstrates the confidence it has in its product


GGP January 2015
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