3M has launched its Authorised Rail Partners programme, giving train operators the highest assurance of quality and long term performance for rolling stock interior and exterior graphics. The programme formalises criteria for quality control and customer service and reinforces the value of an all encompassing, end to end warranty that covers both materials and applications offered by 3M in conjunction with an Authorised Rail Partner.
To qualify as a 3M Authorised Rail Partner, a company must first meet the criteria to be a 3M Select Platinum Partner, then fulfil additional requirements specifically required for the rail market. These include using only 3M MCS (Matched Component System) products that comply with fire test regulations and ensuring the vinyl graphics applicators meet the requirements set out by the 3M Endorsed Rail Applicator framework. Authorised Rail Partners must also ensure full traceability and panel tracking for all applications and provide outstanding customer support, all underwritten by the end to end warranty.
The first to be appointed as Authorised Rail Partners are Aura Graphics and Stewart Signs. Each has experience serving customers in the UK rail sector and have helped establish a robust programme criteria relating to processes, use of materials, workmanship and customer support facilities.
‘The Authorised Rail Partners programme strengthens our support for this demanding marketplace, where branding is an increasingly important part of the rail customer experience,’ said Pen Webley, marketing team leader, 3M. ‘Our end to end warranty, which is without equal in the industry, is a key element of the 3M and 3M Authorised Rail Partner value proposition and is now further reinforced by formalising the criteria relating to material selection and application.’
David Sawbridge, managing director, Aura Graphics, said: ‘Rail operators can now have ultimate confidence in the quality of the workmanship and customer support we provide as an Authorised Rail Partner.’
Tony Townson, managing director, Stewart Signs, added: ‘3M’s move provides tangible benchmarks that clarify the value of our expertise and the business processes we have evolved to meet the very specific needs of this market.’
3M’s materials for rail applications include rugged, environmentally sustainable Envision Print Wrap films, damage resistant laminates and anti graffiti clear coat, fire tested in accordance with British Standards and/or European EN 45545 standards. The Authorised Rail Partner end to end warranty is clear and transparent, ensuring that customers know their branding will maintain its appearance over the warranted lifetime of the product and wrap.