Volume 13, Issue 4 - July/August 2009
Long Term Success Requires Good Vision
If you’re a faithful Window Film reader, you’ve probably noticed the word “photovoltaic” (PV) popping up in this publication with some regularity. And though PV has not come to the window film industry as of yet, you will likely continue to read about it from time to time.
I’m sure some of you are wondering, “Why does he continue to harp on what appears to be mere possibility?” Well, let me tell you a little story about the newspaper industry. Though its leaders saw the Internet and digital media coming from a far off distance, many failed to take heed until it was too late. They may not have underestimated its potential, as much as they failed to notice the rate at which it was gaining momentum and speed. Before they knew it, the day came when a daily newspaper, or a weekly classified section, simply wasn’t good enough. The technology failed to provide what readers had grown to expect—speed. In a similar fashion, the day may come when insulating and blocking solar heat gain will no longer be good enough for the energy-minded consumer and fenestration industry.
There is a company based out of Lowell, Mass., that is taking old machinery and technologies left behind by the printing industry and converting them into a manufacturing process that produces one of the most advanced film products the world has ever witnessed. I’m speaking of Konarka Technologies Inc. The company recently purchased an old Kodak facility that it is now using to produce its Power Plastic® product, a transparent, photovoltaic film that will soon enter the fenestration industry and, according to company officials, the window film industry some day. I encourage anyone who aspires to be in the window film industry for years to come to study the details on page 18.For those of you who might be tempted to say, “Put your money where your mouth is, Drew,” I would direct you to our new website at www.windowfilmmag.com. There you will discover that we have heeded the necessity of using the Internet to deliver valuable content on nearly a daily basis. If you haven’t taken the time to, I invite you to have a look, test drive the new site, and always feel free to provide feedback.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep your eye on the distant future, when you’re inevitably consumed by day-to-day tasks and needs. On page 24, John Parker, the new president of the International Window Film Association (IWFA), explains how this nearsightedness has led some dealers to abandon or fail to join the IWFA. Parker says it is his goal to restore window film dealers’ ability to see beyond their daily lives and individual sales sheets, to recognize the need for a concerted effort through associations like the IWFA. Parker, a dealer himself, intends to lead the association “from the trenches.”
Last, but not least, when you’re done with this issue, leave it somewhere close at hand, because you will no doubt discover that our Annual Buyer’s Guide, on page 28, is a valuable reference guide that you can use throughout the year.
Drew Vass is the editor of Window Film magazine.