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Mark Kissling

Signshop’s Decision to 3M Certify Its Installers Pays Off Big Time

There are rewards to be reaped for companies with installers certified for Di-Noc jobs.

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PIP Triad’s 3M Preferred Installers Jody Belangia (left) and Brandon Williams (right) standing in front of several rolls of 3M Di-Noc used for past jobs. PIP Triad’s 3M Preferred Installers Jody Belangia (left) and Brandon Williams (right) standing in front of several rolls of 3M Di-Noc used for past jobs.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE super-profitable jobs referred to them? I’m talking about the rich rewards a sign company can reap having 3M DI-NOC Preferred Installers. One big Di-Noc job was recently referred to PIP Triad, (Burlington and Greensboro, NC): applying the film to the elevators’ doors, surrounds and lightboxes for the historic TowneBank office building in downtown Norfolk, VA, according to Brandon Williams, director of signage for PIP Triad.

Not long before, corporate interior design firm PC&A Business Environments had selected Di-Noc for their own Charlotte, NC office. 3M referred PC&A to PIP Triad, who did so well that the interior design firm brought them up for the TowneBank renovation project in Norfolk, despite other preferred installers being located in that area.

Outfitted with 21 floors and seven elevators per floor, TowneBank’s elevators were in rough shape, had sat dormant for many years, developing a lot of rust, needing repair and work, Brandon says. Replacing all the elevator components would have been extremely costly, but wrapping them with Di-Noc saved TowneBank $1.5 million versus traditional replacement of the surrounds and doors.

In addition, Brandon pointed out, any replacements of the doors, surrounds, etc., would significantly change the weight of each elevator, requiring decommission and reinspection. But Di-Noc does not alter the weight — not enough, anyway — so neither is required, saving more in both time and cost.

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Applying Di-Noc in a gold, rolled-brush metallic finish to an elevator’s call button panel (left) and a completed panel (right).

Applying Di-Noc in a gold, rolled-brush metallic finish to an elevator’s call button panel (left) and a completed panel (right).

Using Di-Noc also means the fire grade remains the same. Plus, as a recyclable, reduced-waste product, Di-Noc creates opportunities for LEED v4 credits, another significant client benefit.

As each floor is renovated, Brandon and fellow 3M Preferred Installer Jody Belangia are installing a gold, rolled-brush metallic finish version of the film, averaging one floor per three days. The hardest part of this task is to stop an elevator, lock it vertically and then lock it in the closed position, Brandon says. “A lot of time is [spent on] the logistics of getting elevators in position.” Otherwise, their training takes it from there. Among the substrates Brandon and others train on at 3M are elevator doors and surrounds.

Speaking of … becoming a 3M Di-Noc Preferred Installer is a four-day event: two of training, two of testing (both written and hands-on). “Like the automotive side, you have to pass at 100% to get certified,” Brandon says. “3M is top of the line and wants their company represented well.” While he wouldn’t recommend certification for beginning installers, if you have vinyl experience, he says, you can do it.

Of course, it’s not as though a sign company must be 3M certified to sell or install Di-Noc. PIP Triad had been installing it for a year before achieving preferred status. “[However,] to get the big jobs, one must be certified,” Brandon says.

Another benefit is that 3M will back a preferred installer for any true warranty claim. “If you’re not endorsed, then all the liability is on yourself,” Brandon says. “You have to show that you’re regularly installing the film,” he continues, to remain in the 3M fold. Reporting dollar amounts and square footage installed to 3M ensures that those companies are keeping up to date with the styles and techniques needed to work with Di-Noc.

It’s a pretty sweet setup. At the moment, PIP Triad is one of only five or seven sign companies in North Carolina that staffs 3M Di-Noc Preferred Installers, Brandon says. As word gets out about Di-Noc, expect others to join.

PHOTO GALLERY (3 IMAGES)

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