Sign & Digital Graphics

May '17

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56 • May 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE Wholesalers can save sign shops time and money by outputting high-volume channel letters. (Image courtesy of LetterFab LLC) The new Accu-Bend Ace. (Image courtesy of Computerized Cutters, Inc.) The CLN Router 100 Series 6 x 12. (Image courtesy of CLN of Florida, Inc.) For sign makers who put out a lower volume of letters and lean toward more customized work, they might have a different manufacturing method; albeit more time-consuming and hands-on. Theirs is a manual technique. "For a skilled craftsman," starts Kevin Kane, sales manager at CLN of Florida, Inc., "they use a pencil, a ruler, a square and a sheet metal brake. With these tools, you can produce one letter every 30 to 45 minutes depending on the complexity of the artwork. People usually learn this trade by watching or working beside a craftsman as an apprentice." But speed is something to consider, especially with work involving strict deadlines. "Equipment has evolved to take the skill out of the job," Kane continues, "and the tools needed now are a CNC Router table, CNC notching machines, an CNC Auto Bending machine and an automated fasting machine. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. With the use of this equipment someone with little skill can produce over 200 letters per day." Of course, price-conscious cus- tomers are not only concerned with time savings but cost savings as well. All totaled, "Automation can cut the costs by 50 to 75 percent over manually bend- ing," Ondracek says. In addition to a bending machine for producing this type of work, Ondracek also notes that a C N C router is also required, and should run hand in hand with the automated channel letter machines. "The next piece of equip- ment would be a clinching machine to help eliminate the time needed to drill

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