HEXIS GRAPHICS DIVISION



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Research and innovation: strategy for the Future

HEXIS S.A. is a key player on the market for producing adhesive films designed for visual communication. The company celebrated 25 years of innovation in 2014!

The company specialises in top-of-the-range, self-adhesive PVC, PU and latex cast films. It also innovatively develops a range of products designed for professionals in the field of digital printing, as well as for letter-painters, signage specialists and companies specialised in textile markings.

For several years now, HEXIS has marketed an entire range of products for industrial projects.

Innovation & growth

Constant innovation in the field of adhesives and cast and calendered film has always been the real driving force behind growth at HEXIS. To this end, we are working on improving the quality of our products and our processes, as well of course as continuing to develop our production tool so as to be able to extend our production capacities.

We have thus invested in a second production site in Hagetmau, in the South West. To date, €7.8M have already been invested and we are planning a second investment phase which will start in 2015, for an amount of € 7M.

The laboratories

Hexis devotes 3 % of its turnover to R&D, and employs 20 people in its laboratories.

The laboratories are responsible for part of the quality control process for raw materials, semi-finished products still in the production phase, as well as the end product when it comes off the production line.
The values measured, which are essential for the performances of the product and for adhesive films, are essentially composed of:

  • Elongation and breaking load
  • Colour conformity
  • Surface roughness
  • Peel force
  • Immediate adhesion (“tack”)
  • Final adhesion to the support
  • Stability over time (in a heat chamber and in “QUV”)

The main innovations

Our R&D laboratory is very active in the development of our ranges of computer-assisted cut and printable cast films, as well as the development of major innovations.This research work has led to significant evolution in the field of adhesives.

In 2006, HEXIS launched a new adhesive technology, “HEX’Press”. This product makes it easier to install adhesive films on a support thanks to a system that eliminates air bubbles. By preventing creases and bubbles, this product significantly reduces the installation time whilst providing perfect rendering of the visuals on the support.
Also in 2006, the laboratory developed a cast film, “Cast”, using an original process that makes it possible to obtain an extremely conformable, ultra-thin (30 to 80 µm) PVC film. It has allowed the group to conquer new global market share for adhesive supports for “Total Covering”, an operation that consists in totally covering a vehicle with a printed film.

More than 10 years ago, and in order to provide a solution to the problems of maintenance faced by the manufacturers and operators of public transport, HEXIS designed an entire range of adhesive films as an alternative to paint. These solutions make it possible to save a considerable amount of time during installation, and have surface protection properties (anti-scratch, anti-graffiti…). In this way, the wagons in the Paris and London undergrounds, as well as many carriages for high-speed trains, regional trains and trams in both France and abroad have HEXIS coverings, making it possible to combine both aesthetic coherence and protection against degradation.

In 2008, an anti-microbial film – PUREZONE – was developed, making it possible to fight the proliferation of bacteria in public areas, hospitals, etc.

In 2010, HEXIS launched its own range of films for textile markings with the Cutflex range for computer-assisted cutting, and the Printflex range for printable films.

Every day, our colourists create colours at the request of our clients and invent the colours of the future.

In 2014, their role was essentially to adapt our pigment pastes to ensure their conformity with the REACH regulations.

In the last few years, the development of ecological product ranges has continued with the launch of a new generation of films manufactured from aqueous emulsions (latex, PU, etc.). These films without PVC have been designed for top-of-the-range visual communication. They satisfy the very strictest sustainable development requirements. The new production technology with an aqueous base reduces by 70 % the quantity of solvent used in the manufacturing process. These products, which are in conformity with the regulations in force, do not contain chlorine, phthalates or heavy metals.

In 2010, HEXIS was chosen as the Regional Winner of the INPI innovation trophies. The particular aim of these awards is to reward businesses that present good economic growth and that use industrial property in their development strategy.

In 2014, at the FESPA (Federation of European Screen Printers Associations), HEXIS received two EDP (European Digital Press) Awards for HX190WG2, a multi-layer cast film designed for digital printing, and HFLEX100P, a Flex film without PVC designed for textile markings.

Through diversification and the high added value of technical films, HEXIS has taken up the challenge of globalisation and today exports half of its production all around the world thanks to its 6 subsidiaries and fifty distributors that are managed by the export department.