Guide to Working Smarter, not Harder, in Installations (Part 1)

Installation Pre-seamingOver the last seven years as the sole owner-operator of WrapStar Pro, I have developed methods that benefit solo installations. Some of these questions pop into my head, asking how I can work smarter, and not harder:

  • How do you properly execute an install without extra hands?
  • How can you make the vinyl work for you and not against you?
  • Time is money, so how can you wrap a van in four hours alone?
I will share with you some tips on how to make an install work for you without the assistance of others. 

The first thing you need to do is come up with a game plan. How are you going to properly wrap a side of a van? What tools will you need? Where are your leveling points? Evaluating the game plan will not only make you prepared, but having this preparation ahead of time will help shave off time while installing.

The next thing to do is figure out if you will need to pre-seam or pre-hinge your panels. Which method will expedite the installation and make the job work for you? If I'm using vertical panels, I pre-hinge the panels on the production table, with masking tape tabs every 2 feet.

Installation Pre-hingingOnce I hinge two panels together, I carefully slice the tape at the seam, then roll up each panel and label them. I do not use the grease pencil on the print for a few reasons. The pencil lines are thin and hard to view on a busy print. After the first panel is installed, aligning the next panel is much easier with the hinge tapes. This process shaves off minutes of trying to align a 6-foot vertical panel alone.

If they're horizontal panels, I pre-seam the panels on the production table to eliminate the downtime of aligning 14-foot long panels. Installing a 14x6-ft. piece is much more productive and faster than trying to align it with lots of magnets on each panel doing double the work. 

I have found that having a game plan and pre-hinging/pre-seaming panels can trim off hours of install time. Now, I’m more productive while working smarter, not harder.

Kristin Lanzarone-Scribner
Kristin Lanzarone is the owner-operator of WrapStar Pro, a vehicle wrap and wide-format printing company. Her diverse background includes in C+ Cisco Networking, Criminal Justice & Interior Design, a Local Sheriff Academy Certificate, website building, media & marketing and graphic design. She found her passion in vinyl graphics starting in the local Motorsports industry, through which she worked with teams in NASCAR, Indy Lights, Formula Mazda and local grassroot racers. In 2015, Kristin suffered a rough season of divorce and a business buyout that resulted in her hitting rock bottom as a single mom with a vinyl business that had to be created from scratch.

Today, WrapStar Pro is thriving, and will be launching a new training facility and certification program for grassroot installers that includes motivational speaking to empower women in business and help women in crisis rise from the ashes.