Who’s Got the Glass You Need?

When a driver realizes that the damage to their windshield is more critical than the repair process can handle, they must, for their own safety have the windshield replaced.   The car owner must then decide which shop to have replace the glass, and what type of glass they want.   However, these choices are often one and the same.   Just as in many other fields, different shops specialize in different types of glass.

Many of the independently owned glass businesses with a brick and mortar location specialize in OEM replacement glass, or that made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer.  These are the companies working with auto makers during research and development to perfect the safety and aerodynamics of each make and model.  Aftermarket glass is made by attempting to copy glass made by the OEM company, without cooperation from the auto maker or the OEM glass manufacturer.

Safelite’s family of companies,  the largest glass manufacturer in the world,  makes no OEM glass.  It might seem incredible that despite Safelite making more glass than anyone else, not one auto maker, foreign or domestic, wants to buy that glass to put in their cars.  We think this speaks volumes about the quality of the aftermarket product these companies are installing in millions of cars per year.

At the other end of the glass pricing spectrum is dealer glass – this is OEM glass, with the auto maker’s logo stamped on it, instead of the glass company logo.  But most of the time, this different logo can be costly and unnecessary, since even leased vehicles can usually be returned without charge with an OEM windshield.

We do realize that on some higher end luxury vehicles, owners and dealers alike prefer to have the original logo.  For that reason Ray Sands Glass, and many other OEM installers, can often install “dealer” glass with the auto maker’s logo, provided by the same OEM manufacturer the dealer uses, on many higher end vehicles.   However,  dealer glass for most makes and models is generally reserved for the car enthusiasts who must have the auto logo stamped on their glass.

No matter what type of glass you choose for your vehicle, be sure to have it installed by certified and experienced technician who is using high quality adhesives and taking the proper safety precautions.

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PPG Auto Glass is Now Pittsburgh Glass Works – Still OEM

People may be wondering why the logo on their OEM windshield looks a little different from that familiar PPG logo we know so well.  It’s because in 2008, the former PPG Auto Glass division was sold and became its own company – Pittsburgh Glass Works.  This has allowed the new majority ownership of PGW to focus specifically on auto glass production and their manufacturing facilities, while PPG explores its other interests.

PPG has always been a familiar name here in the northwest US, first as Pittsburgh Plate Glass – a business founded in the late 19th century, then as PPG Industries, a company far more diverse that just plate glass.  Having eagerly pursued their ventures in aerospace and industrial coatings, fiberglass, paints and other chemically engineered products,  PPG Industries had expanded so thoroughly that they found it in the best interest of both their auto glass manufacturing and their paint and coatings corporation to part ways. Continue reading

The Best Auto Glass for the Best Windshield Replacement

Everyone one knows that the best fit for any car’s windshield is the original glass that was installed when the car was manufactured.  Since life happens, it’s often not an option to keep the automobile’s original glass.  Fortunately, there is a best alternative – replacement glass made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer, or OEM Glass.

Many people don’t realize that when auto makers are designing and testing vehicles, the OEM glass manufacturers are intrinsically involved in the entire process.  OEM glass companies such as PPG, Carlite and Pilkington  go through the research and development process of each automobile with the maker.    And while some aftermarket glass companies make a decent quality product, it most often isn’t a product that has been crash tested in your vehicle.  While OEM companies are working with auto makers to meet their exact safety and stress specifications, aftermarket companies are only required to meet a basic standard.   Continue reading