Envision Film from 3M delivers sustainability edge for Transport for Wales

November 28, 2018

3M, the science-based technology company, has supplied non-PVC Envision Print Wrap LX480mC from 3M for the first branded Transport for Wales trains now operating the Wales and Borders network. Operated by KeolisAmey, the trains are the first to use the sustainability-focused film.

3M supported Aura Graphics, a 3M Select Platinum Partner and the main contractor for the project, in presenting the environmental benefits of Envision Print Wrap LX480mC from 3M to Transport for Wales.

“Sustainability is a guiding principle for us, so when looking at vinyl options, we took the opportunity to choose a film with better credentials to update the graphics of our fleet,” said Colin Lea, Commercial and Customer Experience Director for Transport for Wales Rail Services. “The benign materials and processes used to produce Envision Print Wrap LX480mC from 3M, combined with the film’s outstanding performance and durability, keep our trains looking good for longer and allowed us to choose a less environmentally damaging material.”

The project involved stripping existing signage, full preparation of the underlying surfaces, corrosion treatment, and repainting, before applying digitally-printed Envision Print Wrap LX480mC from 3M, and finally dual-language labelling to the cars’ exterior. To maintain the best possible appearance throughout the lifetime, additional 3M Scotchgard 8993 Glossy Overlaminate and 3M Anti-Graffiti Wrap Gloss Overlaminate 8588G provide extra protection for the printed film.

“The excellent material properties of Envision Print Wrap LX480mC from 3M, including features that aid application as well as compatibility with all inks and printer types, enabled us to deliver this project to a high standard and within a tight timescale,” commented Tim Locke, Director - Rail Division, Aura Graphics. “As a Platinum Partner to 3M, and with our unique breadth of in-house technical and project-management competencies, we have the capabilities to take on those challenges and are qualified to provide the 3M product warranty on a back-to-back basis.” Aura Graphics has also invested in employing local staff for the contract which has also benefited the local Welsh economy.

The Aura Graphics team applied the printed films to two-car and three-car Class-175 diesel trains along with 2 x two car class 143 Pacer train sets serving the Wales rail network, working on the main train depot at Alston depot in Chester without having to have the trains moved to a special facility. Removable train parts such as cab skirting were taken to Aura Graphics’ fully approved in-house paint shop for refinishing. The work was coordinated with the normal maintenance procedures for the trains, organised as continuous day and night-time shifts over a single weekend for each train set, to ensure zero disruption of passenger services.

In addition to its sustainability advantages, Envision Print Wrap LX480mC from 3M ensures fast, efficient application and removal. Pressure-activated Controltac Adhesive Technology by 3M enables repositionability, easily allowing movement of the film into the correct position. The film also features Comply Adhesive Technology by 3M which comprises of microchannels to eliminate air bubbles and ensure faultless application. Its high tensile strength not only assists handling and application, but also resists tearing for faster, cleaner removal at end of life.

For further information on Aura Graphics, please visit www.auragraphics.com.

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