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Mark Kissling

Master Wrapping Hacks for Increasing Speed and Efficiency

We implored an expert who perfected his routine after watching recordings of his installs.

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Adam (above) and the Wrapix Imaging team, incuding installer Alex (below), have benefitted from analyzing and refining their wrap routines to maximize efficiency and minimize stress. Adam (above) and the Wrapix Imaging team, incuding installer Alex (below), have benefitted from analyzing and refining their wrap routines to maximize efficiency and minimize stress.

WITH SPRING IN FULL swing, we bring you master tips for vehicle wrap installs, courtesy of Adam Sumner, owner of Wrapix Imaging (Burbank, CA), and a 3M preferred installer, authorized trainer and tester. Adam has previously offered wrap design hacks (see ST, October 2021, page 39) and printing/lamination advice (see ST, December 2021, page 37).

“Slow down and start with the hard stuff,” Adam says. His own company begins with the bumpers not only to get them out of the way, but also because most failures occur on the hard parts like bumpers. “Doing them first will give you time to catch any failures and get them fixed well before you deliver the car to the customer. Besides,” he adds, “It’s much easier to wrap a hood at 4 p.m. when the customer is on the way to pick up the car than it is to wrap a bumper.”

He also suggests taking the time to become familiar with new vehicles. “When we get in a car that we have not done before, we grab some film out of the scrap pile and figure out how we are gonna wrap around that hinge or trim that window molding,” Adam says. “The time to figure that out is not when you lay the whole driver side down and sit there scratching your head on how to make a cut you can’t fix.”

For fleets, he advises that once you finish the first vehicle, make notes on the placement of the graphics, to ensure when the whole fleet is parked next to each other, all those logos and phone numbers are sitting in the same place.

If you’re worried that these tips will take more time, Adam has a few nuggets of wisdom that will increase your overall installation speed.

Start only when you’re organized, which means having your print laid out, labeled, and rolled from bottom to top so when working on a ladder, it will unroll in place. Also, fill your razor blades and check your tool pouch, so you’re not walking around the shop looking for a blade or tool after you’ve started installing.

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“I used to record some of my installs so I could Monday morning quarterback myself and see where I lost time on my install,” Adam says. “I found myself walking back and forth a lot, saving things for the end — like trimming the rocker panels or the roof after I was done with everything else.” Adam realized he should have finished off the panels while already lying on the floor or the roof while standing on a step stool. “I should have just finished that part while it was in front of me,” he says. Just doing that has sped up his time considerably.

A practiced and regular installation routine will also reduce your time. “It does not matter what car you’re wrapping, what wall graphic you’re installing … They are all just stickers at the end of the day,” Adam observes. “For cars, I start with front bumper then rear bumper then roof, passenger side, driver side and I finish with the hood and any overlays,” he says. “I do this on every vehicle, every time. It gives me something to follow so I’m never guessing what to do next.”

Alex

Got a Wrap Tip?
Send it to editor@signsofthetimes.com and if we share your tip, we’ll be certain to credit you and your shop!

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