Picture a logo on your favorite Andretti Autosport car. That logo would not be possible, at such ease, without the help of ORACAL USA.
They provide vinyl films that allow the team to produce high-impact graphics through a digital printing application. ORACAL is a subsidiary of ORAFOL GmbH, a global leader in the manufacturing of vinyl films and related adhesive products. In 2006, ORACAL USA opened its first manufacturing facility in Black Creek, Georgia. They provide “big company” resources, without sacrificing customer service.
“We started working with Andretti Autosport three years ago,” said Lisa Humrich, Marketing Manager of ORACAL USA. “It is a successful relationship that continues to grow and it brings us great pride to see our product at the race track.”
ORACAL produces their films in the most-modern vinyl manufacturing facilities in the country, which are then shipped to Andretti Autosport. Once here, the vinyl is run through a large-format digital printer to produce each graphic wrap. The wraps are what you see on the cars, pit equipment and transporters. In 2011, Andretti Autosport used approximately 50,000 square feet of vinyl.
While some cars are wrapped completely, most cars are painted and receive partial vinyl wraps in certain areas. On average, each IndyCar will have 60-70 vinyl decals when it’s finished. One of the more time consuming vinyl wrap installations are our transporters, which take roughly 12-16 hours from start to finish.
The ability to print on vinyl allows Andretti Autosport greater design flexibility. Rather than having one uniform color, designing printed graphics provides a wider variety of textures and imagery that can be used. Once the wraps are designed, printed and laminated the application process begins. The wraps are applied with vinyl application tools, such as squeegees and heat guns.
“We’re happy that the team is able to put our product to good use and the Andretti Autosport employees do a great job of applying the vinyl and using it to its greatest potential,” added Humrich. “Many are surprised to discover that vinyl is lighter in weight than paint. It also gives more flexibility because you can change out graphics much quicker and more often.”
In the early days of IndyCar racing, cars were made largely out of aluminum and were painted in single stages that would take overnight to dry. Logos would have to be painted by hand, which would take one to two hours. Nowadays, cars are made out of carbon fiber and can be painted much quicker. After the first two colors are applied and dry, vinyl is placed on the car, which only takes roughly 20-30 minutes.
Be sure to check out ORACAL USA at www.oracal.com to find out how they can help you brand your personal car, so that it too is a moving billboard!
Click here to see some of the digital printing process.