Building a bond with adhesive solutions

Authored by Glen Fitzgerald, Technical Sales Manager at Drytac.

Adhesives are one of the most common and necessary components of many applications across a whole host of markets and industries. With this wide-ranging demand and use comes the core challenge for manufacturers and suppliers – how are you able to offer a product that can deliver on all these project types?

The most important factor for any supplier in this market is to listen to what the customer is trying to accomplish, then look at ways at how to work with the client to both design and manufacture products that meet their exact needs.

Industrial tape converters certainly have the option to supply their own materials, but there is also the opportunity to work with other specialist providers in this sector to ensure they are delivering the absolute best solution to the customer.

This is where Drytac comes in; we can help with our different face materials or adhesives and release liners in stock to choose from. These materials have an extremely successful track record in some of the most demanding applications in the large-format graphics market but these skills are easily transferable to other industries such as medical, transportation, renewable energy and packaging, thus opening up their use across all manner of applications.

Remaining on the subject of the wide-ranging use of adhesive products in projects of all shapes and sizes, there are some more unique and challenging applications that require customised adhesives and materials in order to succeed.

Again, Drytac is ideally positioned to advise and support with these trickier jobs. Customers are able to create their own adhesive-backed materials and then laminate, slit or die cut to the customer’s specifications, once again ensuring you deliver exactly what they want, all with high-quality results.

At Drytac, we actively encourage customers and partners to challenge us with their own specialty material performance requirements. Working together, our specialist and highly experienced team will custom engineer and manufacture a pressure-sensitive adhesive to meet the unique needs of any job.

Finally, it is only right to address the elephant in the room that is seemingly impacting almost all markets and industries around the world – issues with the supply chain.

Be it the ongoing situation in Ukraine, Brexit, or the lasting effects of Covid-19, many companies are finding it hard to get their hands on some of the most common raw materials required to produce adhesives. As such, this makes developing new or custom products a rather tricky, and often slow, process.

However, at Drytac, we have a huge stable of raw materials that we use to produce a wide range of adhesives materials. With such a large amount of materials available to us, we are able to keep all product ranges fully in stock, as well as work with customers to develop bespoke solutions for their individual jobs, thus significantly reducing lead times.

Please note: Glen Fitzgerald will be in attendance at Foam Expo North America in Michigan, USA, between 28 and 30 June 2022. If you would like to schedule a meeting with him at the event please reach out to him via LinkedIn or by email glenfitzgerald@drytac.com.

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Imageco helps Dr. Martens take a sustainable step forward, with support from Drytac and HP

Leeds-based Imageco linked up with footwear brand Dr. Martens to create a range of indoor and outdoor graphics for its new test and learn concept store in London.

Leeds-based wide-format printing and signage specialist Imageco recently used Drytac SpotOn SynTac and ViziPrint Deco + to produce a range of striking POS and window graphics for world-famous footwear brand Dr. Martens at its new test and learn concept store on Carnaby Street in London. All of the graphics were printed using Imageco’s HP Latex 800W printer, with its eco-friendly water-based inks.

Imageco was introduced to Dr. Martens by Syn Retail, a local design agency and existing client of Imageco that works with a host of global brands across retail and activations. Syn Retail had been working with Dr. Martens for some time, so when the shoe brand was seeking to create a new test and learn store, Syn Retail recommended Imageco to produce the graphics.

Imageco, which holds the key ISO 14001 environmental standard, leapt at the chance to work with Dr. Martens on the sustainable brief. Armed with its deep knowledge of eco-friendly print solutions, Imageco identified two Drytac products as the best solutions for the project.

SpotOn SynTac, a PVC-free polypropylene wall graphic media, was used to produce exterior graphics for the front of the store to cover up work during its refurbishment. As SpotOn SynTac does not require any lamination and is easy to both apply and remove after use, it was ideal for the short-term graphics.

Imageco also selected ViziPrint Deco +, a high-quality clear window film, for the production of interior graphics for the store windows. ViziPrint Deco + delivered a high-quality print and allowed natural light to pass through into the store, while the product also met the strict sustainable criteria for the job.

On the usability of the Drytac solutions, Imageco Managing Director Nathan Swinson-Bullough says:

“We have been working with Drytac products for some time now. Following the success of this project – and in particular the quality of the final prints and how easy we found the media to work with – this amount of use is about to be elevated,”

Imageco deployed its HP Latex 800W printer, supplied by Perfect Colours, to produce all the graphics for the project. This, Nathan said, allowed the company to deliver an even more sustainable service to Dr. Martens. Imageco was one of the first UK customers to install the HP Latex 800W printer, back in January 2021. The printer offers a suite of features including the whitest white ink that does not yellow over time, enabling print businesses to produce neater outlines and add more contrast.

The HP Latex 800W can print at speeds of up to 36 m2/hr (388 ft2/hr) and delivers vivid colours and finer image details. It also operates using water-based inks delivered in HP Eco Cartons, made from cardboard material, reducing the amount of plastic used by 80%.

“HP Latex inks are water-based, which means they met the job criteria really well. The fact that the ink is also vegan fitted in perfectly with Dr. Martens’ range of vegan boot products,” Nathan said. “Add in that the inks also deliver the sharp quality needed for short run POS and internal graphics, and are GOLD GUARD certified and free of VOCs, they proved to be the perfect solution.

“Dr. Martens loved the work and were really appreciative of our efforts. The company is leading by example in how the future of more sustainable retail should look.”

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Profit from Drytac’s pattern coating science

Authored by Phil Webster, Head of Industrial Sales, EMEA at Drytac.

Adhesives are absolutely critical to the success of applications across a range of sectors. Simply put, if you get this choice wrong, then you put the entire project in jeopardy and run the risk of undoing your hard work earlier on in the process, thus costing you valuable time, money and, potentially, repeat business.

To make sure you avoid this, before commencing a project that requires an adhesive solution, no matter what industry you are working in, you should take a look at the products available to you on the market.

A great starting place would be media with pressure sensitive adhesive; this type of adhesive offers a reliable way of keeping your application in place for as long as required. Be it medical, label, filtration or even construction applications, this will give you and your client peace of mind.

There are three core pressure sensitive adhesive technologies to choose from: water-based, solvent-based and hot melt. All of these options offer properties that make them better suited to certain jobs, whether that is a BS5609 certified durable label or a double-sided technical tape.

For this reason, it is key to check all the criteria with your supplier to ensure that you are matched with the right product that will meet the relevant requirements for your application.

Taking this a step further, Drytac, which offers products across all the main adhesive technologies, has developed a pattern coating process to apply adhesive in dots, lines or various differing shapes to offer maximum performance to customers.

The core benefits of this pattern coating process include the flexibility available to users, whereby the dot size, spacing frequency, thickness and overall coat weight can be tailored to each customers’ specifications, thus delivering a solution unique to their requirements.

Low adhesive coverage also enables permeable materials to be laminated and remain breathable, improving the overall performance of the application, while high moisture vapour transmission rates are also possible using this technique.

Another advantage of pattern coating is the reduced consumption of adhesive products. Coverage can be as low as 15%, which will significantly lessen the amount of adhesive that customers need to complete a project, helping them save on material costs.

Materials with pattern coated adhesive are also incredibly easy to apply to a wide range of surfaces, without trapping air underneath. The specially developed process allows air to escape between the patterned adhesive, thus removing one of the most common issues when it comes to applying products.

Pattern coating is available across both water-based and solvent-based adhesives, meaning there are a variety of options for users, especially those that are seeking more planet-friendly materials for their work, with water-based technology achieving a more eco-conscious solution.

Drytac’s pattern coating is key to its SpotOn range of printable, self-adhesive products, which are designed for easy application to walls, floors and windows.

Upon application, the dot pattern allows air to flow through the spaces between the adhesive dots without creating bubbles. The graphics can be applied – using the dry method – and removed, without the need to get professional installers involved.

Pattern coating is one of the most unique coating options available to other manufacturers and coaters as part of Drytac’s Custom Coating service. The company provides major manufacturers with pattern coating options to utilise on their own products.

The fact is that there are many applications for pattern coating across multiple diverse markets. To find out more about Drytac and its wide range of adhesive solutions, please click here.

For more information on Drytac’s coating services, please email coatinguk@drytac.com.

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Steward Safety Supplies Ltd. pairs Drytac products for French’s Fish Shop van

Steward Safety Supplies Ltd. pairs Drytac products for French’s Fish Shop van
Steward Safety Supplies Ltd. pairs Drytac products for French’s Fish Shop van

Steward Safety Supplies used Drytac Polar Premium Air White Gloss and Drytac Weathershield Matte UV to create the professional mobile fish and chip van.

Norfolk-based signs service provider Steward Safety Supplies combined Drytac Polar Premium Air White Gloss print media and Drytac Weathershield Matte UV laminate to produce a set of bold and impactful vehicle graphics for long-term customer French’s Fish Shop of Wells-next-the-Sea.

Local to Steward Safety Supplies’ facility in Fakenham, French’s Fish Shop has been a client of the signage specialist for more than 10 years, partnering for projects such as menu boards and adverts.

Steward Safety Supplies Ltd. pairs Drytac products for French’s Fish Shop van

After securing a new contract for a local holiday park, French’s Fish Shop purchased a van to cater for customers at the location. French’s Fish Shop approached the team at Steward Safety Supplies to produce graphics to match the traditional branding at its shop.

Steward Safety Supplies quickly identified two solutions from Drytac that would allow it to deliver an on-brand, high-quality solution. The sign-maker selected Drytac Polar Premium Air White Gloss combined with Drytac Weathershield Matte UV, supplied by UK reseller Perfect Colours,for the project. The graphics, which were installed in March 2022, were designed using CorelDraw software, before being printed on an HP Latex 310 printer.

“We printed the van graphics in sections and applied it like wallpaper, neatly trimming around all the fixtures and fittings on the van,” Steward Safety Supplies’ Sign Department Manager Ben Steward said. “The white lettering was then cut and applied on top.”

“We also made some menu A-boards to place outside the van and used some left-over media to cover the tabletop used for the accompanying sauces and cutlery, adding even more value for money. Those additional touches are what makes us who we are.”

“The customer was so impressed with the transformation of their plain white vehicle into this classy fish and chip van. As its planned location is a high-end seaside holiday park, the ‘less is more’, clean cut, on-brand professional look was exactly what they wanted.”

Steward Safety Supplies only began using Drytac products in January this year, but such has been the success of its use of Polar Premium Air and Drytac Weathershield Matte that this combination has now become the pairing of choice for 95% of the company’s work.

“The ease of application due to the air escape technology, the forgivingness of the polymeric when fitting to more awkward places, the quality of the matte finish, and how magically – no matter how hard you need to apply it – it doesn’t show a scratch; we just love it,” Ben concludes.

Steward Safety Supplies Ltd. pairs Drytac products for French’s Fish Shop van
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Drytac set for major FESPA 2022 presence with sponsorship of Printeriors and Sustainability Spotlight zones

Drytac, the leading international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the large-format print and signage markets, is delighted to announce it will sponsor two special areas of the FESPA Global Print Expo 2022.

Taking place from 31 May to June 3 at the Berlin Messe in Berlin, Germany, FESPA 2022 will host leading names from the global printing industry and welcome visitors from all corners of the market.

Drytac will be among the major brands at the show, with its materials set to feature on a range of stands run by printing and hardware manufacturer partners including Epson, Mutoh, and Keencut, allowing visitors to see the market-leading qualities of these materials up close.

Drytac will be sponsoring a brand-new section at the FESPA event, in the form of the Sustainability Spotlight, where visitors can learn how to make more sustainable and environmentally conscious choices for their business. Drytac will also be sponsoring the Printeriors zone, dedicated to print applications for the interior design and decoration market.

With significant knowledge in both these areas, Drytac will feature a selection of its materials as well as demonstrate its products through a series of specialist video showcases and dedicated speaker sessions.

In the inaugural Sustainability Spotlight zone (Hall 25, C-50), the company will showcase selected products from its upcoming launch of Drytac Zero. Drytac Zero is a line of environmentally friendly products which set a new standard in sustainable solutions for the graphics, signage and display industries. Designed to offer a sustainable and planet-friendly alternative, while still delivering high-impact and attractive graphics, Drytac Zero products offer a host of environmentally conscious benefits to users. For example, they have up to a 50% lower carbon footprint than comparable solutions and use 20% less fossil fuel resources.

All products in the new range include zero phthalates, carcinogenic additives, plasticisers, chlorine or PVC. Drytac Zero products are manufactured to ISO 14001 standards, are 100% vegan and can be fully recycled, including the adhesive, face film, liner, printed ink and laminate.

Within the Printeriors area (South Entrance) of the exhibition, visitors will be able to learn more about Drytac’s wide range of products suitable for interior décor to cover windows, walls and floors and more. These solutions can be used for both short-term and long-term work, and are available as PVC, PET and PP solutions to suit the needs of the customer.

“We are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring both the Printeriors and Sustainability Spotlight zones at FESPA 2022,” says Hayden Kelley, CEO of Drytac. “These two features cover subjects and values that are incredibly important to Drytac, and we look forward to showing visitors from around the world how they can achieve their business goals with Drytac.”

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Drytac refreshes Ricoh’s Customer Experience Centre with new look

Drytac collaborated with Ricoh to overhaul the look of the facility to provide an inspirational and thought-provoking experience for customers.

Drytac recently partnered with Ricoh to revamp the Ricoh Customer Experience Centre in Telford, UK. The major transformation project saw the two businesses work closely together to overhaul the look of the facility.

The Ricoh Customer Experience Centre allows visitors to explore the latest innovations in Ricoh’s printing solutions and speak with experts about how they can utilise this technology to grow their business. The venue also serves as a proof of concept and test centre for software workflows and digital front ends, ensuring visitors are getting the most out of their Ricoh machines.

Drytac and Ricoh collaborated to bring a fresh look to the facility, with the aim of offering customers an even more inspirational and stimulating experience during their visits, allowing them to go away with a whole range of new application and business ideas.

The two companies have been working together for several years and have established a close relationship, with Drytac listed as a supplier on the Ricoh eshop. This understanding allowed Ricoh and Drytac to jointly develop ideas and produce graphics that would truly highlight the power of Ricoh printing technology and Drytac’s self-adhesive solutions.

The revamped facility in Shropshire features a host of bright and eye-catching graphics, all of which were printed on Drytac material using a Ricoh Pro L5160 at the Drytac Academy in Bristol.

More than 40 new graphics applications were installed throughout the Customer Experience Centre, the largest of which measured more than 11.5m wide. When printing the graphics, Drytac utilised three of its core products: ReTac Smooth 150, ReTac Textures Canvas and ReTac Texture Linen.

The ReTac products were quickly identified as the perfect solution for the project as they are ‘permanently peelable’ and will not damage the surface when it is time to remove or update the graphics, even years after application.

The graphics took just one week to install, with the end result being a revamped facility that offers Ricoh customers the inspiration and motivation to expand into exciting new areas and develop their businesses.

On the project, Simon Isaacs, National Director Ricoh Graphic Communications group, at Ricoh UK comments: “We’re delighted to announce that our newly revamped Customer Experience Centre is now open to visitors. Due to the restrictions posed by Covid – and the subsequent reopening of facilities for in-person visits – we felt now was a fantastic opportunity to update and improve the centre.

“Our objective for the new space is to provide print organisations with a fresh look at our purpose and technology, inspire their innovative thinking and generate collaborations for future business growth.”

On working with Drytac, Simon Isaacs adds: “We’ve worked with Drytac for many years and have always found their solutions to be of the highest quality.”

Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager at Drytac, concludes: “This was an exciting project for us to work on. Combining Ricoh print technology with our proven adhesive science solutions has enabled us to create a vibrant new look for the Ricoh facility.”

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FESPA Berlin 2022

Drytac will be sponsoring a brand-new section at the FESPA event, in the form of the Sustainability Spotlight (Hall 25, C-50), where visitors can learn how to make more sustainable and environmentally conscious choices for their business. Drytac will also be sponsoring the Printeriors zone (South Entrance), dedicated to print applications for the interior design and decoration market.

With significant knowledge in both these areas, Drytac will feature a selection of its materials as well as demonstrate its products through a series of specialist video showcases and dedicated speaker sessions.

Visitors can also see Drytac products in action on the Epson stand (4.2-C30), the Mutoh stand(1.2-C40), and the Keencut stand (2.2-A23).

Register for FESPA today!

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Turner Signs serves up a tasty treat with Drytac Polar Street FX

The Barnsley-based sign-maker used Drytac Polar Street FX to produce eye-catching outdoor wall graphics for nearby Mexican restaurant ICO.

Barnsley-based family-run sign-making business Turner Signs used Drytac Polar Street FX outdoor PVC-free aluminium print media, supplied by Signmaster Systems, to create striking exterior wall graphics for new local Mexican restaurant ICO.

ICO recently opened its doors at a unique location in the city of Wakefield, with the restaurant based underground in a former bank vault.

Having worked with Turner Signs on several print and signage projects for its other restaurants, ICO once again approached the sign-maker to help raise awareness of its new location and promote its food to the people of Wakefield.

ICO tasked Turner Signs with filling an unusual brick wall space with its Mexican-inspired artwork, but with the additional challenge for the installation to have an authentic Mexican style.

Turner Signs first considered printed aluminium composite board for the job, but after seeing Drytac Polar Street FX on the Drytac Instagram page, it quickly became clear that the Drytac media would be a much better fit for the appearance that ICO desired.

Turner Signs, a long-term user of Drytac products across a wide range of jobs, used its Mimaki CJV-150 to print the unique design onto Drytac Polar Street FX, before applying this to the wall space.

“The customer was absolutely blown away with the final result,” Turner Signs Director Curt Turner said. “We have been working with Drytac media for about four years and know how flexible their products are for jobs like this.

Drytac Polar Street FX is a PVC-free, aluminium media suitable for outdoor floor and wall graphics, without the need for lamination. Boasting several slip-ratings, Polar Street FX has been specifically developed for rough ground or wall surfaces such as brick, concrete, asphalt, or any other low energy surfaces.

Coated on one side with a clear, high tack adhesive, Drytac Polar Street FX is compatible with latex, UV and eco solvent printing.

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Add an extra dimension to your graphics with clear varnish

Authored by Gareth Newman, Academy Manager at Drytac.

Like its lamination cousin, varnishing was previously seen as a process that was only really useful for adding an extra layer of protection to a piece of printed work without impacting the image underneath.

However, fast-forward to the modern market and while varnish does indeed play a critical role in protecting printed work from damage, it is now regarded as a tool that can help add a whole new dimension to applications – particularly those in the wide-format print sector.

At Drytac, we have seen clear gloss varnish being used much more effectively in wide-format print, with customers coming up with a range of innovative ways to add that extra bit of sparkle to applications with this tried and highly trusted technique.

Perhaps one of the best examples of this innovation at work is with wallcoverings. Often in this area, applications can be rather flat and stagnant, not offering a great deal to passers-by or to customers inside venues such as restaurants or cafés. However, the simple step of adding a clear varnish can add a whole fresh look to the piece, making it much more likely to achieve its primary goal of attracting the attention of consumers.

Drytac customers working with ReTac Smooth 150 polymeric PVC film or ReTac Textures embossed film can add a layer of varnish to their printed work, allowing them to bring greater depth to the texture of the printed piece or even insert additional pattern designs to the application.

Evidence of innovation with varnish goes much further and can also be seen when working with both stickers and decals. A clear varnish can add a tactile finish to a normally flat decal, thus shining a new light on the application and helping it come to life in an eye-catching way.

Further still, varnish can play a vital role in applications where Braille is required. You can add a layer of clear varnish to media with ADA/UEB criteria, such as Braille signage environments, which could in turn open doors to new work.

Aside from the obvious benefits of adding extra value for customers, there is also a point to be made in term of costs. By using clear varnish, you can reduce the amount of waste ink by turning it into more eye-catching prints that can boost profitability.

We have seen a trend where customers are now starting to use the clear varnish – that had been previously under-used – and adding an extra dimension to flat, sometimes bland, print jobs.

However, while all the above may be true, it is important to remember how clear varnish is only an option when printing with UV technology.

Luckily for us, there are all sorts of UV printing machines on the market today, and plenty of high-quality inks to accompany them, so varnishing, and its benefits, is an option available to print service providers of all shapes and sizes.

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Drytac rebrands leading Protac AMP solution as SteriTac

SteriTac can now be purchased in cut A4 sheet packs online via Amazon, making the film available to the wider consumer marketplace for the first time.

Drytac, the leading international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the large-format print and signage markets, has announced the rebranding of its market-leading Protac AMP adhesive antimicrobial clear surface protection film as SteriTac.

SteriTac will continue to be supplied with specially developed Microban®antimicrobial technology, embedded into the film during the manufacturing process, helping to prevent the growth of bacteria, mould and mildew that can cause stains and odours.

The renamed SteriTac film continues to provide 24/7 protection on a wide range of surfaces for up to 15 years, while the flexibility and hard-wearing nature of the film means that cutting or intense cleaning will not impact its unmatched antimicrobial properties. SteriTac antimicrobial surface protection film is also effective against Coronavirus (tested to ISO 21702) and surfaces with SteriTac are 99.9% cleaner than unprotected surfaces.

In addition to the standard roll sizes supplied to trade customers, SteriTac A4 sheet packs are now also available to purchase online in the UK via Amazon, expanding the product to the consumer marketplace and opening up its use across a huge array of consumer and small business applications.

According to Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager, at Drytac: “The introduction of Protac AMP proved to be a turning point in terms of offering high levels of surface protection to customers. This was particularly true during the Covid-19 pandemic, where the product played a key role in helping businesses from multiple sectors operate more safely throughout the crisis. “Under its new name, we believe SteriTac will continue to go from strength to strength. Our expansion into the consumer market with the new A4 sheet packs is set to open up a wide range of opportunities for us and our customers.”

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