The SEMA Experience: We Came, We Saw, We Learned

August 9th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

By Emmariah Holcomb

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is the mecca of everything aftermarket all in one show, and it’s always located in one of the
most well-known cities in the country – Las Vegas. As always, it was a challenge to try and see as many industry-related companies as possible during the annual four-day event located in the Las Vegas convention center.

All Eyes On PPF

There were several highlights throughout the 2019 SEMA show and paint protection film (PPF) was a big one, with crowds weaving in and out of the aisles just to learn about the newest offerings.

Eastman highlighted its PPF Ultra Defense, which the company states is thicker, more durable and offers a first for the industry – a 72 inch PPF made for larger hoods.

Global Window Films debuted its new PPF, which has a repositionable pressure sensitive adhesive. The adhesive, according to the company, makes installing the film easier. Some of its key features include:
• Anti-yellowing;
• High durability levels; and is
• Optically clear with removable adhesive.

Maxpro took a small but mighty approach to its latest PPF, MaxArmor, with compact toy car models featuring the film. Elizabeth Dillon, sales and marketing executive vice president, mentioned MaxArmor is made to protect against rocks, insects, and more. “MaxArmor is clear and practically invisible, but is also strong enough to protect a vehicle’s paint in any weather,” she said.

Solar Gard’s Clearshieldpro Hydro was popular. National sales manager Rob Garlo mentioned its unique property, which allows water to bead up and roll off of a vehicle’s surface. This property, according to Garlo, allows a vehicle to be better maintained from the elements.

Hexis had several things for attendees to learn about, including its newest PPF offerings— Bodyfence. The company’s latest product protects against outdoor pollution, minor scratching, acidic rain and more. Company representatives highlighted Bodyfence’s availability, which can be found in both matte and gloss finishes.

Madico didn’t waste any time informing all who stopped by its booth about one of its products. “Our Protekt PPF is one of the fastest growing products for the company, and installers really like the ease in installation,” said Tom Elley, national sales manager.

Nexfil gave out samples of its Easy Tack PPF, which seemed to be something attendees were interested in. According to the company, it has a “special adhesive,” prevents against yellowing and discoloration.

No matter what day or time of the show there always seemed to be overflowing crowds that filled the XPEL booth. For another year, the company showcased a rare luxury vehicle with a $2.6 million price tag that everyone wanted to touch.

“This year we have a rather unique car, as usual as it’s one of 100 manufactured–the Pagani Huayra Roadster. That’s not the only thing we’re excited about though. The company has launched a new 10 mil PPF in addition to working on an all new interior film,” said Chris Hardy, Mid-Southeast manager. There will be more to come on the interior film in 2020, as the company already has more than 1,800 interior patterns already completed, according to Hardy. The goal, according to the company, is to protect the interior finishes as well as protecting the outside to create a seamless overall look and feel to any vehicle.

PremiumShield focused on the accessory side of PPF, as it featured a black film ideal for headlights. “We went with a dark approach to PPF this time around with our new line, and installers can even use it as another option for pinstripes, taillights and more,” said Jamie Werner sales manager and corporate trainer.

SolarFree Window Film took a walk on the paint protection film side, as it introduced a new PPF at the show. Ryan Shin, general manager, mentioned the film has a 10-year warranty and is made with quality installations in mind. The company also began making films for vehicle headlights, which according to Shin, is not dark enough to cause issues.

New Products For Everyone

It was a welcomed challenge to try to keep up with the new offerings launched at the 2019 SEMA show as many announcements came right after another.

Wintech Window Film Technology focused on its new carbon films. According to representative Dennis Kim, customers will get a very consistent amount of heat rejection when having the new X900 ceramic IR film or the X200 true carbon film series installed on their vehicles.

“We’ve found that carbon films are the main things consumers are looking for, they know what it provides and they want to have it. So many companies are featuring new carbon lines that it seems like it’s the bare minimum for consumer protection,” he said.

Kay Premium Marking Films USA (KPMF), introduced three new film colors to attendees, which were:
• Atlantic Pearl;
• Matte Burnished Bronze; and
• Matte Platinum Dark Sage.

“We try to launch new colors each year to be ahead of the trends in the industry,” said Ryan Sciclowicz, KPMF business development and marketing manager.

KDX window film representatives spent time educating attendees about its newest King film series. “People have been loving it especially on the commercial side. We’ve even gotten a lot of interest on using our films for cruise ships,” said Yan Ortiz, senior marketing inside sales manager.

FM Co., Ltd.’s overseas sales general manager, Andy Son, mentioned the need for a 72-inch film and why the company decided to invest in producing it.

“There are so many benefits to having film at that size, with 72-inch film it can be cut by 2, making it 36 inches which can help reduce the amount of film loss on installations. That’s the main item we’ve been pushing at this year’s show, as many were asking about it in 2018,” said Son.

American Standard Window Film (ASWF) showcased new window film options. “Our Dimension HD 85 window film has one of the highest light transmission levels in the industry. It’s a higher end film that has new and better quality than some of our previous films, and it’s been very popular,” said Andrew Park, sales representative.

According to Park, the film has a visible light transmittance of 83% and protects against ultraviolet rays by 99%.

The company also offered a timed wrap challenge to see who could install its film in the shortest time possible with minimal bubbles. The fastest time of the first day was just over three minutes, according to Park.

MUTOH had all eyes on its two new printers, the Xpert Jet 1641SR and the Xpert Jet 1682SR. According to company representatives, both printers have upgraded touch panels, integrated LED lighting, can align automatically, and can be used for wraps, signage and more.

XSUN Window Films chose to be a “one stop shop” when it comes to the industry, as it had a little of everything on display in its booth for another year.

“It seems like we always have a lot for show attendees to see and this year we have ceramics, carbon, HP, and our hybrid films for automotive and we have out higher end reflective residential films. What’s crazy is this is our first year debuting wraps. It seemed like a natural fit because we also make tools for installers too. We wanted to make our customers feel confident in sticking with us for all of their film needs,” said Analeyda Cordero, marketing manager.

Avery Dennison featured its Supreme Wrapping Film portfolio that had more than 120 colors and textures. The product line is known for its long-term removability, fast positioning and cost-efficient application, according to company representatives.

Staying Safe With Film

There were a few companies that brought safety to the forefront through its film offerings. While many offered special films for the vehicle’s body, one focused on film for a car’s windshield.

Sican representatives spent time educating attendees about its safety film.

“We don’t have anything new to show this year so we have been mainly talking about how durable our films are,” said Shellanie Hsu, overseas sales division representative.

Targe Industries focused on its ClearPlex film, which not only protects the windshield, but also the driver. According to the company, its windshield protective film absorbs road hazards and helps to avoid breaks in auto glass. Since it’s optically transparent it provides better visibility and prevents windshield deterioration, according to the company.

Keeping Up With Trends

Both Johnson Window Films (JWF) and 3M shed light on some of the latest industry trends. First, of course the annual JWF beetle challenge captivated the morning crowds before conversations began to turn.

“One thing we’ve been seeing a lot of is consumer product awareness. Often times they’re coming in knowing a little bit about various films and having that knowledge base gives them the ability to drive the market,” said William Davidson, representative.

Davidson also mentioned the rise in ceramic films, which 3M agreed with.

“This year we featured a new ceramic film and the demand has been high. It’s like the consumers already knew this is what they wanted and we delivered,” said Tim Boxeth, representative.

Start Prepping For 2020

The SEMA show experience was filled with learning at every turn in Vegas, but just because the 2019 show is over doesn’t mean the learning stops, as companies are still working on fine-tuning new industry products and films. If you want to see more of what the show was like, head to windowfilmmag.com and click the studio tab. There you can watch all of our coverage and prepare for this year’s show. The 2020 SEMA Show will return to Las Vegas on November 3rd and run through November 6th at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Emmariah Holcomb is the assistant editor of WINDOW FILM magazine. You can reach her at eholcomb@glass.com.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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