The day started with a fun, private jet plane ride to the float glass plant and then back on the plane for a quick flight to Hood River, Oregon to see the IGU plant up close (all flights are quick when you’re on a private jet plane!). The trip ended with a nice morning of golf down in Hood River.
The first part of the tour involved a very informative view of the glass processes from sand to the finished product and we really enjoyed sharing the experience with other building envelope consultants we usually only get to see at seminars and the like. Thanks to Tom Locke (WSP), Al Martin and Dave Fookes (Morrison Hershfield), and Henry Towslager (Towslager Engineering) for sharing the trip and experiences with us. Thanks as well to Anton Van Dyk from Centra Windows for organizing and to Jeff Foster from Centra Construction for also sharing in the day.
With temperatures over 1600 degrees Celsius, we were ‘blown’ away (ha ha), as you can see. It was quite a process to see how glass is made – 365 days a year, 24 hours a day – and how much glass is produced at the end of the line – which was miles long! To integrate such a rigid quality process too was quite impressive. To then see how the glass is assembled at the IGU plant and to see the level of technology and systems utilized was very informative. We gained a new level of appreciation for the blend of technology, systems, and reality – in particular, how the simple act of adding grids to the windows grinds the whole process to a halt.