Volume 14, Issue 3 - May/June 2010

Newsworthy

INDUSTRY NEWS
Solamatrix Adds Paint Protection Films to Product Offerings

Paint protection films (PPF) have seen an increase in interest and demand in recent years, and some window film companies have expanded their product lines to include these films, just as a growing number of installers have diversified to offer these services. Solamatrix in St. Petersburg, Fla., is the newest film manufacturer to enter the PPF market, having added DefenZall paint protection film to its U.S. company-owned distribution product offering. In an agreement with The Haartz Corporation, the manufacturer of DefenZall, Solamatrix is now an exclusive reseller of the company’s PPF products.

To help develop this new business aspect, Bill Stewart, North American sales and marketing manager for Solamatrix, says they’ve created a two-pronged plan to release the product in its U.S. territories, which includes reaching not only their existing window film customer base but also marketing the product to all paint protection users in the United States.

Stewart says that the company intends to introduce the new products through its four company-owned branch locations. “We already have the staff and facilities in place to manage this new product line,” says Stewart.

While there are a number of similarities between window film and PPF products, there are also differences.

“Because an installer may actually be cutting the film directly on the vehicle in order to form it to the exact shape of the car, there is the chance they can cut through the film and damage the vehicle’s paint,” says Stewart. “This can be an expensive mistake to fix. Therefore, there is a more extensive learning curve for paint protection users. When selling paint protection film, we encourage dealers to take time and practice with the product until they feel comfortable with it.”

And, given the slow market and economy, Stewart says adding a new offering to their product mix is one way that will help give the company a boost.

“As the economy starts to show definite signs of recovery, paint protection sales will start to increase as well. By bringing the product in now, we feel we can supplement our existing window film sales and be prepared to maximize sales as the market continues to rebound,” says Stewart.

In other news, Solamatrix also signed Euro Window Film as its exclusive distributor for Sweden. From its headquarters in Rimbo, just outside of Stockholm, Euro Window Film will market all Solamatrix window films.

Nexfil Expands U.S. Facility
Korean window film manufacturer Nexfil celebrated the one-year anniversary of its Gardena, Calif., distribution plant in April. The company has headquarters in Icheon City, South Korea, and two manufacturing facilities—one in Icheon City and one in Yongin City. Although it has been operating as an original equipment manufacturer in the United States for several years, it only officially opened its distribution branch in Gardena last year.

According to S.W. Choi, Nexfil USA president, “We are in the expansion process again, adding additional warehousing capabilities and personnel in Gardena to accommodate our rapid growth.”

As the company begins to expand in the States, management is looking for ways to further increase its presence.

“We most certainly would like to add manufacturing capabilities here as we continue to expand our presence in the U.S. market. It would give us great pleasure to be able to contribute to job growth in the U.S.,” says Choi. Also on tap are plans for additional distribution centers. “Along with our desire to bring some of our manufacturing processes to the U.S., we would like to open another warehousing facility that would be centrally located in the U.S., in order to better service the Midwest and East Coast,” Choi adds.

Still, he acknowledges that it has been challenging to break into this new market.

“The biggest challenge has been getting people to accept us and try our products, even though a lot of people have already been using our products under a different name,” Choi says, explaining that some of their nano-ceramic films have been purchased by other manufacturers in the United States and re-labeled under the names of those companies, though he declined to disclose those names.

He also notes, “The U.S. market is definitely the toughest compared to other countries. The tinter is very demanding here, and homogenous products that worked on a global scale had to be modified to accommodate the unique style of the tinters in the U.S.”

Decorative Window Film Process Featured on Isle of Man Bank
Based in the United Kingdom, DigiGlass, a specialty window film printer, has completed its latest window graphic installation featuring giant sunflowers at the main branch of Isle of Man Bank, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group of companies. The brief was to print and install a window display that provided a high-impact, both internally and externally, for the bank’s latest spring campaign.

Working closely with the bank’s existing marketing agency, Home Strategic, DigiGlass used its DigiLam process to deliver high-definition window graphics that appear to be printed directly on to the glass. The complex process involves printing five colors in three layers on to optically clear PET window film.

The company says this was the first window film installation to use the DigiLam process. This involves the application of an optically clear laminated film over the printed window film to further enhance the visual appearance and provide an additional layer of window protection.

According to the company, the window film also blocks 99 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays and reduces incoming solar energy, helping reduce the bank’s energy bills.

NEWSMAKERS
Erickson International Announces Expansions

Erickson International in Las Vegas announced new additions to its management team and also the opening of new distribution sites.

New to the company’s management team are Chris Welker and Lewis Pitzer. Welker is the new national sales manager and Pitzer is the new special projects coordinator.

Welker spent 24 years with Performance Films Distributing, progressing from a position as a shipper to the sales manager for a 12-state region. He has a bachelor’s degree in business and accountancy from Wake Forest
University.

With 21 years of experience focusing primarily on architectural window film applications, Pitzer will assist ASWF dealers in growing their businesses. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from Virginia Tech.

In addition to the new hires, Erickson has added distribution sites in Florida, Colorado and Canada.

The distribution site located in Boynton Beach, Fla., is company owned and staffed. Debbie Lindsay, Jeff Pabis, Katie Belanger and Aaron Hurley joined Erickson in April. Rocky Mountain Window Films in Denver, under the ownership and direction of Bob Williams, will service seven states within the mountain region. Parasol Canada, under the leadership of Mathieu Moreau, also joined Erickson to distribute ASWF brand products within Canada.



WINDOW FILM
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