1. General Information
In August 2016, with the start of our new web platform, we introduced the newest generation Xtuners dials. This is the 12th evolution of our dials since 2004. The 10th generation Xtuners dials was the first one that reached the original equipment manufacturer quality. The last generation of the dials has some major improvements over the last two generations. All designs were updated. Currently we are the only company, that can produce aftermarket customizable dials with superb quality and according to all standards in the industry.
In the next chapters we will try to make the reader familiar with our new production. We will try to post as many pictures as we can in order to illustrate the new quality standards in our shop. Click on each image to see high resolution version of it ( best viewed on Laptops with high resolution HD screens ).
2. Dials Material
We use only high grade polycarbonate in our production. It is durable, flexible ( but not soft ), heat and humidity resistant. This is the only material suitable for making dials. OEM dials are made from the same material. We work mostly with the 0.47 , 0.7 and 1 mm gloss, semi gloss and opal PC films.
3. Print Process
We manufacture our dials in SCREEN PRINTING process. We don't need to mention that original dials are manufactured ONLY in screen printing process. There is a good reason for this. This technique is difficult, time consuming and requires serios Know-How and equipment. At the same time this is the only suitable solution if we want to achieve stunning results. Digital print, UV print, wax print or transfer print can’t reach the quality of SCREEN PRINTING no matter how expensive and advanced the printing equipment is! We don’t say that every screen printing shop can manufacture perfect dials! We work in this field for over 15 years and the experience that we have is what defines us as professionals.
4. Cutting Process
We use modified Trotec laser system to cut our dials in form. Our laser is optimized to cut policarbonate. There are no cracked, jagged or melted yellow / brown edges, which is the case when PC films are getting cut with cheap laser systems. The difference is like day and night. See examples below. Complicated forms with super fine details can be processed easily. Perfect fitment is guarantied!
5. Print detail and sharpness
We can print super fine details with amazing sharpness. Other companies that use digital printers can pretend about high resolution ( DPI ) prints, but the truth is, that their prints look like kids drawings compared to ours. We want to post some examples here and you can judge by your self who is right and who is wrong. Note that our camera is not that professional and can not capture the actual sharpness of the small details.
This is the Leeds United logo in the middle section of the dials. The graphic with the ball has a diameter of only 3mm. Can you now imagine how detailed this print is?? Not impressed yet? OK! See the next image:
This is a test print of some random logo from the internet. The logo is 3 cm high but it has some tiny details in the snake's tail area. If you look closer, you will see a small hair on the 20 km/h mark. We did not even see it when we shot the picture in macro mod. Compare it with the smallest rhombus pattern in the snake’s tail section to get an idea how good the print resolution really is. And here is one more picture:
Zoom the picture and inspect the car logo. You will probably say, that the logo is not so small and is easy to print. Yes, you are right, but the BMW badge on hood of the car is only 2 mm in diameter. Do you see the thin lines inside the badge? Compare these lines with the fine dust particles found on the gauge cluster glass. They look like rocks compared to both thin lines inside the badge! Let’s close this topic for now. We think that’s enough to convince everyone.
6. Color Choices
We work with RAL or PANTONE basic colors, custom made shades or special effect colors. We can print patterns and shades that are not possible with other print methods like digital printing. For example:
- fluorescent colors
- pearl colors, silver, gold and copper
- interference colors ( color shifting effects )
- wet and dry carbon effects
7. Warn lights symbols
We try to replicate the original dials as good as possible. The images above show examples of black dials with black warning lights. The warn lights are barely visible when they are not in use.
On white and carbon dials they look similar to this:
8. Dials finish and surface
We print on both sides of the PC films. The print process itself will be explained in another topic soon. The printed surface is smooth and there are no noticeable higher or lower levels where the different print layers contact with each other. Exception make white and silver dials, where we need to print more ink layers on the front side and in most cases you can slightly see where the different ink layers overlap. This is more or less visible on white OEM dials as well.
From January 2016 we offer the dials with two different types of matte overprint varnishes. They are printed as top layer and protect the printing inks from the UV sun rays, moisture and dirt. As mentioned these protective layers are two types – the first one is deep matte and the second one is semi gloss. The next images show the difference between both of them:
By default we use the deep matte finish. The semi gloss finish is used only in some of our projects. It is good for printing semi gloss effect patterns or to replicate semi gloss surfaces of factory dials. In 2020 we upgraded the matte varnish by making it scratch resistant. Don’t get us wrong .. you can always scratch the dials if you want, but if you are careful enough during the install, you will not face any problems.
9. Dials illumination
From the beginning of 2020 we offer 3 types of dials:
- replacement plasma dials
- replacement dials, that are optimized to work with the factory illumination
- replacement dials, that are optimized to work with aftermarket LED illumination ( custom made LED boards or LED stripes )
What are plasma dials?
Plasma dials are the same as all other Xtuners dials. The only difference is that they have electroluminescent glow panels attached on the backside. The glow panels are cut to shape. They are attached on the backside of the dials and provide dimmable light. Glow panels can be replaced any time if they get damaged or lose on power when they age. Plasma dials work independently of the factory illumination. This technology can give you enough flexibility to complete your project, but at the same time it has many disadvantages like limited color options ( pure white color and many other colors are not possible ) and short live span of 3-5 years. After this the glow panels need to be replaced.
Examples of plasma dials:
The use of plasma dials can not be avoided in some projects. Specific designs also require the use of el glow panels.
In all other cases you can just order the regular non plasma dials and ask us to optimize them for LED or bulb illumination. The dials will have light reducing rasters, printed on the back side and they will work just fine with the factory illumination. Or we can skip printing the rasters so the dials can be used with installed LED boards or LED stripes.
Examples of dials, optimized for factory LED illumination:
Examples of dials, optimized for factory bulb illumination:
Examples of dials, optimized for aftermarket LED illumination:
10. Custom made dials
We can produce any kind of dials for any vehicle. It is a pleasure for us to work on custom projects. Almost everything is possible.. just share your ideas with us and we will send an individual price offer. Note that any custom work is connected with extra charge and longer production time.
11. Product pricing
We hope that all this information will be useful for our potential customers. Obviously Xtuners dials are on another level and have no analog on the market. Unfortunately quality comes at a price. For us it is hard to compete with other companies. They can beat our prices any time, but they can never reach the quality of our products. Since October 2018 we offer quantity discounts. Resellers can benefit from this new price policy with well balanced quantity / price / quality ratio.