For decades, the world has recognized the importance of providing highway and other outdoor workers with uniforms that feature a reflective material. Today, consumers who purchase athletic footwear or snowmobile suits want retail manufacturers to follow the "visible" example set by the road-construction industry. With this in mind, 3M has introduced a line of "sparkle" films that have a glitter-like appearance that it hopes will attract the attention of a younger market. Available as an unsealed film, the Scotchlite product features highly retroreflective microprizmatic lenses formed in a durable transparent resin. Its shiny, glossy appearance maintains a high degree of reflectivity even when wet, says Susan Haider, 3M marketing manager. Currently, the film comes in red, green, yellow, orange, blue, white, fluorescent red-orange, and fluorescent lime-yellow. It can be customized into logos, piping, graphic representations, and other design elements. Phone Lori Wood at (612) 733-9781.
Both traditional automation companies and startups are developing technologies to improve processes on the factory floor, while smart sensors and other IoT-related technologies are improving how products are handled during transport and across the supply chain.
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