There are different styles of installation of PPF. Many installers do not own plotters. So they are forced to bulk install film from the roll which is risk as the film is cut directly onto the surface of the vehicle. For installers with a plotter, they can use software designed to create a pattern to the shape of the panel the film is being installed on. It is possible to modify a plotter software pattern to suit the needs of an installer and/or their customer. The most experienced installers can actually hand template panels, and then convert those templates into digital format for software to then cut them digitally, meaning that any custom work can be converted into a digital template.
Two common references to installation-styles that are the popular are “pre-cut kit” and “bulking installation”. Depending on the installer one is speaking with, they may feel one is superior to the other. The highest skilled installers of PPF are ones that are versed in both styles and create a solution for their customer based upon the customer’s needs. Much care must be taken in selecting your PPF installers due to the sensitive nature of using knives around paint. A poorly executed PPF installation will result in damage to the body of a vehicle.
In addition to installations performed in situ at the factory or by certified shops and dealerships, there are also a select number of vendors who sell pre-cut and vehicle specific paint protection kits, as well as individuals who sell these kits on online auction sites or other markets.
When choosing an installer, you must consider the following. How experienced is the installer? What warranty does the PPF have? What standard is their installation? How many years has the installer been working with PPF? Insist that the installer shows you their finished work on a vehicle in person instead of photographs. Ensuring that your installer has the appropriate credentials and experience is just as important as choosing the PPF itself.
PPF is designed specifically for physical protection against light road debris and scratching on paintwork. It is different from sealants which are usually in liquid form and are designed for UV and chemical resistance. Sealants harden up the clear-coat on your paintwork, but are not designed to protect your vehicle from physical damage. For this reason, both PPF and sealants can be used on vehicles to protect the panels in different ways.