Questions

 

I have a problem, but I don't know what kind of testing I need. Can you help?

Absolutely. Many of the problems our clients encounter are complex, and it is sometimes difficult to determine a testing strategy that is appropriate. We pride ourselves on creative thinking and the ability to devise test strategies specific for your goals, timeline, and budgetary needs. All of our staff members are professional consultants and will work with you to discuss and understand the problem you are facing. We can then recommend the best test protocol to get you the answers you need. There is no charge for the initial consult, and if our capabilities are not appropriate, we will tell you so upfront.

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What samples are needed for analysis?

The types of samples needed for analysis depend on the nature of the testing, and is determined on a case-by-case basis. In the case of fractured items, the glass fragments themselves often give more specific information about the cause of the breakage than intact bottles from the same production. Samples may also be needed that represent different points in the manufacturing or process stream. The best way to know what type(s) of samples are needed is to call one of our professionals and discuss the nature of the problem. We can then tell you exactly which samples to send and how many are needed. There is no charge for the initial consult, and if the ability to obtain samples is limited, we will work with you to discuss alternate strategies.

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How many samples are needed for an analysis?

The number of samples needed for any given analysis also depends on the nature and goals of the testing, and is determined on a case-by-case basis. It may be as few as one to three key samples (as with customer complaints), or as many as a pallet (as with strength testing projects). In the case of routine fracture analyses, 15 to 20 samples is typically sufficient. For best results, we strongly recommend collecting as many fragments as possible from the broken item(s). It is preferred to have the fragments from individual bottles kept separate, though it is not necessart to separate individual fragments. The best way to know the number and type of samples that are needed is to call one of our professional scientists and discuss the nature of the problem. We can tell you exactly which samples to send and how many are needed. There is no charge for the initial consult, and if the ability to obtain samples is limited, we will work with you to discuss alternate strategies.

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How should I send the samples?

For small numbers of intact items, samples should be individually wrapped in protective casing to ensure that they do not break in transit. The samples may be submitted in the original shipping container, such as a partitioned box. With small or empty containers, it may be possible to pack samples into larger boxes, but this is not recommended for larger or filled containers. For larger testing projects, full or half pallets may be requested for testing. American Glass Research has an elevated dock and can receive pallets directly via freight. For fractured items, individual samples should be wrapped or bagged, preferably in protective casing to ensure that the fragments are not crushed further in transit. For best results, we strongly recommend collecting as many fragments as possible from the broken item(s), and preferably contain them so that fragments from individual samples do not mix. SPECIAL CASE: Testing projects where surface condition is critical. For example, fingerprints and other such contaminants can be a major source of interference for coating and label adhesion analyses. In these instances, sample handling should be kept to a minimum and samples should be sent in an appropriate protective box or casing, using care to avoid materials that will contaminate the glass in transit (such as tape or dusty materials like shredded paper). If there are ever any questions as to the best way to send samples, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our staff for advice.

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Is there anything else I should send with the sample?

For most analyses, it is helpful to have a copy of the item blueprint and/or specification sheet. A letter of enclosure describing the samples, complete with full contact information is also kindly requested. For pharmaceuticals, chemicals, or other potentially hazardous products, a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is required along with the samples. Other non-glass samples such as closures, labels, adhesive samples, etc. may be relevant to a particular analysis. These samples may be requested in the course of an analysis, but if available may also be sent with the original glass samples. A sample submission form needs to be sent along with all submitted samples.

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Is there any upfront charge for contacting AGR?

Absolutely not. There is never an upfront charge to speak to one of our experts and we welcome the opportunity to discuss how our services may be able to benefit you.

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Will you provide a written report?

Unless directed otherwise, our standard practice is to prepare a formal report at the end of a project. Our reports typically include a summary of procedures, results, conclusions, and recommendations to eliminate problems and make specific process improvements. We take pride in the fact that our reports are written in plain language and easy to understand, without any loss of detail or compromise on scientific integrity. All of our reports come with a customer satisfaction survey, and we welcome the opportunity to hear your feedback. If there is ever a question about any aspect of our work, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your concerns.

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What should I submit for a design evaluation?

A design request form and blueprint is required for a design evaluation. Please see the design evaluation page for the design request form. It is to be completed to the best of your knowledge and with anything left blank, we will assume industry standards for the type and size of container. A detailed blueprint showing a fully dimesioned bottle is extremely important for a design evaluation. Blueprints can be sent by email in the form of .pdf, .dwg, .dxf, or .iges. Please note with a .pdf file, we cannot go into the file to retrieve dimesions as we can with the other file types. Therefore, .pdf files must be well-defined.

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How are the prices determined?

For consulting or analytical services, pricing is based on time, materials, and equipment usage. At the outset of a project, a cost-free, upfront quote for service is available upon request. For routine or large volume testing, service contracts may also be prepared, and pricing set at mutually agreeable terms.

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What are the methods of payment for a project?

In addition to payments by check or wire transfer, American Glass Research accepts Visa, MasterCard & American Express. Please note that complete payment for all seminars must be received prior to attending. For all other projects, American Glass Research will prepare and develop a test plan and schedule the evaluation in advance of receiving your Credit Card or Purchase Order number. However, all actual testing, as well as data analysis and generation of a written report, will not be undertaken until that PO or credit card number is received.

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What if I can’t attend training at your locations, do you conduct private training session?

Yes. We can present any of sessions at your preferred location. We can also customize a training presentation for your personnel. Tell us about your needs. Visit  Private Training or contact us.

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How do I sign up for a training session?

Simply visit this section of our website and fill out the form for the training sessions that interest you. Payment will be handled separately.

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When and where are your training sessions held?

We conduct our open enrollment training sessions in several locations throughout the world including our home office in Butler, Pennsylvania, just north of Pittsburgh, as well as Bangkok Thailand, Munich, Germany and Krakow, Poland. We will also travel to your preferred location for private sessions. View our upcoming schedule of training sessions and locations

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