PPF Product and Technology Prevalent at Industry Show
By Katherine Coig
2018 may be in the rearview mirror, but the new paint protection film (PPF) products and technologies sported at industry shows last fall are a great indicator of where the market is headed.
Though PPF makes up just a fraction of the industry, it’s quickly gaining traction with plenty of room for growth. In recent years, PPF technology has focused on self-healing properties. However, if the 2017 SEMA Show is an indication, the trend is advancing, with companies developing top coats that accomplish even more. Here are some of the PPF products introduced and highlighted at the SEMA Show and the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT) in the fall of 2017.
Eastman Performance Films – LLumar Platinum and SunTek Ultra
A main attraction at the LLumar booth was LLumar Platinum, its latest self-healing PPF. The product features Hydroguard technology, a hydrophobic clear coat which works by preventing water and debris from embedding into the film.
“I think in terms of paint protection films, obviously the stuff we’ve done with the new products, getting to that 10-year warranty, getting to that superior performance in terms of durability and stain-resistance—I really think that’s where the technologies are going,” said Travis Smith, vice president of advanced materials and performance films at Eastman. “We’re seeing an emerging consumer awareness. I think it’s still an under-developed category at this stage, which creates a lot of opportunity going forward.”
SunTek had on display its newest product, PPF Ultra, which features a low surface energy top coat, which is designed to increase stain resistance and longevity, according to the company. The product was sported on a neon yellow-green Lamborghini—quite the attention-grabber among attendees.
PremiumShield – Elite SH
PremiumShield had on display its newest product Elite SH, a top-coated film which combines stain-resistance and self-healing properties into one product.
“Technology is really at the cutting edge right now where more and more consumers are already asking for self-healing,” said Jamie Werner, national sales manager and head trainer, “but with the self-healing, the other expectation is: Will it get dirty? Will it yellow? So for us, we’re trying to stay above in that cutting-edge technology to be able to provide both.”
Solar Gard – Clearshield Pro Hydro
Solar Gard previewed Clearshield Pro Hydro on a custom designed Tesla in partnership with builder Zero to 60 Designs. The film is equipped with a hydrophobic topcoat, which is on top of the company’s Clearshield Pro film, giving the film advanced stain-resistance properties, according to Kendall Combs, general manager of thin films.
“Within the window film business, PPF is the fastest-growing segment, at least from my perspective. It’s a really good segment for us; it’s a really good segment for the industry,” said Combs. “Consumer awareness is low. I mean, one of the benefits of the film is that it’s invisible.”
XPEL highlighted Ultimate, a self-healing film that features a special clear coat designed to prevent the PPF from discoloring. Eric Keller, business development at the company, also touched on the trajectory of the industry.
“A lot of the manufacturers are making a very clear product. They’re making it easier to use,” Keller explained. “What we’re seeing is more and more coverage area on cars you wouldn’t think of, so it’s the demand coming from the consumer. They used to just want the main impact areas covered. Now they want the full front and sometimes the full car.”
Ready for the 2018 PPF Division Tint-Off™?
The 2018 International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT) is scheduled to take place Thursday through Saturday, September 27-29, 2018 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.
Registration for the paint protection film division of the Tint-Off™ and the first ever Window Film Customer Service Representative (CSR) Competition is now open. Visit www.wfctevent.com to register for the competition and showcase your set of skills. Please note that no refunds will be given once you have registered for the competitions.
Katherine Coig is the editor of PPFMag.
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