Here Are 2015’s Top 10 Window Film Stories

December 28th, 2015 by Casey Flores

Last week, it was the bloopers, this week, it’s the top 10 stories. This tradition is one that speaks to what people care about in this industry. As we look over the most-clicked pieces, it’s clear there are three things tinters want to read about: manufacturers’ decisions, competitions and entrepreneurship. Here are the top 10 stories from the 2015:

  1. 3M Dealers are Uneasy About the Manufacturer’s Latest Move

When industry powerhouse 3M teamed up with the window cleaning and tinting franchise Window Genie, some dealers had concerns.window cleaning 2

“In essence, 3M has set up another dealer. It’s a competing channel,” said Brent Williams, owner of Energy Control Consultants, a 3M-exclusive dealer.

Mark Keesling, 3M’s U.S. business manager for window films, denied such a claim.

“We’re not setting them up as 3M authorized dealers,” he said. “We will not include Window Genies on our dealer locator. They’re just simply able to offer their customers a specific line of film supplied by 3M.”

  1. One of the World’s Top Tinters Finally Starts His Own Company

After fifteen years of experience, placing in the International Window Film Tint-Off™ twice—winning the gold medal once—and becoming a well-respected player in the window film industry, Randy Humphries opened his own shop in Burlington, Mass.

Business quickly took off.

“I’m slammed right now,” he said, just a week after opening. He had hoped to hire soon, and has had some help along the way, but for now, he remains a one-man-show.

  1. 2015 Tint-Off™ Finalists Announced

An always-popular article, when the 2015 Tint-Off™ winners were announced, tinters nationwide had to see who made the cut.

  1. Three Window Tinting Companies Make the Inc. 5000

When it came to the fastest-growing private companies in America, three window film installation companies cracked the top 5,000.

At No. 2042 was Sykesville, Md.-based Absolute Perfection, owned by Window Film magazine blogger Bill Valway.

Tint World ranked at No. 2872, marking the Boca Raton, Fla.’s fourth time making the list.

Cincinnati-based Window Genie came in at No. 3721. It was the second year the company made the list.

  1. 2015 Tint-Off Winners Announced

Everyone loves a winner. In this case, there were three gold-medalists: Nick Abaro of Genesis Window Tinting in Elk Grove, Calif., took home the gold in the paint protection film division; Ricky Miller of Green Valley Tint in Henderson, Nev., won the gold in the architectural division; and Robert Turner of TintCo in Sparks, Nev., was awarded the gold in the automotive division.

  1. Lawsuit Claims Tint to Blame in Fatal Hit of Teen Jogger

Though a police report said tint was not the causing factor of this crash, Elvia Daniels, mother of the deceased, has filed a civil complaint against Jason R. Hills and “ABC Tint Shop” (a pseudonym given for the tinter, who has yet to be identified). The suit claims negligence for what she believes was the wrongful death of her daughter Jenna Daniels.

The crash happened on November 15 in Staten Island, N.Y. The suit is working its way through the New York State Supreme Court.

  1. Law Firm Tells Consumers Aftermarket Tint is Illegal

“Most experts agree that any aftermarket tinting is illegal.”

That statement was in a blog post by Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Barry P. Goldberg, which specializes in automobile accident cases.

“If someone believes they may have a potential claim, we want to let them know that we’re available if they need it,” Kristen Dennis, an attorney at Barry P. Goldberg, told Window Film magazine.

The blog only specifies “illegal” tint in select areas, but does mention California’s current tint laws, which require 70 percent visual light transmission for front windows. The back windows have no specified requirements.

  1. S. Government Turns Up the Heat on Window Film Usage, Testing

The federal government’s confidence in window film was evident in 2015.

Besides funding a new rating system from the Attachments Energy Rating Council, the Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a report “Windows and Building Envelope Research and Development: Roadmap for Emerging Technologies,” which includes window film as one of those technologies.

Specifically, the report lists window film as a “high priority” research and development area, stating films’ projected installation price less than or equal to $2 per square foot, is much more efficient than replacing an insulating glass unit. The performance target is to “demonstrate a reduction in the solar heat gain coefficient by greater than 0.4 with a visual transmittance bleached state greater than 0.6 for the residential sector and greater than 0.4 for the commercial sector.”

  1. Eastman to Take Over its Dealer Services, Distributorship

Dealers of Eastman Chemical Company’s film products, including LLumar, Vista and Formula One, will soon be serviced by the manufacturer directly rather than by Performance Film Distributing Inc. (PFD-Ohio). The change will be effective December 1, 2015.

The company will have “dedicated sales, customer service, warranty and technical service professionals assigned to each and every dealer – consistent with the rest of the U.S.,” according to Pam Feese, channel marketing communications manager.

“CPFilms appreciates and has enjoyed the partnership with PFD-Ohio,” said Travis Smith, vice president and general manager, CPFilms. “This new alignment completes the strategy of moving to a direct-to-dealer model in the US. We look forward to directly supporting dealers’ business needs and growth efforts.”

  1. SunTek to Relocate Two Major Distribution Centers

Commonwealth Laminating and Coating, the parent company of SunTek Window Films and subsidiary of Eastman Chemical Company, will relocate its distribution centers in two of the largest window film markets in the U.S.

The company’s south distribution center, located at 8560 Katy Freeway, Suite 174 in Houston, relocateed to 15110 Northwest Freeway, Suite 130 also in Houston.

The California distribution center, located at 825 North Shepard Street in Anaheim, Calif., moved to 4110 East La Palma Avenue in Anaheim.

“The move to larger facilities supports the continued increase in demand for our products and provides the capacity needed for continued expansion of our product offerings and use of window and protective films,” said Darrell Reed, commercial director for North America.
Top Blogs

As a bonus, here are this year’s top three blogs:

The No. 1 most-read blog for all of 2015 was written by Patric Fransko just a few weeks ago. In it, he points out a common error he sees in business practices.

Always a hot topic, Fransko laid out three ways tinters handle tint laws.

Our editor’s blog struck a chord with many tinters, most of whom said they have had help they trained become their competition.

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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  1. How can window tint shops/companies be protected from frivolous law suits?
    How can Tint be illegal in a state that allows for window tinting shops to open and pay business taxes?
    Why are manufacturers producing and sale limo film but at the end of the day is the small shop owner who can be sued? This doesn’t make sense to me.
    How can we protect our small business?

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