Technology Group 3M has launched pioneering eco-friendly products under its Envision™ brand – the 3M Envision™ Wrap Film 480Cv3 and accompanying Gloss Wrap Overlaminate 8548G. The company also introduced its Visual Attention Service (VAS), which assists brand owners, designers, advertisers, marketers and media agencies to improve their campaigns' visual effectiveness.

The products were introduced at a media event held at 3M's Johannesburg offices on 6 March, where journalist and television presenter Jeremy Maggs facilitated a 'Sustainable Industry Trends' debate. Members of the debating panel included Dr Gayle Schueller, Vice President of Global Sustainability at 3M, leading environmentalist Dr John Ledger and Guy Kilfoil, General Manager: Group Communications & Public Affairs at BMW South Africa.

Capable of wrapping everything from personal and commercial vehicles, boats and textured buildings, to billboards and almost everything in between, the films are made with a high-performance non-PVC polymer. In addition, they are phthalate-free, exclude chlorine and other halogens, and are manufactured using bio-based materials and 60% less solvent. This type of composition renders the 3M Envision™ Wrap Film and accompanying Gloss Wrap Overlaminates 100% recyclable – the industry’s first wholly-recyclable product.

'These products exceed most current high performance characteristics,' said Kim Indermaur, Sales and Marketing Supervisor Commercial Graphics Division, 3M South Africa. 'In fact, 3M is confident that trade-offs between a more environmentally-friendly product and product performance are fast becoming a thing of the past.' This can be quantified by the fact that the market price on this eco-friendly material is between only 10% and 15% higher than conventional material.

'Many companies publicise their sustainable development programmes and achievements, but the real question is: is the advertising and marketing material they use to promote sustainability, sustainable in itself?' She said that this question is a concern shared by some brand managers. 'The 3M Envision™ Print Wrap Film is the answer to this question.' She added that the product can be used for a broad range of applications. The number of applications, however, becomes astonishing when one takes into account that the primary target markets comprise large format printers, vehicle wrap companies, corporates and retailers. 'Many organisations will benefit greatly by adding the use of this application to their sustainability programs,' said Indermaur.

Industry recognition and benefits
The European Digital Press Association recognised Envision Print Wrap Film as the ‘Best Environmental Substrate’ shortly after its 2013 European launch, describing it as 'a breakthrough in the market'.

Over and above the sustainable development and multiple-use benefits, the Envision™ Print Wrap Film 480Cv3 has a number of characteristics which ease application and removal techniques compared to conventional-type wrap products:

  • Slideability: due to the pressure-activated adhesive, film can be adjusted or repositioned directly after application.
  • Snap-Up: refers to the ease of removal. 3M Envision™ Print Wrap Film can be removed by pulling only, and the sheet will detach in a single unit leaving the surface ready for the next application. However, the application remains fixed until intentionally lifted.
  • Flexibility: using heated film recovery gives the innovative product 150% more stretch than its predecessor (180Cv3), allowing it to easily cover contours and difficult-to-reach places easily. Applying heat once the wrap is correctly positioned facilitates material shrinkage to its original size.
  • Comply™ Adhesive Air release chemicals: allow for, among several other benefits, a ‘bubble-free’ application and for the medium to be affixed to any surface, even rough ones.

These products are covered by a five year warranty in the event of material failures.

Visual Attention Service

A powerful web-based visual analysis tool, VAS provides detailed guidance for maximising visual impact using key elements such as colour intensity, contrast, edges and faces. It digitally evaluates and predicts which elements of a visual scene viewers are most likely to process during the first few seconds of seeing it.

It can be used for practically any type of visual creative execution, including print and online adverts, websites, banner ads, signage, packaging direct mail, email, billboards, planograms and virtual reality. VAS is inexpensive and can be used multiple times throughout the design process.