|'Downtime is not an option’
Renault Sport Formula One Team unveiled the new livery for its racing car in February: a slick black and yellow design with graphics printed with Roland DG equipment.
Renault Sport Formula One Team has relied on Roland DG for its racing car vehicle graphics for a number of years, using a Roland TrueVIS VG-640 wide-format inkjet printer/cutter at its Technical Centre in Enstone, Oxfordshire, where its racing cars are designed and manufactured. The paint and graphics studio was on total lock-down ahead of the livery launch, with its staff sworn to secrecy over the design.
Renault Sport Formula One Team’s cars will compete in 21 Grand Prixs around the world this year, with an audience of more than 400 million viewers. Brand exposure plays an essential role in sponsorship programmes and it is essential that the livery is reproduced accurately. If any sticker gets damaged or dirty, the team will replace it immediately.
Joe McNamara, Head of Paint and Graphics at Renault Sport Formula One Team, explains that, to make sure this is possible, racing cars always travel with a number of sticker sets, all printed on the Roland TrueVIS VG-640.
"The team always carries 30 versions of every sticker so they can be replaced if needed. This amounts to around 1,400 stickers for every race," he says. "Eighty per cent of the stickers are sponsor-related so they have to be replaced with absolute precision."
While normally Renault Sport Formula One Team’s expertise makes this process go as smoothly as changing a tyre, Joe McNamara knows he has the back-up of Roland users around the world who can print the designs quickly and accurately if need be.
"It's comforting to know that, if necessary, I can find a graphics company with a TrueVIS VG-640 that is local to the track, to whom I can email a file and all they need to do I s hit 'play' at their end to produce perfect stickers," he comments. "I won't see a difference between their stickers and ours. We really are part of a Roland family, all over the world."
In addition to the TrueVIS VG-640, Renault Sport Formula One Team studio uses a Roland CAMM-1 GX vinyl cutter – soon to be upgraded to the latest GR-640 model.
The team also uses four Roland MDX-540 milling machines to manufacture Rohacell® foam cores for some car parts that require this dense but very lightweight foam sheet material.
"The Roland MDX machines are known here as phenomenal workhorses, they just don't go wrong," says Joe.
"In fact, every Roland machine we use is hugely reliable. The VG-640 is quick, accurate, easy to operate and easy to clean and the four MDX machines are simply bulletproof.
"We don't have downtime here. It's not an option."
For more information about Renault Sport Formula One Team, please visit www.renaultsport.com