AGRR Magazine

Reaction Abounds to ROLAGS Standard Acceptance by ANSI

by Penny Stacey

With the acceptance of the Repair of Laminated Auto Glass Standard (ROLAGS) by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the industry is abuzz with mixed opinions about the standard and what it could mean for the windshield repair industry.

Jackie Newman, project editor and president of Redline Inc. in Austin, Texas, was happy to see the standard come to fruition. She said she began work on it in June 2003. "Obviously since I put in so much work, I am actually thrilled," she said. "I wrote the initial Recommended Practice ten years ago and this is a much more powerful document."

She added that she was glad to see many different sectors of the industry come together to develop ROLAGS. "The committee that worked on it was so diverse, we had people from the glass manufacturing industry, networks," she said. "It has a much wider scope [than the original Recommended Practice]."

Rich Campfield, president of Ultra-Bond in Grand Junction, Colo., and long-time supporter of the standard, echoed Newman.

"I was very happy about it [being accepted]," Campfield said.

Campfield added that he believes 14 inches, the length cited in the Standard as an appropriate maximum for long-crack repair, is suitable.

"We had 18 inches in there [originally] because that's what the real world shows is repairable, and I actually made the motion to reduce it to 14 because it was decided that some of the larger powers within the industry would try to fight it at 18," Campfield says. He went on to say the Australian standard for windshield repair also uses 14 inches as its maximum, so he felt the committee could use this as grounds to defend the 14-inch decision.

The length of a long crack-and the Standard itself-is not without controversy, though. Mark Gold, marketing director for St. Louis-based Solutia, said he has a number of concerns about the Standard-including the length of the repair it allows.

"I was surprised with the speed with which ANSI approved this, given the controversies that surrounded it, leading up to its development and close-knit review and approval," Gold said. "I am concerned that perhaps the general technical representation wasn't as broad as it might have been to make it a better standard."

More specifically, Gold noted that he was concerned about the science-or lack thereof-involved in the development of the Standard and said he had noted this to the ROLAGS committee. "One [of my concerns] is with the chemistry of the glass interlayer and the understanding that breakage may cause that chemistry and interaction between the interlayer and the glass to change, and if that chemistry has been changed, you can't just cover over it with a repair resin," Gold said. "I have a secondary concern based on my experience, which is, do the size and length of the repairs compromise the safety of the glazing? That is more based on my perception, though, as opposed to my first concern, which is based on my technical knowledge and training."

Another industry source, who wished to remain unidentified, said he felt there was a lack of scientific evidence for the Standard as well. "A lot of objections were that there was no scientific basis for the Standards," he said. "There was no study done … to see what the actual repair accomplished, so that's what we were very concerned about."

As for the length of the crack included in the Standard, the source advised he felt 14 inches was a bit excessive. "Based on what we know, any crack compromises the strength of the glass, and you know, a reasonable thing would be like 6 inches," he said. "I think that's what's in the British standard, even though that is not something that should be repaired."

Now that the ROLAGS has been accepted by ANSI, are shops going to use the Standard in their businesses? According to Campfield, that's the plan.

"I wouldn't say any specific plans, but I'm sure that's in everybody's minds, because that was the object of it," he said.

Dave Zoldowski, who served on the ROLAGS committee and also is president of the Independent Glass Association (IGA), says the work on the Standard is not done yet-adding that the committee hopes to extend the Standard's reach in the future.

"An ANSI standard is a living document, and with the ANSI standard over the course of the next several years, we are hoping that we develop measurement techniques to assist the technician through some type of tools and measurements to be able to measure a before and after in optical clarity," Zoldowski said.

As for the controversy over the length of the crack accepted in the Standard, Zoldowski says most IGA members don't practice long-crack repair.

CLICK HERE to view the final version of the Standard.

CLICK HERE to view the press release issued by the National Windshield Repair Association.

CLICK HERE to view the changes that were made after the public comment period, click here.

CLICK HERE to discuss your reaction to the Standard with fellow™/AGRR readers, click here.

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