Tapes for Sign Makers

The sign making industry faces several technical challenges when mounting and assembling their carefully made signs to meet their customer’s specifications. Will it fix properly to that surface? Will it withstand the particular weather conditions – wind, rain, temperature extremes? If it fails, your customer will blame you, the sign maker, not the adhesive used to fix the sign in place.

All of this means that sign makers need adhesive tapes that they can rely on. That they know will perform the task at hand, without stretching it to the limit. That’s where SK Direct comes in.

Here at SK Direct, adhesive tape is OUR business. Whether it’s single and double-sided tape, security and tamper evident tapes, double-sided foam tape, or robust acrylic bonding solutions, we are the experts.

This means that we certainly know everything there is to know about providing adhesive tape for the sign making industry.

We provide both standard and bespoke tape solutions that are designed to provide high performance with complete bond reliability regardless the demands of the application. Whatever surface your sign is going to be applied to - solid, flat, textured or flexible – we have the right, and the best, solution to make sure that your signs stay in place.

We know that the quality, reliability and consistency of our products are second-to-none and won’t let you down. We work closely with the sign making industry to really understand the particular demands that it faces so that we can provide the perfect solution that will withstand those demands.

We have a large range of tapes available in various sizes and formats and are even able to develop bespoke products to meet individual specifications or to provide solutions to particular problems.

Don’t just take our word for it, see for yourself just how great our tapes are for sign makers by contacting us today to request your free samples.

For more information on our range of products, or if you would like to discuss your self-adhesive tape requirements, please telephone us on 01543 277849, or email us at sales@skdtapes.com.


Spool winding adhesive tape

For continuous production processes where frequent stop/starting is undesirable we offer an in-house spool winding service for any of our own materials, or free issue. Spooling is a method of traverse-winding materials that allows us to create much longer reel lengths.

For businesses that require a tailored service with competitive pricing and guaranteed precise delivery dates, we have the perfect setup. By carrying a vast range of materials in jumbo reels as well as doing all our own conversion, finishing and packing at our plant centrally located in Staffordshire, UK.

Quotation can be issues any time for a simple comparison. We do like to arrange a site visit to determine the exact material and presentation that suits your requirements.

  • Plastic profiles
  • Foam and rubber extrusion
  • Electrical conduit
  • Bag making
  • Envelopes
  • Cardboard, POS

The materials we offer include a vast range of foam tapes, amongst which a white closed cell PE foam with acrylic adhesive and blue liner, widely used as a foam tape for conduit (cable trunking). Double-sided Polyester filmic tapes generally applied to trims, profiles and extruded seals for the construction and automotive industries. And tissue tapes for paper, cardboard application in packaging and point-of-sale manufacturing.

Acrylic foam tape AF1000R

Acrylic foam tape AF1000R / AF1000s reinstated

For clarity, we have brought back the old version of a previously updated product… AF1000R.

Some years ago we changed the release liner on all our Acrylic Foam Tapes to an ‘easy release liner’. Particularly when used in small sizes, narrow roll width rolls and die-cut pieces, this has a big advantage to the end user who no longer needs to struggle to remove the release liner from the tape. The last digit in the product code changed from and ‘R’ to an ‘S’. This choice was not taken lightly though, and great precaution was taken in specifying a user friendly silicone coated liner with a minimalised release coating.

Silicone coated release liners are often a necessity on double-sided pressure sensitive tapes, without being able to remove the liner the tape is obviously useless. With a limited longevity of the release coating’s anchoring on the film and potential inconsistencies in the silicone coating, they can occasionally compromise the performance of the tape.

Besides the obvious of leaving less room for error, another reason for choosing the silicone-free liner could be to optimise the clarity of the adhesive. Silicone coated liners give a slight misty effect to an otherwise transparent adhesive. The silicone-free liner keeps our AF1000 ‘TBond’ adhesive system clear as glass.

Re-introducing the R liner alongside the S means that we now have a choice of 3 liners on our AF1000, 1.0mm clear acrylic bonding tape:

AF1000R – Silicone free red film
AF1000S – Easy release red film
AF1000A – White release paper

SKD Tapes 10th anniversary

Only one decade young, and so grown up already! It was 21st September 2005 when 3 guys registered the name and company SK Direct (UK) Ltd, (purposely referring to our main supplier Seal King). Armed with nothing but a wealth of experience in the global market of industrial self-adhesive materials and converting, the sole aim was to offer high quality industrial tapes with excellent customer service and reliability.

Over the 10 years it has not always been easy. We lost our partner and tape industry legend Nick Reynolds to a long battle with cancer. Nick spent a lifetime career travelling the world, connecting together all the major manufacturers and distributors. On his travels he made many friends and acquired an encyclopaedia of tape industry knowledge, which he was never too tired to share (whether you wanted to listen or not). Nick will never cease to be an inspiration to us.

Then whilst still based at RAW in Cannock we lost our stock and office in a huge blaze on bonfire night. No-one was hurt and having to rebuild the operation motivated us to aim higher. We moved into our own premises and soon after acquired our first converting machine, a Cevenini lathe-slitter.
Having survived the worst of the recession we grew out of our premises and moved to new-built unit in Norton Canes, at the same time installing a new duplex Slitter/Rewinder. We are still in the same premises now but have expanded it to allow for further growth. Earlier this year we added a slitter/spooler, as well as a rotary die-cutting machine to the arsenal. Recently we even ordered a second lathe-slitter, in order to maintain quick response times. With the machines of course our team has grown too, in numbers as well as ability.

The industry and the requirements of our customers will never stop evolving, and therefor so will we... Onwards & upwards as they say

SK72 Tamper Evident

Tamper evident carton sealing

You can now order the new cost-effective tamper evident security tape for boxes and pallets. We have developed this tape to add a value solution to what was already the most diverse range of security tapes in the world.

The idea is simple, use this tape to seal your cartons, and it can't be opened without leaving obvious trace. This form of tamper evident security means that the receiver will have piece of mind providing that the seal is still intact. If not, then appropriate action can be taken.

This security tape, aimed at the wider packaging market, has a strong acrylic adhesive and PET backing. The adhesive will bond instantly to plain and printed cardboard packaging, plastics and wrapping films. The void message is invisible until the tape is actually peeled.

There are three colours available - Red, Blue and Gold. The gold tamper evident tape is generally used for plain brown cardboard boxes, and avoids drawing too much unnecessary attention to the items. The void message is however surprisingly bold and obvious once the tape has been peeled.

Economic, quick and easy to use like any normal packaging tape, the rolls fit in a standard hand dispenser.

Roll size: 50mm x 50m

SK7201 = Blue

SK7202 = Red

SK7217 = Gold

48 Rolls per carton, no surface print

Spool bobbin spooling SK72 Tamper Evident

Spool winding service

Spools or bobbins? (Personally I tend to refer to them as spools).

Either way it involves a core onto which we wind a set width of tape using a traverse winding process. Winding the tape in this way allows for far longer length reels. Making longer feed rolls of a self-adhesive tape applied in a continuous production process is a great advantage. In order to change the roll of tape the entire manufacturing process must be stopped and this comes at a cost, long reels of tape can therefore be a real benefit.

The process starts with slitting or slit/rewinding feedrolls as long as feasible. Our equipment allows us to make feedrolls up to 500m diameter which means we can minimise the amount of splices in the spool. The feedrolls then go on the spooler and are slit into specified width and spooled. We join feedrolls together with a method of usable splicing until the desired length is achieved. The splicing method is key to assure that the final spool will run from start to end without interruptions, and the joint does not cause any bonding failures in the final application.

The actual length of the spool depends on a number of factors.
- Diameter capacity of the user's equipment
Some unwinders or applicators will only allow for spools up to a certain outer diameter
- Width of the adhesive tape
For example we will be able to make a longer spool from 6mm tape width then we can from 25mm tape width.
- Thickness of the material
We can spool anything from very thin filmic or transfer tapes up to 3mm thick foam tapes. Thinner tapes allow for longer length spools.

The equipment we use to produce spools is up to date and technically advanced. We have worked with the manufacturer to fine-tune the software in the machine to suit our process and materials and improve the final product. We currently have 6 spooling heads, each can work individually, so for one run we can choose to utilise only 2 or 3 of the rewind stations or even process different tape widths in the same run.

All this means that whilst we are able, and still have capacity do do large runs, we can also produce small quantities cost-effectively, and quick. It has always been our ethos to produce what our customers need, when it is needed. Larger production runs can reduce the cost per unit, but you can only spend your money once. This does put ownership on us to keep sufficient raw material stocks to keep lead-times down, it also improves cashflow, saves warehouse space and helps our customers to respond to changing demands.

Quality of course is a key element. Not only do we use specified advanced materials from carefully selected manufacturers, we also take great care in the finished product, technically and aesthetically. Finally the packaging is designed to withstand the stresses of national and international distribution.

We now offer a spool winding service as well as offering finished spools from our own vast selection of self-adhesive materials, many of which manufactured by Seal King. Furthermore we have access to a global network of tape manufacturers and contract coaters to find solutions to more specific challenges.

In the end, we do care a great deal about every aspect of your spools or bobbins, but not what you call them.

Die-cut tape

Die-cut, butt-cut, sheeting, laminating

Did you know we can die-cut, butt-cut, sheet and laminate adhesive tapes and self-adhesive materials?

2015 has been a busy year for us already! Amongst many other things we have installed a modular rotary die-cutting machine for conversion of tapes, foam tapes and label materials to pads, gaskets and pieces in any shape size or format.

Not only can we offer any of our own adhesive tapes and tamper evident materials in die-cut format, but we can convert your own free-issue materials.

Rotary die-cutting is a process whereby materials, tapes or labelstock, are unwound, laminated, and particular shapes are cut using a rotary cutting die. Typically we'd laminate a double sided tape or foam tape onto a bottom release liner, then cut the shape required and remove the skeleton or waste surrounding the pads. The cutting die can cut through onto the anvil roller underneath or kiss cut onto the bottom layer, usually a release liner.

We have several magnetic cylinders for thinner materials (up to about 200 micron). These allow us to use flexi-dies, basically a sheet of metal that goes on the magnetic cylinder and is a lot cheaper than using solid dies. We tend to use them for die-cutting our tamper evident labels and the production of security void labels. They can be used for thinner double sided tapes as well. With the more expensive solid rotary dies however we can cut through materials up to 5mm thickness.

For sheeting and butt-cutting we have removable blade dies allowing us to produce sheets or parts in numerous sizes.

Die-cut labels have round corners and spacing between each label on the roll.
Butt-cut labels have square corners and no spacing between each label on the roll

Grant secured

We have been successful obtaining Business Development Programme funding. This grant will enable us to expand our factory and warehouse space to keep up with the continuous growth of our company.

The grant, a total of £13k, is part of an £8m scheme aimed at helping over 400 small to medium sized business across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise area, which includes Cannock Chase.

As a result we have already been able to create one extra full time post. Within the next 4 weeks work will commence on a mezzanine floor that will increase the works area floorspace by 70%. As part of our current investment plan we will install two new machines at the end of this year, increasing our capacity and production capabilities.

Introduction new PE no-residue void materials

Earlier this year we have officially launched the new No-residue void materials with PE backing. These security label materials bond to a huge variety of surfaces including LSE, plastics and textured surfaces due to their high conformability. Already available in clear and blue, we will be adding other colours to the range later this year. Free samples available now.