Friend or Foe?
By Tara Taffera
“Why would I add a coating to my customer’s windshield if I want them to come back to me for their next replacement?” This is likely the thought of some auto glass company owners. On the flip side, if you search among auto glass Facebook groups you will see many people posting about “earning easy money” by offering products such as Aquapel, offered by PGW, for example. One described Glassparency as a phenomenal coating “tailored to independent shops and detailers.”
Dan Osborne, managing director, All Cracked Up in Tabernash, Colo., has offered Aquapel for at least ten years and is extremely happy with the results (for more on that, see box page 25).
“I don’t feel like I am competing with myself be-cause if a rock hits a windshield chances are if it’s going to break it will break.”
As these coatings continue to grow in popularity, customers may start asking you for these so it’s important to stay informed regarding all the options. A customer may even come to you with one of these coatings already applied to their windshield from the dealer. Diamon-Fusion is one such product, and the company also partners with Glass Doctor.
“Windshield coatings are definitely gaining in popularity,” says Syndi Sim, vice president of marketing and business development for Diamon-Fusion. “The technology coming out is far superior [to what] it has ever been. Customers also like the water repellency factor … And it is protecting the safety of passengers inside.”
If you are interested in pursuing the addition of coatings to your auto glass company, there are many options to choose from including those listed below.
Nano Liquid Glass Protector
Nano Liquid Solutions promotes its Nano Liquid Glass Protector as an add-on item for auto glass shops. Its windshield protection product utilizes a long-lasting formula that chemically bonds to glass and won’t rub off for up to four years, according to the company.
The product, which applies and cures to glass, is a water-repellent coating that reduces night glare by 34%, improves strength by up to 15%, increases scratch resistance and resists chips, pits, cracks and breakage, according to the company.
Finding Success With Coatings: One Company’s Story
Why do some companies offer coatings on the windshield? For Dan Osborne, managing director, All Cracked Up in Tabernash, Colo., it’s his perfectionist tendencies, and desire to serve the customer’s needs.
He has offered Aquapel for at least 10 years and before choosing this he looked into other products on the market, and this worked best for him in many areas, including the price point. (He also loved the single application sticks).
“I just installed it on my own truck” he says. It’s not like just new but it’s really close. I went with Aquapel because it’s not expensive for us or the customer. It’s a high labor mark rather than material. It is work to get it on and get the streaks out. But at the end of the day it’s worth it and adds $50-75 to the windshield price.”
But really, it simply makes the customer happy. “It helps because everyone is tickled when they get it,” says Osborne. “It’s a high satisfaction rate from the customer.”
When asked the reason customers choose the coating, he said most of the time it’s to protect the glass from breaking.
GlassParency is an ultra-hydrophobic protection for all glass surfaces. Unlike many wax-based or topical coatings, GlassParency is chemically engineered to react to silica within glass, creating a bond unmatched by the competition, according to the company’s website. Its product attributes go beyond just water repellency, making it ideal for any silica-based surface, in any climate or environment, the company adds.
Reduce Fingerprints with Nanoprint
Nanoprint, a new coating introduced by MetaShield, reduces fingerprint visibility by 70% on a variety of automotive glass, mirrors and touchscreen displays, according to MetaShield.
It is also a nanotechnology-based coating, and the company describes it as “a cost-competitive coating compared to alternative products in the marketplace.” The advanced thin-film provides added flexibility and durability that OEMs and application developers can apply with a simple, one-coat spray.
Nanotechnology from Diamon-Fusion
Diamon-Fusion is a low-maintenance protective coating that transforms automotive windshields into high-performing, weather-repellent surfaces, according to the company. Using a patented nanotechnology process, the product chemically bonds to the silica in glass, filling microscopic peaks and valleys. The result is an ultra-thin, yet resilient barrier that seals the surface of the glass, providing better visibility and reduced vehicle damage from harsh environments. The product repels rain, dirt and oil, protects against chips and cracks, enhances optical clarity and reduces nighttime glare, according to the company.
Shield and Strengthen with NanoShield
C-Bond Systems, a nanotechnology company that describes itself as offering products to improve and strengthen glass, offers the NanoShield windshield strengthening solution. The product received a top award at the 2019 Fleet Europe Summit, finishing among the top three of nine finalists.
NanoShield protects and strengthens windshields by permeating the glass surface and repairing the microscopic flaws and defects randomly distributed across glass that can ultimately initiate chipping and cracking, according to the company. The product is sprayed directly onto a windshield and then wiped off using a squeegee.
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