Every time I walk by a glass façade and wince at the waves of distortion and color imperfections in the panels, I’m reminded that the glass industry is not perfect.
But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t strive to be. Every glass fabricator should be committed to investing in the continuous improvement of how their glass looks and performs on a building.
First, it takes a dedicated structure and process. Every fabricator needs to have a dedicated quality manager. Not a production manager that handles quality as a side job, but a dedicated quality manager. He or she must have one purpose: evaluate the flow of production for quality pitfalls, formally problem solve to eliminate the pitfalls through proven best practices, and then be relentless in demanding accountability from all personnel from the CEO on down.
Second, it takes effective training. You can’t hold people accountable unless you show them how to right the wrongs. In our world of DIY videos and two-minute attention spans the days are long gone where you sit someone down in front of a two-hour slide show or give them a 40-page workbook and expect them to retain much of anything. Hands-on training is best, but repeatable video-based training can be more cost and time effective.
Finally, it takes technology. When it comes to glass, the human senses only go so far in controlling extremely tight tolerances and perceived imperfections. To provide a smooth look on tempered glass, to eliminate iridescence, to ensure it fits, to deliver a product that will last, you need to continuously invest in new equipment.
At Glass + Mirror Craft we practice what we preach. We have a dedicated quality manager with straight-line access to the CEO. We have launched a video-based training program that every new hire must complete before walking onto the fabrication floor. And we’ve invested significantly in new equipment – from CMS machining centers used to precisely cut large-format glass to end-of-line scanners that verify dimensions, ensure flatness, and control iridescence throughout the glass while detecting microscopic surface imperfections.
Quality differentiates one fabricator to the next – you can see it the next time you walk downtown. At Glass + Mirror Craft we want to lead, and so we view quality as a game changer and we are all in.