Drytac appoints Imageco as first Health Science partner in the UK for Protac AMP

Long-standing NHS partner Imageco to supply and install Drytac Protac AMP antimicrobial film across a wide range of medical and health-related applications.

Drytac has appointed Leeds-based Imageco as the first Drytac Health Science partner in the UK, supplying and installing Drytac Protac AMP antimicrobial film for multiple applications across a wide-range of sectors, including hospitals and healthcare clinics, retail, education and more.

Imageco provides design, print, finishing and installation services to customers across the UK, counting wide-format print, signage, point-of-sale, wall coverings and events and exhibitions among its service offering. The company also has a long-standing relationship with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), and has supported it with multiple signage and display projects over the years.

On the new partnership with Drytac, Scott Buckler, Head of Sustainable Business Development at Imageco, explains: “When Drytac introduced us to Protac AMP we intuitively knew it was a must for any building, surface or area that serves the public.  We are amid the biggest global pandemic we have ever lived through, and hygiene must be a priority. Infection prevention has never been so critical.”

In terms of applications, Buckler explains: “We firstly want to start with the most obvious places: hospitals. From the Reception to the ICU, surface areas need to have the highest hygiene standards, and – given the antimicrobial qualities within Protac AMP – we are guaranteeing our customers the safest possible product. Applications such as doors, handles and signage will be the main aim initially, but we know we can use the film for many other surfaces.”

Launched in September last year, Drytac Protac AMP with Microban® antimicrobial technology has been designed to help protect surfaces from microbes. On an unprotected surface, stain and odour-causing bacteria can double in number every 20 minutes. Protac AMP works continuously to keep it cleaner for longer. The 150μ (6 mil) self-adhesive polyester film incorporates Microban technology at the manufacturing stage, which becomes part of the material’s intrinsic physical structure at a molecular level and will not wash away, even after cleaning.

On signing up Imageco as the UK’s first Drytac Health Science partner, Drytac’s Global Product Manager, Shaun Holdom, adds: “Imageco’s long-standing relationship with the NHS in the UK makes them the perfect fit for Protac AMP. It is the perfect solution for protecting doors, keypads, counters, tables and any other flat surfaces in healthcare and medical environments.

“Microban reservoirs in the film disrupt the microbes’ cell walls, preventing their growth, and as a result, the film provides protection 24 hours a day for up to 15 years. Additionally, each batch of Protac AMP is tested for antimicrobial performance providing the utmost confidence and peace of mind for any application.”

To find out more about Drytac Protac AMP, please click here.

To find more about Imageco, please click here.

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Premier Graphics selects ‘no brainer’ Drytac ViziPrint for festive graphics project

Premier Graphics used Drytac’s ViziPrint Impress Clear to produce festive window graphics for skincare specialist Project Skin MD.

Vancouver-based Premier Graphics has used Drytac’s ViziPrint Impress Clear film to produce a striking festive-themed window graphic for local skincare business Project Skin MD.

Project Skin MD challenged Premier Graphics to design, print, and install the intricate window graphic for its state-of-the-art skincare facility in South Granville, Vancouver.

To achieve the clean and seamless appearance, Premier Graphics selected Drytac’s ViziPrint Impress Clear and printed the detailed design using white ink on a Konica Minolta AcurrioWide UV Printer. Developed for application on glass and other smooth, flat surfaces, ViziPrint Impress Clear is suitable for trouble-free, bubble-free wet installation.

Jordan Sorley, operations officer at Premier Graphics, said: “This was a relatively cold weather install, only about 6 or 7 degrees Celsius, but the ViziPrint Impress worked very well. It is a strong and stiff PET material that doesn’t stretch which was a huge benefit when aligning panels with a detailed design.

“The printed graphics delivered the exact look Project Skin MD wanted, and – as ViziPrint Impress Clear is easily removable – it will save the client time and money on removal day. Plus, the fact that this film is PVC-free makes it an environmentally-friendly choice.”

Established in 2006, Premier Graphics re-invented itself in 2020. It is now serving as a full-service graphics production and installation company with the largest team of in-house certified installers in Western Canada.

“We pride ourselves in ongoing training for our installation staff and investing in great products and equipment to improve our offerings to our clients,” Sorley said.

“With 2020 being a challenging year, our experience hasn’t been any different. We’ve had our fair share of struggles, but despite this we’ve managed to maintain a healthy business and take good care of our people.

“Now, we are back to re-investing in ourselves and have added two new staff and new printing and production equipment, so we will be starting off 2021 right!”

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Still Creek Press hits the high notes at the opera with Drytac SpotOn Floor 200

Still Creek Press opts for ‘forgiving’ SpotOn Floor 200 for University of British Colombia’s opera stage.

Vancouver-based full-service commercial printer Still Creek Press selected Drytac SpotOn Floor 200 to help students from the University of British Colombia (UBC) in Canada to stage and perform an opera virtually for audiences at home.

The UBC Opera programme puts on shows for the local community each year, but these had to be put on hold in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with indoor entertainment venues in Vancouver forced to temporarily close.

However, not to be deterred by the restrictions on audience attendance, UBC Opera decided to stage a number of virtual events on Nov 30th, whereby students performed opera at the University’s venue and the show was streamed live to audiences watching at home.

Still Creek Press’s role in the project was to produce floor graphics resembling a dirt road for the stage, to help deliver the full opera experience. The production was filmed from several levels and views, meaning the graphics had to be visible and look realistic from all angles.

Still Creek Press’ wide-format manager Bruce Lee explains: “Essentially, we started with an empty stage. We were tasked with installing floor graphics that looked stunning and could be easily removed at the end of the performance. As stages are brightly lit, we also needed a material with a matte finish.

Still Creek Press opted for Drytac SpotOn Floor 200 vinyl film for the project, with the company tasked with producing graphics covering an area of 70ft x 90ft (approx. 21m x 27m). Nine rolls of the Drytac film were supplied by ND Graphics to complete the project and the graphics were printed in 4 days/nights on a Roland SOLJET Pro 4 XR-640 large-format device. 

“We chose Drytac SpotOn Floor 200 for a number of reasons,” explains Bruce Lee. “It is super easy to apply and it can be easily removed by anyone. It also looked great under the lighting.”

Known for its simplicity and versatility, making it suitable for short-term indoor graphic applications such as retail signage, trade show and exhibition graphics as well as office interiors, Drytac’s SpotOn range of products are printable by solvent, eco-solvent, latex and UV inkjet printers.

“One of the major reasons we used SpotOn Floor 200 over other conventional removable floor vinyl is how forgiving it is when applied. Another great feature is that there was no need for an overlaminate as it has a built-in anti-slip surface,” continues Lee.

Lee also spoke about the ease of use when working with SpotOn Floor 200, saying this allowed Still Creek Press to complete its part of the project in good time, meaning work was completed without any delays.

“We weren’t the only crew there working on the stage and this meant keeping our distance from other crews and equipment. Once a section was completed, we had to switch sides with the other crew or wait until they were done their part.

“What would usually have taken a team of installers two days to install, only took us five hours using SpotOn Floor 200. We were able to get our part of the production done well before time, which meant those working around us had more time to finish their projects.

“It worked out great!”

Located on Vancouver, British Columbia, Still Creek Press is a full-service commercial print company that provides digital, wide-format and ticket printing. It currently employs over 50 people in a 36,00sq ft, fully integrated secure printing plant.

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Not all antimicrobial coatings and products are created equal

The pandemic has led to a rise in the use of anti-bacterial and antimicrobial products. However, users need to choose carefully in order to achieve maximum protection.

Authored by Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager at Drytac

The global pandemic has changed our world and society in significant ways. COVID-19 has drastically changed our perception of hygiene and cleanliness, spurring the development of films and coatings with antimicrobial performance.

Previously, these coatings and products struggled to find widespread adoption due to difficulties in qualifying their effectiveness on human health and justifying any additional costs. However, the pandemic has drawn attention to measures that can provide additional protection and reassurance to the general public and this has created a new need for antimicrobial surface protection.

It should be noted, however, not all antimicrobial coatings and products are created equal. Some are only effective against bacteria (antibacterial) while some are effective against a wider range of microbes – such as algae and fungus – offering antimicrobial protection. However, this performance does not necessarily protect against viruses, so users need to choose carefully.

When considering products for use as a preventative measure and increasing hygiene performance, it is important to understand the limitations of the three main antimicrobial technologies: zinc, silver and copper. All can provide protection against bacteria, but only some can offer antimicrobial protection.  As damage or cuts on the film can harbour bacteria, it is important for the additive to be imbued in the film rather than in a top-coating which can be easily scuffed, scratched and worn.

Perhaps most important when seeking out antimicrobial protection is to be extremely wary of some of the claims currently being made in the marketplace. New disinfectant and additives used within antimicrobial solutions MUST have ECHA (European Chemicals Agency), EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval to make valid effectiveness claims; all biocides and pesticides have to be registered.

All governments promote a test, test, test attitude when it comes to infection control and protection films are no different. Third-party testing needs to be done to determine any effectiveness on any microbial activity. This simply cannot be a one-off; these need to be part of the quality control and batch-to batch-testing of the product to ensure the desired performance for all locations.

Where products claim to have effectiveness against viruses they must be registered as a virucide. A simple ISO 21702 Coronavirus test on one viral strain such as FCoV (feline coronavirus) or 229E (Human Coronavirus) does not qualify something to be anti-viral or effective for other strains/diseases, like COVID-19.

In addition, the claims of the effectiveness and protection of the product cannot extend outside of the classification of the product itself. This means that any marketing information surrounding potential health benefits are a no-no: they can lead to Advertising Standards Authority investigations and create public confusion.

There is no doubt that there will be major growth over the coming years in the requirement for antimicrobial technologies within many market sectors including medical, healthcare and general public spaces. This means that marketing and product information needs to be clear, concise and most importantly factual.  

Drytac is the manufacturer of Protac AMP Film.

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Doreen Poole Retires from Drytac

The year was 1978 when Doreen joined Drytac. At the time Drytac consisted of two employees and was located in humble premises at 681 Petrolia Road in Downsview, Ontario. Fast forward to 2020 – 42 years later.

Doreen has been an integral member of the Drytac team and has participated in Drytac’s transition from a small distributor of laminating films, adhesives, and equipment to a highly regarded international manufacturer whose products are now sold worldwide.

During those years, Drytac grew from that one location to two coating plants based in Brampton Ontario and Bristol UK and three company owned distribution centres in North America with over 100 employees.

The backbone of any successful business is its employees, and no one exemplifies this more than Doreen has. The saying ‘Attitude Determines Altitude’ could not apply more aptly than to Doreen whose cheerful and positive outlook has helped us through many challenges over the years. Her contribution has been invaluable and there is no doubt that Doreen will be missed by all Drytac employees, customers, and suppliers.

For Doreen, retirement will be an exciting new chapter in her life. But it is with some sadness that, for many of us, there will be a void.

Due to COVID-19, regrettably we are unable to celebrate Doreen’s retirement in a way that we would want to, and which Doreen deserves. This will just mean a postponement for, as soon as we are able, we will invite Doreen back to Drytac to do just that.

Words are not adequate to express our appreciation for all that Doreen has done for our customers and her co-workers. 

From all of us at Drytac, we cannot thank you enough Doreen and, on behalf of the Drytac team, we extend heartfelt best wishes to you and your family for a well deserved long and healthy retirement.

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Minuteman Press lights up new Covid-19 testing clinics with Drytac ViziPrint Illuminate

Drytac ViziPrint Illuminate on COVID testing window

Informative new graphics printed on Viziprint Illuminate installed at two locations for leading CBD supplier Goodbody Botanicals

Minuteman Press Bath has just completed a multi-site graphics project, using Drytac’s ViziPrint Illuminate product to install Covid-19 tests signage at two retail locations.

The client, leading CBD supplier Goodbody Botanicals, required Minuteman Press Bath to print and install a range of graphics at its stores to promote its new, private Covid-19 testing service, which it is now offering at its locations in Bristol and Bath.

Drytac ViziPrint Illuminate on COVID testing window

As well as providing information about the tests Goodbody Botanicals can offer, the signage also promotes the key steps customers can take to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, including wearing a face mask, sanitising their hands, keeping a safe distance from other people and using the government’s track and trace app. In addition, smaller graphics remind people of the three main symptoms of Covid-19 and encourages them to take a test to give them ‘total peace of mind’.

Kieran Blacknall, large-format manager at Minuteman Press Bath, said Drytac’s ViziPrint Illuminate product was perfect for the project as it was ‘really easy to work with and install’.

The 100µ (4mil) translucent matte PET film has been developed for brilliant backlit window graphics and vibrant backlit display applications. It has a bright white base colour and is able to diffuse light, creating vivid window graphics, displays, decals, stickers – and more – with a wider colour gamut. It is reverse printable, allowing window advertisements to be viewed during the day in direct sunlight and at night when illuminated by store lighting.

“The client was looking for a solution to convey the new testing service at their clinics. We looked at various options, including lightboxes, but all proved to be very costly in comparison to the ViziPrint Illuminate media by Drytac,” says Blacknall.

He continues: “Goodbody Botanicals have spotlights positioned behind every window, so we decided a media with backlit properties would perform best and have the biggest impact, particularly during the winter months.

ViziPrint Illuminate is great; really easy to work with and install. We’re always impressed with Drytac products and the advice and service we receive from the company.”

Minuteman Press Bath provide a range of digital print, large format, and design products and services to customers around the country. The wider Minuteman Press network has locations across the UK providing similar products and services.

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Drytac launches new PVC-free floor and wall graphics media globally

Drytac expanded its floor and wall graphic ranges with Polar PET 170 and SpotOn SynTac, meeting demand for eco-friendlier PVC-free products.

Drytac has added two new products to its extensive range, meeting demand for eco-friendlier PVC-free options. Now available globally, Drytac Polar PET 170 and Drytac SpotOn SynTac are both scuff and slip resistant.

Drytac’s manufacturing facilities in North America and the UK have been working around the clock to ensure all orders are fulfilled, helping graphics specialists to react to customer demand. In addition to increasing production of Drytac’s established graphics products, it has released two new wall and floor graphic medias.

The popularity of floor graphics has increased significantly in recent months owing to their effectiveness as directional signage and social distancing notices. It’s essential that materials used for floor graphics are hard-wearing and safe for their intended use, including meeting all non-slip and fire regulations.

Award winning, Drytac SpotOn SynTac is a 120μ (4.8 mil) PVC-free PP film, coated on one side with a dot-pattern adhesive for simple application and removal. SpotOn SynTac can also be combined with Drytac’s slip-rated Interlam EcoTex PVC-free overlaminating film for extra longevity without compromising on sustainability. This ‘peel and stick’ product is ideal for seasonal promotions and offers twelve months’ durability indoors on standard smooth floor and wall surfaces.

Drytac’s second new launch is Drytac Polar PET 170, a scuff- and tear-resistant PVC-free media for indoor floor and wall applications for up to six months. Polar PET 170 contains up to 40%  industrial recycled content. This makes Polar PET 170 an ideal choice for retailers with demanding green initiatives. This product is also coated on one side with pressure-sensitive adhesive to make installation and removal clean and simple, while the other side has a textured, matte finish that is non-slip without lamination. Part of the Polar range, Polar PET 170 is designed to withstand extreme temperatures and is compatible with most standard wall and flooring surfaces.

Both new products meet the requirements of public spaces – crucial considerations in terms of both public safety and businesses’ legal responsibilities. When SpotOn SynTac is used with Interlam EcoTex, it has achieved post-printed anti-slip ratings and certifications according to DIN 51130, US ANSI A137.1, and the EN 13036-4/ASTM E303 Pendulum Test. Polar PET 170 also has achieved these slip certifications and is EN 13051-1 fire rated.

Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager, Drytac, comments: “Floor graphics are really effective for grabbing attention, making them an exciting choice for short-term promotions and creative applications. They are also playing an important role as directional and social distancing signage, where it is essential to comply with safety and legal requirements. We ensure that all Drytac floor graphics products pass strict tests for slip resistance while looking great for as long as they need to.

“Being PVC-free, new Drytac Polar PET 170 and Drytac SpotOn SynTac meet these demands with a smaller environmental impact than other products. As an added benefit, Polar PET 170 and SpotOn SynTac films can be used for vibrant wall graphics applications; the white, ink-receptive medias have a textured, matte finish that is also perfect for directional notices, retail promotions, POS advertising and decals.”

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Warwick Printing chooses ‘go-to’ product Drytac ReTac for tricky mural

Warwick Printing uses Drytac ReTac for liquor store graphics

Warwick Printing installed a liquor store wall mural in a single day using Drytac ReTac wall media, despite having to work around shelves full of fragile stock.

Warwick Printing has completed a challenging wall mural project, relying on Drytac ReTac to get the job done in a single day.

The client, South Country Co-op Liquor in Redcliff, Alberta, Canada, required Warwick Printing to design, print and install 48 individual wall panels making up a mural spanning the store. As well as promoting the spirits, beer and wine on sale, the mural had a personal touch with a ‘Cheers Redcliff’ message. The installation took around eleven hours, including the set-up and tear-down of scaffolding, and having to negotiate some fragile obstacles – the bottles themselves.

Warwick Printing uses Drytac ReTac for liquor store graphics

Lee Weighill, Owner of Warwick Printing, explains: “The main challenge was figuring out how to reach the 17′ (5.2m) install height with racks up against every wall without having to empty the whole store out.

“There was not enough space for even the smallest scissor lift or boom lift and regular A-frame ladders would not get us close enough to the walls in the right position. We ended up using painters’ scaffolding and had to stack two units to get high enough, but it was still a 26″ (66cm) reach to the wall which made it a little more difficult.”

However, the team overcame these problems. “It was a good day’s work and not one bottle was knocked to the floor!” says Lee.

The choice of vinyl was key to completing the job on time and in total Warwick Printing ran over 260′ (80m) of Drytac ReTac Smooth 150 through its HP Latex 360 printer. This 150μ (6 mil) white polymeric printable PVC film is coated with ReTac ultra-removable adhesive technology on one side, making it simple to install, reposition and remove printed graphics from surfaces such as walls.

Lee says ReTac is his ‘favourite go-to’ wall mural vinyl. “We’ve worked with Drytac ReTac many times previously and are very familiar with it,” he says.

Based in Lethbridge, AB, Warwick Printing has evolved from mainly offset press commercial printing to more digital wide format work in the last two years. Diversifying has helped the business reach new customers and survive the difficult trading conditions of this year’s pandemic.

“We have fared pretty well so far during COVID-19,” says Lee. “Overall business was down significantly, as much as 65% in the beginning, but we have seen some major gains in our wide format and signage division during the same period. I estimate we have done more volume during the pandemic than we did in the previous year and a half.

“We saw an opportunity very early in the pandemic for signage and floor graphics and quickly created marketing materials so we were ready when business started opening up again. We’ve used dozens of rolls of Drytac FloorTac in the last six months, at one point running our HP Latex printer day and night to print COVID-related floor graphics.

“Because of this we also picked up a lot of other vinyl business unrelated to COVID. This has for sure helped fill the void left in our other areas of our commercial printing.”

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Drytac’s Shaun Holdom appointed to ISA-UK council

Drytac’s Global Product Manager Shaun Holdom will bring his three decades’ experience in the sign and graphics industry to the ISA-UK council.

Drytac is delighted to announce its Global Product Manager Shaun Holdom has been appointed to the ISA-UK council with 100 per cent support from his fellow council members.

The ISA-UK powered by BSGA is the trade association for the sign, graphics and visual communications industry and plays an essential role in uniting the members of this thriving community. Its council is made up of experienced and inspirational industry professionals who endeavour to support the ISA-UK‘s work.

Shaun Holdom has held the position of Global Product Manager at Drytac for the last three years but his roots in the sector reach back much further, as he explains.

“I started working in the sign and graphics industry after leaving school,” he says. “I wanted to be a graphic designer but was fascinated by wide format printing and hardware technology, which has evolved at a tremendous pace over the last 30 years.

“Being appointed to the council is very exciting. Having a trade association that represents all facets of the industry, shares knowledge and experience with every company and individual to help support and grow their business – especially over the coming months – is incredibly important.

“I hope to bring my years of experience within all areas of inkjet and digital print to the association. It’s essential we understand all the new methods for printing outside of the more traditional markets to help our members.”

Robert Lambie, President of ISA-UK, comments: “I’m delighted to welcome Shaun onboard at ISA-UK. I have known him for over ten years and have admired his knowledge, passion and commitment to our industry. Bringing his 30 years’ experience to the table will be an excellent addition to theISA-UK Council and I look forward to working with him in helping us shape the future of the UK Sign and Visual communications industry.”  

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Drytac joins UK Slip Resistance Group in move to broaden membership

The UK Slip Resistance Group has admitted Drytac into its membership, reflecting Drytac’s role in developing and promoting safe and legal floor graphics.

Drytac has become a member of the UK Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG), securing its role as a leading manufacturer of safe, legal and slip-resistant floor graphics media. It is currently the only supplier of products for floor graphics on the UKSRG members’ list and demonstrates a move by the Group to broaden its reach.

In existence for four decades, the UKSRG counts several UK businesses and trade associations among its 60 members along with a number of overseas members. The Group produces guidelines on a wide range of floor safety concerns, including the accurate use of the pendulum slip resistance test and test equipment. It also advises on the safe design of steps and stairs, cleaning procedures, footwear in industrial settings and other issues. Several members are active in a range of British, European and international standards committees.

This year has seen unprecedented demand for floor graphics for social distancing and directional applications and, with it, increased examination of their safety in public environments. As a key manufacturer in this sector, Drytac has ensured all its products designed for floor surfaces are subjected to strict testing and certification by recognised bodies. Its membership of the UKSRG reflects this.

“We’re delighted to become a member of the UKSRG,” says Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager, Drytac. “The Group is an independent authority on slip resistance and provides reliable, comprehensive guidance to anyone who is seeking to improve the safety of an environment. We’re looking forward to meeting other members, whether face to face or virtually, to discuss and develop ideas going forward.”

Steve Thorpe, Chairman at the UK Slip Resistance Group, comments: “We have a diverse membership but Drytac represents a new type of member, and one who is very important given the increased use of floor graphics. We expect to learn a lot from Drytac and vice versa.”

Steve adds that the group hopes to invite Shaun to give a presentation early next year, COVID-19 restrictions depending. “Drytac’s involvement will bring a lot to our next meeting and I expect to receive a lot of positive feedback from our members,” he says.

The UKSRG is encouraging more new members to join, especially end users from sectors including retail, transport and leisure. For more information, please visit the Group website at www.ukslipresistance.org.uk or contact the Group Secretary via enquiries@ukslipresistance.org.

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