Volume 7, Issue 1, January - February 2003
A Year in Review
Every January, Window Film’s sister publication,
USGlass, features an article focusing on the window film industry. This year,
USGlass editor Tara Taffera invited me to write a general update on the industry including the major issues during the last year. At first, I thought it would be a short article, until I started trying to fit everything in, and suddenly I realized how much this industry has undergone recently.
First, there’s been the wired-glass issue we’ve been covering all year (see July/August 2002 Window Film, page 14). While this originally seemed like an issue for the glass, rather than the window film, industry, it actually does have ramifications for film applicators. The theory is that applying film to the wired glass in locations such as educational facilities where impact-resistant glass is required might make it so. However, there is no definitive conclusion that such applications would successfully meet all concerns. (Currently, the IWFA and AIMCAL’s window film committee are conducting a study into film’s effects on wired glass.)
In addition, the advent of self-cleaning glasses and other coatings has left the window film industry wondering, “where do we stand?” Contributing editor Les Shaver hopefully eased your fears with his article, “Glass for the 21st Century,” in the May-June 2002 issue of Window Film ("Safe and Secure").
While all this has occurred, the industry was also changed by one of the most tragic days our country can remember: September 11, 2001. Soon after September 11, the news broke that the section of the Pentagon that took the hit had recently installed new, blast-resistant windows, which helped strengthen it during the attack and saved many lives. Suddenly, facility managers at military bases, landmarks (such as the U.S. Capitol Building) and other governmental facilities that were looking for ways to reduce the effect of broken glass in an attack, looked to the window film industry for answers.
Madico chief executive officer Bob Connelly said it the best when I spoke to him recently at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas: “If there could possibly be any silver lining to September 11, it was that people have learned what window film was … Safety has always been a hard sell before.” (By the way, a number of our features in this issue focus on security film. See contributing editor Ellen Giard Chilcoat’s wrap-up of the Protective Glazing Council’s (PGC’s) National Symposium, PGC president Scott Haddock’s column and the latest in attachment systems).
Throughout the year, the industry has endured and become stronger—and will continue to do so. As we ring in the New Year, we need to keep our eyes open for what’s to come.
Let us know your thoughts and hopes for the year. Call me at 540/720-5584, ext. 114, or e-mail me at email@example.com.
I also hope to see many of you in San Antonio January 23-25 for the fourth annual International Window Film Conference and Expo.™
Happy New Year.
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