Volume 11, Issue 2 - March/April 2007

AAMA Introduces Blast Ratings

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) introduced a new testing and certification program for windows, glass doors and curtainwall that could be vulnerable to blast conditions. The program combines an approved process for testing blast-resistant fenestration products with a certification program that verifies the quality of ongoing production and installation practices.

“The challenge of getting an installed blast-resistant fenestration product that meets the required performance for protection has long been a concern for designers, engineers, building owners and suppliers and installers of the fenestration products,”says Ed Conrath, P.E., for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Protective Design Center. “AAMA, through the development of [its] voluntary guide specification and subsequent certification program, has established a method by which products can be certified to be installed as intended.”

The certification program allows for both product- and project-specific certifications so that specifiers can be assured that products they approve consistently meet the program requirements. In the case of project-specific certification, verification is made by the program administrator at the manufacturing plant and the job site to validate the manufacturer certification specific to one project.

AAMA 510-06, the Voluntary Guide Specification for Blast Hazard Mitigation for Fenestration Systems, can be downloaded free from the AAMA website at www.aamanet.org

Herb Yudenfriend, who chairs the fenestration research coordinating committee for Building Environmental Thermal Envelope Council, a division of the National Institute of Building Sciences, says the AAMA program will serve as a component of a security rating system for fenestration systems on which his committee is working currently.

“We’re going to address retrofit issues, and obviously film is involved in retrofit,” Yudenfriend says.

He also adds that he expects the AAMA program to be beneficial to the film industry PR-wise.

“The more [security products] become a public issue, the more possibility there will be a need for that application,” he says.

However, International Window Film Association (IWFA) executive director Darrell Smith says the IWFA did not participate in the development of the program and does not expect it to have much of an effect on the film industry.

“The window film industry associations felt that, because of the organizational structure used in the decision process, opportunities existed for some real misallocations of influence between different product technologies, industries and expert advice in the marketplace arena of blast mitigation,” Smith says. “In addition, there were already established performance standards, rather than product standards, in use in the government sector. We did not understand why a particular product or technology standard was more important than a performance standard.”

He adds, “As a result of these concerns, the window film industry officially notified AAMA early in the process that unless the process was changed, we (the film industry associations) could not participate in this particular process.”


CPFilms Makes Cuts
Martinsville, Va.-based CPFilms Inc. laid off 39 employees at its production plant in Martinsville on March 15. According to Melissa Hammonds, public affairs specialist for St. Louis-based Solutia Inc., CPFilms’ parent company, the layoffs resulted from an efficiency review the company had conducted.

“We had done a review of our business specific to the Martinsville area to see the efficiency with how we had run that plant, and through that review we determined that we could improve the efficiency of the plan with some cuts,” Hammonds says.

Hammonds notes that the cuts had nothing to do with cutting costs at the facility.

“The business is at the top of its market,” she says. “It was just a necessary step to improve operations there at the plant and maintain our leadership in the market.”

Those employees whose jobs were cut received severance packages, along with other assistance.

“We set up a career center to help the affected employees through this transition,” Hammonds says.


Dealer Uses Window Film for Good Cause
Nicole Sondermann of Specialty Window Film of St. Petersburg, Fla., recently participated in a local art-in-the-community fundraiser in which she utilized window film for a good cause. Sondermann designed a piece called “Pelicans on Parade”�using window film.

White Out film from St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Film Technologies International (FTI) was used for the head and neck, Solar Bronze 20 (also from FTI) was used for the beak and a mixture of auto and flat glass solar film was used for the body.

“We decided to recycle our SUN-GARD film scraps for this unique project because it seemed like a perfect way to contribute to a great cause and re-use what is otherwise discarded,” Sondermann says. FTI helped by donating additional film needed to complete the project. The piece, which Sondermann named Solar Sam,�was scheduled to be auctioned off with about 70 other decorated pelicans at the beginning of this year. 


FTI Wins ”Addy”
St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Film Technologies International (FTI) marketing department has been presented with a Silver Addy award from the American Advertising Federation Tampa Bay Chapter, in recognition of its work on the Diamond Automotive Window Film marketing materials released in the spring of 2006. 

The Addy awards are presented annually to advertising agencies and marketing departments that achieve a level of excellence for work in a number of different categories including TV, radio and print media. The Diamond materials were recognized in the Collateral Material Campaign category, which emphasizes printed materials that are designed to work together as a family to promote a single brand. www.filmtechnologies.com 


Bekaert Expands into Taiwan
San Diego-based Bekaert Specialty Films announced the opening of a new sales and service facility in Taiwan. Tony Chen, market manager for Taiwan and Southeast Asia, will head up the center.

Bekaert president Christophe Fremont says he hopes the new center will allow the company to grow its relationship with consumers in this region.

“It is extremely important that we are able to fully support and augment consumer relations on a personal level around the world,” Fremont says. “Here is a growing window film market in Asia and our new facility in Taiwan allows us to meet customer demands in a timely manner. Tony Chen, with nearly a decade of window film manufacturing knowledge and two International Window Film Association specialist certificates, is the ideal leader to guide our support operations in this region.”

In addition to these developments, Bekaert Specialty Films appointed Kenji Yamamoto as application engineer for the Asian market.

In his role as application engineer, Yamamoto will focus on supporting the high-growth large area glass market in Asia. He will be responsible for translating customer needs into concepts for application-specific sputter products. Yamamoto will also handle the validation and implementation process of the sputter products into the customer’s application. He will be working from the Tokyo office.

Among other American film manufacturers, Johnson Window Films of Carson, Calif., and Film Technologies International (FTI) of St. Petersburg, Fla., also have offices in Asia. Johnson has offices in Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea, while FTI has an office in Taiwan. www.bekaert.com 

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