Agio Imaging, a grand-format imaging provider based in Kalamazoo, Mich., prides itself on delivering turnkey solutions to meet customer needs.
Agio Imaging prints all sizes of rigid and flexible materials as well as fabricates, installs and often designs projects for display applications ranging from interior branding and décor to corporate and event signage. So, when a new opportunity to create a permanent customer display for a large manufacturing organization presented itself recently, Agio Imaging team members didn’t hesitate to develop a turnkey solution.
They knew Dibond® graphic display board by 3A Composites USA would provide the durability needed to not only clad a permanent structure but also offer outstanding ink adhesion for prints exhibited on its walls.
The structural display would be installed in a manufacturing facility of Hydro, a fully integrated aluminum company. Located right across from the facility’s research and development department, the display would be utilized to showcase the company’s custom aluminum extrusion products to visiting customers.
“Our client’s vision was to create a customer experience center to spotlight top clients and to showcase the capabilities of their manufacturing facility,” said Davina Logan, director of sales, marketing and administration, Agio Imaging. “Our solution offered a bright, open design that could include digital media integration, interchangeable panels for future updates and space for expansion. ….
“Since this display was considered to be a permanent structure, we knew Dibond would be our material of choice for this project. There are a lot of materials on the market to choose from, but we needed the strength, durability and modern aesthetics of Dibond and knew it was offered in oversized sheets. Dibond can be scored and routed to perfectly milled sections that allow us to seamlessly butt the panels in displays.”
(Dibond is an aluminum composite material consisting of two pre-painted sheets of 0.012-inch aluminum bonded to a solid polyethylene core – a unique composition that makes it approximately one-half the weight of aluminum. As the flattest panel on the market, Dibond offers a superior surface for direct digital-printing; it also can be routed and returned to add dimension or roll-formed to deliver sweeping curves. Dibond offers outstanding durability in outdoor applications and won’t bow or oil can.)
Agio Imaging purchased approximately 2,056 square feet of 3mm White Dibond from 3A Composites’ distributor Agfa Graphics, of Aurora, Ill., including: 36 sheets in the 5-by-10 foot size for cladding the structure and eight 4-by-8 foot sheets for direct printing customer display panels.
Both 3-D modeling software and Adobe Creative Suite were utilized by Agio Imaging team members to design the approximately 45-foot wide by 10-foot tall by 17-foot deep display.
Agio Imaging designed the display with a custom metal structure that is fully clad on all sides with Dibond. A Kongsberg X Series CNC router was used to cut the Dibond panels to their final size and shape and to mill holes for fasteners. The custom-fitted Dibond panels were mounted directly to the metal structure with decorative mechanical fasteners.
“We consider Dibond to be a superior aluminum composite material because it routes seamlessly and produces a high-quality edge finish,” said Logan. “We chose Dibond not only for its smooth appearance but to add stability to the structure; Dibond’s strength and rigidity made it the perfect substrate for this application. Additionally, the rigid Dibond base layer allowed us to mount customer display panels directly to the cladding without having to tie them into the structure.”
The customer experience center is designed with a curved back wall installed between two flat end sections. Two 65-inch LCD display screens were direct mounted to the Dibond end sections to incorporate multi-media presentations.
Agio Imaging utilized a super-wide format Agfa flatbed UV digital printer and OEM inks to direct print seven Dibond panels – routed to 36 inches by 95 inches – with images of products and customer end applications.
“We achieve great color saturation and excellent adhesion with Dibond,” said Logan. “This allows us to produce high-quality graphics for our clients. After all, their image is our image.”
The printed Dibond panels were sandwiched beneath acrylic sheets and directly mounted to the structural display’s back wall with 1-inch stand-offs to create dimensional interest. Acrylic shelves used to display customer products also were attached to the panels.
The display was finished with vinyl décor graphics applied to the Dibond walls and to mounted acrylic sheets as well as custom painted acrylic lettering. A printed fabric graphic display suspended above the showroom designates the area as a “Customer Spotlight.”
“We’ve received great feedback from our client about this display, which has proven to be a hugely successful marketing tool,” said Logan. “They love being able to walk their customers into a structure that is filled with visuals describing their products and capabilities. They’re also able to customize digital media on the LCD screens to welcome each customer. This display gives their customers a much better idea of what they can do.”
While this was the largest freestanding customer display created by Agio Imaging, the company wouldn’t hesitate to create another custom permanent structure utilizing durable Dibond.
“We would absolutely use Dibond again for this type of structure,” said Logan. “Dibond is superior in quality; its 0.012-inch aluminum face thickness makes all the difference.”
Photography courtesy of Agio Imaging