Education Education Education and Glass

Education was acknowledged by Benjamin Franklin as the key to success when he said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.

If alive today and working in the glass industry, he could have been referring to the Pilkington Advanced Product Knowledge course.    Popularly known as PK2, this training course is targeted at individuals involved in developing or checking glass specifications.  The latest PK2 course took place in July on the 12th floor of Alexandra Park tower in St Helens, offering delegates a panoramic view of the town to enhance the educational experience.As well as representatives of glass merchants and processors, companies from other parts of the supply chain fielded participants.

“This course was attended by representatives of several curtain walling and window manufacturers and suppliers,” explained Phil Brown, Manager of Technical Advisory Service (UK & Ireland) and course organiser. “This demonstrates that all sectors of the fenestration industry – including those not directly involved in glass manufacturing and processing - are keen to gain a better understanding of glass to increase their own commercial opportunities.”

The course was very intensive, as might be expected from three days of solid learning. Delegates were given a grounding in the mechanical strength of glass before applying this to practical applications such as barriers, infill panels, windows and rooflights. Other tasks carried out included thermal safety risk assessments, glass and window U value calculations and acoustic performance checks, as well as an introduction to the environmental impacts of glass.

“One of the most popular sections of the course is fractography,” added Phil. “In this subject, attendees learn how to recognise fracture characteristics to aid determination of the cause of breakage. Fractography has much in common with forensic science - think of it as CSI Glass!

“Arguably, the least popular is the team challenge which concludes the course. Divided into several teams, delegates compete against each other on several fictional projects to arrive at suitable glass specifications to meet a range of inter-related performance requirements. The challenge brings out the competitive spirit in many teams, who often treat the exercises as if they were real live projects!”

The Product Knowledge course programme takes a well-earned break over the summer period, but returns with places available for the autumn term. All parts of the industry are encouraged to sign up to enjoy the benefits of a glass education.

For more details of the Pilkington Product Knowledge course, including how to register, please click here.

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