Volume 7, Issue 5, September-October 2003

The Latest Industry News

Industry News
NFRC Approves Window Film Rating System

The board of directors for the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) of Silver Spring, Md. has approved a new technical procedure for rating window film. NFRC will begin to develop the certification and labeling procedures at its upcoming task group meetings in Kansas City, Mo., to be held September 18-19. 

“NFRC is committed to improving our existing rating procedures and to expanding the universe of products that manufacturers can bring to us for fair, accurate and credible energy performance ratings,” said Tony Rygg, chairman of NFRC’s board of directors. “We appreciate the effort made by window film manufacturers to work with us to develop technical procedures that will eventually allow them to rate and certify their film products through NFRC.”

(See page 22 for more information on the NFRC and industry reaction).

Ontario Reviews Tint Laws
A crack-down on street racing by police and transportation officials in the Greater Toronto area has led to closer scrutiny of area vehicles. With window film laws subjective and vague, calling for applications that “do not substantially obscure vision from the outside of the vehicle,” area dealers worry that the crack-down will lead to increased scrutiny by law enforcement personnel on window tinting. 

In the fall, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (OMT) will be convening a consultation group, in which the window film industry will be represented. The current law consists of a general acceptance of 35-percent film on the driver’s compartment, right and left. Industry members worry that if Ontario dealers continue to push the current legislation’s limits by using darker tints, plus highly reflective and fader-type tints, the OMT will favor legislation mirroring those in Canada’s other provinces, which prohibit any film from being applied to the driver’s compartment.

Company News
Bekaert Opens New Training Facility

Bekaert Specialty Films (BSF) of Clearwater, Fla., has opened a training academy that it says Training Facility provides students with a detailed curriculum suitable for industry veterans and newcomers. The facility currently offers three course levels ranging from basic to advanced skills development and can help dealers expand their talents into other areas of the window film business, including making the move from automotive films to architectural applications.

Students at Bekaert’s training academy practice flat-glass applications.Students at Bekaert’s training academy practice flat-glass applications. “Our training programs combine interactive classroom learning with hands-on skills practice to provide dealers with a complete, well-rounded education on everything there is to know about window film and how to sell and install it properly. Dealers leave with a renewed sense of confidence and understanding,” said training academy manager Karen Miller. “Even the most seasoned dealer walks away with enhanced skills.”

The three courses range from three to five days, vary in price and touch on shop organization, tool utilization, business marketing and selling skills.

In addition, BSF’s architectural curriculum incorporates the  information included in the IWFA manuals, preparing dealers for the IWFA Solar Control Specialist exams.

Walker Named Southwall Marketing Vice President
Southwall Technologies, based in Palo Alto, Calif., has named N. Kevin Walker vice president of worldwide marketing. Previously the marketing manager for the Rogers Corp. Advanced Circuit Materials Division, in Chandler, Ariz., Walker will now report directly to Southwall chief executive officer Thomas G. Hood.

“I’m very pleased that Kevin has decided to join us,” said Hood. “He is an excellent complement to our present management team. We believe that his broad and diverse marketing and sales experience will help us to focus the company on better serving key markets and increasing sales in the coming years.”

Clark Named Director of Pacific Coast
Houston-based Huper Optik USA is expanding its reach in the Pacific Coast area by appointing 
Gary Clark of San Ramon, Calif., to the position of director for the Pacific Coast region.

Bringing more than 24 years of window film industry experience to the position, Clark’s new responsibilities will entail furthering Huper Optik’s programs and technologies into new markets and corporate accounts. The company plans on utilizing Clark’s experience as a former independent dealer and his understanding of corporate and regional window film marketing to further achieve its goals.

Association News
IWFA Accreditation Testing Available Online
The International Window Film Association (IWFA) has added the ease of online testing to accommodate candidates looking to achieve accreditation in automotive, solar control and safety/security subject areas, effective August 1, 2003.

Those desiring to sign up for the accreditation courses should register online or via phone with the IWFA and then contact any of the more than 3,500 North American testing centers to arrange a location, time and date. 

Results of the online test are instantaneous and are sent immediately to the IWFA so that certificates can be sent and the website can be updated. 



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