Customer Training: Signs for Success - Spokane WA (9-18-2018)

They seemed very open and excited to using SLX. I recommended for them to use Series 3220 as laminate and start with full side wraps before fully transitioning to using SLX for all vehicle graphics.

Denise Gillit ? Production Manager
TJ Cruz ? Wrap Factory Manager
Chris, Ruben, Gordon, Josh, Rich ? Installers

Sun Supply

Signs for Success tried Avery wrap films but experienced laminate adhesion issues for both latex and solvent. They have HP L360 and Roland TruVis 640. Now they?re mainly using 3M IJ180 for vehicle wraps which is 25% of their current business. Of that 25%, 60% are print-cut and 40% are for full-side or large panel wraps. Their wrap projects are also evenly split between passenger vehicles, box trucks, cargo vans, and trailers.

Noted challenges with current product (3M IJ180)

  • Adhesive lines/rings when applying over an obstruction
  • Tight liner release which stretches the graphic
  • High material cost making them less competitive in the market

Best Practices already in place:
  • Outgassing
    • Taking the roll out of the printer, loosened, and stored vertically.
    • A fan blows air from top to bottom overnight
    • Laminated the day after outgassing
  • Vehicle preparation procedure
    • Spending up to half a day prepping the vehicle
    • Degreasing with diluted vinegar solution and final wipe with denatured alcohol
    • Clay bar to remove contaminants embedded in the paint
  • Post-heating
    • 3-4 hours spent just post heating and never skipped
    • Flashing the flat areas with a torch to accelerate adhesion build and check for bubbles

Questions Asked:
I spent the first hour and a half asking questions about their business, likes and dislikes with their current product, what they want to get out of the training, and entertained questions from them as well. Here are some of the questions they asked that I can recall:
  • What?s the proper outgassing procedure, how long does it truly take, and how do we know it?s done outgassing?
    • A generic rule for outgassing time is with the roll take out of the printer, loosely stored vertically, air flowing through the roll, and outgassing overnight.
    • However, setting a fixed time on when outgassing is complete varies from project to project. It highly depends on the design?s ink saturation, profile, media, and environment.
    • One can measure the solvent in the air by using a costly VOC meter. Other than that, one can only tell by the feel and odor of the film.
  • What can possibly happen if the film was not properly outgassed?
    • The base film?s adhesive will be severely weakened and the film itself will be very soft.
    • The laminate may have difficulty in adhering to the print, bubbles will occur between the print and laminate, cloudy/hazy appearance over time, or laminate separation during removal.
  • What makes the laminate not stick on the print?
    • Proper laminate-to-print adhesion is determined by the combination of the print media, profile, ink curing, and laminate adhesive.
    • What I?ve found in many cases is the profile was not optimized with its corresponding media making sure that the print sufficiently dries when it comes out of the printer. This is especially true for 3rd gen HP latex printers.
    • If the print is not (or cannot) sufficiently cure prior to lamination, it becomes non-receptive to the adhesive hence the adhesion issues.
  • Do you have an ONYX profile for SLX with Roland TruVIS?
    • Unfortunately not but we do have a capability of creating a custom profile when necessary.
  • What?s the main difference between 6100XLP and SLX?
    • If the laminates are the same, the main difference will be print-cut capabilities and the initial tack.
    • SLX is designed for larger panels or full-side wraps with its easy liner release and low initial contact however it makes it very difficult for print-cut projects with intricate characters.
    • XLP will be more suitable for print-cut projects but it has a higher tack than SLX.
  • How to be more efficient (faster) in delivering finished product to customer?
    • From my multiple interactions with wrap shops, I?ve found that most conducive time-saving efforts can be found in the pre-application process such as design, printing, and graphic layout.
    • Although a good product can lead to faster wrap times, experience has a bigger impact because an installer commits less mistakes and has an established workflow.
  • How to prepare oxidized surfaces for wrapping?
    • Other than elbow grease, I have not found any cleaning chemical that will instantly get rid of oxidation.
    • Power washing typically does not suffice and scrubbing is necessary until the rinsing water becomes clear.
    • Personally, to be sure that no power gets into my graphic, I use a sacrificial film with a high tack removable adhesive and use it like a fly paper.
  • Can SLX be installed significantly faster than 3M IJ180?
    • Presuming that the best practices are not skipped over, SLX will be faster to install than IJ180 for two main reasons:
      1. SLX?s easy liner release will prevent the graphic from pre-stretching which is common with IJ180 due to its tight liner release.
      2. SLX is also significantly easier to reposition than 3M which has a higher anchoring tack once pressure is applied.
    • However, I?d plan for SLX taking slightly longer to install during the initial stages due to the learning curve.

Training Roadblocks:
  • The large samples (54? x 10ft) were prepared with DPF 6100XLP + SER 3220G: one with latex and one with their solvent printer.
    • I used the latex-printed sample to demonstrate on the hood
  • The SLX sample was used for print-cut test samples.
    • I asked for 10ft of SLX to be printed with a ½? x ½? grid and laminated with their remaining 3220G. It was prepared by noon so I was able to demo it after lunch on the vehicle?s fender

Technical Solutions:

  • When using the HP Latex printer, use Series 3220 as the laminate for more flexibility and pliability. Feel free to try out Series 3210 if they need it to be even softer.
  • Ease into SLX by using it on large panel or full-side applications to get a feel for its true potential.
  • Keep using DPF 6000XRP for print-cut projects or try 6100XLP if less tack is desired.