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Avoid the price of graphics failure

Sign and graphics producers now have access to a high-performance solution that has set the industry standard in terms of cost effectiveness, quality and peace of mind for the owners of large commercial fleets. 3M's recently appointed Applications Specialist Andrew Gamble writes on how this has evolved.

Andrew Gamble from 3M

Large-format full-colour fleet graphics and vehicle wraps are one of the fastest growing forms of out-of-home advertising, bringing maximum visibility and impact for businesses and brands at a cost-effective price.

Fleet graphics advertising allows for unlimited levels of creativity, image enhancement, customisation and personalisation whilst also potentially increasing a vehicle's trade-in value when it is ready to be sold. Vehicle wraps can protect valuable original paintwork and be purposely removed without causing any damage once a promotion has run its course.

The success of fleet graphics advertising depends ultimately on the quality and performance of the components used. Without a reliable and comprehensive technical solution that covers every graphic component (film, protective layer, adhesive, ink and tape), end-user brands could be put at risk. Typical graphic failures seen on commercial vehicles include film shrinkage, cracking, tearing, wrinkles and bubbles, lifting around rivets and an inability to conform to irregular surfaces. So how can the danger of graphics failure be eliminated to ensure long-lasting customer satisfaction?

Car wrapped in 3M 1080Cv3 Satinblack Car wrapped in 3M 1080Cv3 matte orange

Finding a reputable manufacturer with known quality-tested products is the first step. Depending on customers' specific requirements, there are many different types of graphics products available but only certain manufacturers can guarantee that they will perform consistently in the correct combination and in the toughest environments likely to be encountered.

Diversified technology company 3M is a good example. The company has been a pioneering force in the commercial fleet graphics market for many years, offering high-performance graphic solutions backed by the strongest graphics warranty currently available. Manufactured under a globally renowned brand that epitomises trust, leadership, quality and innovation, 3M™ Scotchprint® Graphics solutions help eliminate risk and provide confidence and peace of mind. Using s series of 3M-developed matched components aligned to specific printers, they have set the industry standard and have been designed, developed and tested for ultimate durability and compatibility.

Only finished graphics that have passed the criteria of this stringent system of matched components and are produced by a 3M Scotchprint Graphic Authorised Manufacturer using 3M-approved printing technologies are then supported by the industry-leading Scotchprint Premium Fleet Warranty. This is unique to 3M and gives fleet owners ultimate confidence and peace of mind. In the unlikely event of a Scotchprint Graphics failure, a full replacement will be given under this warranty. Graphics will be removed, re-printed and re-installed as part of the solution provided by these approved manufacturers.

It is this level of control and technical support that enables 3M to guarantee that each graphic will perform to the required standard throughout its life expectancy. Warranty provisions are based on proprietary test methods developed by 3M over decades and include real world outdoor weathering. A key step to ensuring this level of performance is the choice of film. With the support of 3M Scotchprint Graphics Manufacturers, this task is simplified.

Selected partners have all completed extensive training, have been involved in the development of 3M products and have invested in the best converting machinery to ensure customers choose the correct product for a given application.

3M Controltac Graphic Film IJ380 is arguably the ultimate vehicle wrapping solution, offering outstanding conformability on surfaces with deep corrugations or three-dimensional graphics found typically on many commercial vehicles. Some films used for vehicle wrapping have failed due to lifting of the material in difficult recesses or cracking as a result of the high stress levels placed on the film during application. 3M Controltac Graphic Film IJ380 has demonstrated an ability to resolve these and similar problems and in consequence has become a preferred solution for vehicle wrapping specialists engaged in major branding projects.

For more information visit www.solutions.3m.co.uk/wps/portal/3M/en_GB/3MGraphics/GraphicSolutions/

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