International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ Announces Change of Dates

The International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ 2020 has been rescheduled. The international event will now be held January 12-14, 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The city and venue have remained the same, only the dates have changed in an effort to give people more time to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This exciting event brings all segments of the window film and paint protection film industries under one roof for quality education, business-building and nail-biting competitions. Attendees will be able to learn about the latest industry products and services, forge new connections that will grow their professional networks and learn fundamental tools to enhance their business.

“We are pleased to announce these new dates and that the two award-winning venues, The Rosen Centre Hotel and the Rosen Plaza Hotel remain our host hotels,” said director of exhibits/events, Tina Czar. “Our city partners worked hand-in-hand with show management to lock-in new dates to be proactive with the current global concerns surrounding the Coronavirus,” said Czar.

Attendees and exhibitor/sponsors will be able to secure rooms for the group rate of $199 USD for the Rosen Plaza Centre and $189 for the Rosen Plaza Hotel per night single/double, plus tax and fees. When booking your stay at either hotel, please use Group Code “AGWFCT.”

“It’s been a difficult few months for the window film and paint protection film industries and we wanted to give our attendees and sponsors more time in the Fall to catch up on business, before holding the event,” said senior events director, Tricia Lopez. “Some amazing new enhancements are coming as well,” said Lopez.

For more information, or to register, please visit wfctevent.com. Contracts for exhibit space are now available. To reserve a booth display space, please contact Barry Atkins at batkins@glass.com or 540/602-3268.

Czar said that the show will be known as 2021 International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off from now on. “Dates for 2022 will be announced in a few months,” she added.

Additional details and information are available at wfctevent.com and within the social media accounts.

Industry Member Ken Vickers Passes Away

Ken Vickers, a longtime member of the window film industry, passed away very early this morning, reports Darrell Smith, executive director for the International Window Film Association. Vickers had been critically ill prior to his passing, and was resting at home in the past week with his family, says Smith.

Ken Vickers

Vickers had a long career in the industry which began as CEO of the former Courtaulds Performance Films, which was eventually bought by Solutia where he initially retired. After a short time, he once again started working in the industry, and later went to work as a consultant for Johnson Window Films. While working with Johnson, Ken served on both the IWFA Board of Directors and the EWFA Managing Council as the company’s official representative to each organization.

“He was sent here to the U.S. from Courtaulds,” said Smith “and as CEO of Courtaulds, he was an instrumental part of the founding of the European Window Film Association. He has always been very vocal throughout the industry and has touched a lot of people.”

“Please keep all of Ken’s loved ones in your thoughts,” said Smith.

Ziebart Automotive Services Breaks Ground in South Carolina

Ziebart of the Midlands officially broke ground on its first South Carolina location with the help of Hill Construction.

“We are thrilled to be the first Ziebart location in the coastal Southeast. Our passion for vehicles and high standards will ensure all customers are extremely happy with our services,” said Bob Morris, Ziebart of the Midlands owner.

The company will offer a full line of appearance and protection services for both interior and exterior of vehicles, including window tint, ceramic z-glass paint coating, z-shield paint protection film, sprayed on bed liners and more. Ziebart of the Midlands will be located at 10070 Broad River Rd., Irmo, S.C.

LA Specialty Plastics Manufacturer Makes Face Shields with Avery Dennison Film

Graffiti Shield Inc. carved out a niche cutting and manufacturing multiple-layer protective film products to help combat the rise in graffiti vandalism. But after years of solid growth since its founding in 2013, the company saw business fall by half within a few weeks after the COVID-19 shutdown.

The company thought about face shields as one possible new venture when one of its service accounts, a California hospital, called about procuring some film. Desperately short of protective face shields, the hospital had been trying to make its own by cutting film with scissors and trying to affix elastic bands.

“Knowing the production equipment we had, within a few hours we had designed and were cutting shields, completely changing the way we do business in order to help them,” Graffiti Shield president Mike Schuch said.

That first day Graffiti Shield produced 1,000 face shields. The next day the hospital placed an order for 5,000. The original design used an elastic strap to hold the transparent polyester shield and foam pad in place. But elastic was impossible to find, according to the company, so the team incorporated an adjustable strap secured by a Velcro fastener into the shield. To add a printed label to the top of the shield they turned to a product they were very familiar with: Avery Dennison Supreme Wrapping Film SW900.

Designed as a premium vehicle wrapping film, SW900 turns out to be ideal as laminate on top of a substrate that together compose the company’s anti-graffiti film products. It also proved perfect for branding the new face shield.

“The main reason we took the project on – besides helping out the hospital – was that we didn’t want to have to furlough any of our people,” CEO Jeff Green said. The company soon had to hire additional people to keep up with demand.

“It was about the assembly. We had to teach people who had never worked with adhesive vinyl film before how to apply the label to the polyester shield quickly but correctly so that the end product has a consistent, professional look with no tape line showing,” Green said.

The deciding factor was the film’s “air-release” adhesive that ensures no air bubbles are left behind when the film is applied to a surface.

“Most people perceive this film to only be for customizing vehicles,” Avery Dennison regional sales manager, Tamara Baumann said. “But I know of a lot of shops that use SWF for storefronts, walls, decals, and other commercial projects because they love the way it installs and do not feel the need to purchase a roll of cut vinyl.”

As of mid-April, Graffiti Shield’s production of the face shields was up to 3,500 units per day.

Government Relief Aid Begins to Trickle in to Film Companies

Many industry businesses have filed for one, if not several relief programs spanning from COVID-19’s impact. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is a part of the CARES Act, received the most applications. However, all $349 billion designated to it has been used, and although Congress is expected to approve more there haven’t been any announcements of additional approved funding – so have companies who’ve applied for relief received anything yet? Window Film magazine reached out to several companies to answer just that.

There have been a few who have applied for and have received financial relief from the government. Tommy Silva, CEO and president of T&T Tinting Specialists, Inc. (T&T), applied for PPP for his business and recently received funding. “Yes we received our PPP loan [funding] on April 15, 2020 and [we received] $10,000 [in the form of an] Economic Injury Disaster Advance Loan (EIDL) grant yesterday,” said Silva.

According to Silva, T&T will be closed until at least April 30, 2020. “Our auto side was deemed non-essential, but our flat glass side, which deals with the construction industry, was classified as essential,” Silva said. “We decided to close both divisions as I felt it was the right thing to do to slow the spread of the pandemic and protect our staff and clients.”

But T&T isn’t the only business that noticed financial help arrived, as Justin Beller of Meridian Window Tint, said the businesses is not only still “up and running” but has gotten the “full amount requested” for PPP. “We applied for a small amount and was granted the full amount,” Beller said.

“Our business is still operating. We’ve applied for PPP and $1,000 per employee,” said Paul Koceja of Auto Trim of Mid Wisconsin. According to Koceja, the only government relief his business has received has been from PPP.

U.S. Tint/Shadow Enterprises’ Mike Funk has applied for a Small Business Association (SBA) grant and has found difficulty applying for PPP. “[We’re] trying to apply for the PPP but no bank will take it right now,” Funk said. According to the company, it has recently received $5,000 of the EIDL grant, which according to the company, was supposed to be $10,000.

But not all window film businesses have been recipients of financial relief as Brian Arnett, Midwest Tinting president, said his company is still waiting.

Has your company seen any government relief, if so leave a comment below, or email eholcomb@glass.com.