Awards & Engraving

April '12

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The Market For Industrial Marking A FEW FACTORS FOR CONSIDERATION By Kristian Wieber tility. Lasers can quickly and precisely engrave or mark any text or image or nearly every material a person would want to engrave. They do so without much more effort than is required to operate a printer. They can O even engrave an image in 3D relief! In fact, lasers can perform so many technically impressive tasks that some of their more mundane—yet valuable—skills are easily over- looked, such as the ability to mark parts and products with bar codes and serial numbers. Set beside one another on a table, an industrial part is likely to look plain and dull compared to an award or gift. In terms of aes- thetic appearance, one will offer the shop owner a deeper degree of satisfaction upon completion than the other. Yet, in business, profit is the decisive motivator, and in this respect, awards businesses with laser engravers will find the market for industrial marking to be a very satisfying endeavor. THE PROFIT FACTOR Industrial clients are the type of clients that companies love to have. They offer professionalism, regular orders and regular pay. Industrial marking is absolutely a profitable use of a laser engraver, according to James Hays of Universal Laser Systems in Scottsdale, Arizona. "In fact, some of our customers have purchased our PLS6MW Multi-wavelength laser platform expressly for that purpose. It's never a bad idea to diversify your income stream, especially if your other lines of work haven't been running as hot as they once did." Diversity is indeed a worthy pursuit, not only for the additional With industrial marking, price isn't that big of a concern. Rather, they're more concerned with the mark being good, being permanent and being able to do what they need it to. avenue to revenue, but also the quality of that avenue. The market for laser-marked products offers a relief from the brutal pricing that sometimes takes place in the awards market. Bob Henry of Epilog Laser in Golden, Colorado, says that, "On par, most of our customers doing work in the industrial sector are finding a little more profit margin than our customers in the awards side of the business. It seems as though, in talking to both buyers of industrial equipment and the people that are sourcing customers of ours that have industrial marking equipment, price isn't that big of a concern. Rather, they're more concerned with the mark being good, being permanent and being able to do what they need it to." 28 a-e-mag.comA&E APRIL 2012 ne of the many reasons that the laser engraver has become a must-have staple for awards businesses is its unmatched engraving versa- PHOTOS COURTESY OF EPILOG

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