Volume 17, Issue - November/December 2013

The Latest Industry News
by Casey Neeley

Death Ray Buildings: A Global Concern

Following the recent news that a 38-story London building had melted a Jaguar and created dangerously hot reflections, installers across the world reacted by offering window film as an expert solution to the problem.

“An exterior matte IR-absorbing film should solve the problem,” says James Beale, vice president of sales for National Glazing Solutions in Roswell, Ga.

“On the case with this already,” says Nik Sanders of Bonwyck in the United Kingdom. “It definitely needs a special solution; any reflective film will only make the problem worse. I think a matte film could help, but likely reduce the quality of the view from the inside.”

This is not a new problem,” adds Renato Gall of Films Online in Italy. “We already received such a request several times. I think the window film industry has not yet moved to face [this situation] with a specific film. Let us see what happens in future.”

t’s been a problem continuing to plague Londoners, as well as the rest of the world. Buildings include the crescent-shaped Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas which was infamously known as “Death Ray Hotel” when it opened in 2009 after guests complained that 15-square meters of the pool deck were hot enough to singe their hair and melt plastic. The hotel has since added anti-reflective film, rows of umbrellas and even large plants to cure the problem.

Earlier this year, Museum Tower, a condo-filled skyscraper in Dallas, was a source of friction to the nearby Nasher Sculpture Center, which claimed the intense sunlight reflecting off the Museum Tower was killing the plants in its sculpture garden and ruining exhibits. The museum even removed a Picasso painting from display over concerns that direct sunlight would damage it.

“If the building planners would have given this enough thought they might have been able to plan the install of the windows several degrees upwards or downwards,” says Uriel Nathan of Sunshield LTD Window Film Specialists in Israel.

While matte exterior window films may offer a solution, some tinters say their installation would be tough.

“This is also a problem on a building here in the states that I have been involved with,” says Glenn Yocca, CEO of Bethel Park, Pa.-based US Film Crew. “The building has not yet, to my knowledge, moved forward with any solutions, but film was presented as a viable option. The film would indeed correct the issue, however, the drawback from the owner’s stand point is longevity and reoccurring replacement costs.”

“Exterior window film to go on the outside of a very tall building is a tall call,” says Leon Levy of Klingshield in South Africa. “I will take my hat off to the installers and call them supermen with special skills if the can do a clean and acceptable finish.”

PFD and 44Tools Restructures
Performance Films Distributing and 44Tools has announced plans to restructure. Dick Austin will now serve as dealer development and retail sales manager for both Performance Films Distributing and 44Tools.com, while Jeff Dunn, a distribution operations specialist, will serve as operations manager for both companies.

Austin brings 35 years of window film industry experience to his new role. He has served as manager of retail operations and training since 2008. Dunn has worked with Performance Films Distributing for nearly a decade in various capacities including inside sales before being promoted to general manager in 2007.

“We are blessed with a great team and we strive continually to utilize each member to best serve our valued customers. The realignment of Jeff and Dick allows their experience and deep talent to better serve our broad customer base,” says Bo Ryan, president of both 44Tools.com and Performance Films Distributing.

Eastman to Invest $40 Million in Virginia Plant
Eastman Chemical Co. announced plans to invest $40 million over the next three years in the the company’s manufacturing plant in Henry County, Va. Eastman acquired the site in 2012. The facility in is one of the largest and most integrated window and performance-coated film manufacturing sites in the world. The investment in Henry County is expected to create 25 new jobs.

“Over the next three years, we will make infrastructure and technology upgrades, warehousing improvements, environmental and safety enhancements and expand capacity in support of growth,” says Travis Smith, vice president and general manager for Eastman’s Advanced Materials, Performance Films division. “The dollars we spend will drive even further improvements in quality and reliability and create the technologies needed to deliver new innovation and growth. Investing in new machinery and equipment as well as workforce capabilities will help expand our ability to provide the products our dealers need, when they need them.

“As I’ve mentioned in the past, we have a deep and abiding commitment to operational excellence, developing products that respond directly to market demand and delivering value to our channel partners and their customers,” Smith adds. “This investment confirms our confidence in the future of the business and the confidence we have in our dealers and partners worldwide.”

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