Volume 6, Issue 4, July - August 2002


The Latest Industry News                                                

Crisis Averted in Texas

The window film industry in the Lone Star state came close to suffering a blow recently, until the International Window Film Association (IWFA) stepped in. The Texas legislature passed a law requiring local municipalities to instate the specifications of the International Residential Code (IRC) into their local codes. Because the IRC relies on the International Energy Code Commission for its guidelines on energy-efficient windows and doors, the use of window film on clear insulating glass in both new construction and retrofit applications may have been eliminated.

However, executive director Darrell Smith and the IWFA board of directors took the matter to the Association of Industrial Metallizers and Coaters (AIMCAL) window film committee for technical assistant. The IWFA, AIMCAL and several Houston-area IWFA members located an architect familiar with the benefits and uses of window film to educate local building and code officials. A fellow architect in Dallas also joined the battle and educated his own local code officials. In addition, the second architect located the state legislature’s code consultant, who was responsible for gathering research and following up on the implementation of the IRC.

Through this work, a meeting was arranged by Smith to gather both the technical consultant and several film-industry representatives to educate him. The consultant subsequently informed the state legislature of his findings and the state of Texas is now reconsidering the use of energy-control films in meeting code requirements of the IRC.

In addition to Texas, the states of North Carolina and Georgia have adopted the IBC and IRC, effective January 2002. Likewise, South Carolina has adopted both codes, effective July 2002.

Empire Tower Receives Touch of CPFilms

CPFilms Inc. of Martinsville, Va., recently saw its film applied to the Empire Tower in Bangkok, Thailand. Techno-Sell (Frey) Co. Ltd., Thailand’s Llumar distributor, gathered a 26-person team to apply more than 55,000 square meters of 4-mil SCLSRPS4 safety and security film to the 62-story building’s 20,000 lites of glass. According to CPFilms, the building’s managers were looking for a way to reduce shattering windows and falling glass shards. In addition, the company says the film is proving 95 to 96 percent rejection of ultraviolet rays.

New England Sun Control Completes 20-Story Application
HAMPSHIRE PLAZA New England Sun Control of Foxboro, Mass., has applied the 3M Company’s film to the Hampshire Plaza, one of the tallest buildings in Manchester, N.H. According to the company, the main goal of the application was to make the building more energy-efficient. The Tower Realty Group contracted the company to apply LE35AMARL, a 3M all-season window film, to the windows of the 20-story building.

“This film will give Hampshire Plaza an attractive amber/bronze look to people on the street while the view outward for people working inside the building will be sharp, clear and glare-free,” said Peter Davey, president of New England Sun Control.

3M Offers Free CD to Educate Consumers

The 3M Company of St. Paul, Minn., is offering consumers a free CD that demonstrates how its Scotchshield window film works when glass is shattered. According to Jim Mannix, marketing manager for the 3M Consumer Safety and Light Management Department, the goal of the CD is to educate consumers at a time when window film is in such demand.

“Recently, the demand for our security film products and requests for information have risen significantly,” Mannix said. “This CD should help answer many of the questions we have received and get the word out that there are steps people can take to make a glass environment safer.”

Courage and FTI Team Up for “Tint Tours”

WF COVER St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Film Technologies International Inc. (FTI), held a series of “Tint Tours,” educational events for dealers throughout the United States and Canada. 

“We wanted to get the word out that we are a new and improved company,” said FTI’s national sales manager, Bill Stewart. “We wanted to meet the dealers who are using our films and get their feedback on our products and services.”

The cities visited so far include Atlanta, Knoxville, Tenn., Memphis, Tenn., Nashville, Tenn., Birmingham, Ala., Huntsville, Ala., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., West Palm Beach, Fla., Jacksonville, Fla., Orlando, Fla., Louisville, Ky., Lexington, Ky., Little Rock, Ark., Cincinnati, Phoenix and Tuscon, Ariz.

One of the big stops of the “Tint Tours” was Courage Window Films of Toronto, Ontario, and Richmond, British Columbia. The stop included a virtual tour of FTI, along with seminars on distributorship issues, warranties and co-op advertising plans, provided by Courage.

In addition, Courage held its annual seminars and tint-offs March 17 and March 24 in both Toronto and Richmond. According to the company, more than 50 people participated in each tint-off. In Toronto, first place went Eric Laramee of Pelti-Vitre of Montreal, Quebec. Second place went to Darryl Sullivan of Trulite Tinting of Mississauga, Ontario, and third place to Jason Confarius of Tint King in London, Ontario. In Richmond, first place went to Mike Vanderlee of Tintworx of Ontario, second place to Peter Ordonio of Street Legal and Tint of Surrey, British Columbia, and third place went to Rene Hipolito, also of Street Legal and Tint. 

States Consider Changes in the Law

Missouri, Indiana and Texas have considered and/or passed automotive window film legislation recently that could affect you.
According to the International Window Film Association (IWFA), the governor of Missouri has signed an amendment to allow 35-percent net visible light transmittance (VLT) on the front sidelites of a vehicle with a 3-percent tolerance. In addition, the amendment does not place any film specifications on back sidelites or backlites of sports utility vehicles.

In Indiana, the state police has agreed to support legislation to improve film laws on the condition that the IWFA’s legal consultant go to Indiana to help prepare the legislation. In addition, legislation has been introduced in Indiana to prohibit dark film, requiring a minimum of 30-percent net VLT with 5-percent tolerance. The legislation also recommends the use of light meters for enforcement.

In addition, the report from the IWFA says that law enforcement officers in certain parts of Texas are incorrectly enforcing film laws, with the support of local judges. While Texas law allows 35-percent film on the front sidelites, some law enforcement officers are writing tickets when light meters read 29 or 30 percent VLT.

Huper Optik Recognizes Danny’s Family Tinting

Houston-based Huper Optik recently presented Arizona-based Danny’s Family Tinting with its Dealer of the Year award in Las Vegas. The company, a division of Danny’s Family Carousel Car Wash, achieves gross sales of more than $4 million annually and applies film for residential and commercial retailers, along with auto dealers, across the state. Hugh Hernandez manages the Danny’s Family Tinting.

“We are proud of Hugh’s dedication and service to our family,” said Danny Hendon, owner of Danny’s Family Carousel and Barcelona Restaurants. “The window tinting business was a natural fit for Danny’s Family Carousel Car Wash.”

Homestead, Fla., YMCA Gets Retrofit
(From left to right) Jim Creighton, owner of Brian’s Window Tinting; Francisco Romano and Dawn Hurley of Performance Films Distribution; Aren Almon-Kok, spokesperson for the Protecting People First Foundation; Alex Mestres, director of the Homestead YMCA daycare; Ginny Kubler of CPFilms, Jim Clark of Performance Films Distribution; and Rick Thorpe, owner of Solar Seal Window Tinting.

Martinsville, Va.-based CPFilms Inc. recently teamed up with GE Employers Reinsurance Corp. and the Protecting People First Foundation to retrofit a YMCA in Homestead, Fla., with Llumar safety and security film. Brian’s Window Tinting and Solar Seal Window Tinting both participated in the application of the film.

The event was organized by GE Employers Reinsurance Corp., which is a member of the Protecting People First Foundation.

Aron Almom-Kok, spokesperson for the foundation, was also on-hand during the event.
“Ginny Kubler [marketing manager for CPFilms] was one of the very first people to step forward and help me make the foundation a reality,” she said. “We’re grateful to her and the entire CPFilms organization for their support and for making the Homestead event possible.”

FTI Introduces SUN-GARD Marketing Program

Film Technologies International Inc. of St. Petersburg, Fla., has introduced new SUN-GARD flat glass window film marketing materials. The new program consists of a SUN-GARD commercial brochure, residential tri-fold, commercial/residential pocket folder, point-of-purchase display and installation before-and-after checklist.

“The new literature is beautiful. We worked with interior designers who recommend SUN-GARD window film and therefore have some amazing photography of amazing buildings,” said Steve Michaud, executive vice president.

Martinsville, Va.-based CPFilms Inc. has updated its website to include technical support, www.llumartech.com. The site contains technical tips, installation ideas, specifications, pictures and tools to make the film applicator’s job a bit easier. In addition, the website lists the company’s products that are available... ShatterGARD Inc. vice president Jordan Frankel recently participated in a Times Square Security Association meeting, hosted by NASDAQ. Frankel attempted to educate the security professionals in attendance on the glass retention and window protection films available… Houston-based Huper Optik has developed a new program, the Preferred Dealer Network, which it says will revolutionize the way suppliers partner with window film dealers. According to the company, the network offers dealers and distributors an exclusive territory with an exclusive product... California-based Southwall Technologies has announced it has found favorable results for its XIR film from a July 2000 desert test program.

Southwall Begins Shipping Anti-Reflective Film
Palo Alto, Calif.-based Southwall Technologies Inc. recently announced that it has begun shipping production quantities and sizes of its new, clear anti-reflective film designed for the liquid-crystal-display (LCD) and plasma-display panel markets. 

According to the company, the film provides high visible-light transmission to maintain optical clarity, yet reduces glare from ambient light.

“By combining our extensive thin film sputtering technology and manufacturing expertise, Southwall is now able to supply product with excellent optical and mechanical performance in widths previously unavailable from the company,” said Sicco Westra, senior vice president of engineering and chief technology officer.

“Electronic display screens, such as LCD and PDP, continue to demand improved viewing optics, and this product’s glare-reducing properties measurably enhance the user’s viewing experience,” Westra continued. 


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