March '13

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e , r , d , f Richart of Digital EFX points out, "Vehicle wraps not only need to be eye-catching and attractive, they also need to be effective. An effective commercial vehicle wrap clearly communicates the company name or brand, what that company does, and how to get in touch with them (that is, website and/or phone number)." into segments. I have seen other reputable installers complete an RV wrap faster than it takes us to wrap a high-end race car, due to the complex shape, bumpers and contour areas. No matter what type of vehicle you're wrapping, take the time necessary to ensure that your craftsmanship is at the highest level possible." Wheat points out another difference. "The application process is the same with all vehicle wraps," he notes. "Only the size and complexity may change, until you get into boat wraps or aircraft, at which point the application changes, with the use of primers and edge sealers, etc." Special tools required We also asked about wrapping bigger vehicles. Any special tools or equipment needed? DeSoto says, "Any shop should have the basic wrap tools. The bigger stuff gets a little more serious: You must have scaffolding, ladders, a fast, reliable printer like the Mutoh ValueJet 1624, an awesome laminator like a Kala. Both are needed for quick production. Mutoh also makes a great cutter. A fleet of large vehicles may be best wholesaled out to a larger print provider with higher-capacity printers. Here is a warning, though: The faster the printer, the worse the print looks. So, if you're doing 10 or less, use your own equipment; 10 or more, you may want to call a company like Lowen Color Graphics." Wheat tips us to a secret to making his large wraps clearly professional: "A batterypowered caulk gun," he offers. "On the 54 Restyling | March 2013 RE-March-2013.indd 54 few RVs that we've done, to ensure the best look we remove all of the caulk around windows and doors and re-caulk after the vinyl has been laid to give a nice paint-like finish to the install. "Of course, the obvious: Ladders and rolling scaffolding make the job much easier, as well. "And let's not forget the quality of the printer that makes these paint-like reproductions on vinyl happen, and that is our Mimaki JV33 (solvent inkjet)," adds Wheat. Richart says, "For bigger vehicles, you'll need an installation building that's large enough to hold the vehicle and allows enough room to perform the job. If you don't have such a facility, you'll be dealing with Mother Nature on a constant basis. Having a controlled environment will allow you to wrap in 90-degree weather, a full downpour, snow or wind. It will also allow you to be profitable year round. "Having large sturdy ladders and scaffolds will make your life easier, too. We have also built production tables that will allow us to roll right up to the edge of RVs and box trucks, stand on top, and begin the installation process. Using highquality, Roland large-format printer/cutters and plotters will also help you perform successful wraps. Never sacrifice quality on any aspect of the vehicle wrap process." The media: wrap film, overlaminates Lastly, we wanted to know what kinds of wrap and overlaminates are best for commercial vehicles? Richart says, "We use cast overlaminates on every vehicle we wrap. It doesn't matter if the wrap is for a plumber, real estate agent or even if it's temporary. Ensuring maximum durability and long life is crucial. Go to page 56 2/6/13 3:02 PM

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