SOURCE: Gentex

November 05, 2007 08:25 ET

Gentex, PPG Dimmable Aircraft Window Shade on Display at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art

Gentex and PPG Electrochromic Shade for Cabin Windows of Boeing 787 Dreamliner Among Premier Design Innovations Selected for Exhibit

ZEELAND, MI--(Marketwire - November 5, 2007) - As part of an exhibition titled Design Life Now: National Design Triennial, the general public can get an advance look at the innovative electronically dimmable passenger cabin window shades developed for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner by Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ: GNTX) and PPG Industries' aerospace business. A window with the innovative shade is on display at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston along with over 300 examples of design excellence from organizations like Pixar, NASA, Nike and Herman Miller. The exhibit was previously on display at the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City.

Zeeland, Michigan-based Gentex Corporation, the leading supplier of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors to the worldwide automotive industry, partnered with PPG Aerospace to develop and manufacture the window shades for the fuel-efficient and passenger-friendly Boeing 787 Dreamliner. PPG Aerospace has the contract to supply Boeing with the electronically dimmable window shades for their first commercial aviation application in the Boeing 787.

The electronically dimmable window shades will allow the passenger seat occupant to control the amount of light transmitted through the windows at five levels, including completely clear, completely darkened, and three intermediate levels.

"Being involved with PPG Aerospace and applying our technology to enhance passenger comfort on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner demonstrates a creative use of our core dimming technology and electronics expertise," said Fred Bauer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gentex Corporation. "And, being recognized for innovation and design excellence by the National Design Triennial is also immensely gratifying. As an organization, we are honored to be part of this exhibition."

The new aircraft windows, which are 60 percent larger than most other aircraft windows, are dimmable through shades that use electrochromic technology, which utilizes electricity to darken a conductive medium between two layers of glass. The window panels and control systems combine Gentex's patented electrochromic technology and expertise in electronics and microelectronics and PPG's expertise and capabilities in aerospace transparency design, development, manufacturing and support.

PPG Aerospace and Gentex formed a relationship to commercialize the window shade systems. PPG Aerospace is overseeing testing and qualification, performing final assembly and marketing the systems.

About the National Design Triennial

Organized by the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Design Life Now: National Design Triennial is part of an ongoing series that presents the best work from the prior three years in product design, architecture, furniture, film, graphics, animation, science and fashion.

The Boeing aircraft window will be on exhibit from Sept. 28 through Jan. 6, 2008, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston as part of the third Design Triennial exhibition. The National Design Triennial is Cooper-Hewitt's largest exhibition ever, featuring over 300 examples of design innovation from 87 designers and organizations across multiple disciplines, including new technology, architecture, product design, robotics, fashion, and graphics.

About Gentex Corporation

Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ: GNTX) is an international company that provides high-quality products to the worldwide automotive industry and North American fire protection market. Based in Zeeland, Michigan, the company develops, manufactures and markets interior and exterior automatic-dimming mirrors that utilize proprietary electrochromic technology to dim in proportion to the amount of headlight glare from trailing vehicle headlamps. Many of the mirrors are sold with advanced electronic features, and approximately 96 percent of the Company's revenues are derived from the sales of auto-dimming mirrors to nearly every major automaker in the world.

About PPG

Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. The company employs more than 34,000 people and has 125 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates in more than 25 countries. PPG shares are traded on the New York and Philadelphia stock exchanges (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

Contact Information

  • FINANCIAL MEDIA AND INVESTOR CONTACT:
    Connie Hamblin
    616/772-1800

    GENERAL MEDIA CONTACT:
    Craig Piersma
    616/772-1800