Happy New Year: Take a Look at the Most Popular Stories of 2012

January 2nd, 2013 by Editor

As 2013 begins, Window Film magazine has taken a look back at the top headlines of the year for 2012. Following is the ranking of the ten most popular stories of the year as well as the three most popular blog posts and newscasts.

  1. IWFA Report Reveals Window Film as Most Cost-Effective Energy Saving Choice for Californians: In March, the International Window Film Association (IWFA) released a report completed by ConSol, a California energy consultant firm revealing that window film is the most cost-effective energy saving choice for Californians when used in retrofit applications on homes and buildings. In June, the California Energy Commission made revisions to its building code to require all window films to have National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) certification label, manufacturer’s name, a 10-year warranty certificate and compliance with the International Window Film Association’s (IWFA) visual quality standards.
  2. Eastman to Acquire Solutia: Officials at Eastman Chemical Co. of Kingsport, Tenn., and Solutia Inc. of St. Louis announced in January their definitive agreement, under which Eastman acquired Solutia. For more on this story, see the upcoming exclusive interview with Travis Smith, vice president of Eastman’s Performance Films division in the January/Februrary 2013 issue of Window Film magazine.
  3. Solar Gard Announces New Tools for Dealers: Window Film readers expressed intrigue this past March when Solar Gard released its new mobile application for window film companies called Solar Gard Solutions. The mobile app offers installers a guide for film to glass applications, allows installers to submit glass requests directly to the company’s technical service team, can generate estimates and has settings that can be adjusted for products, pricing and output, while maintaining a record of all specifications and estimates.
  4. New Window Film Technology Introduced at WDMA Conference: New window film technology was a topic of discussion at the past Window and Door Manufacturers Association’s (WDMA) Technical Conference, held in June in Bloomington, Minn., where experts from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) associated research organizations addressed energy-saving technologies and strategies for windows. At the conference, 3M and Solutia introduced new products and initiatives in energy efficiency. At press time, the 2013 WDMA Technical Conference is scheduled to be held June 4-6, 2013 in Milwaukee, Wis.
  5. IWFC Automotive and Architectural Tint-Off Winners Announced: The announcement of the winners for the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ automotive and architectural divisions was one of 2012’s most popular stories. The winners for the automotive division in order were Jason Petty from Keltint Customs in Crossville, Tenn., Chris Robinson from The Tint Guy in Woodstock, Ga., and Chris Brooks from Kauffs Tint and Graphics in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The winners of the architectural division Tint-Off competition in order were Hann Kim of STM (Solar Transmission Management) in Los Angeles, Chris Brooks in second place from Kauffs Tint and Graphics in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Ty Sullivan from SPF Window Tinting in Hattiesburg, Miss. The 2013 IWFC and Tint-Off will be held in Tampa, Fla., September 18-20.
  6. Performance Films Distributing Moves Forward with Distributorship Agreement: Near the end of 2011, Solutia announced its renewal of its distributorship agreement with Performance Films Distributing. George Lewis of Performance Films Distributing was able to confirm that the company will continue to serve as the exclusive supplier of LLumar, Vista and Formula One window films in the Midwest through 2015.
  7. California Assembly Passes New Tinting Regulation: A story coming out of California drew the attention of readers this August when California governor Jerry Brown signed into law an amendment changing regulations for automotive window tinting to allow undercover police officers to legally tint the front windshield of undercover vehicles. The new amendment, proposed by assemblyman Jose Solorio, does not affect the current regulations for California’s other drivers. The law went into effect yesterday, January 1, 2013.
  8. 3M Recognizes Dealers at Annual Film Dealer Conference: 3M dealers were presented with awards at the company’s Window Film Dealer Conference which took place in San Diego, Calif., in March. More than 200 dealers attended and joined the company in recognizing 3M’s top dealers. Stay tuned to Window Film for information from the 2013 awards.
  9. Solutia Acquisition Will Increase Growth Rate for Eastman in Asia Pacific: In February, Window Film reported that Eastman Chemical Co. officials considered the acquisition of Solutia Inc. of St. Louis an important step in Eastman’s strategy to extend its global presence in emerging markets, particularly in Asia Pacific. In a subsequent move made later in the year showing confidence in this direction, Travis Smith, Eastman’s former regional business director for specialty plastics in Asia Pacific, was named as vice president of the performance films division.
  10. Two Manufacturers Invest in Plant Enhancements: Madico Window Films and Suntek/Commonwealth Laminating and Coating Inc. (Suntek) announced in November their major plans for plant renovations. Suntek discussed its investment of more than $20 million for expansion of its manufacturing facility and global master distribution center while Madico invested several millions in upgrades to improve energy conservation and process efficiency.

Honorable Mention


  1. Liquid Security Film?  Dealer Dialogue by Ross Kehl
  2. Something to Sink My Teeth Into Dealer Dialogue by Ross Kehl
  3. A Change in Direction A New Tint by Casey Neeley


  1. November 2, 2012: FILM’d reported from the SEMA Show in Las Vegas where we spoke with several exhibitors about some of their companies’ innovative products, as well as received attendee feedback about the show.
  2. September 25, 2012: In this edition of FILM’d, we looked at some of the International Window Film Conference seminars, as well as met the winners of both the architectural and automotive tint-off competitions held in Louisville, Ky.
  3. February 16, 2012: Former editor Katie Hodge O’Mara traveled to New Orleans to visit with Peter Kauffman and Gregg Taylor of GT Tint and find out how they have been re-building since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005.

This article is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter that covers the latest news regarding window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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