Solutia Receives Grant to Invest in Energy-Efficient
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
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
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
“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
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