Volume 13, Issue 1 - January/February 2009


Despite the Times,
Manufacturers Continue to Invest in Facilities

Despite the current economy, window film manufacturers are continuing to exhibit faith in the product’s stronghold and future by pouring investments into their facilities. Solamatrix Inc. recently announced it would invest more than $1 million into the company’s manufacturing facility in St. Petersburg, Fla., in the month of December alone. Bekaert Specialty Films also unveiled significant improvements to its San Diego, Calif.-based facility in 2008, by adding a $1.5 million, class-10,000 clean room (see related article on page 28 of Window Film’s July-August 2008 edition).

Officials for Martinsville, Va.-based Commonwealth Laminating and Coating say that the company invested approximately $15 million into facility improvements over the course of 2008.

“This has been a very exciting year for us,” comments Steve Phillips, Commonwealth’s chief executive officer. “We have invested very heavily in the factory. This year [2008] alone we spent $15 million. That included two new machines, a warehouse and major improvements to some of our existing equipment.”

Solamatrix acquired Film Technologies International’s old manufacturing facility back in February of this year and has since continued the company’s brands under new ownership. The newly formed company is installing a regenerative thermal oxidizer. Company officials say the new equipment will replace an aging and less efficient system. They also report that improvements will allow the company to increase capacity, better control production temperature fluctuation and improve manufacturing efficiencies by reducing the consumption of natural gas and catalysts.

“In addition to making better films and realizing operational savings, the new system will also ensure that our manufacturing facility will far exceed tighter federal, state and local air emissions regulations,” says Jeffrey Plummer, senior vice president of sales, marketing and distribution for Solamatrix. “As such, we will not only be improving our manufacturing facility but we will also be kinder to the environment.”

Solamatrix officials assured that plant improvements would be made in late December and early January to coincide with the holidays and ensure there would be no negative impact on the company’s normal manufacturing processes.

Enpro Receives Two Awards, Donates to Cancer Foundation

Enpro Distributing has been making news lately in Texas. The company recently was selected for the 2008 Houston Award in the Window Tinting Materials category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA). It also was recently named as one of the Best 100 Companies to Work For in Texas.

The USLBA Best of Local Business Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the association identifies local companies that have achieved exceptional marketing success in their community and business category, and have enhanced the positive image of small business through service to customers and the community.

“We are thrilled to be honored with such a great award from the USLBA,” says Chris Weinhardt, Enpro’s marketing director. “It is nice to be recognized as a company leading the way in terms of marketing strategy, ethics and giving back to the community.”

The Best 100 Companies to Work for in Texas awards program was created in 2006 and is a project of TEXAS MONTHLY, the Texas Association of Business (TAB), the Texas State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (TSC-SHRM) and Best Companies Group. The program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Texas, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses.

Enpro also has teamed up with Madico and the New Face of Cancer Foundation to provide solar control window film for all the affordable homes being built for cancer patients and their families. The New Face of Cancer Foundation is a non profit corporation that is committed to improving the lives of citizens who have or will be affected by Cancer, directly or indirectly.

Solamatrix Expands Worldwide Distribution

Solamatrix Inc. recently expanded its distribution network to include Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Film Pacific Pty Ltd. will serve as an exclusive distributor for these regions and will market all of Solamatrix’ brands, including SUN-GARD® solar control films and GLASS-GARD® safety and security films. 

“We are excited about the opportunity to expand our global distribution through this partnership with Film Pacific,” says Jeffrey Plummer, senior vice president of sales, marketing and business development for Solamatrix. “They have been successfully distributing window film for decades and have a solid business model for growth.” 

Film Pacific is located in Melbourne, Australia. Richard Hall, managing director says his company has helped Solamatrix’ brands penetrate the region. “We have previously created great brand awareness for SUN-GARD® in our market and are looking forward to continuing that effort as part of the Solamatrix distribution family,” Hall says.

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