EN 1279: some facts, support and advice

CLICK HERE for Technical Description of EN 1279 part 2

CLICK HERE for EN 1279 Background Info page

CLICK HERE for EN 1279 FAQ page


BS EN 1279 with Superspacer- First in the North

Clayton Glass Ltd is the first sealed unit manufacturer in the North to pass BS EN 1279 Part 2 with Super Spacer®. 'It's great to be leading the market in the north,' says Ryan Green, Managing Director of Clayton Glass.

'The kitemark continues to raise standards across the industry. Edgetech supported us all the way in achieving this standard, and in a tough market our sales, so far, are up by 13% since we started using Super Spacer®.

We expect this to increase further as our relationship with Edgetech develops, so much so we have recently doubled our machining capacity and moved to round the clock production of Super Spacer®'

For more information contact Clayton Glass's customer service team on 0870 005 3000, or visit website http://www.claytonglass.co.uk


EN 1279 is Published - Testing Begins in Earnest

EN 1279 'Glass in buildings - insulating glass units' has finally been posted in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ). This means that, from next month, IGU manufacturers will be able to CE mark their units - and by March 2007 all units must comply with the Construction Products Directive (CPD).

And, said Adam Osborn of Notified Body BM TRADA Certification, CE marking is the most effective way to prove compliance. 'There is no mystique about CE marking.

Manufacturers must simply collect together specified test evidence and documentary evidence of factory production control, which most reputable companies will already have in hand.'

The requirements for CE marking, as set out in EN 1279 Part 5, include:
* Test evidence - EN 1279 Part 2 for air-filled units and Part 3 where units are gas-filled - from a recognised test laboratory; also Part 4 for sealants (often obtainable from sealant suppliers); and Part 6 audit testing (UV fogging, short-term climate test).
* Factory production control - documentation for a factory production control system that meets the requirements of Part 6 and a manufacturing system description that meets the requirements of Part 1.

BM TRADA's sister company Chiltern Dynamics also holds Notified Body status in this key field and is one of only two UKAS-accredited laboratories in the UK able to test to EN 1279. Last year it significantly expanded its IGU testing facility to cater for steadily increasing demand. As Test Engineer Dawn Oxbrough said, 'The procedure involves 14 weeks of testing, plus pre-test conditioning time, and there are no short cuts. Those who have held off testing until the standard was posted in the OJ will need to act quickly.'

She stressed: 'Manufacturers who do not wish to CE mark should be aware that having initial type evidence alone will not be enough to ensure compliance with the CPD. They will also have to carry out the short-term climate test once or twice a year and most units will also need to undergo the UV fogging test.'

BM TRADA has developed its Q-Mark third-party certification scheme for IGUs to help manufacturers both to meet the demands of EN 1279 and to prepare for CE marking. The Q-Mark is recognised by the National House Building Council (NHBC) for IGUs going into windows for new homes.

For more information on:
* IGU testing contact Dawn Oxbrough on 01494 569819 or email doxbrough@chilternfire.co.uk

* CE marking/ Q-Mark contact Adam Osborn on 01494 569826 or email aosborn@bmtrada.com


1279 is Here - Ulmke Metals Offers Support

Within the next 14 months IGU manufacturers will have to comply with the requirements of EN 1279. Sentences like the previous sentence have been printed before now but this time it is different. This time the European Union has gone on record and has notified the industry that compliance is required by 1st March 2007. ‘Ulmke cannot stop this, the standard will become law, but Ulmke can make compliance a relatively painless process’, says the company.

Here's what to do:

1) Learn about 1279. Read The Gl@zine FAQ Page and read http://www.ulmke.co.uk. Contact Ulmke on 0121 3590771 to learn more.
2) Contact BSI or BM Trada or another notified body to arrange type tests and UV fogging tests. Call BM Trada on 01494 569800 (Adam Osborn) or BSI on 01442 278688 (Aby Smith)
3) Make arrangements for factory production control.

The type tests are relatively simple. Make test units and make them well. Most importantly, check that the desiccant is active using the delta t test or a dew point test and ensure that sealant is applied in the correct quantities with no significant defects. If submitting units for 1279-3 type test ensure that the gas concentration is equivalent to that which is claimed.

The Factory Production Control (FPC) is a quality system by another name. The purpose of the FPC is to ensure that units are fabricated to a consistent quality standard that is capable of passing both the 1279 type test and the 1279 periodic test. Believe it, the FPC is not difficult and there is much support available in the industry.

Ulmke Metals has offered 1279 support for a number of years. Ulmke says that it has shown that it knows how the standard works and how to create an FPC that will evidence compliance with 1279 or even evidence compliance with the BSI Kitemark or BM Trada Q Mark.

For its customers, Ulmke provide the FPC and support the implementation as a free service. ‘The service is available to all manufacturers of IG units in the country and is excellent value.’

Contact: Stuart Hawker on 0121 3590771 or email stuarthawker@ulmke.co.uk


EN 1279 Part 5 is Now Official

With the recent citation of Part 5 of EN 1279 - Glass in Building: Insulating Glass Units, in the Official Journal the countdown for insulating glass unit (IGU) manufacturers to meet the requirements of the Construction Products Directive is now officially underway and BSI Product Services says that it is here to help you.

BS EN 1279 is written in six parts and the recent publication of Part 5 means that all six parts of the standard are now available and we are now approaching the end of the transition phase. From the 1st March 2006 CE marking may be applied by manufacturers who meet the requirements and by the 1st March 2007 all IGU manufacturers will need to be in a position to demonstrate compliance with the Construction Products Directive.

BSI Product Services can offer the prestigious Kitemark for BS EN 1279. Already almost 300 manufacturers have been issued with a Kitemark licence for BS EN 1279. The Kitemark offers an excellent way of demonstrating your commitment to quality as well as a route to demonstrating compliance with the Construction Products Directive. It also has the advantage of helping to differentiate products and is specified by organisations like the National House Building Council (NHBC) for IGU's going into windows for new homes. With over 80% of UK customers recognising the Kitemark as a symbol of quality, safety and trust and many specifiers demanding Kitemark for products used in their projects it makes good business sense to have Kitemark certification.

As well as offering the Kitemark for IGU's BSI is a Notified Body under the Construction Products Directive and can offer EN 1279 testing to support CE marking requirements. With one of the largest and most modern test facilities in Europe for BS EN 1279, BSI Product Services can provide a wide variety of testing for IGU's including: dew point measurement, moisture absorption capacity, temperature cycling, moisture content (for both inorganic and organic desiccant) and UV fogging.

Says Elaine Durno, BSI Product Manager ‘At BSI we are well positioned to help IGU manufacturers meet the requirements of the Construction Products Directive. Not only have we invested in the development of our large, modern test facilities but we can also provide technical expertise and assistance in all areas of product testing and certification.’

For more information on IGU testing and certification contact Aby Smith on 01442 278629 or email aby.smith@bsi-global.com.


Desiccant Selection in Anticipation of EN1279

With the end of the transition period for EN 1279 edging ever closer and the onset of periodic testing to satisfy the on-going testing requirements, it is worth making a closer examination of the types of desiccant available for use in the manufacture of insulating glass units. Desiccant selection is probably one of the least considered but potentially one of the most important factors in prolonging unit life.

With ever-spiralling energy costs, many companies are looking towards making savings whenever and wherever they can. There seems to have been an explosion of new desiccants on the market recently, often coming with significantly cheaper prices to tempt the beleaguered manufacturer. There are three main technical areas to consider when selecting a desiccant, these being low deflection (gas adsorption/desorption), initial moisture content and total moisture capacity.

Desiccants used nowadays are generally straight 3A molecular sieves which only adsorb moisture with no capacity to adsorb other volatiles. While this is acceptable for most types of unit and components, it is important that the desiccant has good low deflection performance especially when used in conjunction with hot melt systems. Excessive deflection can cause not only unsightly distortion once fitted, but also cold cracking or even implosion. It is one thing saying that a desiccant has low deflection, but the more enlightened supplier should be able to demonstrate good low deflection performance. A simple layman's test for this is a methanol delta-t test. The main victim of cold cracking is the decorative panel and a few replacements this winter would soon put paid to any monetary savings made on the desiccant.

Initial moisture content and total moisture capacity are the invisible elements of a unit's ability to perform. It is generally accepted that most top quality desiccants on the market have an initial moisture content of approximately 1% or less and a total moisture capacity of a approximately 20%. Some newer grades on sale have an initial moisture content of over 2%, a total moisture capacity as low as 16% and bead sizes up to 50% larger than current products in use. This combination could theoretically reduce unit life by up to one third unless more desiccant is used than before in the spacer bar frame. While it could be argued that these units should still survive the normal guarantee period of 5 years and therefore in theory there is no problem ,of greater concern could be the effect on the periodic testing required by EN 1279 Part 6. CEN Solutions Ltd, one of the leading bodies on interpreting moisture penetration index results to EN 1279, offered the following statement.

‘Desiccant selection could become increasingly important in maintaining an unblemished record in the on-going periodic testing required by EN 1279. Initially, manufacturers demonstrating EN 1279 compliance undertake four periodic tests in the first two years. If these are successful, they then revert to an annual test thereafter. However, if there is a failure at any time, they have to return to the four tests in two years scenario at an extra minimum cost of £1000. While it is normal procedure for the Initial Type Test to EN 1279 Part 2 to use a new box of desiccant, the periodic testing is a test of the manufacturer's daily production environment with whatever components are available at the time being used. If a desiccant has higher initial moisture content to begin with, then the longer the box has been opened, the higher this will become. Add to this the initial moisture adsorbed from the unit cavity, and then this figure could become excessively high. If the EN 1279 standard is taken literally, then an initial moisture content of over 3% on desiccant taken from a unit frame before sealing should result in rejection of the desiccant. At present, the accepted method of testing is the delta T temperature rise method which gives no indication of moisture content. While there is a requirement in EN 1279 for desiccant manufacturers to provide data for correlating the percentage moisture content with whatever test method is used i.e. delta T rise, this is very slow in coming to the public domain, even though it has been requested.

‘In the meantime, figures of over 3% initial moisture content are being measured in certain units for periodic testing but we cannot categorically say that this was greater than 3% before the unit was sealed. Therefore, the test is allowed to continue. If the desiccant has a lower than normal total moisture capacity, then it could drastically affect the calculation of the moisture penetration index, in some cases leading to failure of the periodic test. All this could happen irrespective of the quality of the sealing operation.

‘Finally, please bear in mind that if the rules of inter-changeability are applied to the letter, companies who have already tested to Part 2 with a desiccant having a total moisture content of 20%+, cannot automatically change to an inferior grade i.e. a desiccant with a lower total moisture content without undergoing a full recalculation of their Initial Type Test results so that it can be proved that the new product would have passed if used in this original test. It would be interesting to hear from the Notified Body Test Houses on whether this is being done as a matter of course and whether regular checks are undertaken on the TMC of desiccants currently in use.’

Other factors not considered in this article are excessive bead size, higher bulk density and increased dust, any of which have a detrimental effect on the performance of insulating glass units and in the case of dust serious health and safety issues.

‘Thermoseal is a supplier of Eurosiv and UOP Desiccant to suit all types of insulated glass production. Our entire ranges of desiccant have been approved by industry test houses and we have been recognised as UOP Distributor of the Year for molecular sieve on three occasions,’ says the company.

For more information contact Mark Hickox at Thermoseal Group Ltd or e-mail sales@thermosealgroup.com


West Country Windows Joins the EN1279 Part 2 Ranks

West Country Windows (Double Glazing) Ltd, one of the first companies to use Edgetech's Super Spacer® in the UK has achieved EN1279 Part 2. This is quite an achievement as out of just over 4000 unit manufacturers in the UK only a small proportion has passed EN1279 Part 2.

Ken Ashplant, Owner comments: ‘In contrast with many companies, we've taken action in getting Part 2 now to ensure we're not caught out. We have always been fully committed to providing top quality glass units which is why we are continuously looking at ways to improve. EN1279 compliance is a major focus for us and planning ahead is essential. The testing house can only pass 600-700 companies a year, so firms are in danger of not having standards in place by February 2007 as testing companies become busier and busier. Plan ahead to avoid the mad rush at the end.’

Andy Jones, Sales Director and General Manager of Edgetech UK and Ireland says: ‘We have been working with West Country for nine years and we are all delighted for them. It's become increasingly important for firms to stay ahead of changing regulations to improve standards so customers can reap the benefits.’

Tel: 02476 705570


GlassCenter takes IGU Initiative

Insulating Glass Unit (IGU) manufacturer The GlassCenter UK Ltd has achieved the BM TRADA Q-Mark, to comply with EN 1279: Glass In Building - Insulating Glass Units well ahead of the deadline.

GlassCenter Managing Director Martin Burnside said, 'We wanted the BM TRADA Q-Mark for two reasons. We produce high quality units and the Q-Mark is independent proof of that, which our customers can respect. It also shows that we fully comply with EN 1279 and that gives us a further edge on our competitors.'

The GlassCenter Group offers seven days a week service from its modern factory in Sandy, Bedfordshire. Martin Burnside said, 'We literally offer glass for all and our emergency glazing service is available round the clock. Our domestic and commercial IGU customers know that we will work seven days a week to meet their orders, but with the Q-Mark we can assure them of the same high quality time after time.'

To achieve the Q-Mark, GlassCenter had to carry out initial type testing as well as audit testing. This means that units taken at random from the production line have been satisfactorily tested. BM TRADA's Product Certification Manager Simon Beer said, 'Audit testing can be the Achilles' heel for many manufacturers, who do not have a rigorous factory production control system in place. Sound FPC is a prerequisite of the Q-Mark, which is recognised by the National House Building Council.'

The race began for manufacturers to comply with EN 1279 when Part 5 was finally formally accepted in May this year. 'This is the section which ties the whole of EN 1279 together and it also contains Annexe ZA, which provides for CE marking,' Mr Beer explained. Manufacturers have, it is estimated, less than 16 months to comply with the Construction Products Directive (CPD) - a legal requirement - through EN 1279 and to CE mark them if they wish.

'When EN 1279 is finally ratified it will no longer be enough for manufacturers to have initial type test evidence to show compliance with the CPD. They will also have to carry out the short-term climate test twice a year and most units will need to undergo the UV fogging test. Q-Mark scheme members like GlassCenter must do all of this and more.'

BM TRADA's sister company Chiltern Dynamics is one of only two UKAS-accredited laboratories in the UK to be able to test to EN 1279. It tests to Part 2 (air-filled units) and Part 6 (audit testing) and can now also offer Part 3 (gas-filled units), as well as the Karl Fischer test for warm-edge technology spacer bars, an element of Part 2. It also holds Notified Body status in this key field.

For more information on:

* The GlassCenterUK Ltd contact Martin Burnside on 01767 683540 or email mailto:martinburnside1951@msn.com

* BM TRADA Q-Mark scheme contact Simon Beer on 01494 569821 or email mailto:sbeer@bmtrada.com

* IGU testing contact Adam Osborn on 01494 569826 or email mailto:aosborn@chilternfire.co.uk / Dawn Oxbrough on 01494 569819 or email mailto:doxbrough@chilternfire.co.uk

* Chiltern International Fire has produced a Technical Information Sheet to explain the requirements of EN1279. For a free copy telephone Tom Gregory on 01494 569812 or email mailto:tgregory@chilternfire.co.uk.

Clock is Ticking as EN 1279 Inches Closer

The clock is now ticking for Insulating Glass Unit (IGU) manufacturers, following the publication of Part 5 of EN 1279 in May 2005, says Chiltern Dynamics Engineer Dawn Oxbrough. Although the standard has not yet been cited in the Official Journal of the European Union, signifying that EN 1279 has been fully ratified across Europe, that would normally happen within nine months after publication.

Part 5 of the standard ties the whole of the group of standards together. It also contains the Annexe ZA, which provides for CE marking.

IGU manufacturers could now have as little as 16 months in which to ensure that their IGUs comply with the Construction Products Directive (CPD) and to CE mark them.

Dawn Oxbrough warns that pressure on test facilities is increasing. To comply, manufacturers must submit their products for initial type testing, which involves 14 weeks of testing, plus pre-test conditioning time.

Ms Oxbrough stressed: 'Manufactures should also be aware that having initial type evidence alone will not be enough to ensure compliance with the CPD. They will also have to carry out the short-term climate test twice a year and most units will also need to undergo the UV fogging test.' The climate test is carried out using five units selected at random from the production line, which means that the whole production must be capable of passing the test.

Chiltern Dynamics has significantly expanded its IGU testing facility to meet demand. The company holds Notified Body status in this key field and is one of only two UKAS-accredited laboratories in the UK to be able to test to EN 1279. It tests to Part 2 (air-filled units) and Part 6 (audit testing) and can now also offer Part 3 (gas-filled units), as well as the Karl Fischer test for warm-edge technology spacer bars, an element of Part 2.

Sister company BM TRADA Certification offers the Q-Mark third-party certification scheme for IGUs, which was launched to help manufacturers meet the demands of EN 1279 and to prepare for CE Marking. The Q-Mark is recognised by the National House Building Council (NHBC) for IGUs going into windows for new homes.

For more information on
* IGU testing contact Dawn Oxbrough on 01494 569819 or email doxbrough@chilternfire.co.uk/ Adam Osborn on 01494 569826 or email aosborn@chilternfire.co.uk
* Chiltern International Fire has produced a Technical Information Sheet to explain the requirements of EN1279. For a free copy telephone Tom Gregory on 01494 569812 or email tgregory@chilternfire.co.uk
* BM TRADA Q-Mark scheme contact Simon Beer on 01494 569821 or email sbeer@bmtrada.com

Make BS EN 1279 Increase your Profitability

The much-awaited ‘1279’ standard was finally published towards the end of May 2005. ‘But be careful, you still cannot claim that you comply with the standard until the beginning of 2006.’ says Two River Solutions.

Two River Solutions is one of the leading Business Development companies who are working with the glass and glazing industry to help sealed unit manufacturers meet their legal responsibilities and ensure that manufacturers can use this new standard to grow their business but more importantly their profitability.

Two River Solutions director Peter Brudenell has over 15 years experience in the fenestration industry and fully understands how the small and medium sized companies are affected by the new standard. Peter says ‘while looking at the cost of implementing the requirements, many companies will think that this is a cost that is coming off their bottom line, which of course it is. However, if they use the new standard to look at what and how they manufacture they can be surprised at how much more they can produce and in turn how much more profit they can make.’

What’s required for BS EN 1279? The simple guide

1. Product tested by a notified body e.g. BSI Product Services
2. Factory Production Control System e.g. Quality System
3. Evidence that daily testing is being carried out
4. Declaration of Conformity

‘We have all read in the past pages and pages of what you need to have and when you need to have it. The, when do you need it is simple, as soon as possible.

‘If you haven’t already had your units tested to part 2 of the standard, at least get them booked in. Testing is likely to be the major problem in getting all manufacturers CE compliant in time. Don’t forget, if you gas fill you will need to comply with part 3 of the standard as well.

‘You need to start planning your Factory Production Control (FPC) system. You can do this yourself but you may find it useful to use the services of a company like Two River Solutions. What ever you chose, the FPC, once you claim CE Compliance, must be available for the authorities and customers to check, as required. The system must cover every aspect of unit manufacture i.e. from purchasing to delivery. The system must also include the evidence that you purchase the same materials for the manufacture of your units as the units that were initially tested and that these materials are tested as required by the standard.’

Confused by the FPC? It’s relatively simple once you understand the standard.
1. Make a written ‘system description’. This is a comprehensive list of the products used in the manufacture of your units.
2. Ensure that you have implemented the required testing regimes and provide the evidence that this has been done. The testing and paperwork must be completed on a daily basis.
3. Set out in a ‘quality manual’ the steps of how you manufacture your units and how you ensure that they are manufactured to a consistent standard. This doesn’t have to be reams and reams of paper but should be fairly comprehensive.

To claim CE compliance you must have the following in place:
1. Initial test report showing a ‘pass’
2. FPC in place and working
3. Meet the marking/labelling requirements
4. Sign the CE declaration

Once you claim CE compliance and not before, the ‘routine’ testing of units begin. For the first two years you will have to have your units tested every six months. If you get four ‘passes’ then you will only have to your units tested every twelve months after that.

‘As you can see this is only a brief description as to what is required but if you work through the stages in a structured way then you should be able to manage to implement the requirements yourself. Alternatively you could contact Two River Solutions who would be pleased to discuss your requirements and offer a competitively priced quotation.

‘Two River Solutions works with a variety of companies who are looking to meet the minimum requirements of BS EN 1279 to companies with turnovers of over £20,000,000 who are looking for full ISO 9001:2000 and BSI Kitemark accreditation. Some of our clients have made a huge cost saving of over 10% of turnover by implementing the complete TRS quality system.’

Two River Solutions is also planning to hold a series of 1279 workshops in the autumn to help companies complete their own manuals.

Tel: 01608 664814
Web: http://www.tworiversolutions.com


Countdown Begins for Insulating Glass Unit Manufacturers

The countdown for insulating glass unit (IGU) manufacturers to meet the requirements of the Construction Products Directive is now officially underway.

Publication of the long awaited BS EN 1279 Standard is now complete. BS EN 1279 is written in six parts and the recent publication of Part 5 means that all six parts of the Standard are now available and the 21 month transition and implementation phase has officially begun.

This means that by around February 2007 IGU manufacturers will need to be in a position to demonstrate compliance with the Construction Products Directive. BSI Product Services is here to help and can offer the prestigious Kitemark for BS EN 1279. Already almost 300 manufacturers have been issued with a Kitemark licence for BS EN 1279.

As well as offering the Kitemark for IGU's BSI is a Notified Body under the Construction Products Directive and can offer EN 1279 testing to support CE marking requirements.

Says Elaine Durno, BSI Product Manager 'At BSI we are well positioned to help IGU manufacturers meet the requirements of the Construction Products Directive. Not only have we invested in the development of our large, modern test facilities with UKAS accreditation but we can also provide technical expertise and assistance in all areas of product testing and certification.'


Chiltern Dynamics Prepares for EN 1279

After months of speculation, the latest information suggests that EN 1279: Glass In Building – Insulating Glass Units has been accepted and will be formally published in the Official Journal in the near future.

As soon as the Standard is published, IGU manufacturers will be able to meet the requirements of the Construction Products Directive (CPD) and/or CE mark their products. Manufacturers have less than 21 months, however, to comply with the CPD. As Chiltern Dynamics Engineer Dawn Oxbrough stressed, pressure on test facilities will increase dramatically as manufacturers realise that they will have to submit their products for testing to comply.

The procedure involves 14-weeks of testing, plus pre-test conditioning time, and there are no short cuts. ‘Those who have held off testing until ratification of the standard will need to act quickly to ensure testing of their product range is complete within the 21 month period.’

To minimise customer lead times, Chiltern Dynamics has significantly expanded IGU testing facility with the recent addition of a new custom-built chamber. The company holds Notified Body status in this key field and is one of only two UKAS-accredited laboratories in the UK to be able to test to EN 1279. It tests to Part 2 (air-filled units) and Part 6 (audit testing) and can now also offer Part 3 (gas-filled units), as well as the Karl Fischer test for warm-edge technology spacer bars, an element of Part 2.

Test evidence is available to manufacturers immediately and clients have been impressed with the level of technical support they are given ‘before, during and after’ the test process, said Duncan Bremner of independent consultants J. D. Bremner, based in Blackburn, Lancashire.

As a specialist quality management and IT consultant for small to medium-sized businesses, Mr Bremner has worked with Chiltern Dynamics on behalf of several IGU manufacturers. ‘In our experience Chiltern Dynamics has been very approachable. We can talk to the people involved with the testing and find out what is happening. It’s also economical and we feel we have had good value for money. Chiltern Dynamics does go out of its way to help.’

Sister company BM TRADA Certification offers the Q-Mark third–party certification scheme for IGUs, which was launched to help manufacturers meet the demands of EN 1279 and to prepare for CE Marking. The Q-Mark is recognised by the National House Building Council (NHBC) for IGUs going into windows for new homes.

For more information on
• IGU testing contact Dawn Oxbrough on 01494 569819 or email mailto:doxbrough@chilternfire.co.uk

• Door and window testing contact Paul Andrews on 01494 569734 or email mailto:pandrews@chilternfire.co.uk

• BM TRADA Q-Mark scheme contact Simon Beer on 01494 569821 or email mailto:sbeer@bmtrada.com

• J. D. Bremner contact Duncan Bremner on 01254 248045 or email mailto:dbremner@bcs.org.uk.


Edgetech TriSeal™ TrueWARM® Spacer System joins other Super Spacer® Products to Obtain EN1279 Certification

Edgetech's new Super Spacer® TriSeal™ with TrueWARM
® NO-Metal technology, triple sealed with polyisobutylene and silicone, has passed the requirements outlined by European testing standards EN1279-3 according to the final report by ift Rosenheim. Super Spacer TriSeal is one of the world's few Warm Edge spacer systems to pass EN1279-3 - the stringent long-term gas loss test - with silicone as the secondary sealant. TriSeal joins the ranks of Super Spacer Standard and Premium, which obtained EN1279-2, 3 and 6 last year according to the final report by Dutch test institute TNO-TPD. Edgetech's TriSeal TrueWARM spacer system works effectively with both structural and captive (fixed window) glazing applications, and is compatible with silicone structural sealant, as well as with other secondary sealants for captive glass including polyurethane, polysulfide, DSE/DSA's or hot-melt butyls.

Super Spacer TriSeal consists of a desiccated silicone foam material, acrylic adhesive to hold the spacer in place on the glass, and multi-layer vapor barrier. Andy Jones, Edgetech Sales Director and General Manager UK and Ireland explains the benefits: 'As with Super Spacer, TriSeal provides excellent UV resistance, extreme temperature performance, fast dew-point drop, superior compression-set resistance, excellent color stability and enhanced sound dampening.

'Its unique triple-seal design incorporates an inner acrylic adhesive seal for immediate unit handling; captive polyisobutylene primary seal for enhanced gas retention and low-moisture vapour transmission; plus an outer structural seal for proven structural glazing performance.'

Architects will appreciate TriSeal's smooth matte black surface appearance, with no surface blistering or bubbling. (Other colours are available on special order.) TriSeal applies, and stays, in a straight line and forms sharp 90-degree corners.
Super Spacer TriSeal features a continuous vapour barrier backing across the profiled back of the spacer, and is engineered to accept all sealants.

In a recent independent test for total window performance, comparing TriSeal vs. aluminium spacer in a thermally-broken aluminium test window, TriSeal:
* Lowered the Total Window U-Value by over 5%.
* Raised the NFRC Condensation Resistance by over 10%.
* Raised the Sill Sightline Temperature by over 15%.

Edgetech IG Inc. produces Super Spacer, the TrueWARM, all-foam, NO-Metal edge-seal product line that provides maximum condensation resistance, durability and energy performance.

For a copy of the Super Spacer TriSeal Architectural Product Data Sheet call Edgetech on 02476 705570 or visit http://www.superspacer.com


TruSeal Technologies’ Insuledge™ Flexible Spacer System Obtains EN1279-2, 3 and 6 Certifications

Truseal's Insuledge™, dual sealed with polysulphide, has passed the requirements outlined by European testing standards EN1279-2, 3 and 6 according to the final report by Dutch test institute TNO-TPD. Manufactured by TruSeal Technologies, Inc., a specialist in flexible spacers for insulating glass (IG), Insuledge is a next generation warm-edge flexible spacer system for IG units (IGUs). The spacer incorporates a proprietary moulding process to make it a hollow, flexible, non-metal IG spacer. Its dual seal system allows Insuledge to be dual sealed with most common structural and thermoplastic IG secondary sealants.

‘The warm-edge technology that we use in Insuledge gives manufacturers a greater advantage with meeting European energy conservation codes, such as Part L of UK’s Building Act,’ explained August J. ‘Gus’ Coppola, president of TruSeal. ‘K-values are reduced, limiting the amount of heat that is transferred through the edge seal spacer system. We consider the EN1279 certification a great step in better serving our European customers.’

Harmonising technical standards in the European construction industry, EN1279 exists in six parts that expose IGUs to a series of accelerated aging tests using temperature, moisture and ultraviolet light.

The six parts of EN1279 are as follows:
Part 1: Dimensional tolerances and rules for system description
Part 2: Long-term test method for moisture penetration index
Part 3: Long-term test method for gas loss rate
Part 4: Test for physical attributes of edge seals
Part 5: Test for physical properties of sealants
Part 6: Short-term climate test for factory production control and fogging

According to the British Standards Online Service (BSOL), EN1279 Parts 2, 3, 4 and 6 were published in 2003, Part 1 was published in June 2004 and Part 5 is expected to be published sometime later in 2004.

‘Insuledge offers better U-values and a higher moisture vapour transmission index (MVTI) figure compared to other warm-edge spacers. Using the MVTI calculation, manufacturers can compare the performance levels of various dual seal fabrication systems. In general, a higher MVTI indicates higher resistance to moisture penetration and improved long-term durability.’ says the company.

‘Insuledge’s flexible tube design makes almost any type of IG fabrication possible and cost effective. Fabricators no longer need to bend rigid, metal profiles or mix ‘u-channel’ metal spacers with foam or solid flexible spacers. Insuledge is suitable for both standards and specials.’

Email: mailto:kreider@truseal.com
Web: http://www.truseal.com


TruSeal Technologies’ DuraSeal™ Flexible Spacer System Obtains EN1279-2, 3 and 6 Certifications

TruSeal Technologies’ warm-edge flexible spacer system DuraSeal™, dual sealed with polysulphide, has passed the requirements outlined by European testing standards EN1279-2, 3 and 6 according to the final report by Dutch test institute TNO-TPD. Manufactured by TruSeal Technologies, Inc., a specialist in flexible spacers for insulating glass (IG), the DuraSeal spacer system for IG units (IGUs) takes optimum advantage of laminates and adhesives to reduce thermal conductivity while improving surface and corner appearance. Its warm-edge technology offers manufacturers greater flexibility in meeting European energy conservation codes, such as Part L of UK’s Building Act 1984, by limiting the amount of heat transfer through the edge seal spacer system.

‘The finest materials and craftsmanship are a necessity to meeting the high standards of EN1279,’ said August J. ‘Gus’ Coppola, president of TruSeal. ‘By obtaining certification, TruSeal is once again proving itself one of the foremost manufacturers of IG flexible spacer systems in the world.’

In 1989 negotiations began to develop a European standard for IGUs that would aid in the harmonisation of technical standards in the construction industry. Rather than choosing a standard from one country, 10 separate standards were submitted and the best qualities from each of those standards were merged to form EN1279.

This standard now exists in six parts that expose IGUs to a series of accelerated aging tests using temperature, moisture and ultraviolet light. The six parts of EN1279 are as follows:

Part 1: Dimensional tolerances and rules for system description
Part 2: Long-term test method for moisture penetration index
Part 3: Long-term test method for gas loss rate
Part 4: Test for physical attributes of edge seals
Part 5: Test for physical properties of sealants
Part 6: Short-term climate test for factory production control and fogging

According to the British Standards Online Service (BSOL), EN1279 parts 2, 3, 4 and 6 were published in 2003, Part 1 was published in June 2004 and Part 5 is expected to be published sometime later in 2004.

DuraSeal’s patented design incorporates unique materials and a breakthrough in continuous composite manufacturing processes. The spacer’s inherent flexibility allows window manufacturers to produce both standard and specialty windows with a single spacer system, providing a simple solution for all applications and reducing the need to segregate high volume rectangles from often profitable shapes and specials.

Email: mailto:kreider@truseal.com
Web: http://www.truseal.com


Bostik Findley Helps Allglass & Glazing Achieve BS EN1279-2 Compliance

Allglass & Glazing Ltd, an Insulating Glass Unit (IGU) manufacturer based in Somerset, has officially achieved BS EN1279-2 Kitemark scheme for insulating glass units using sealants from Bostik Findley.

Using Evo-Stik 2850, Bostik Findley’s Polysulfide perimeter sealant, together with Evo-Stik Hiflo 2900 Primary Sealant, units submitted for testing by Allglass & Glazing passed all requirements at the first attempt.

Allglass & Glazing wanted to ensure that its units would fully meet the requirements of BS EN1279 when it is fully implemented. Dissatisfied with the service offered by its previous supplier, Allglass turned to Bostik Findley for help.
As well as switching to Bostik Findley’s perimeter and primary sealant, Allglass & Glazing also benefited from the technical assistance offered by Bostik Findley to guide IGU manufacturers through the different stages of EN1279 compliance.

Lesley Messer, owner and managing director of Allglass & Glazing Ltd, commented: ‘Achieving the BS EN1279-2 Kitemark scheme was essential to the company’s continuing success so we needed a supplier who would not only offer quality products but also commitment.

‘Bostik Findley provided the solution and with the added value of their technical support, the whole process was made much easier became a lot simpler.’

Contact: Richard Sellman
Tel: 01785 272727

Regalead Helps with Accreditation

With new European standards for insulated glass manufacture being introduced, RegaLead has teamed up with CEN Solutions to help guide its customers through the EN 1279 accreditation process.

The requirements of EN 1279 will shortly become mandatory for all insulated glass (IG) unit manufacturers and will involve type testing by an independent approved test house followed by regular auditing of processes. Companies will also be required to prepare a Factory Production Control manual and be responsible for raising technical files and control registers.

Commenting on the forthcoming introduction of EN 1279, Guy Hubble, RegaLead’s Sales and Marketing Director, says, ‘This new European standard will affect everyone who has anything to do with producing the final IG unit, but we’re well prepared. Together with CEN Solutions, the independent consultancy established by Dave Frost with co-directors Mike Gaillard and Wayne Rogerson, we’ll be advising and supporting clients seeking compliance and helping them to achieve the required CE Marking standard.’

Between them, CEN’s three directors have 70 years’ experience in the glazing industry and have worked in every area relevant to their clients’ needs. The team is already involved with over 100 IG unit manufacturers and, depending on individual customer’s requirements, will take charge of every aspect of the accreditation process or look after selected elements.

Under EN 1279, type testing for IG units incorporating lead and film is not necessary, although volatility content on all components and on-going testing for adhesion of lead strip on glass is required. Key RegaLead suppliers already have the matter well in hand. For example, the 3M Accentrim™ tapes have been successfully tested in Germany for compliance with EN 1279, and RegaLead can issue a Certificate of Conformity to users of these innovative self-adhesive tapes.

According to RegaLead, an annual UV fogging test is sufficient to satisfy the volatility content issue easily, and is recommended as the best way to demonstrate compliance.

Guy says, ‘However complex or simple their contribution to IG unit production is, we urge our customers to check out the implications of EN 1279 for their particular process. If they contact RegaLead we can then put them in touch with their nearest CEN Solutions director, as they are strategically located in the north, the Midlands and the south of England.’

Tel: 0161 946 1164
Web: http://www.regalead.com


Chiltern Dynamics Trebles IGU Test Capacity

Chiltern Dynamics will treble capacity to test Insulating Glass Units (IGUs) to EN 1279: Glass In Building – Insulating Glass Units, Part 2, when a new custom-built chamber is installed in the autumn.

The company has already trebled the initial test capacity since the UKAS-accredited service was launched a year ago and is looking forward to being able to reduce still further customers’ waiting time for the 16-week test cycle. As Engineer Dawn Oxbrough explained, ‘Having run a number of test cycles we appreciated that the IGU test presents particular technical challenges. We decided therefore to commission a custom-built chamber to ensure total control over air flow and temperature tolerances and to ensure maximum efficiency when running the test.’

Chiltern Dynamics holds Notified Body status in this key field and is one of only two UKAS-accredited laboratories in the UK to be able to test to EN 1279. More than 60 manufacturers are undergoing IGU testing with the company, including organisations outside Europe, Ms Oxbrough added.

Sister company BM TRADA's Q-Mark IGU Scheme was launched to help manufacturers meet the demands of EN 1279 and National House Building Council (NHBC) will now accept the Q-Mark alongside the Kitemark for IGUs going into windows for new homes. Third-party certification, such as Q-Mark, gives specifiers and developers the assurance that the units installed on site meet the same high standards as the samples tested.

The latest member is Cristal Glass & Glazing (Leics) Ltd in South Wigston, near Leicester, established more than 13 years ago and producing up to 1,600 units a week. General Manager Sarah Mettrick said that dealing with BM TRADA was ‘very straightforward. There are no hidden costs and with one point of contact covering EN 1279 and our ISO 9001:2000 registration, queries are dealt with promptly and efficiently.’

For more information on
• IGU testing ring Dawn Oxbrough on 01494 569800 or email mailto:doxbrough@chilternfire.co.uk.
• Q-Mark schemes contact Simon Beer on 01494 569800 or email mailto:sbeer@bmtrada.com.
• Cristal Glass & Glazing (Leics) Ltd Sarah Mettrick on 0116 278 1900 or email mailto:info@cristalglass.co.uk.


Edgetech Super Spacer® Obtains Certification According to Gas Loss Test with Aging According to EN1279-3

According to the final report of the independent Dutch test institute TNO-TPD, Edgetech´s Super Spacer® has passed the test according to EN1279-3. In addition, the Rosenheimer Institute ift confirms an outstanding psi-value for the Edgetech Super Spacer®.

The Edgetech Super Spacer® is a flexible spacer for isolating glass which, compared to steel or aluminium profiles, stands out due to processing qualities and isolation features. Free form elements can be worked with a lot easier because of the flexibility of Super Spacer®. Super Spacer's® durability matches up to high changes of temperature and the influence of humidity and UV radiation. High flexibility under pressure is another feature of Super Spacer®.

Torsten Keemss, Managing Director, Edgetech Europe Ltd. says: 'Super Spacer® stands for an optimal combination of heat isolation, durability and processing quality , on which customers in North America have been relying since 1985. By obtaining the certification according to EN1279-3 the way is free to win the European market. While up to now we only have been able to concentrate on niche markets, we are now able to offer Super Spacer® to the whole glass producing industry in Central-Europe.'

Edgetech's Super Spacer® was also able to prove the isolation capability with another test, carried out by the independent test institute ift Rosenheim. Super Spacer® reached a psi value of 0,04 for wooden profiles, 0,038 for PVC profiles and 0,054 for aluminium profiles. The psi value states the heat transition coefficient of the isolation material.

'The use of Edgetech Super Spacer® as a 'warm edge' makes sense: badly insulated windows can increase heating costs by up to 25%.' adds Torsten.

Tel: 02476 705570


Frost Concerned at EN 1279 Delay

Dave Frost, managing director of CEN Solutions Ltd, has expressed concern at the recently announced delay, possibly to early next year, to the publication of EN 1279 Part 5. He says: ‘The delay itself is bad enough, but it seems that it may have been caused by a bureaucratic ‘cock-up’ and that is truly alarming. We understand that the measure could have been lost completely and that would have been seriously bad news for the UK insulating glass industry. It would be interesting to know the full story behind this episode; if it is ever allowed to surface.’

CEN Solutions is currently helping more than 200 companies to achieve EN 1279 compliance and believes that the UK industry needs the new legislation to be successful. ‘Anything which delays full implementation is doing our industry positive harm,’ says Dave. ‘There is a great opportunity for UK companies to take the lead in Europe, if only they will seize the initiative and embrace the new regime. Evidence suggests that a lot of companies there have yet to take an active role in EN1279.’

In the UK, many ig unit manufacturers have already invested time, money and effort to achieve compliance before the published deadline and Dave Frost praises their commitment to improving their quality performance and ‘getting it right first time.’ He and his colleagues believe that these companies will have a positive advantage over the many UK firms which are still choosing to ignore the new reality.

He says: ‘There is every likelihood that testing and consultancy costs will rise once full implementation is under way. This is not scaremongering, but simply comes down to the laws of supply and demand. Companies applying now can, through careful choice, make significant savings on costs and ensure they get the best possible assistance before the panic button is hit. After that, you will find all manner of so called ‘consultants’ appearing; ready to jump on the proverbial bandwagon. We have already experienced signs of this happening and some of the advice being given is turning out to be very costly. Any delays in completing full implementation will give these people further – spurious – reasons to misrepresent the facts and charge astronomical sums in the process.’

CEN Solutions has issued a challenge to all those who have any input to EN 1279. That is to state publicly their commitment to seeing it implemented as soon as possible. ‘The companies already committed to achieving compliance deserve nothing less,’ says Dave Frost.

Tel: 07977 554024


EN 1279 – What Price a Consultant?

Although there are those who say that insulating glass manufacturers do not need to employ a consultant to guide them through the complexities of the EN 1279 accreditation process, the recent experience of CEN Solutions Ltd suggests that many igu manufacturers and material suppliers do not agree.

‘We are now being recommended by a number of leading materials and consumables suppliers,’ says managing director Dave Frost. ‘They have looked at our pricing structure and that, allied to the breadth and depth of our combined experience, has convinced them that their customers would do well to talk to us, even if they have previously been involved with other advisers.’

Dave Frost also highlights the concern expressed by growing numbers of igu manufacturers about being tied-in to buying consumables from a particular supplier for several years, as the price for the ostensibly free CD or consultancy visit.

‘Opinion does seem to be hardening among igu companies when offered these deals from suppliers who have a commercial axe of their own to grind,’ says Dave Frost.‘It’s not just the fact that they cannot change suppliers even if they wanted to. It’s questions about the calibre of the EN 1279 consultancy or the actual quality and value of a CD purporting to provide all the information and material needed. People want to be free to choose their services and suppliers, based on their own assessment of quality and value for money. We are finding that our independence and proven experience is a formula which suits many manufacturers.’

Since the company was launched at the GP&T show, CEN Solutions has been receiving a steady flow of enquiries for its services; building on the 150+ companies already on the books from their original consultancies.


Regulations Support from Bostik Findley at GP&T

Bostik Findley, worldwide manufacturer of sealants and adhesives has launched a new support package which is being offered to IGU manufacturers to aid compliance with EN 1279.

Set to be published early in 2004, EN 1279 is the new European standard governing the manufacture of insulating glass units. It will replace the existing British Standard, BS 5713, and aims to create technical uniformity in IGU manufacture across Europe.

Unlike BS 5713, EN 1279 will be mandatory for all UK IGU manufacturers.

So, to help IGU manufacturers achieve compliance, Bostik Findley has launched a tiered support package featuring a CD that contains key information on EN 1279.
The Bostik Findley CD offers the following benefits:

1. A simple 6 stage process to CE marking
2. Easy to use step by step procedure
3. Complete documentation for EN 1279 compliance
4. Useful contact details
5. Progress monitor
6. Additional product and application information
7. No need to use a consultant
8. Background theory and explanation

Richard Sellman, marketing manager at Bostik Findley, comments: ‘EN 1279 is going to have a massive impact on the industry and so it is vital that IGU manufacturers are ready.

‘From enquiries that we have received, it is clear that preparation levels vary dramatically across the industry – some manufacturers have already taken all the necessary steps to achieve compliance, while others have only just started to think about it. For this reason, Bostik Findley has developed an EN 1279 support package that can be tailored to suit the individual requirements of IGU manufacturers.’

Tel: 01785 272727


Inagas Covers All the Bases for IG Gas Testing

The new range of gas fill testing machines for IG units from Inagas is an important step in supporting IG unit manufacturers who are seeking accreditation to EN 1279 Part 3.

This is the view of Inagas managing director, Malcolm Kemp. He explains: ‘Testing the percentage gas fill is becoming an important factor for many IG unit manufacturers. They need to be sure that they are consistently achieving the required percentage fill, to pass the type testing on their way to full accreditation.

Therefore, they want a testing machine. The problem for many has been the cost of a reliable, accurate and easy to use system. Our Gasglass-1002 tester is a superb piece of kit, but it is not cheap. It is an excellent investment for companies which have the budget, but it would stretch the finances of many other responsible manufacturers.

‘That is why we have been working for months to develop our new Testar series of machines. They are designed to our specification and are robust and easy to use.

‘Customers have three performance / cost options; the ‘starter’ price for the basic unit is below £1,500. It means that many more IG unit manufacturers will be able to afford to test their gas filling accuracy and give themselves and their customers peace of mind.’

The basic handheld Testar 1 unit has a simple variable light display. A green light indicates over 85 per cent gas fill, yellow shows a fill of between 20 and 85 per cent and red, no gas at all. The further options on the Testar 2 include a digital and downloadable readout and an integrated printer. All models were on working display on the Inagas stand. The top range model is priced below £4,000 and all models are supplied with a charger and carrying case.

Inagas has a long and successful background in gas fill testing, complementing the company’s status as UK supplier of gas filling machines. Active collaboration with Sparklike Ltd resulted in the Gasglass.

Contact: Malcolm Kemp
Tel: 01442 832764
Email: mailto:info@inagas.com


CEN Solutions Ltd – a New Standard for the IG Industry

The unveiling of CEN Solutions Ltd at the GP&T exhibition marked a step forward in the provision of consultancy, testing and auditing facilities for insulating glass unit manufacturers seeking accreditation to EN 1279. The new company, introduced to the industry on the first morning of the show, is the brainchild of Dave Frost, who started his own business, DJ Glass Consultants, two years ago.

Building on the success of DJGC, Dave has now been joined in setting up CEN Solutions by Wayne Rogerson and Mike Gaillard. Dave Frost says: ‘I don’t believe in false modesty. This truly is a team of all the talents. Between us, the three directors have 70 years experience in the glazing and fenestration industry and we have worked in every area relevant to our clients’ needs. The strength of CEN Solutions is in the team and in our shared attitude to the service the IG industry needs and deserves. I do believe that we going to set a new standard of consultancy, testing and performance auditing.’

The prime concern at present is advising and supporting clients seeking compliance with EN 1279 in order to achieve the required CE Marking standard. However, the company is fully aware of the requirements of the window fabrication industry and plans are ready to meet the needs of this sector as well. The new company has hit the ground running, being currently involved with over 100 IG unit manufacturers, already on the books of the predecessor consultancies, DJGC and Fenestration Consultancy Solutions, Wayne Rogerson’s business.

Geographically, the directors are well placed to offer close support to their clients. The UK has been broadly divided into three regions, although any client who has been dealing with another director can, of course, continue that relationship.

Wayne Rogerson is based in the north, Dave Frost is in the midlands and also looks after the south west and Mike Gaillard covers eastern and south-east England. Basic services include writing the FPC manual (customers can buy the updatable CD-ROM written by Dave Frost if they want to save time and money), advising on test unit manufacture, implementing all test procedures and control registers, explaining test results and raising the technical file and issuing the self declaration form. Major developments in extending the services of CEN Solutions will be announced soon.

Dave Frost comments: ‘This is just the start.. We have every intention of setting new standards that really mean something to the industry. Our charges are, to say the least, highly competitive and our clients know that their interests and concerns are our absolute priority.

‘Whatever may be on offer elsewhere, there is no substitute for being able to provide the full package. Manufacturers, in our experience, are less interested in free CD’s and ‘pie-in-the-sky’ promises than they are in a total service which is cost-effective and reliable. This enables them to concentrate on what they do best, which is manufacturing units.

‘The procedures and facilities we are setting up over the next few months will help to make a real commercial difference to our clients’ businesses. What we will have to offer is a programme both challenging and potentially, very rewarding. It’s going to be an exciting time for all of us.’

Contact:: David Frost
Tel: 07977 554024
Email: mailto:david.frost77@ntlworld.com


Vitraseal Joins BM TRADA Q-Mark IGU Scheme

Double glazing manufacturer Vitraseal has become one of the first members of the new Q-Mark third-party certification scheme for Insulating Glass Units (IGUs) operated by BM TRADA Certification Ltd.

The Q-Mark scheme is designed to help manufacturers meet the demands of EN 1279: Glass In Building - lnsulating Glass Units, which should be fully ratified during next year and will eventually replace BS 5713. Manufacturers will have to meet the new European standard to comply with the Construction Products Directive (CPD).

Vitraseal Production Manager Gary Cooling said the company had decided to pursue testing to EN 1279 ahead of the implementation timetable. 'We were aware that BM TRADA worked closely with local authorities and other institutional specifiers and that was a significant factor in deciding to move our testing to them.'

The company decided, in fact, to go further and to target the Q-Mark scheme, to give customers the added confidence of a respected quality mark. To achieve the Q-Mark, manufacturers must satisfy factory production control requirements (including audit tests) and carry out initial type testing.

There is a heavy emphasis on verifying the workmanship of the units on the production line, which was another important factor in working with BM TRADA. Mr Cooling said, 'Vitraseal was established more than 30 years ago and we have a reputation for quality which we are keen to uphold. BM TRADA's approach is in line with our own thinking, that an audit should focus more on the product than the paperwork.'

He also praised the total support service offered. 'When we undertake any assessment, we want to feel that we have had value for money, that we have been audited. BM TRADA is thorough and professional, yet will take time to follow up queries and offer a prompt response. It has proved very cost-effective.'
The Q-Mark scheme, too, will pave the way to CE marking, as the requirements are virtually identical. Mr Cooling added, 'CE marking is another area in which BM TRADA has a growing reputation and that was a further reason for choosing to work with them. With EN 1279 fast approaching , we feel we are all on a leaming curve, but working with BM TRADA we don't feel that we are on our own.'

For more information on the Q-Mark scheme contact Simon Beer on: 01494 569700 or email: mailtosbeer@bmtrada.com

To contact Vitraseal telephone 01773 763426


Quality Award for Speed Frame Glass Solutions' IGU Plant

South Yorkshire based Speed Frame has been formally acknowledge by BSI with the award of its EN1279 licence for the sealed unit manufacturing division of its Window, Door and Conservatory site.

The award is another step in the company's pursuit of manufacturing excellence and for Neil Hamilton, the Glass Plant Director it is vindication of the decision taken to attempt the more rigorous European standard than the previous BS5713. As Neil explained: 'It's excellent to be awarded the licence at this stage in the plant's development and in such a short space of time.

Speed Frame says it continues to enjoy sustained growth in production output of sealedunits and the Glass Plant integration with other divisions within the company will help to further consolidate the company's strength in traditional sectors as well as fuelling diversification into different markets.

The company says it is one of only 55 in the UK to be issued with this licence at the current time and puts its success down to the hard work of the small team running and working inside the plant. As Neil says: 'With only a small group of people working and maintaining the high standards we've set ourselves, it's important that we have a strong team ethos, and that's something we achieved with the team of people involved'.

The company has ploughed huge financial investment into developing the sealed unit production facility at its head office site outside Rotherham as well as bringing in key expertise to ensure consistency and productivity. The facility has already commissioned a second TPS line with fully automated Georgian Bar application stations to maintain productivity levels at a constant rate, whatever type of plain, decorated or toughened glass product is being pracessed.

Explaining the blueprint for the plant, Neil adds, 'this is the first plant of its kind in Britain, first for Thermo Plastic Spacer (TPS) warm edge technology and first for total automation in sealed unit manufacture, with a constant drive towards greater automation and productivity increases'.

Tel: 01709 888005
Email: mailto:postroom@speedframe.co.uk


BSI Product Services Aim for Kitemark

BSI recommends Kitemark certification to achieve compliance to EN1279.

BSI Product Services, which is based in Hemel Hempstead and provides product testing and awards the Kitemark is updating the industry on the latest developments on BS EN 1279, the standard for sealed units.

With the forthcoming publication of parts 1 and 5 of the standard, BSI Product Services will be providing guidance on all aspects of the CE marking process to assist manufacturers in meeting the requirements of the Construction Products Directive (CPD).

BSI has highlighted to the industry that adoption of the new European standards for double glazed sealed units will be mandatory and will allow the affixing of the CE mark. BSI is recommending the Kitemark, which celebrates its centenary this year, as an excellent way of achieving compliance in time. At the exhibition BSI will be presenting Kitemark certificates to over 40 companies for their sealed units.

Kevin Frewin, who will be speaking at the Glass Processing seminar at GP&T 2003, is advising manufacturers to act early in order to ensure that they can achieve compliance in a timely manner. Kevin will focus on the initial type testing required to become compliant. The majority of companies that hold the Kitemark for sealed units have already been through the initial type test and also meet the Factory Production Control requirements of BS EN 1279. Their transition to CE compliance has been smooth and hassle-free.

BSI Product Services is the only UK based Notified Body offering BS EN 1279 : Part 2 type testing for both organic and hollow spacer units and Part 3 Gas leakage and Gas concentration. BSI also offers a step by step guidance to Factory Production Control. This tool kit includes document templates, flow charts and other tools to assist in meeting the legal requirements and is available in CD-ROM format.


Contact: Christina Palmer
http://www.bsi-global.com/Kitemark
mailto:christina.palmer@bsi-global.com
A Different Approach to Fabrication

Jackson Joinery
has been awarded BSEN1279 for the manufacture of double glazed units. Always looking to differentiate further, Jackson Joinery is one of the few fabricators in Salford to manufacture its own double glazed units.

‘We recognise the importance of differentiating ourselves from the competition,’ says Julian Walsh, General Manager of Jackson Joinery. ‘But we don’t lose sight of what’s important. And for us that’s providing quality products with an excellent service. The kitemark has underpinned this quality. Differentiating ourselves on quality is also the reason we have used Synseal Shield profile for ten years and the Shield conservatory roof as soon as it was available. We’ve had to use three roof companies at the same time in the past, because we were experiencing different problems with all of them. Synseal is reliable and provides a good service at a competitive price. We have a true partnership with them.’

Tel: 01623 443 200
Web: http://www.synseal.com

Norman & Underwood Wins Stamp of Approval from New Quality Standard

Glass and glazing specialist Norman & Underwood has achieved EN1279 - a coveted accreditation which is soon to mark a universal quality standard for the whole of Europe.

EN1279 has been introduced to ensure recognisable and verifiable quality standards for materials and workmanship in glazed sealed units (double glazing) and the task of gaining recognised compliance with the specific parts of the standard demands that rigorous criteria are adhered to, as Norman & Underwood‚s quality assurance manager, Mick Duff explains:

'EN1279 is far more wide reaching than the BS5713 standard it replaces and is spilt into six parts covering everything from long term testing of moisture vapour penetration on sealed units, to evaluation of conformity of manufacturing processes and procedures.'

In order to meet the standards laid down in EN1279, companies must have stringent quality management systems in place such as ISO 9001:2000 which can ensure tracability along every stage of production; including materials used and all manufacturing techniques. External UKAS accredited test labs are used to periodically carry out rigorous type testing to the required EN1279 standards.

'EN1279 is good news for our industry and ultimately the end customer,' continues Mick. 'As part of the standard, our sealed glazed units will be stamped inside with information including our licence number and details of the unit's construction in case a product trace is ever needed.'

In addition to offering peace of mind to customers, EN1279 also offers major benefits to glazing companies dealing in European markets, says Mick:

'At the moment glass industry standards are country specific, so a unit that meets one country's legislation might fail another's. EN1279 is one facet of the impending Construction Products Directive (CPD) that will see CE marking adopted in the insulated glazing unit industry. The CE mark will be instantly recognisable across all European Union countries and will remove barriers to trade.

He continues: 'By purchasing from a company that has recognised compliance with a specific part of EN1279 the customer knows that he is getting the best possible levels of craftsmanship, materials and a guarantee of the quality of the product. It is expected that the new regulations will become mandatory for manufacturers of sealed unit manufacturers within the next two years.'

Tel: 01162 515000
Email: mailto:info@nandu.co.uk
Web: http://www.nandu.co.uk


LB Plastics Achieves EN1279 Kitemark Award

Sheerframe systems company LB Plastics is amongst the first in the UK to receive a Kitemark award for BS EN 1279 Part 2. This covers sealed unit production at the company's new Derwent Works site. Production director Mike Leese received the certificate on the BSI stand at this year's Glassex (pictured). BS EN 1279 replaces 855713.

LB PLastics which installed a new state of the art glass toughening plant and gas fill unit at its Derwent Works site in Derbyshire a few months ago, will shortly seek BS EN 1279 Part 3 approval for argon filling.

Says LB quality manager, Terry Parkin, 'lndependent quality approvals for our products and processes form an important part of our overall approach. Our kitemarks extend across all our major product areas including the roofline and trims division (Hometrim) where we are kitemarked to 857619, and the full range of window and door approvals for the Sheerframe range including 857413, 857950, PAS23 and PAS24.'

Tel: 01773 852311
Email: mailto:sheerframe@lbplastics.co.uk
Web: http://www.sheerframe.co.uk


IGU Manufacturers could 'Miss the Boat' on EN 1279

Chiltern Dynamics and BM TRADA Certification have launched new services to help Insulating Glass Units (IGUs) manufacturers satisfy impending performance and production requirements. Chiltern Dynamics will become only one of two independent test laboratories in the UK to be able to test to EN 1279, while BM TRADA has developed a Q-Mark certification scheme based on the new standard.

EN 1279: Glass In Building - Insulated Glass Units is expected to be fully ratified later this year. When it is fully in force, test capacity will be pushed to its limits, said Simon Beer of BM TRADA. 'Testing takes 16 weeks to complete and in the UK alone more than 3,000 IGU manufacturers will be affected. It is also likely that EN 1279 will run in tandem with the current British Standard, BS 5713, for less than a year. That doesn't give manufacturers much time to demonstrate compliance. In other words, UK manufacturers can't afford to do nothing or they will miss the boat.'

The new standard will also allow CE Marking of IGUs. Although CE Marking is not yet mandatory in the UK, manufacturers must still carry out testing as part of demonstrating compliance with the Construction Products Directive (CPD). To comply, or for the CE Mark, they will have to satisfy factory production control requirements (including audit tests), as well as carrying out initial type testing.
'The BM TRADA Q-Mark scheme addresses all of these elements. Scheme members will therefore be able to meet the requirements of the new standard before it comes fully into force,' Mr Beer added.

Contact: Simon Beer
Tel: 01494 569821
Email: mailto:sbeer@bmtrada.com


UKae Provides Fast-Track to EN1279 Compliance with New CD-ROM

With the deadline now looming for the final publication and subsequent enforcement of the EN 1279 European Standard for insulating glass units, IGU and decorative glass consumables supplier UKae Ltd is launching a new CD-ROM package that will act as a simple, fast track route to compliance and CE Marking.

CE Marking requires sealed unit manufacturers to have their units tested to EN 1279 Part 2 for standard units and, if gas filling is employed, EN 1279 Part 3. Another major requirement is for manufacturers to have a factory production control system to be operated in accordance with EN 1279 Part 6. With the new standard due to be fully published by June 2003 - after which a 12 month transition period will follow before the standard becomes law - many companies now need urgent assistance and advice in order to comply in time. If they are not able to do so, the consequences could be grave: any manufacturer not displaying a CE Mark after this date will be liable to a fine of up to £5000 and/or three months imprisonment, enforceable by local Trading Standards Offices.

However, a fundamental problem exists that may well result in IGU manufacturers being unable to obtain compliance with EN 1279, even if they wish to do so. The British Standards Institute, currently the only official UKAS body able to undertake testing for the new standard, has stated that it has capacity to complete around 600 licences before its introduction. With around 3,500 IGU manufacturers operating in the UK, the implications are that hundreds of suppliers in this sector will be unable to trade legitimately when the standard comes into force.

In order to protect the interests of its customers for the future, UKae has joined forces with glazing industry consultants DJ Glass Services to produce a CD ROM step-by-step guide to EN 1279 compliance. Available only to UKae customers, the CD ROM has been designed to lead sealed unit manufacturers clearly and simply through the process with minimum disruption. Each stage of the process will be independently checked and the final result verified by DJ Glass Services.

As well as offering customers a simple, hassle-free method of compliance, the new UKae CD-ROM is also a cost-effective option in comparison with standard consultancy fees: the CD-ROM is available for £495 + VAT, whilst the current market base fee for an independent consultant to supervise the process can be a minimum of £2000.

UKae's Sales and Marketing Manager Jason Williams believes it is vital that customers take advantage of the new service:
'Out of a total of around 3500 sealed unit manufacturers currently working in the UK, it is estimated that only 1500 to 2000 will survive the ongoing implications of the new Document L standard. Those companies that remain are still under great threat if they do not comply with CE Marking requirements by Autumn 2004.

'However, rather than seeing the introduction of the new EN 1279 standards as a threat, our message to customers with the introduction of the CD-ROM is that this should be viewed as a valuable opening through which to increase their business potential. It is appropriate that, as the UK's leading manufacturer of consumables for this industry, we take a position of responsibility and show our customers the extent of our support services. We want to see our customers not only survive the changes that are necessary but also to prosper. This is why we have invested in making the CD-ROM available, and we would urge customers to take full advantage of this rare and gainful opportunity.'

Tel: 0121 313 3010


EN1279 - Latest from the GGF

The up-to-date position as regards publication and enforcement of the forthcoming European Standard for insulating glass units (EN 1279) is as follows:

Parts 1, 2 and 3 are out for formal vote, which means no further changes to technical content can be made, and the documents have to be accepted or rejected in their entirety. (The CEN member states have already accepted the technical content of Parts 1, 2 and 3).

Parts 4 and 6 have already been accepted at the formal vote stage, and are therefore ready for publication. Part 5 was approved for circulation for formal vote at the CEN Plenary meeting in October of this year. Circulation for formal vote takes two months. The consequence of this delay to Part 5 means that it is very unlikely that the full package of EN 1279 will be published this year - but it is highly likely to appear early in the Spring of 2003.

The titles of the various Parts are as follows:
Part 1 : Generalities, dimensional tolerances and rules for the system description.
Part 2 : Long term test method and requirements on moisture vapour penetration.
Part 3 : Long term test method and requirements for gas leakage rate and for gas concentration tolerances.
Part 4 : Methods of test for the physical attributes of edge seals.
Part 5 : Evaluation of conformity.
Part 6 : Factory production control and periodic tests.

The Standard will come into effect as soon as it is published. However, there will be a transition period of 21 months from the date of publication. After the transition period, EN 1279 will entirely replace BS 5713, and will be the European (including British) Standard forsealed unit testing.

Any GGF unit maker who has not already done so should approach BSI Testing immediately and arrange for his units to be tested (BSI are currently the only independent test house in the UK with a full EN 1279 test facility).

'As was made clear during the GGF Roadshows on EN 1279, which we ran throughout the country during the first half of 2001, given the comparatively short time left before EN1279 becomes the sole test standard for sealed units, and given the large number of sealed unit manufacturers in the UK, there is almost certain to be a 'log jam' at the test laboratory, and many unit manufacturers run a serious risk of not having their units tested in time.' said John Weir Director of Technical Affairs at the GGF.

Tel: 0207 403 7177
Web: http://www.ggf.org.uk


There’s no get out of jail free card in this game, says the GGF

The Glass and Glazing Federation has recently completed its round of seminars aimed at raising the glazing industry’s awareness of the requirements involved in the new insulating glass standard EN 1279.

Such was the importance of the seminars they were financially supported by the DETR (now DTI), and papers were given by BSI, BRE, GGF staff and industry experts on the standard.

Although the seminars were well attended, the theoretical number based on one member per company was short of the mark. Surveys indicate the number of IG manufacturers to be between 3,000 and 4,000 companies in the UK. It is estimated that 500 of these will cease manufacturing units immediately EN 1279 arrives. This still leaves a large number where the management either considers their company is not worth the small fee required to attend a meeting, or believe that their suppliers can give them all the facts.It should be remembered that when EN 1279 comes into force, the documents required would constitute a legal declaration of information. To knowingly give false information can lead to a large fine and imprisonment. Part of the seminar programme was to assist manufacturers in showing what information is needed and where it can be obtained. The penalties may be mandatory, and therefore the courts will not be able to accept the ‘I did not know’ plea.

A further point to remember is that in France, Germany and the Benelux Countries, CE marking will be mandatory from day one. Thus architects and specifiers can obtain certified units without purchasing from a UK source.

The GGF is now selling the CDs of the seminars to those who could not attend, and these come with contact names of those who can help. They are also offering to run extra seminars to groups of people providing the GGF costs are covered. Therefore where there is an interested group that has the capabilities to organize a room and arrange to pay the requested fee, then that group can have its own seminar.

www.ggf.org.uk

CLICK here for Background Information on EN1279, here for Technical Requirements, here for Frequently Asked Questions


Contract Glass Seeking EN 1279 Success With Tremco

Recognising the importance of achieving full British Standards and European accreditation for its sealed unit/IG manufacture, Norwich based Contract Glass took the decision to use a polyurethane sealant from the Tremco range.

The glass processing and glazing company which has been serving East Anglia and the Home Counties for three years, now relies on Tremco's JS 442 material to create a reliable, long life seal. Working in consultation with Tremco's technical advisers, Contract Glass has achieved BS 5713, and is going on to seek the EN 1279 European standard.

General Manager for Contract Glass, Mr Kevin Watson, comments: 'After looking at various product options which might enable us to achieve our goals in terms of attaining full compliance with the Euronorm code for IG manufacture, we chose to use JS 442, a two part polyurethane sealant.

'Not only are we pleased to be associated with a manufacturer that has the reputation of Tremco, but we are also delighted with the product, the after sales service and the technical support given.'

Contract Glass typically produces around 1500 IG units each week on its semi-automatic Ashton line and supplies them to a variety of fabricators working in the replacement window market. With the further accreditation achieved, the company is aiming to not only expand its turnover but broaden its client base into the public and specifier markets.

Contract Glass offers its customers expertise in toughening and laminating, while it can also supply leaded lights, stained and fire rated glass.

Tel: 01753 691696
Web: http://www.tremcoeurope.com


Making the Grade with Hot Melt

Sealed Unit manufacturers will have to prepare for EN 1279, the more stringent European Standard which will replace the Kitemark BS 5713. This will be fully published by June 2003 with a twelve month transition period before it becomes law. EN 1279 is mandatory which means it can be legally enforced, with fines and even prison sentences.

According to The Thermoseal Group, the UK’s largest supplier of sealed unit accessories and machinery, it is important for i.g. manufacturers to look beyond the first stages of the new regulations.

Thermoseal is the exclusive distributor in the UK for Kömmerling sealants, which means that it has at its disposal the vast R&D facilities of one of the world’s leading providers of sealing technology for insulating glass. Kömmerling has had many years experience in helping German sealed unit manufacturers reach lower and lower U-Value.

'The best way of achieving these lower values, continues Mark, is to combine a low emissivity glass with argon gas filling. However, this presents a potential problem for the thousands of small to medium companies using hot melt to produce single seal units. Unless great care is taken when pumping the gas into the unit to make sure that the corner seals are closed properly, gas can - and often does - leak out, causing deflection problems and decreasing U Values.

Thermoseal has devised several alternative methods which it can supply to customers wishing to ensure their production complies with the new regulations.The first of these is to inject the gas through a specially designed lance into a pre-inserted sleeve in the side of the unit. This means that only one hole is made in the unit, but more importantly, the hole is on the side, not in the corner, the weakest point. It also means that the process is much faster, so the sealant does not have time to cool down.

The other alternative which Thermoseal suggests is dual sealing hot melt units. This way the primary sealed unit is gas filled through sleeves or corner keys vertically on the out rack of a roller or plate press (as many as three holes can be used for extremely fast filling). If the unit is then secondary sealed on rotary tables, a continuous band of hot melt is applied, which means no joins at the corners, and a completely gas-tight product. It is also much quicker than using traditional clamp tables.

Thermoseal has committed itself to a full training programme for existing and future customers to help all hot melt users to gas fill without slowing down production, and to ensure that they can meet all quality standards which will become mandatory in the next few months.

Contact Mark Hickox for details (0121-772 8382) or look up the FAQ section of the Thermoseal website:
http://www.thermosealgroup.com/pages/MACHINERY/GASFILL/FAQ.htm


CE Marking and the Sealed Unit Manufacturer

The implications of Document L are fast approaching, soon every insulating glass unit will have to be made with K glass or equivalent. This fact alone will create major difficulties for many. It is estimated that out of the 4000 manufacturers currently producing units, this figure could drop to between 1500 to 2000.

So, for those that remain, the future should be good, just sit back and wait for the work to come in. THINK AGAIN

Following close behind Document L is CE Marking. CE Marking requires companies to have their units tested to EN 1279 Part 2 for standard units and, if gas filling is employed, EN 1279 Part 3 as well. The second major requirement is that a system of factory production control be operated conforming to EN 1279 Part 6.

We now know that EN 1279 will be fully published by June 2003 with a twelve month transition period before it becomes law. After that point, anyone supplying units either without a CE Mark or illegally exhibiting a CE Mark will be liable to a fine up to £5000 and/or three months imprisonment. This is enforceable by local Trading Standards Offices

At present, the preferred and only logical route to attain EN 1279 is via British Standards. BSI have invested over £500,000 in test equipment and laboratories in order to respond to the testing requirements. BSI will Kitemark against this new standard when EN 1279 Parts 1,2 and 3 are published. This is due in August, and it will be known as BS EN 1279. BS 5713 may run alongside this for a while but with current licensees, approx 250, already well into the EN 1279 testing programme, it is not feasible for new applicants to test to anything other than BS EN 1279. In fact, in many cases, it will be significantly cheaper this way.

Now, we come to the important part, BSI have an overall testing capacity of 330 sets of units per year. Take out the current EN 1279 testing programme for existing licensees and ongoing EN 1279 Part 3 testing for gas filled units and they probably have a capacity for about 500 new applicants until CE Marking becomes law. However, there may be as many as 1500 companies wanting to apply.

BSI operate on a strictly first come, first served basis. Nobody can jump the queue. You don’t need to be a maths genius to work out that 1500 into 500 doesn’t go. Therefore if you are serious about manufacturing insulating glass units, you need to weigh up the consequences and act now. Waiting twelve months or even six months could have a drastic effect on your ability to get units tested on time. These 500 slots will soon fill up and you should therefore ask yourself – do I want to be one of the 500 in the system or one of the 1000 left on the outside, waiting to see if anyone else can test units for them.

It is unlikely that anyone is going to make the level of investment, between £500,000 and £1,000,000, to make up the testing shortfall. Especially when a large majority of the equipment could be redundant after two years when everyone had been tested. Even if you can find another test house, the costs will be, at best, similar. You will still require a quality system written for the factory production control, assuming you can find a consultant to write it. The result may be that you would be able to CE Mark, but your competitors who acted quickly will have the Kitemark as well as the CE Mark and will be able to use that to maximum advantage.

Unfortunately, this has now become a numbers game, if you don’t do anything about it, someone else will. Although a lot of this information may seem doom and gloom, the opportunities for those who plan ahead now are tremendous. At DJ Glass Services, we can offer you the following consultancy options:

25 years unparalled experience in unit manufacturing at all levels – you may need assistance or advice with your unit manufacturing process to maximise your chances of passing the stringent EN 1279 test.

Cost-effective pricing structure covering writing of quality manual, full implementation, audit training and assistance at assessment and post-assessment corrective actions.

Adaptable for all types of unit manufacturing operations.
Please contact David Frost for further details.
Email: d.frost3@ntlworld.com


CLICK HERE for Technical Description of EN 1279 part 2

CLICK HERE for EN 1279 Background Info page

CLICK HERE for EN 1279 FAQ page

CLICK HERE to go to Home Page