COVID-19 has created a new normal for businesses and individuals globally. It has created significant disruptions and will forever change the way we do business.
These disruptions have touched all facets of our industry, from equipment and material manufacturers to PSPs, specifiers, and end-users.
As change can create opportunity, there are ways for PSPs to capitalize on the new normal, (and help us stay healthy too). COVID-19 has created an unprecedented demand for social distancing-compliant signage. Stores, restaurants, manufacturing plants, logistic facilities, and airports are just some of the places that currently need this type of signage. Demand is high and will continue to rise as more and more businesses open.
Floor graphics are a highly effective way for businesses to use space that typically had minimal printed signage. This kind of graphic can be used for social distance spacing, directions, and instruction. However, there are some specific criteria the PSP must consider when specifying and selecting the proper materials to use for these applications.
Floor graphics must have two critical criteria—slip resistance on the face of the graphic, and an adhesive coating on the back. Traditionally, floor graphics are made with a printable removable SAV, laminated with slip-resistant laminate. Recently, “all-in-one” solutions are becoming more popular. These products have a textured, printable face with a removable adhesive on the back. These products eliminate the lamination step in production, streamlining the build.
Because there’s foot traffic involved, the graphics need the slip-resistant element. In our industry specifiers look for ASTM certifications (ASTM D-2047, and ASTM C 1028-07). These standards ensure the surface of your graphic has a proper coefficient of friction in dry or wet (indoor/outdoor) situations. Materials without this certification do not meet the industry standard. More importantly, they could create a hazardous situation leading to an accident. Look for these certifications in either the laminate or face stock of the product.
The second component is the adhesive. The graphic must stay attached to the floor under heavy usage and be removable when needed. In some businesses, the graphic will be subjected to traffic such as foot, forklift, machine or caddy wheels, and even vehicles. It will get wet, cleaned, stomped on, etc. The adhesive must be durable to withstand this type of usage. Another key is the ease of installation and removability. Using a product that is easy to install allows anyone to install it, and ease of removability reduces the risk of damage to the floor when the graphics are no longer needed.
As demand continues to increase for social distancing graphics, floor graphics will continue to gain traction and be part of the “new normal” for the PSP. Using the correct products ensure a safe environment and a happy customer.