Welcome to the March 2021 issue of Window Film News.
There’s a lot of ground to cover in this issue thanks to some major developments in the window film industry recently. But first, a warm welcome to our New Zealand members. The Australia and New Zealand chapters of WFAANZ were previously managed separately. In a bid to strengthen our collective power, all members will now be managed through the Sydney secretariat. Our New Zealand members have been added to the Find A Tinter page, and NZ info incorporated into our website. We’re already seeing the benefits of combining forces, and look forward to further developing our Trans-Tasman alliance.
New TAFE tinter training sets pathway to industry recognition
WFAANZ is working alongside TAFE NSW to offer entry-level automotive and flat glass tint training, covering fundamental theory and practical elements to lay the foundation for a professional career in window film. The two and three day courses will be launched in NSW in May 2021.
The program will be rolled out in other states in due course. There are three courses available to anyone keen on entering the industry, or in the case of the advanced course, those who wish to sharpen their skills and credentials.
TAFE Statement in Basic Training in Automotive Window Tinting. A three day course covering the basic skills and knowledge required to prepare and install window tint to vehicles. Incorporating face to face theory and practical delivery using the latest tools, equipment and materials. Course cost: $1419 inc GST.
TAFE Statement in Beginner Training in Flat Glass Window Tinting. A two day course designed to develop the basic skills and knowledge to prepare and install window tint to residential and commercial windows. A combination of face to face theory and practical delivery using the latest tools, equipment and materials. Course cost: $874.50 inc GST
TAFE Statement in Advanced Training in Flat Glass Window Tinting. A two day course to enhance your skills and knowledge to prepare and install specialty window film to residential and commercial windows. Participants must have either completed the TAFE Statement in Beginner Training in Flat Glass Window Tinting or have been in the industry for at least one year. Course cost: $907.50 inc GST.
WFAANZ President Ally Cronan comments, “For years tinters have asked me about independent hands-on training options for tinters, so these three new courses fill a wide gap in the marketplace. It also puts our industry on a pathway towards industry recognition, because pending the success of these courses, TAFE has indicated it will be open to working with WFAANZ in the future on broader training programs, like Cert II or Cert III qualifications.
“To be clear, these courses cover the basics only, you can’t attend a two or three day course and then open your own tint shop as it takes experience and skill to become a quality tinter,” Ally continues, “These courses will ease the initial training burden from an employer by equipping trainees and those new to the industry with knowledge of the fundamentals of window film.”
Being entry level courses, these three training options aren’t aimed at tinters with years of experience. Instead, flat glass tinters who have been the industry for years and who want to expand their credentials should consider WERS For Film accreditation.
If you’re interested in these training courses or if you have any questions, please contact Danielle Corti at TAFE Wollongong via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safety film passes the test
One of the easiest replies to the question “what does WFAANZ do for tinters?” is that the association protects our industry through representation. Here’s an example of why that function is so crucial…
WFAANZ Vice President Rob Hamilton has long been the WFAANZ representative on the Australian Standards review committees. He defends the inclusion of window film in the standards, with a goal to ensure the relevant provisions remain fair, reasonable and achievable to installers and suppliers.
Amendments to AS2208 are currently being discussed, with numerous considerations regarding window film on the agenda. One of these revolves around the accepted ‘lifespan’ of applied safety film.
As it stands, when safety film (with Grade A safety glazing certification) is applied to a window, that window then meets the criteria for a safety glazing material within AS2208.
The standards review committee wants to cap the lifespan of a window unit with applied (certified) safety film – in other words, putting a limit on the time that window retains its Grade A safety glazing classification. The other option was to remove safety film from the standard altogether.
So WFAANZ went to work. We needed conclusive, independent test results supporting our claims of durability to protect safety film’s place in the standard.
Our mission was to find examples of glass that had safety film applied 10 – 20 years ago, remove the glass and install a new pane (glazier), and send the samples to an independent testing laboratory for impact testing.
Led by Rob Hamilton and his team, six examples of glass with applied safety film were found at Southern Cross University in Lismore. The film had been installed by Dave Youngberry from Comfort Window Tinting 16 years prior.
Flat glass installers will be familiar with the two main Standards relating to window film:
AS1288 GLASS IN BUILDINGS – SELECTION AND INSTALLATION
Nominates the types of glass that must be used in different areas of buildings and types of buildings. It is referenced in the National Construction Code (NCC). The objective of the Standard is to provide uniform direction for the use and installation of glazing throughout Australia.
AS/NZS 2208 SAFETY GLAZING MATERIALS IN BUILDINGS
Sets out the test requirements for the classification of safety glazing materials for use in buildings. Test requirements are designed to promote safety and reduce/minimise the chance of cutting and piercing injuries. This applies to all safety glazing materials for compliance with AS1288. There are two types of safety glazing certification specified in AS2208, Grade A and Grade B. Grade A is the higher level certification. Many window film manufacturers have attained Grade A safety glazing certification for their 100 micron (4 mil) safety films and thicker. Certification of window films to AS2208 requires both an Impact and a Weathering test.
Rob comments, “Our thanks go to Dave Youngberry, who answered our call when we put the feelers out looking for safety film examples. He bent over backwards to get us the windows we needed to test, and he did this for no other reason than to do his bit to protect the industry.”
Stephen Borton, Solar Gard, was tasked with the job of transporting the glass. Staff at K&K Wilson glaziers, Goonellabah, helped rig up a roof rack system on Stephen’s car to securely drive the glass from Lismore to Azuma Design, a compliance testing facility at Wetherill Park.
Stephen commented, “The drive up was fine, but coming back was a slow process. I didn’t want to hit a pot hole or bump in the road as I was worried about damaging the glass on my roof, so I took it easy and spread the trip over a couple of days. I’d like to thank Kevin and his team at K&K Glass for helping me with the roof racks as they worked a treat.”
The panes were delivered to Azuma Design early March and the team there commenced testing.
WFAANZ recently received some great news – the Lismore samples passed the impact tests. The subsequent report from Azuma will be used to petition the Australian Standards review committee for a 20 year provision for certified safety film in AS2208 amendments. WFAANZ will keep our members updated on progress.
This is a prime example of the hours of behind the scenes work done by WFAANZ to benefit the entire industry. Without WFAANZ going to such lengths, it was a real possibility safety film could have been written out of the standard – closing the door on a substantial portion of the market for flat glass tinters.
Beware unverified film claims
While we’re on the topic of certified safety film…
Reported recently was an incident where an online supplier of film promoted its product as a compliant safety film. A Victorian childcare facility purchased the film directly online, and asked a local tinter to handle its installation. Luckily, the tinter was on the ball and asked for AS2208 safety film certification, which the online film supplier could not provide. The film was not used, and the childcare facility had to purchase new film.
You get what you pay for is as relevant to window film as it is to everything else. Repeat customers and word of mouth referrals represent a large chunk of a good tinter’s business, but that only works when quality film is used. You may find inexpensive product online or from an unverified supplier, but is the minimal cost saving worth the risk to reputation?
For more information and a list of WFAANZ distributor members, please refer to the WFAANZ website.
Keeping it legal in NZ
For our New Zealand auto members, WFAANZ has produced a fact sheet explaining the VLT regulations. This is a tool you can refer to when talking to customers about VLT, and importantly, outlines why you would be doing them a disservice if you didn’t comply with the regulations.
The fact sheet has been emailed to all New Zealand WFAANZ members, message me if you didn’t receive your copy. For this and all other WFAANZ fact sheets, visit our Resources page.
Federal government’s auto announcements
Automotive dealers employ more than 60,000 Australians, including 4,000 apprentices, and contributes more than $12 billion to the economy. The Federal Government made two major announcements this month in a bid to protect and strengthen the industry.
A new mandatory data sharing law to provide fair and equitable access to motor vehicle service and repair information was announced on March 24 by Federal Assistant Treasurer, Hon. Michael Sukkar MP, during a specially convened meeting between peak automotive organisations and Treasury Department officials.
The proposed new law will mandate that all service and repair information car manufacturers share with dealership networks must also be available for independent repairers to purchase. The legislation will remove grey areas in the current voluntary arrangements through a list of safety, security and environmental information that must be released to appropriate businesses, while laying out clear criteria for access.
The Federal Government also announced this month it will protect Australia’s family-owned automotive businesses from the power imbalance with multi-national car companies by introducing new financial penalties for wrongdoing under the Franchising Code of Conduct.
International car companies could cop a fine of up to $10 million if they systematically breach the Code. Breaches include unilaterally changing contracts, poor compensation and reneging on warranties.
Getting to know the hashtag
There are 4.2 billion active social media users in the world, nearly double as many as there were five years ago. Each day, those users spend on average 2 hours 25 minutes on their social pages. Savvy tinters are using social media to generate new business, so this newsletter will explore some of the ways to maximise your social media efforts. This issue, we consider the hashtag.
In social media terms, a hashtag is a word or keyword phrase preceded by a hash symbol (#). When using a phrase as a hashtag, you spell it out without spaces in lower case, such as #tintersdoitbetter or #wfaanzmembershipisamust. Hashtags can include numbers, but not symbols or punctuation.
First used on Twitter, hashtags are now common on other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
What do they do? Placing a hashtag at the beginning, middle or end of your social media post or comment allows what you have written to be indexed by the social media network. When used correctly, they help make your content discoverable by people interested in your topic, so people who are not your fans or followers can still find your content. Hashtags are a quick and easy way to extend your reach and grow your audience. #startusinghashtags.
Drivers in Trinidad and Tobago were given six months to ensure their auto tint complies with new VLT laws. If not, they’ll cop a $2,000 fine for one or more window and the windscreen, and a loss of three Demerit Points.
The new VLT limit is now 35% on the two front driver windows and 20% on the rears, just like in Australia.
COVID safe office renovations create new scope for tint
New England Window Film, Boston, used custom-printed window film to solve the ‘fish bowl’ effect that was created when over 400 glass partitions were installed for COVID-safety reasons in this open plan office.
QUOTES OF NOTE
“In Australia, the building industry is responsible for around 60 per cent of the waste we generate,” Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, Mirvac CEO & Managing Director. A massive environmental advantage of window film is that every time it is retrofit to a window, that unit is saved from being sent to landfill.
Cancer Council says tint on
“Clear or tinted films can reduce the amount of total UV radiation penetrating the tempered glass by over 99%. Tinting is recommended for work vehicles where practicable. The general public should also consider the sun protective benefits of window tinting for their vehicle.” Cancer Council Australia website.
Year round savings
“Summer or winter, window film is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to lower your energy bills – provided you choose the right product and have it installed correctly…Cheap DIY window tint is prone to bubbling, peeling, delaminating, and cracking.” Window Film – Don’t Wait for Summer, Santa Clarita Magazine, January 25.
The physical toll of tinting
Bad backs, shoulder problems, carpal tunnel, RSI – certain parts of the body in frequent use when tinting are prone to injury. While monitoring the US Window Film Professionals Facebook page, we came across an interesting thread where tinters offered advice on avoiding common tint injuries.
“Pay attention to your hands, elbows and shoulder. Carpel tunnel syndrome and pinched nerves are no joke. Wrap your squeegee handles and use an ergonomic handle.”
“Twenty years ago, my tint mentor told me not to hang a poly 2 spray bottle on the side of my tint pouch. I didn’t listen to him, and 20 years later my hip is still bothering me. So the advice is not to hang your bottle on your pouch and to listen to your elders.”
“Tinting since 1982. One hip replacement, need another one and a bad knee. I tell all the younger guys to take care of any issues that arise immediately and don’t put it off.”
“For elbow pain, have a physiotherapist assess the way you are holding your tools as there may be a minor change in position that could make all the difference with your pain.”
“Try clinical wrist exercises with a theraband to help strengthen the muscles and tendons.”
“I recommend that even though we have our favourite tools, discipline yourself to change the tools up from time to time, it will force your fingers, wrists, joints, etc. to work at different fulcrum tension points, giving the overused bits a needed break while you still keep slinging that tint.”
“Always use good knee pads for low windows.”
“Been tinting nearly 30 years. I had shoulder trouble it took a few years to recover and the change I made was to stop working above shoulder height, always use a step/trestle/platform but don’t press with your arms higher than your shoulders.”
“I used to wear a tool belt and it exacerbated a lower back injury. Now I take a small camping table to keep my tools near.”
“52 yrs old, tinting 30+ yrs, everything hurts, don’t get on your knees, using a rolling chair helps, water tank helps, stretch your hands, bend with your knees not your back.
“If it gets bad, professional massage on my hands, wrist, elbows and shoulders.”
“Stretch and take breaks, don’t stay in the one position too long.”
“I was told knee pain is from tight tissues on the outside of my thigh. Rolling on a foam roller can help.”
“Hand exercises make a huge difference, during the after work.”
“General exercise outside of work hours.”
“We had a job removing film from 1000 windows. Got tennis elbow for 6 months or so. I used the best tools and blades, but you have to grip hard. Someone needs to develop some better grips and narrower blades. 4” through old film is fine for 10 windows, but for more we need a 2.5” wide blade for survival.”
“I hope the manufacturers think about this (common tint-related injuries) while making new tools and inventing new installation techniques.”
Do you have any tips or tricks for fellow tinters on ways to avoid these common complaints? Or a story you want to share as a ‘what not to do’? Let me know via email email@example.com as WFAANZ is setting up an OH&S page on the website, and will keep it updated with information and comment from our Australian and New Zealand tinters.
Thanks to Andrew Snowdon, About Windows, for the heads up regarding this story.
After I had my car window tinted my back screen got white bubbling along the bottom of tinting. I took the car back in to the tinters and was told that it can happen sometimes. Is that normal?
The lighter blue shades along the bottom (as seen in the image below) is the film not being able to come in contact with or adhere fully to the glass because of the window’s ceramic frit. It is not the film bubbling.
The perfectly round and consistent circles are a ceramic frit applied to the glass at the glass manufacturing stage.
Below the line of circles is full ceramic frit and you can see it is the same colour as the circles. This is just an aesthetic technique used by glass manufacturers to feather out the look of the black ceramic frit around the edges. Because these ceramic frit circles are on the glass surface and have a thickness, when you install window film over the top the film may not always be able to bend and conform around all the circles to reach the glass in between. The affect then is some of the film is fully adhering to the glass (that’s where it looks dark in between the circles) and some of the film is not sitting down on the glass (where you see the lighter sections).
This differs from car to car and depends on the thickness of the ceramic frit – the thicker the circles, the harder it is to get the film to bend over the circles and fully conform to the glass.
With attention to pushing down the edges of the film it is possible to reduce the raised sections. Please note however, the result as shown in these images is not uncommon as the thickness of the ceramic frit can be very uneven. If the ceramic frit is thick enough, it can be very difficult to get full adherence to the glass.
Window film webinar explores the energy impact of film
WFAANZ has been approached by Design Matters National (DMN), a professional body for building designers, energy assessors and related industry professionals. DMN runs a professional development program for thermal performance assessors (TPA), and is organising a two week intensive CPD webinar program in June.
WFAANZ has been invited to present a webinar session to TPAs about window film, to address the fact there is currently little to no information on window film in the current DMN library/archive.
The webinar will involve a WFAANZ technical advisor delivering a live, 45 minute presentation and Q&A session to 60-70 TPAs. The session will be recorded and available for future reference to DMN members.
The session will cover the energy impact of film, WERS For Film, technical aspects, NatHERS and applications, leaving TPAs with the knowledge of how, when, where and why they should recommend window film during energy assessments.
Window film star
Have you seen the latest WFAANZ window film video? It depicts a stunning job at a Noosa golf club resort, where window film was cleverly used and impeccably installed to solve glare and heat issues. Huge thank you to Trevor Comacchio, Briteway Window Tinting, for the footage. It’s a great example of how WFAANZ can act as your marketing arm – send in raw footage and we will create a snappy social media video you can use to promote your business.
Welcome to WFAANZ
Talk Tint, Moorabbin, Victoria
VIP Window Tinting, Victoria
Unique Window Tinting, New South Wales
PFD, a new WFAANZ distributor member
Directory of tinters
The Find a Tinter page on the WFAANZ website is used by consumers searching for local tinters they can trust. Each WFAANZ member gets a dedicated web page with their logo, contact info and a blurb promoting their business. Just a reminder to all our members to check your listing and ensure the information is current. We recently added a New Zealand members section, and encourage all our New Zealand members to visit the site and review your new listing to ensure you don’t miss out on business leads.
Tinter employment network
A topic on everyone’s mind lately: employment and retention – finding good tinters and keeping them. Two services you may not know WFAANZ provides – we have an online employment page listing jobs; and we have a contractor directory.
The contractor directory is for WFAANZ members only, you can find it in the members only area of the website. It lists the tinters who are available for contract work. While the list is only accessible to members, you don’t have to be a member for a free ad on the directory. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re an experienced tinter and you’re interested in promoting your services in this way.
Looking for tinters…
The Tint Joint, Berwick: Need a fulltime, experienced auto and flat glass tinter. Ability to cut and fit tint with exceptional attention to detail. Team player, hard working, reliable, strong customer skills, well presented and trustworthy. Fully licensed and able to drive a manual vehicle. If you’re interested please call Kerrie on 03 9796 2166 or email email@example.com.
The Window Protection Specialists, Sydney Metro: Flat glass tinter with at least three years’ experience wanted for contract arrangement, frequent work across the Sydney metro area. Must have own transport. Contact Arthur Rom, 0414 852 648.
Talk Tint, Moorabbin, Victoria: The well established team at TalkTint is looking for an experienced flat glass and auto tinter keen on joining a fast-paced, high standard tint shop with an innovative approach to tinting. Bonuses for exceptional work, daily lunch paid and included, some flexibility with hours and also opportunities for overtime. Must enjoy what you do, be a team player and keen to grow with our business. If this is you, please send through your application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for the shots
WFAANZ recently called out to tinters, asking for images of jobs your proud of. Huge thank you to all our members who responded, sending in a whole range of great visuals depicting different locations, uses and benefits of film. They’ll be used on social media, in our gallery and to accompany stories – and our members will be credited, giving them exposure and publicity. It’s one of the ways working with WFAANZ can extend your reach. The pictures can be texted to me if they’re on your phone, or emailed to email@example.com. This one (right) of a trade school at Penrith was sent in by Clarke’s Tinting.
A reminder that WFAANZ produces 35% VLT cards, available for purchase through the secretariat.
The cards are sold to tinters, police departments and automotive product retailers around the country. Members enjoy a significantly reduced rate
Contact Deb for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.