Ask the Expert: 3M's Amy Cattanach

We ask 3M expert, Amy Cattanach, the burning questions installers have about 3M from price queries to becoming accredited.


What does your role at 3M involve?


I am UK Channel Manager, responsible for sales of 3M Graphics and Architectural Films through our distribution partners. I am supported by Regional Salespeople, Application Engineers, and Product Specialists. It is a fast-paced role and I work with both channel customers and end customers. It continues to interest me, even after 12 years I learn something new most days.


What justifies the 3M price point?


What proportion of any project cost is in the actual labour for preparation and installation? Doesn’t it, therefore, make sense to choose the product that will look great for the longest possible time, giving the owner peace of mind? 


For example, 3M™ DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes standard range has up to 12 years indoor durability (subject to use), and it is highly UV resistant. DI-NOC is a cast film so installers can heat and conform it around the existing 3D architecture. Desktops, wall panels, doors and complex shapes are very cleverly transformed. The conformability means that cuts and overlaps on edges can be avoided, giving a much more ‘realistic’ look whether it be imitating metal, wood, or stone.  With good installation technique, the overall finish will be a premium one with 3M DI-NOC Architectural Finishes.


DI-NOC Architectural Finishes Matte series has fingerprint resistance, a practical feature making an easy-to-maintain surface which both designers and end users love.


Attending a 3M™ Endorsed Installer training course for DI-NOC Architectural Finishes at Spandex or William Smith or coming along to one of the Spandex training roadshows* is a fantastic way to understand how to apply the correct installation techniques. By doing so installers can unlock the product features and get the best quality result.



What kind of technologies do 3M films offer to help with ease of installation?


3M are constantly innovating to make installation easier. For example, in 2022 we launched 3M™ Print Wrap Film IJ280. It has a vinyl formulation which conforms with less heat as compared to leading alternatives. This means both time and energy (electricity) savings for the installer. The IJ280 + 8428 when applied into a recess, and prior to post heating, is 2.2X more resistant to ‘lifting’ than other leading industry print wrap films for vehicles.


What are the benefits of becoming a 3M accredited installer?


When you pass the test for a specific product line, you’ll receive a certificate and the corresponding Endorsed Installer designation. You’ll also receive the 3M Endorsed Installer logo which you can use for advertising and other forms of marketing.   3M will promote our Endorsed Installers and 3M™ Select Graphic Providers to any leads we get. 3M™ Select Graphic Providers also get increased benefits such as an extended warranty. This gives the end user confidence when choosing an endorsed installer. **


**Approach a 3M authorised representative for more information on the benefits and process of becoming a 3M authorised installer.


Are there any misconceptions you commonly encounter?

We normally hear comments like “All vehicle wrap films are the same….” But when we train installers on our new 3M™ Print Wrap Film IJ280 we wait to see the appreciation in their eyes when they realise how much easier their future installs are going be with IJ280.  


How are 3M contributing to the effort of raising industry standards?


We work in partnership with our Select Graphic Provider network so that we design the products with the voice of the customer in mind.  For example, with the development of 3M™ Print Wrap Film IJ280, from printing, out-gassing, lamination, and installation, to the finished vibrancy and gloss level to removal, we consider what is important from printer to installer to business owner, vehicle owner and brand owner.


3M are constantly developing new and improved products. For example, our 3M™ Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Films have Self-healing technology and scratch resistance and maintain exceptional clarity with good resistance to yellowing. Our 3M Endorsed Installers for paint protection films have access to 3M™ Pattern and Solutions Center. Our patterns are hand drawn by expert installers, so they fit every time with no adjustment needed.


In which sector do you expect to see the most growth over the next 5 years?


Automotive and Architectural are the areas that we expect the most growth, but across all sectors, we expect to see more sustainability initiatives and products.


Within the Automotive sector, we already have non-PVC ranges of print wrap films:  Firstly, our 3M™ Envision™ Print Wrap Films SV480mC and LX480mC.  These 12-year non-PVC films are highly conformable and durable and so are ideal for commercial vehicle application.  They can also be heated into internal and external brick and concrete surfaces. Secondly, we have 3M™ Envision™ Print Film Series 48 films for flat and 2D vehicle graphics. They are also popular choices for any public indoor spaces due to them meeting fire classification EN13501 for interior building applications. 

3M is also investing $1 billion to reduce carbon emissions to become carbon neutral by 2050 and reduce our water usage by 25% by 2030.  We believe that sustainable products and schemes are going to be vitally important across all sectors going forward and new sustainable products are in the planning, of which some will be launched this year.


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