We recently released two new automotive window film lines in North America: NR and NR Nano Ceramic IR. In order to introduce some of the amazing capabilities of the films, we asked Dr. Golan A. Tanami, R&D Project Manager for Avery Dennison Window Film, for insight on the new product lines. See what he had to offer!
Most professionals in the window film industry don’t come into contact with the development process of new window film products. Dr. Golan A. Tanami, as the R&D Project Manager your background is in materials engineering with nanocomposite materials. What does that mean exactly?
Dr. Golan A. Tanami: Material science is the study of a material’s properties at the molecular level to understand its micro-structure. When you understand how a material works from a molecular level, you can understand how to manipulate its molecular structure in order change the material’s behaviour at a macroscopic level. I like to call this, from micro to macro. For example, part of my PhD dissertation dealt with how I could make a lightweight substance stronger. By studying a material at the molecular or ‘nano’ level, I was able to increase the tensile strength of a material significantly.
How does the product development process from your academic study transfer over to your work in the commercial sector?
Dr. Tanami: They are similar, because in both cases we have an end result in mind that we want to reach by manipulating viable materials. As a team, we decide the specs we want for our new product. We begin by asking ourselves: Why does the market need this product? What added value could the new product provide? Once we decide on the “why” and “what,” we turn to the “how.” This includes a review of available materials and which ones have the highest chance of success.
What’s involved in screening materials?
Dr. Tanami: Once we think we have found a suitable source for a material, we must validate it in factory line trials to make sure it meets our basic requirements for both performance and practicality. To put things into perspective, an extreme example could be that we find a perfect substance that offers all of our performance requirements but only has a 1-month shelf life. Other reasons for disqualifying materials include that they are too expensive and would render the product too costly to our consumers, or the material presents too many handling challenges to be practical.
Our basic requirements for window film products are already extremely high in order to maintain our company’s reputation for providing excellent quality window films. At Avery Dennison, we demand that all of our window films deliver excellent solar performance, optical clarity and material handling.
Does the product development process end at the R&D door?
Dr. Tanami: Not at all. Developing a product is a holistic process which includes consideration from professionals across the engineering and production process teams. Throughout product development, many specialists provide their input, taking into consideration how the window film is manufactured, how it looks, behaves and performs.
What was the R&D strategy behind Avery Dennison’s recently launched new automotive window films: NR and NR Nano Ceramic IR?
Dr. Tanami: In developing products NR and NR Nano Ceramic IR, we wanted to offer excellent value to consumers in two very different product categories.
NR is an entry level window film with very good solar protection, glare reduction and comfort performance. The product has convenient installer features like optimal shrink capabilities and excellent dot matrix fitting. This coupled with its metal-free construction prevents signal interference and makes NR a great product for this category.
NR Nano Ceramic IR is the premium automotive window film from Avery Dennison. When developing this product, we wanted to achieve excellent performance in solar protection and consumer comfort in an exceptional looking window film. NR Nano Ceramic IR is engineered with the latest nano ceramic technology for solar performance and outstanding durability.
Creating new products is a careful and long process of trial and error. We find creative solutions to surpass each challenge, and we make excellent products that provide consumers with value that they can see and feel. It’s very exciting work.
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