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Vehicle Wrapping

With the vehicle wrapping market continuing to expand, Rob Fletcher looks at some of the latest products that could help your business move into pole position in this sector

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Avery Dennison says there are “great opportunities” for growth in the vehicle wrapping market

Racing ahead

Vehicle wrapping has long been regarded as a major diversification market for sign-makers, with many companies making the move into the sector. However, word of the amount of work in this area has spread, with a large number of print companies also switching their attention to this type of work.

This movement has created an increased level of competition, with a wide range of companies competing for contracts of all kinds. Be it a one-off job for a local business, or wrapping an entire fleet of delivery vans, making sure you have the right tools for the job is more important than ever.

With this in mind, we take a look at some of the latest solutions and materials available to the market and analyse how these products can help you gain an advantage over your competitors.

Great opportunities

One of the leading names in vehicle wrapping solutions is Avery Dennison, and Esra Boro, product line marketing manager for wrapping and signage, says that there is room for more growth in the market and sign-makers need to ensure they can handle increased workload.

“Car owners have really woken up to this whole idea, and they want a vehicle that sets them apart,” Boro says, adding: “Commercial users also understand well the benefits of a properly branded vehicle – whether just one or a fleet. Installers have some great opportunities ahead.

“In my opinion, two crucial things go into choosing the right vehicle film; what will it look like when it is finished, and how easy was it to make that happen. Breadth of choice also matters a lot. New colours and options are being released all the time, and we aim to offer a genuine one-stop-shop for wrap projects.”

Two crucial things go into choosing the right vehicle film; what will it look like when it is finished, and how easy was it to make that happen

With this in mind, Boro draws attention to some of the many products in Avery Dennison’s wide-reaching portfolio. The premium Supreme Wrapping Film range remains a firm favourite for premium colour change projects, while six new colours have recently been added, increasing the total in this range to 120.

Avery Dennison has also introduced its Wrap Visualizer Tool that shows colours on popular vehicles, which Boro says takes the guesswork out of choosing wraps. In addition, the cast quality Mactac ColourWrap Series offers another 50 colours including gloss, gloss metallic, matt and matt metallic finishes.

Avery Dennison offers more than 50 colours in its Mactac ColourWrap Series

In terms of printed films, the MPI 1105 Series now benefits from the all-new Wrapstock service, which Boro says gives installers access to a “big and exciting selection” of ready-to-print designs. A new and improved DOL 1400Z Series lamination range is also available.

Also new from Avery Dennison is the Automotive Window Films range, which Boro says provides just about every level of tint and protection that you might need. Then there is the new Pure Defense Series of vehicle protection films and Supreme Protection Film XI (SPF-XI), which ‘self heals’ at room temperature and provides up to ten years of UV resistance.

In addition, both the new Avery Dennison V-4000 & V-4000E beaded printable reflective films increase vehicle safety while highlighting brand messages and logos, at any time of day or night. Boro says these films offer “superb conversion, print and quick installation performance for long-term fleet branding, trucks and emergency vehicles”.

Boro adds: “We have been developing many new products; if it goes on a vehicle, we have a material that’s tailored to fit.”

Hone your skills

Elsewhere, Innotech Digital is also well equipped to help sign-makers to improve and expand their vehicle wrapping services. Kieran Dallow, group marketing manager at Innotech, says despite the level of competition, this market still offers an excellent opportunity for growth.

Dallow says: “If you are offering signage services, and have existing customers, it’s very likely that the types of customers you’re dealing with are also in the frame of mind to have their vehicles wrapped too. It requires training and practise to get skilled at it, but there are plenty of freelance installers who could help you get started. There are also plenty of training packages available.”

In terms of the kit needed to make a successful move into vehicle wrapping, Dallow says sign-makers need to invest in a printer, plotter and laminator, as well as a tool kit and software. Focusing in on the actual materials, Dallow says this is where Innotech can help.

Dallow cites Innotech’s General Formulations AutoMark Conformable Wrap vinyl as its best solution for vehicle graphics. He says that when combined as a kit with either a gloss or matt laminate, it is equally as easy to apply as any other vehicle wrap vinyl on the market. Dallow also notes the air release liner, which he says makes installation very simple.

Innotech bills its General Formulations AutoMark Conformable Wrap vinyl as its best solution for vehicle graphics work

“Chances are, that if you’re an existing sign-maker you’ll already have the largest capital investments covered and will be used to working with a variety of vinyls so the transitional or learning curve is in perfecting the design and application,” he adds.

Great demand

Looking elsewhere in this market at Grafityp has a wide range of solutions for those sign-makers looking at moving into vehicle wrapping or enhancing their existing service offering. Graham Jones, head of marketing for Grafityp UK, is of the opinion that there is a plethora of opportunities for growth in the market, with the level of demand likely to grow.

Jones expands: “Vehicle wrapping is a fantastic way to upcycle or improve the look of a vehicle, there is a great demand for this process and it’s something additional a sign-maker with a suitable space can add to their range of services offered quite easily.”

O Factoid: Triain Moldovan from Austria won the 2019 FESPA World Wrap Masters Series Final at FESPA Global Print Expo 2019. O

For those sign-makers looking at taking on this work for the first time, Jones says that the transition into vehicle wrapping projects would be an easy one for most sign companies, due to the skills and knowledge they will have from their other work in the industry.

Jones explains: “It is an easy and a logical transition and progression for sign-makers to take the leap and to add wrapping to their repertoire. Sign-makers are often used to handling self-adhesive films and whilst there is a new skill to be learned it is something that works hand in hand when offering branding for sign- makers. It’s a valuable additional skill for them to have.

In a further show of support for those companies new to the market, Jones says that Grafityp offers courses to train sign-makers to wrap vehicles at its facility in Tamworth in Staffordshire.

Grafityp also offers training for sign-makers wanting to learn about vehicle wrapping

Visitors at The Print Show last month will also have seen Grafityp running the dedicated Vehicle Wrapping Zone, where visitors were able to see experts from the company applying wraps to a car up close and in person.

Jones says: “In terms of kit to enable you to wrap, most importantly is space – somewhere clean and dry, capable of holding a vehicle inside and at an appropriate temperature. Beyond that, you’ll need a decent heat gun, plenty of sharp scalpel blades with a decent knife, and some soft edged or felt squeegees, as being able to make sure that you can clean the vehicle is paramount.”

Grafityp ran the special vehicle wrapping section at The Print Show in September

So what is new from Grafityp in vehicle wrapping? Jones wastes little time in pointing to the Comfort adhesive, one of the latest developments in the firm’s wrapping technologies. This soft and conformable cast material offers what Jones describes as “excellent properties for wrapping around complicated items”.

He adds: “This adhesive has now evolved over to many of our coloured materials, and developments and new initiatives are constantly being strived for by the Grafityp research and development department over at head office in Belgium.”

The message here seems quite clear; yes, the vehicle wrapping market is busy and there is competition, but there is still room for growth in terms of those companies looking to enter into the sector for the first time, and those that are already established in this area and seeking to expand their customer base.

For those seeking to diversify into the market, although it may seem like a rather daunting move to make, there is a lot of help available from leading suppliers in the sector. As Jones from Grafityp mentioned, the company runs various training sessions to help educate industry members on vehicle wrapping.

Is it time for your business to switch up a gear, overtake the competition and race into the vehicle wrapping market?

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