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Looking back at the Window Film Industry

Looking Back at the Window Film Market

Having  just completed 40 years in the window film industry, we look back and can honestly say that they certainly were exciting years!

We are as motivated today as we were when we first started out.  This  industry has really grown technically and the way the consumer appreciates the advantages window film offers, has enlightened me no end, says Leon Levy, the owner of Klingshield SA cc and the inventor of window graphics, which utilize an array of various types of window film, styles, shades and construction to create see through signage.

 This industry started out as a “Mama and Papa” business with the main advantage of film being an aesthetic look in those days, but has now blossomed out into a very serious energy saver as well as a life saving product.

Looking back on the year, the first thing that comes to mind is the advance in paint protection and the improvement made by manufacturers in creating an extremely user friendly product.

Rainbow Film

Commonwealth Laminating and Coatings from Virgina in the USA have  perfected paint protection film and they have come out with a very clear and quick sticking product which I believe outperforms  all the other manufacturers to date.

It is also interesting to note the big investment Commonwealth are making by increasing the facility to produce their Sun TEK range with an additional dyeing plant and a new laminator and coating line.  They will also be upgrading their existing equipment to be in a position to fight for dominance in the export market which accounts for over 50%  of their turnover.  Many jobs will be created in this window film region with these new plans.

Llumar, Sun Tek's next door neighbour, has also been spending cash with the acquisition of Southwall Technologies, an innovative energy company who are recognized for product excellence. CP films with their Llumar brand, are finding themselves with many more competitors selling film at very competitive prices worldwide.   “Enerlogic”, the new summer winter low e film is a breakthrough in window film technology because of the tremendous amount of generated heat it keeps in rooms.  The question is “can the market take the high pricing that Llumar are asking for this product ?”

Madico and Sun Gard have been involved in aggressive marketing plans and are offering a very advanced line of window film products.  

Their new Black Pearl range offers high performance and quick shrink for back windows of cars combined with a non-fade slick look and colour. Sun Gard's new Graphite ultra thick solar safety film in twelve mil construction goes on  windows like a dream and does not mist up like the other manufacturers thicker safety film.

Another main player in the industry, Bekaert, who market their product under the Panorama  and Solar Gard Brands also previously known as MSC Specialty Films, have been sold to a huge glass manufacturer from Europe, Saint-Gobain.

At this point in time I feel it fitting to congratulate the Window Film Magazine on the work it has done in keeping the industry up to date with extremely enlightening information published by them from time to time.

The insight to the very aggressive Korean manufacturer Nexfilm Production Plant via the video displayed on the Window Film's website was an eye opener. This company created window film from granite chips through to the finished window film product, unlike the Americans who buy the polyester from other manufacturers such as ICI Hoechts, Rexem and others and convert it by dyeing metalizing , coating and sputtering films and then utilising various films by laminating them together to achieved the finished product.

The Sema Show in Las Vegas made for a very interesting educational experience for industry players as all the major manufacturing players were competing in one arena for brand performance, brand awareness and dominance

As a distributor and installer it gives one a great opportunity to listen to different viewpoints and sale presentations by the world leaders in the industry.  New products were launched on the show and what a pleasure to spend time picking the brains of experts to further one’s technical knowhow and technical knowledge,  by watching real live installations of different products to glass and car body part. The most interesting and exciting new product of the year 2011 must be the introduction of a product called Graphene.  Graphene is being developed in the UK and is a thin film made of Graphite and is so thin that it takes three million sheets of the substance to make up a film of a thickness of 1mm

This product has won a Nobel Prize for Physics and was developed at the Manchester University and will certainly make significant changes in the universe in the near future.  Graphene is a strong sheet of film similar to the Klingshield film,  but can support the weight of an elephant . It also stretches like rubber and conducts electricity and weighs next to nothing . Some researchers claim that it is the next important substrate to be created since the first synthetic plastic more than a hundred years ago. It will be interesting to see how this wonder product could be used in glazing systems one day .

Klingshield as a company, have also come to the party with our new range of glass signs . These dazzling signs are custom made to our clients’ specifications in their colours and displaying their corporate logos.

Klingshield’s unique glass signs are made with a base substrate of 10mm thick toughened glass with bevelled edges and attached to a wall in reception areas with thick stainless steel bolts . This system offers a classic look as the signs are mounted a small distance from the wall which creates a shadow and gives a three dimensional look.  Companies are utilizing this new signage system in showrooms, at trade shows and in receptions areas as well as for exterior signage.   This new product by Klingshield can be viewed in more detail on our website under Glass Signs on.

Last but not least, is the  “Going Green” range of products which are available for the future of our industry.  It is interesting to see how an Israeli company has developed a window system that collects the sun energy and utilizes the power to run lights in buildings  in a test case in a huge Chicago high rise building. Photovoltaics will also play an important role in our industry in the future, as renewable energy products.

We are in for exciting times and I am very grateful to be able to participate in such an interesting and wonderful industry with so much to offer and I look forward to an amazing future

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