Hanita Coatings has  
a New U.S. Strategy  
by Casey Flores  
This is Hanita’s “kitchen,” where the  
company “cooks up” new film solutions.  
n May 14, 1948, the nation quartered, Hanita is a microcosm highest number of U.S. patents per  
of Israel celebrated its of what’s made Israel a major play- capita,” he said.  
newfound independence er on the world stage today.  
after several power shifts in the  
But Israelis don’t go about inno-  
vation haphazardly. This was made  
land it now calls home. Plagued Highly Calculated evident by Sergio Shmilovitch,  
instantly by wars, boycotts and  
I arrived at Tel Aviv International Hanita’s vice president of window  
a difficult border situation, the Airport just a few days before film, with whom I spoke at SEMA  
country’s inhabitants had to inno- May 14 (now the country’s official last fall. When I asked him to be  
vate and prove themselves as a Independence Day) and Israeli patri- interviewed on our FILM’d news-  
force in technology, manufacturing otism was apparent instantly. The cast, he said, “No … not yet.”  
and research. It’s in this nation nation’s flags were everywhere—  
That meeting sparked a series  
you’ll find Hanita Coatings, par- even spanning entire buildings in of emails and a follow-up meeting  
ent company to HanitaTek Window the city’s main financial district. My stateside and is the reason I came  
Films—its U.S. distribution arm. tour guide shared that pride.  
Founded more than three decades “We’re a nation of only 8.5 mil-  
to Israel for this trip. Hanita is ready  
after the country in which it’s head- lion people and have one of the  
continued on page 26  
Dconetisnuteidnfraomtipoagne 2A5 merica  
to make a big push in the U.S., and  
WindoW Film magazine got exclusive  
access to its manufacturing facility,  
company executives and a look into  
how this 33-year-old company plans  
to continue growing.  
Owned and  
The company’s headquarters  
is in Kibbutz Hanita, Israel, just  
miles from the southern border of  
Lebanon. A kibbutz is something like  
a socialistic homeowners’ associa-  
tion. It’s a territory in which homes  
and companies are located—all of  
which are owned collectively by the  
original inhabitants’ families for the  
most part. Hanita Coatings is part  
of the kibbutz (though 25 percent of  
the company is owned by a private  
investment firm), and its members,  
Pictured is Hanita’s film slitter, which rewinds the film and makes it therefore, share in its profits.  
“Thirty percent of the people  
working here live in the kibbutz,”  
Shmilovitch says. He is not a  
member and, because of that,  
some employees he directs are  
also his bosses.  
The dynamic means employees  
are invested in a way they oth-  
erwise wouldn’t be. For example,  
Hanita’s film warranties which,  
according to its representatives  
are among the industry’s strongest,  
are backed by a company whose  
employees have a personal stake in  
equation if the film fails.  
They approve warranties for fif-  
teen years because they’re going to  
be there fifteen years from today,”  
Shmilovitch said.  
First-Class Facility  
After a brief introduction to the  
company—and meeting CEO Oved  
Shapira—Shmilovitch introduced  
Ortal Filiba, technical manager for  
window film. It was clear quickly  
she and the research and devel-  
opment (R&D) team are the driv-  
ing force behind the company’s  
The company’s coater/laminator, which was purchased in 2015 and is  
now fully operational.  
continued on page 28  
WindoW Film  
Dconetisnuteidnfraomtipoagne 2A6 merica  
An aerial view of Hanita Coatings’ manufacturing plant and headquarters in Kibbutz Hanita, Israel.  
innovation. She took me on a tour of acceleration machines, which test els in the 2016 International Window  
the manufacturing plant.  
the durability of each film solution Film Conference and Tint-Off  
We start in the “kitchen,” which and are the key to its warranty pro- (WFCT), hiring long-time industry  
is where workers “cook up new grams. The machines are valued at sales representative Kevin Menig  
formulations and coatings,” Filiba nearly $100,000 each. Coupled with and acquiring a new California  
said. As she showed me around, I some old-fashioned sun exposure warehouse are only the first steps.  
noticed that “solutions” was her done for years in the Arizona des- WFCT will be the company’s first  
word of choice to describe compa- ert, Filiba said the company invests major push for its new automotive  
ny processes. Hanita is fixated on more than half a million dollars in line, and there’s much excitement  
making improvements to its prod- the film testing.  
ucts on a daily basis. Each roll of film gets inspected  
brewing in the Hanita camp.  
“We’ve put very aggressive  
Having 10 percent of the com- for quality ten to 15 times before numbers in terms of growth and  
pany overhead invested just in being shipped out. “It’s tested at how we’re going to get there,”  
R&D scientists says a lot about every step in the manufacturing Shmilovitch said of the entire com-  
what we think about the future process, and samples of each roll pany, which also has a print tech-  
and innovation,” she explained.  
are kept five years,” she said. “That nology division. “The focus on the  
The focus on R&D is another way way, we don’t need to rely on cus- window film business is a crucial  
Hanita mirrors the nation in which tomers to send it back and can part of that plan.”  
it’s headquartered. Bloomberg start quality investigation proce- The company is aiming for  
ranks Israel as the world’s top dures based on reserved samples.” “significant double-digit growth”  
country for research.  
that will increase the business  
by 100 percent in the next few  
The company boasts more than years. Shmilovitch admits Hanita’s  
Unlike many other film manu- The Growth Plan  
facturers that use sputtering (a  
process that applies an alloy coat- 200 employees with eight different sales revenue has not yet hit nine  
ing to achieve superior film perfor- sales locations worldwide and is in digits—but that’s the goal. “This  
mance), Filiba explained that Hanita the process of shifting focus to a means the company is looking at  
has a U.S. patent on a technology new market.  
that “allows us to have high-quality A long-time market leader in only an evolution in terms of the  
solutions equivalent to sputtering Europe, Shmilovitch said that they business initiative, we are looking  
at a much lower cost.” are now looking at expanded their more at a revolution in terms of  
a lot of opportunities that are not  
According to Filiba, sputtering is focus. While there are opportunities how we do business in different  
a “very slow and a more expensive for growth in South America and areas,” he added.  
initial investment. With this tech- Asia, the company has zeroed in on  
Besides the new company-owned  
nology, we’re able to cover three the United States for future growth. California distribution warehouse,  
to five meters per second, which is  
much faster than sputtering.”  
“I’m not interested in growing HanitaTek has signed a distribu-  
five percent per year. The tar- tion agreement with Courage  
Thecommitmenttothelatesttech- get is much higher than that,” Distributing in Canada and with  
nology is also seen in the company’s Shmilovitch explains. “We’re going Kingston Coatings in Tennessee.  
investment in film testing. Hanita has to approach the U.S. with a differ-  
different testing machines, among ent strategy.”  
them are three “Atlas” weather  
The world market will be seeing  
much more of Hanita Coatings in  
Moving up two sponsorship lev- the years to come.