Archive for the 'Consumer Information' Category

CPFilms(R) Launches New LLumar(R) Auto Windscreen Film

ST. LOUIS, October 14 /PRNewswire/ —

– New Technology Protects from Solar Radiation and Lowers Cabin Temperature Without Reducing Visibility

Solutia Inc.’s (NYSE: SOA) CPFilms(R) subsidiary, the world leader in glass treatment film, today announced the launch of AIR Blue automobile windscreen film under its global LLumar(R) brand. AIR Blue dramatically reduces irreversible damage to human skin and vehicle interiors due to harmful ultraviolet (UV), visible, and infrared (IR) rays that penetrate ordinary window glass, while keeping the vehicle significantly cooler.

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LLumar Graffiti Shield

Fire services acknowledge: scratch-resistant film helps prevent accidents and save lives

Bus companies, public transportation services and even lawmakers were quick to question Llumar Graffiti Shield films’ ability to protect against injury in case of an accident. Instead, they feared that coated glass panes could impair their rescue efforts. An exercise carried out by the fire service of North Saxony has now provided proof of the film’s positive attributes: LLumar Graffiti Shield guards against glass fragments and simplifies rescue work as the coated panes can be removed in their entirety.
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CPFilms marketing the automotive film

In a promotional video for CPFilms’ automotive window film, a machine re-creates a side-impact car accident. It slams into a car that has a driving mannequin, and predictably, pebble-sized pieces of glass splatter inside and outside of the vehicle.

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Desperation -Cause and Effect

I received a call from a customer that I left a window film bid with the other day. No, she wasn’t calling to schedule the job… darn! Rather, she was calling to find out why my price was so much higher than the other company that bid on the job. I really appreciate it when a consumer calls back wants to know “why” in this case. The last thing I ever want to do is put pressure on a potential customer in order to close a sale, no way! To the contrary, I want to give this person answers, not just fluff but genuine answers to their questions so that she can continue in her decision making process.

So before I could answer this question I had to find out what I was being compared too. To my stupefaction I was not prepared to be totally blown away by the statement I was about to hear. “I had another company come out and the salesperson said All window film does the same thing so you should just go with the cheapest price you can find” she tells me. “He said that?” I thought to myself… unbelievable! In all my years in this business I have heard a lot of desperate and utterly ignorant comments from my competition in hopes of closing a sale but this one ranks among the classics and one of the most concerning. I will explain why in a minute.

Now I had to ask what film was it that came in at the cheapest price, so I inquired and come to find out she was shown two different brands of metalized film with a dyed layer that did cost much less than the metal-free dye free film that I had quoted her. So I explained that the differences in film technology often affects the price of the job because some films cost us more to buy than others. I offered to come out and install the competing samples on her window next to mine (the competition did not offer to do that for obvious reasons) so that she could see the difference of one film technology compared to another. I went on to assure her that I do not want to pressure her into buying the film that I am selling, I just want her to see the difference and understand why I am so ashamed to hear that another window film professional has lowered himself to the level of teaching a consumer that all films do the same thing so really the only thing you need to be concerned with is finding the lowest price which he just happened to offer (-Btw it was really low).

Let’s break down his statement. “All window film does the same thing so you should just go with the cheapest price you can find.” There is a little bit of truth here that is surrounded by a lot of vagueness.

  1. Not all window films do the same thing. We have solar control films that regulate solar energy, UV, and visible light. There are security films that retain glass, anti-graffiti films that protect glass, and decorative films that enhance glass. These types of films do not all do the same thing.
  2. In this case let’s go with what I think he was referring too and that is “all Solar Control Films” do the same thing. True, they all regulate solar heat gain, UV transmission, and visible light transmission. Does mean that they are all equals? No, absolutely not! If we are to state that they are all equals in what they do then we are also inferring that they will all perform the same, have the same lifespan, and look the same years after they are installed. That is totally false and completely misleading. “It would be like saying that all vehicles do the same thing so you should just buy the cheapest one you can find…” or “all couches are the same so go for the cheapest one you can get.” How many people agree with that logic? Like automobiles and furniture Window Films are constructed differently with materials that vary in quality, appearance, and longevity. For instance, is a dyed film going to look the same in ten years as a ceramic technology film that contains no dyes? One will be purple and the other will not, but they both regulate the same 3 solar bands so can we say they are the same? No, we cannot say that. Films with UV absorbers in the adhesive only will lose their low UV transmittance far sooner than films with the absorbers in the polyester and the adhesive, can these be considered the same after one loses a considerable amount of UV rejection? Cheaper polyester can be cloudy looking compared to higher quality polyester making one film hazier than the next, are they equals? Some window films outperform others in solar energy rejection and some are designed to let more visible light transmit while at the same tie rejecting as much energy as a much darker film. Clearly and much to the contrary all solar control window films are not the same and obviously not the same price for good reason.

I am blown away by the desperation and lack of salesmanship that can be found in our industry. It is truly saddening. No, I am not trying to put any manufacturer’s products in a bad light because this dealer could have been representing any one of a number of window film brands. I am simply questioning business practices and those that support such practices. What I see is desperation in a segment of this industry… from the top clear down to the retail level.

Desperation breeds falsehood and this is often accompanied with unreasonably low price points that do not allow for healthy business growth and sustainability. This translates to numerous bad consequences for the consumer. The effects are far-reaching and eventually erode the credibility of our industry. For instance, what happens if the consumer we mentioned above purchases the cheapest film they can find assuming that they “are all equals” and then several years later it turns purple, or the adhesive begins to fail, or the UV rejection goes from 99% down to 93%? When they start seeing these things happen what are they going to conclude about “all window films” because after all, they are all equal? Here where the ripple effect comes in, think about it… she has had a bad experience with window film and she believes that they are all the same because that is what she was told. So what will she tell her friends and associates? The effect of one window film dealer’s desperate attempt to close a sale is far-reaching.

In my opinion anyone that makes such statements and at the same time considers themselves to be a window film professional is nothing but a sham. Shame on them! And shame on any company that knowingly chooses to do business with such dealers. Is that how you want your products to be represented? Yes, suppliers implicate themselves by association and many of you know full well what your dealers are doing on the street. I’ve heard the excuses, “we cannot restrict trade so we have to do business with these companies…” What a crock! You guys know how to deal with it but you choose not too. And what about the rest of us? Do we do business with companies that support our shady competitors? If so, then we become part of the problem as well.

It is time to bring accuracy and relevance to the fore and to stop supporting anything that undermines the credibility of a product that can make a tremendous impact on energy saving, comfort, security, and sun damage. Our products are a green solution when it comes to upgrading the performance of glass versus manufacturing a new replacement window. Window film has a much lower return on investment when compared to other energy saving solutions and can usually be implemented for a modest cost. There are many well-made window films on the market that can meet or even exceed the expectations of most consumers so there is absolutely no ethical justification or need to propagate falsehoods in order to sell these films to the consumer. Let’s do our part and clean out the bad apples and maintain a good name and a healthy industry!

-vc

On-Angle Performance Measurements -My Angle

Well I guess it’s about time for me to address the whole “on-angle” Total Solar Energy Rejection measurement. As many of you are aware it is a measurement that is currently marketed by 3M to show the performance of their Prestige Window Film line. The whole premise is that the window film industry has always tested and derived the Total Solar Energy specification at 90° perpendicular to the glass. 3M reasons that the sun does not reside at 90° throughout the day, especially at the hottest part of the day, thus the need to create a film that in their mind performs better “on-angle.” So the need for an “on-angle” measurement arises and subsequently the specification finds its way into their marketing literature.

Despite the fact that the window film industry has never promoted such a measurement and the NFRC does not post angular performance data on the product certification labels, the general public is left to assume that this is a common measurement that sets one product apart from all others. The assumption gets propagated further when window film dealers add inaccurate statements and insert fiction into what is fact. For instance one dealer writes a rebuttal on their website in response to the statement:

3M’s total solar energy on angle spec is not supported by the National Fenestration Rating Counsel

Dealer’s Response: This is true but this is new technology. No other manufacturer (glass or window film) can rate their product this way. The two hundred layers in the new 3M Prestige window films with nano technology make this new on angle specification possible. All window film manufacturers measure the total solar energy rejected at a 90 degree angle to the glass.

Let us separate fact from fiction here…

Fact: The NFRC does not support the Total Solar Energy Rejection On-Angle specification. All manufactures measure the total solar energy rejected at a 90 degree angle to the glass.

Fiction: The statement that this is new technology and that no other manufacturer (glass or window film) can rate their product this way. Also the statement that it is 3M’s multi-layer nano-technology that make this new angular specification possible.

The reality is that any manufacture can easily report their performance ratings this way, if they wanted too. This specification is not made possible by the unique construction of Prestige Window Film’s multi-layer technology nor is the on-angle measurement a new measurement. Lawrence Berkley Laboratories has had software available for many years that gives angular performance data of window coatings and window films on almost any glass type available. This software and the measurements that result from it are recognized by the Department of Energy (DOE). 3M did not invent this measurement and neither did any other window film manufacturer for that matter. So let’s use this LBNL software and run our own test comparing “on-angle” performance data of a few films. This particular test was run on clear single pane glass .120 inch in thickness with some 70% vlt films that have their specifications listed.

Sun’s Angle

SHGC @ 0°

SHGC @ 30°

SHGC @ 60°

SHGC @ 80°

SHGC @ 90°

Prestige 70

0.503

0.499

0.427

0.188

0.00

Vista VS 70

0.476

0.471

0.404

0.178

0.00

V-Kool 70

0.440

0.435

0.373

0.164

0.00

What I’m seeing here is that there is on-angle data available for all 3 brands not just Prestige. The SHGC or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient is the opposite of the Total Solar Energy Rejection measurement. The lower the number, the better the overall performance. So ignore the fact that Prestige 70 gets outperformed on every measurement by the other two films, but rather, focus on the pattern. As the sun’s angle increases, the performance of each film increases as well. So much so that when the sun is directly above the window all of these films perform extremely well; they reject all of the sun’s energy! By the way… clear glass has a 0.00 SHGC at 90° too. Why? Obviously as the sun orientates to a higher angle above the window less energy transmits through the glass.

So this whole idea of a company’s technology making a new measurement possible or window film being designed to be unsurpassed by any other window films in on-angle performance is unfounded and inaccurate. Let’s give the consumer some dignity as well as some accurate and relevant data that will not fool them into believing that one product is something that it is not. Window Film Manufacturers can do this by adopting standardized performance measurements and using well respected third party agencies like the NFRC to verify these measurements. Window Film Dealers can and should educate themselves so that they do not propagate inaccurate and false information to the consumer for if they continue to do so, it will only serve discredit a product that is so badly needed in a time where energy conservation is vital.

-vc

Tipped Off!

Ha ha! Somebody has been reading my blogs. It seems as though the video in my IR Rejection Part 2 blog has been pulled from Youtube. Now my blog is lacking an example (Darn I really liked that blog) but that’s a good thing. Aside from making me look like a fool I think this shows the power of the internet. Blogging makes a difference! That is one less misleading video out there.

Kudos to the company that deleted their video, I hope you did it for the right reasons rather than to save face. Your new website looks good. Hopefully, it contains plenty of accurate and valuable information for consumers. We surely do not need anymore “slight of bandwidth” demonstrations.

-vc

Is it Accurate?

Accuracy counts… in some things.

-“He missed by a mile!

-“We were close…”

-“Looks good to me…

These expressions are one thing when stated by your sports caster or weatherman but quite another if you heard your accountant or surgeon make such statements. Accuracy is important, even vital in some instances.

The window film industry has suffered from inaccuracy, inflated paybacks, unfounded statistics, and misapplied specifications among many other things. For instance, how many times has someone misapplied single pane 1/8th inch glass specifications saying that a 15%vlt window film will block 80% of the total solar energy when the window that is being considered is dual pane? If you did then you certainly missed this one by a mile for the total solar energy rejected on insulated clear glass is closer to 71% not 80%! “Well, we were close” you may say… Hardly! What if this was a 40,000 sq foot project? The results would be different, one would be accurate and the other would be inaccurate.

This scenario can create a chain reaction of misinformation such as an inflated payback or ROI (return on investment). Statistical data becomes inaccurate when we do not take the time to generate factual data. We then have a problem because once someone discovers that we have taken liberties with specifications it erodes our credibility as a whole. It is much more beneficial to not only bring accurate data to the table so to say, but to also be able to verify that the data is accurate and explain why that is so.

For years now the window film industry has measured most of their published specifications on 1/8″ clear single pane glass. We blogged why this was the common practice and the reasoning and benefit behind it. There was always a need for a standardized specification and standardized testing that could be verified by a neutral 3rd party to be both accurate and at the same time recognized by agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE). This was a crucial step in leaving old practices behind and moving a head in the promotion of accuracy. It was also vital so that single-region measurements would not be mismarketed to the general public and misinterpreted as total solar performance data.

A landmark occasion has arrived for the window film industry. There is a neutral 3rd party organization to certify window film performance specifications not just on single pane glass but on dual pane glass as well. The National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) is a non-profit organization that administers the only uniform, independent rating and labeling system for the energy performance of windows, doors, skylights, attachment, and applied window film products. Currently, there are two window film manufacturers with certified products listed in the NFRC Applied Films Directory. This accurate data can be used to not only compare the total performance of one film to the next, but it can also be used to calculate the glass’ affect on building performance and the return on investing in window film.

We have come a long way from presenting our customers with a specification card that in most instances does not apply to their glass situation and yields an inaccurate result. NFRC Certified Films are now recognized by the DOE as an energy saving device and in time, will qualify to be rated as Energy Star products. Consumers can rest assured that they are being given the most accurate and relevant data to date so the they can be confident in their buying decision.

-vc