Volume 14, Issue 5 - September-October 2010


Solutia Receives Grant to Invest in Energy-Efficient Building Technologies
Solutia recently received grant money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE is investing more than $76 million dollars in companies that are working to make U.S. buildings and homes more energy-efficient.

Solutia received $356,000 of this for its Performance Films segment, which intends to use the grant for the continued research, development and commercialization of high-performance, energy-efficient retrofit window film technology for residential and commercial buildings. 

In addition to Solutia, other film companies were awarded grant money including 3M, Pleotint LLC, and Southwall Technologies.

“The Department of Energy has recognized the value of window films as a retrofit solution to improving energy efficiency,” said Ray Kollar, president and general manager of Solutia’s Performance Films segment. “Today’s consumers have also learned that, just like changing their lighting, window films are an affordable, easy-to-make choice that can add significant energy savings and real value. As a global leader in film technology, we’ll use this grant to keep pushing the technology forward.”

“A building’s energy efficiency starts at its windows,” explains Dave Kaliser, director of product marketing – architectural for Solutia’s Performance Films segment. “This will allow technologies similar to those in high-performance low-E glass coatings to be adopted into retrofit window films, while keeping costs in line with the market. The technologies we’re working on include improved coating flexibility and low infrared-transmission coatings,” Kaliser continues. “These easy-to-install window films can increase energy efficiency year round, with much faster paybacks than traditional window replacement and substantially better energy savings per dollar spent.”

Window Film Holds While Storms Brew
As much of the country experiences record temperatures and sweltering heat the southern coasts have been preparing for one of the most dangerous seasons of the year: hurricane season. Residents of the Gulf Coast in particular have been preparing their property to withstand hurricane conditions, and for some, this includes window film installations.

Chris Smeltz, marketing manager of ProTech Coating Services in Pinellas Park, Fla., says he has noticed a sudden rush in window film sales. “As soon as a storm pops up everyone calls immediately,” says Smeltz. “Unfortunately everyone waits until there is a storm coming.”

All along the Gulf Coast window film companies are seeing a similar pattern. Abid Quraishi, general manager for Solar X Window Film Systems in Houston, adds, “We do see a lot of action being so close to the Gulf of Mexico. Whenever there is something developing in the Gulf, people’s awareness heightens and the media creates a frenzy.”

In the past, coastal cities have been hit hard by hurricanes and have learned what to do to protect their property and themselves. Quraishi remembers, “After Hurricane Ike, there was a lot of glass replacement throughout Greater Houston and Galveston. One of our customers who had glass replaced and had safety film previously applied to it, said that the film worked great in keeping the broken glass together,” says Quraishi. “We did not get one phone call from an unsatisfied customer.”

Likewise, ProTech Coating Services was involved in the post-storm work left behind by Hurricane Charley. “We cover 16 counties so when Charley came through we had a lot of clean up,” says Smeltz.

Following Hurricane Ike, Solar X Window Film Systems started to see increasing interest in window film. “After the effects of Hurricane Ike, customers’ concern about hurricane protection has increased,” says Quraishi. “With our marketing efforts, people are becoming more aware that window film is a viable option to give increased protection to their windows.”

Hurricane season runs until November 30 and is expected to be particularly active this year. The National Hurricane Center tracks this year’s early hurricane activity as unusual compared to previous years.

Smeltz agrees that this hurricane season is likely to be a tough one. “I’ve been in the area for quite some time and the way the weather has been acting it seems like it will be a much more active season. This area hasn’t had a direct hit in a while, but we do get the winds.”

Quraishi remains optimistic about this season for his company. “The economy is down. Everyone is feeling the effects of it, but no one wants to take a loss so they don’t mind spending money to protect what they have. You never know with mother nature…time will tell.” 

Window Film Industry Mourns the Loss of Paul Panarisi
Paul Panarisi, marketing manager for Madico based in Woburn, Mass., passed away Tuesday, July 7, in Boynton Beach, Fla., at 46 years old. Panarisi spent 18 years in the window film business with Madico. He joined the company in 1992 in the warehouse at Madico Southeast, moved to California in sales and branch management, returned to Florida as window film product manager, and recently became marketing manager. 

Panarisi is survived by his wife, Anelle, and his daughter, Cara. His family is accepting donations to the American Cancer Society in his honor. 

“Please join me in taking a moment to celebrate Paul’s dynamic life and courage; his passion for music and literature; thirst for knowledge; and keen sense of humor,” says Tom Niziolek, marketing and sales director for Madico.

Major Film Project Completed in Qatar
One of the largest glass containment projects was completed recently in Qatar. Building Defence Systems WLL in conjunction with Pentagon Protection PLC used 1800 square meters of FT800 blast mitigation film for glazing to protect the exterior glazing at an oil and gas facility. The film was used to protect the facility and the people who work from an explosion or an attack.

Energy Products Distribution Holds Training Events; Hires New Automotive Market Salesperson
Energy Products Distribution (EPD), a film distributor located in Baltimore, held two workshops earlier this year for its automotive and commercial dealers. The company’s second annual automotive workshop was held May 10-11 for existing and prospective customers. EPD held a brief awards ceremony to recognize its largest paint protection film (PPF) and automotive window film customers, which was followed by a presentation on branding.

Afterward, EPD held an open forum to discuss the revenue opportunity of bundling various products and services such as

automotive window film, PPF, headlight restoration, and DI-NOC™ Carbon Fiber Vinyl.

On May 24, EPD conducted its second annual commercial workshop, presented by 3M technical service manager, Billy Pettit. The purpose of the training was to promote industry accepted selling tools to increase a dealer’s selling credibility.

“We’ve always encouraged our dealers to present to a commercial prospect as an educator rather than as a salesperson,” said Manny Hondroulis, marketing manager of EPD. “Using readily available and analytical sales tools to demonstrate the effectiveness of window film does just that.”

“One of our main company initiatives is to provide continuing education for our dealers, whether from a technical or marketing perspective,” said Jim Hondroulis, EPD president. “The two workshops we hosted in May strengthened their knowledge base and were a nice addition to our regularly scheduled EPD University, which we hold online. It was also great to see our customers and enjoy the camaraderie that comes through face-to-face meetings.”

In addition to holding workshops, EPD has also hired Sebrina Wajer as its new automotive specialist. Wajer joins the company with 12 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket. She began her career working for Enterprise Rent-A-Car and later worked for Koons Ford of Baltimore in the aftermarket department where she sold 3M™ paint protection film. Wajer’s focus will be to expand the company’s share of the automotive aftermarket, which includes working with installers to promote the company’s product line.

© Copyright 2010 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.