THE SHOP

July '20

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44 THE SHOP JULY 2020 In general, what are the various skills installers need to master? Working with your hands, of course, is a must, followed by patience, cleanliness, film handling, knife work and learning to take pride in every job. Shawn Hobson, installation trainer for Energy Products Distribution and 3M, adds a few more: "Memorizing steps. Squeegee technique. Knowing what to look for." What are some common traits found among top installers? PPF and AWF installation seems to come easier to certain people, particularly those who can pay extremely close attention to detail and present themselves as reliable and professional. Another common trait that's maybe a bit more unexpected is a competitive nature— either with yourself, with others, or both. "It is common for top installers to have had a mentor and/or some sort of competition, whether friendly or fierce," reveals Moore. "Most top installers are always pushing themselves to perform as flawless of an installation as possible," adds Bergman, "even when there is never 100% perfection within this industry." What types of tools are used? Again, mostly what you'd expect: squee- gees, spray bottles, knives and razors, baby shampoo or installation gel, heat guns and cleaning supplies. Which areas prove to be the most chal- lenging? Squeegeeing over compound curves is at the top of most lists, followed by tackling larger areas such as rear windows (AWF) and hoods and bumpers (PPF). Moore has some more: "Learning the limits of the film, taking control of the film, and creating a heartwarming, quality end product." Can I really do this? While it's true that not everyone who wants to become an AWF and/or PPF installer suc- ceeds, the trainers agree that with hard work, dedication and a positive attitude, odds are you'll be one of the hundreds of new techni- cians who complete formal training and go on to rewarding careers each year. "Seeing students that have never touched window film or PPF gain a skill and learn a trade that changes their life is always memo- rable," Bergman says. "The change can come It takes approximately 20 installations after their initial training for installers to feel comfort- able tackling professional tint and PPF jobs. (Photo courtesy 3M) Proper training can lead to a lifetime of success in the film installation industry. (Photo courtesy 3M) Proper training and education are required, as customers want qualified workers doing the job right. (Photo courtesy Madico Canada) Once students have their "a-ha" moment, they can't wait to get out and start installing films on their own. (Photo courtesy Madico Canada) 44 THE SHOP JULY 2020 FILM SCHOOL SPECIAL REPORT: TINT & PPF

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