Beating up on us again

Last week the glass industry via a piece in a Toronto newspaper took on more heat. Once again the construction of condominiums with a ton of glass were the focus of a very rough and pretty much one-sided piece.  For me as a glass guy, it was a tough one to take.  While the articleprobably was geared to get on the developers and designers and their choices of materials, when I read it I just saw a very broad-brush wiping of an entire glass industry with an extremely negative stroke.  I don’t know what materials are used in these condos and I am sure there are some brutally weak ones, but the way the article was written made it sound like there are no glass materials that could EVER be good enough.  Meanwhile for as mad as I got reading the piece, I mentioned to a good pal of mine from Toronto and he was not fazed at all.  Evidently the bashing like this has been going on for a while.  Still it is a shame that we as an industry are being pretty unfairly portrayed yet again.
Elsewhere…

–  Viracon premiered a new logo and website this past week and I must say I was impressed.  First off, making a change to a look and logo for a company as iconic as Viracon is not easy.  Also re-building a website (something I do a lot) is very difficult.  Viracon aced them both.  The new logo is sharp and clean.  The new site I will admit I struggled with in finding a few things but its also new and I am an impatient person.  The new tagline elicits memories for me of Herb Brooks in Miracle.  Incredible cool that a classic Minnesota based company has a tag line that makes me think of one of the greatest people the state of Minnesota has ever given us.  Anyway, major kudos to all that worked on this effort!  Job well done.

–  Quick wrap of BEC.  This was the last conference led by Henry Taylor of Kawneer as Chair.  Henry was my choice to replace me in that position five years ago and he did a tremendous job despite some really rocky roads.  Henry’s a good man that I am sure will continue to give back to the industry.  In his place I am thrilled that Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning is stepping in.  Jon is a true blue talent in our world and he’ll be amazing in that spot.  Plus I love how active Dow Corning is getting in our industry, very good to have their support!

–  Unfortunately have a sad note to report in the passing of Mike McAskin of Great Lakes Glass in Michigan.  Mike was an industry vet and had just a few years bought Great Lakes and was building them into a very strong player in the region.  He was a good, fair, class man, who always took time for people to come pitch him ideas, products, and services.  A tough loss for all of us.  Thoughts and prayers to his family and staff at Great Lakes.

– The Final Four is set.  I am happy for my Michigan friends who make it to the biggest stage after being bounced by Ohio U last year and thrilled for Tony Kamber, the biggest Louisville fan in the industry.  Should be a fun run to the title.

–  Last this week; the ABI did once again go up.  We’re now on a roll here and the improvements in new projects inquiry, best in 6 years is very exciting.  But as always I do worry again about the reliability of this report as we should be busier right now (based on old reports) than we seemingly actually are. 

LINKS of the WEEK

–  Amazing weight loss story- couple loses 500 pounds… very cool.
–  New technology enters the prom-asking arena… NOT looking forward to my daughter hitting that age.
–  Long piece on a guy “selling himself” which is pretty wild.
VIDEO of the WEEK

This week my brother makes an appearance again with a Video of the Week submission… this one is pretty comical, though possibly staged.


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Multimeter Basics: Measuring Resistance and DC Voltage

A multimeter is a great tool to have around, and even the cheapest model will offer some useful features. I mainly use my multimeter to do two things: measure resistance and measure DC voltage.

The multimeter is usually split up into different types of measurements, thus divided into quadrants of a circle. Each quadrant is then subdivided into different ranges of a particular measurement.

Connect the red probe to the VΩmA connection the multimeter. Connect the black probe to the ground com connection of the multimeter.

To measure voltage, set the multimeter to a range found within the V DC quadrant. The value selected (200mV, 2000mV, 20V, 200V 1000V) represents the maximum voltage in DC that the multimeter can read if a particular range is selected.

For example, if we are measuring the voltage across the terminals of a 9V battery, then the suitable range is 20V, as 9V is above 2000mV but below 200V (the two ranges either side).

Connect the red probe the the positive point on the circuit that is to be measured. Connect the black probe to the negative point on the circuit is to measured.

In a similar way, we can measure the resistance of a resistor or a part of a circuit. Simply select a suitable range and measure by placing the probes to either leg of a resistor.

If you have no idea what value the resistor is, or that particular part of the circuit is, then start with the lowest range (200Ω) and work up from there.

If the multimeter reads just “1″ on the left hand side of the display, then the reading is above whatever range is selected. Simply move up to the next range, e.g. 2000Ω.

The results of the measurement will be in whatever unit is defined by the currently selected range. For example if the range is set to 200Ω, then the reading will be in ohms. If the range is set to 20kΩ, then the reading will be in kilo ohms. Continua a leggere

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