The Big Picture - April 2014 - (Page 12)

graphics on the go graphics on the go After the Wrap Hits the Road: Corrective Actions By Jared Smith Y ou might think that once a happy wrap customer pays you in full and heads out of your shop, that your work is officially done. While I agree that you have usually fulfilled your duties at that point, every once in a while you might get an urgent follow-up call from a distressed customer, telling you, "Something is just not right with the wrap." Let's go over just a few of the reasons a client might need to call you for a repair, for some answers, or for some advice - after they have driven away from your shop and hit the road with a new wrap. And I'll strive to provide some solutions to each. Lifting vinyl or laminate One issue that clients can have is vinyl lifting away from the vehicle. This typically occurs in areas where there are complex curves or deep channels. If the problem is caught early enough - in the first week or two - these areas can often be repaired. I recommend setting up a time as soon as possible to have one of your senior installers take a look at the issue. In some situations, it's possible to use a primer, some strips of clear laminate, some heat, some scrap material, and some skill to repair these areas to the customer's satisfaction. If, however: the vinyl got dirty on the adhesive side; if the vinyl has lifted in the middle of a panel; or if the vinyl has dried out (because the issue wasn't addressed early on), it may not be possible to repair and you will then have to re-print and re-install the wrap. Corrective action: Make sure your installers are properly trained in install techniques that roll vinyl down into deep JaREd SmITH is president of bluemedia (, a leading provider of design and printing for use in vehicle, large-format, and environmental applications, in Tempe, Arizona. 12 THE BIG PICTURE April 2014 channels, as opposed to bringing over the gap and trying to stretch vinyl down into the channels. It's just as vital to be properly trained on and carry a good primer for use in these areas. Two examples of the types of areas requiring primer and advanced install techniques include: the deep channels on the sides of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinters, as well as above both tail lights on the rear of Ford Transit Connects. Chalky or oxidized paint is another reason for lifting vinyl, and a much scarier problem for the shop because it typically cannot be repaired. Obviously, you should never install a wrap on a vehicle that has oxidized paint. It's like trying to install a decal on a dusty chalkboard - it just doesn't work. In my opinion, unless you had an upfront conversation and a warranty-waiver signed, you actually owe the client a new vehicle wrap. Here, you cannot rewrap the vehicle unless it is repaired first. Tip: With tractor trailers, an acid wash can make the vehicle wrap-ready. Corrective action: As professionals, we should never wrap a vehicle we cannot warranty. A simple inspection of the vehicle will show oxidized paint. Use a black T-shirt to wipe along a white vehicle to see if any "white" appears on the rag (this also holds true using a white T-shirt on a colored vehicle). Tip: Wrapping surfaces like rubber and textured plastic can have similar issues and should be avoided. Occasionally, you'll get a call from a client claiming that the vinyl is lifting, but upon inspection you'll find that it's actually the laminate that's lifting. The most common reason for the laminate lifting is mismatched components, meaning this laminate was not designed to be used with the particular printed vinyl. Using a calendared laminate with a cast vinyl will also cause lifting laminate (among many other issues). Using a cast laminate from one manufacturer and a cast vinyl from another manufacturer might work, but then again it might fail miserably. Even laminates from the same manufacturer that were not designed to be used in combination can cause you problems and headaches. Corrective action: Only use components that were purposely engineered to be used together. Read and follow >47

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Big Picture - April 2014

The Big Picture - April 2014
Wide Angle
Up Front
Graphics on the Go
Dynamic Signage
Go Big or Go Home
RIP Chord: Creating a Harmonious Workflow
Weighing in on the RIP
The Ups and Downs of an Escalator Wrap

The Big Picture - April 2014