SEMA Goes Virtual

August 12th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

By Emmariah Holcomb

No matter how long you’ve been in the industry, the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) show is something everyone in the automotive aftermarket looks forward to. Every year attendees fill each hall and cram through the aisles just to see and demo the latest products in the market. This is usually the time when you’re getting ready to finalize your plans to head to Las Vegas, though COVID-19 has changed all of that.

The association announced on August 5 that it was cancelling its 2020 event. Not long after, organizers announced a virtual platform–SEMA360–to take place November 2-6. The decision to take the show in a new direction was decided after industry members expressed a need in the absence of the 2020 SEMA Show, according to a show press release. “SEMA360 is the ideal solution to bring the industry together, at a time when we’ve all been kept apart,” says Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “The platform allows qualified buyers to interact with manufacturers, see innovative new products, check out top SEMA Show builds, and take in industry-leading educational offerings.”

As of October 5, however, the list of exhibiting companies for SEMA360 was short. Those that relate to window film and paint protection film include CARIGHT Tint & Wrap Tools Manufacturing Ltd.; Ceramic Pro; Opti-Coat (supplier of ceramic coatings); Scorpion Protective Coatings; STEK Automotive; Sharpline Converting Inc.; and Wintech Window Films. For the most up-to-date list go to semashow.com

Organizers say there will be online seminars, but as of press time that list of sessions was not available on the website, though they did confirm a session on How to Add Vehicle Wraps to Your Business will take place on Friday, November 6 from 2:00-2:30 p.m. The session will provide attendees with an overview of the vehicle wrapping market and future trends as companies consider bringing this offering to clients. The course will include valuable information on the type of equipment, tools and space requirements needed as well as resources for application training and certification. Strategies on marketing and selling vehicle wraps will also be discussed, according to SEMA.

SEMA in Vegas: What You Would Have Seen

Window film companies plan new product introductions to unveil at SEMA well in advance. So when the show was canceled in early August there was no longer a place in 2020 for companies to unveil these innovations. WINDOW FILM magazine reached out to exhibitors to bring you what you would have seen on the show floor if the show had gone on. Please note that as of press time, none of the below companies had signed on for SEMA360, and several even told us they had no plans to exhibit in the virtual showcase.

Avery Dennison: New PPF Additions

Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions (ADGS) planned to showcase two of its newest additions to the company’s paint protection film (PPF) lines: the neo and Supreme Defense. Both films protect a vehicle’s surface from things like stone chips, road debris, insect stains and weathering while also enabling designers to create customized looks for their customers.

According to the company, neo is a wet apply, solid color PPF line of films with a unique polyurethane and adhesive technology that gives vehicles a smooth original equipment manufacturer (OEM) paint-like finish while also protecting the surface. The first color in the product line, neo noir, is a black film with noticeable color depth and a rich pigment.

“We created the neo line with vehicle owners, PPF dealers and of course vehicle wrap installers in mind. We look forward to a new wave of wrap and design artistry and an expanded market for paint protection films, starting with neo noir,” says Abby Monnot, ADGS North America marketing director.

The Supreme Defense matte film combines the same paint protection while having a different visual effect. This film is designed to preserve and protect a flat factory finish.

Both products have a self-healing top coat that absorbs impact from scratches and debris, and both provide long-term durability of up to five years, according to the company.

“We’ve heard for a while about the need for an accent film with an OEM paint-like finish, particularly when it comes to black,” says Monnot. “We also know that many shops are adding paint protection film or wrapping film to their business models.”

SunTek and LLumar PPF: Innovations and Portfolio Roundup

Eastman has developed a PPF portfolio that includes gloss and matte finishes, thicker and higher impact resistance options and have numerous SunTek and LLumar PPF innovations right around the corner. The company supports its dealer network with tools and solutions for smoother and faster installations.

Since the company manufactures its PPF from start to finish it says this expertise gives its team an advantage to innovate and offer products that impact its dealers directly, such as its 72-inch PPF for one-piece installations on larger hoods, and its new Hi-Tak installation solution that helps create faster initial tack during installs.

The company says attendees would have seen its full PPF portfolio, latest offerings and an overview of how Eastman meets its dealers’ needs for everything PPF. It also planned to share its progress with Core, its pattern-cutting software program.

Madico Offers Product Variety

Madico had a variety of products ready to take to Vegas, and that includes a PPF, two nano-ceramic films and windshield protection.

Protekt PPF is a clear paint protection film with a scratch and chemical resistant top coat that is designed for exterior application on vehicles, boats, jet skis and RVs’ paint surfaces. The company says its durability, easy installation and protective qualities against road debris and other flying objects make it a superior choice. It can also be cut easily with Madico’s MACS system and other plotters to provide a tailored fit to any vehicle surface. The film’s proprietary top coat resists scratches, chemicals, and pollution, and it’s manufactured with a cap sheet to protect it during shipping and storage. This film is also backed by a seven-year warranty.

ClearPlex windshield protection film is an optically-clear, impact resistant exterior film for vehicles that protects against cracks, chips, and scratches. Although it is ideal for luxury cars, it can also be used on bus fleets, trucks, recreational vehicles, and construction equipment.

The company says Wincos 2-Ply offers high heat rejection without the look of dark tinted windows. It is able to block 99% of ultraviolet rays and its metal-free construction guarantees that it won’t interfere with the technology in modern vehicles. It’s available a 60-inch roll size and has a manufacturer’s warranty in North America.

The Black Pearl nano-ceramic IR film was also on track to be a show highlight, and also offers heat rejection technology. The film is available in a variety of VLT’s that the company says can help minimize glares. This nano-ceramic film also includes a manufacturer’s warranty in North America.

Maxpro: New PPF and Hybrid Option

Maxpro Window Films was set to highlight two products at SEMA. The company describes MaxArmor PPF as constructed to defend vehicles from every element and has outstanding clarity, is easy to install, is scratch, mar and stain resistant, and resistant against turning yellow, the company says. The product also has a self-leveling hydrophobic surface, long lasting glass and cleanliness, durable and is tough. It also comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

Maxpro XCL Pro window film is a hybrid, multi-layered option that offers longevity over traditional dyed and dyed metal products, low reflectivity and increased IR rejection, and has a proprietary construction that the company says won’t interfere with satellite and radio reception. The product comes in VLT’s from 5% to 50% and offers a limited lifetime warranty.

Editor’s note: Avery Dennison, Eastman and Madico will exhibit in Orlando during the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off to be held January 12-14. wfctevent.com

Emmariah Holcomb is the assistant editor of WINDOW FILM magazine. You can reach her at eholcomb@glass.com. Editorial director Tara Taffera contributed to this report.

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