Bottom Line November/December 2021

December 6th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

5 Tips for Mastering Installation

By Daniel Chong

There can be a lot of wasted film—and embarrassing moments—on the road to mastering tint installation. I know from first-hand experience as a novice tint installer back in 1988 and from years working with pros as a leader of application training programs for our company. Here are tips I recommend to installers from beginner to advanced to help you reach and stay at the top of your game.

Master Your Products

Tint pros understand their products. They learn from hands-on experience, pushing the limits during installs. Their expertise is valuable beyond the bay, as they can answer customer questions about product manufacturing, technology and performance. This base of knowledge is developed with more than practice and time. You also need to take advantage of supplier resources. Sign up for training, talk to technical experts and follow suppliers on social media. Suppliers are always happy to assist you in mastering their products.

Learn About Glass Types

Not all glass is the same. Look out for sensors and black borders and address them carefully. Also, be aware that not all tints and glass types are compatible and advise accordingly. For instance, many customers ask about ceramic films, and they are more profitable products. But it’s better to recommend something different for heat-sensitive laminated roof glass. Metallized films are designed to control heat more by reflecting it, not absorbing as much as ceramics. This makes them a better choice for roof glass and can save your customer from a costly replacement.

Adjust Your Technique as Car Designs Evolve

Trends and technology in automotive design are constantly changing, which changes what’s needed to deliver an optimal installation. Lately, glass has gotten larger and started to creep more into a vehicle’s roof. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Adjust your technique bit by bit as car designs evolve, so you can continually deliver your best work.

Use Heat With Caution

This may be controversial, but I’m going to share anyway: it’s risky to use a blowtorch for heat forming. A blowtorch can negatively impact long-term product health. Yes, it delivers more intense heat and can make work go faster—but it can also overheat tint, harming the dye layer. When this happens, long-term durability is compromised. Many installers aren’t aware of this, and it can disappoint customers down the road.

Educate Customers For Their Benefit

No one wants to tell a customer they can’t have the tint they want because regulations prohibit it, and you must use your judgment about how to handle these situations when they come up. Remember informed customers can make the best decision for themselves. As an expert installer, it’s your job to share information to help them make decisions. They may not like it at first, but being knowledgeable and transparent creates trust. That’s never bad in an industry where referrals drive sales.

Now for the bottom line. There are prodigy tint installers out there with high levels of artistic ability, problem-solving ability and patience … but I’ve only met six in my 22 years at Eastman. Most of us need to commit to continuous learning and practice. What I’ve shared here will help you focus your energy where it  counts and get the most out of the work you put into elevating your
expertise.

Daniel Chong is a technical services representative for Eastman Performance Films LLC.

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

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