Awards & Engraving

March '18

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A&E MARCH 2018 • 45 BASIC COST OF ENTRY Often when a shop is looking to add new equipment or learn a new technology, it will start looking at the basic equipment available and what price points to expect. And as with any new beginning, that infor- mation can vary widely. "Your level of investment will be con- tingent on which engraving markets you plan to focus on as a start-up and then expand into as your business grows," states Bobbi Payne, Rowmark. She cites awards and recognition, personalized gifts, and signage as just a few markets that rotary engraving services work well for. The price point that you can expect is also a variable. "The starting price point will vary depending on your business plan. That said, an estimated starting price range would be from $10,000 to $20,000," Payne adds. But there's more to it than just buying a rotary engraving machine. There are a variety of tools that are also needed. "I recommend starting out with a basic set of tools for the machine," emphasizes Chuck Donaldson, Antares Inc. He sug- gests starting with tools for flexible plastics and a few for soft metal. "Tools vary in price depending on the size of the shank, but you can expect a range from $20 to $33 for standard tools," he adds. Other tools for consideration include a non-rotating diamond and a burnishing attachment, and a diamond graver. Aside from equipment and price point, there are a few other considerations a shop must examine when looking to add rotary engraving to its list of services. "Understand the market opportunities available in your region," Payne states. "While there are vast opportunities, there are also risks, costs, and knowledge needed to ensure success." VARIETY OF USES Once you've made the leap, there are a variety of ways to use the equipment. Many shops utilize this equipment to create sig- nage, or on the other end of the spectrum, personalize jewelry. The reality is, rotary equipment is capable of so much more. Jason Pritchett, Gravotech, offers a unique idea for the rotary engraver: "... hard wax for the 'investment casting' manufacturing pro- cess—letters, serial numbers, and even 2-D code can be engraved in the wax; and then the plaster/ceramic-smelting process ends up as a solid metal part." Donaldson also has a few ideas to add to the mix. "Reverse engraving (engraving the back of the material) in acrylic and paint filling can give a dramatic, modern look," he points out. "This can also be done with acrylic that has been sublimated on the back side." Combining technologies is a decorating method sure to catch the eye of the customer. "In addition to standard signage substrates such as plastic laminates and wood, rotary technology is recognized for its ability to mark, engrave, and personalize metal items," Payne adds. Unlike the protocol surrounding laser engraving metals, rotary is fairly simple with these substrates. "Rotary engraving works on stainless steel, brass, pewter, and pre- cious and semi-precious metals," she finishes. Pritchett brings attention back to the classic uses, applications that make rotary engraving such a beneficial technology for awards shops to own in general. "Dia- mond engraving cannot be duplicated with lasers—there will always be a need for it on shiny, uncoated metals, such as jewelry, rings, and gift items, as well as glass," he believes. "ADA signage can be done nicely with lasers, but Raster Braille is always better on a rotary machine." Top Tips: Rotary Engraving Glass Bobbi Payne, Rowmark The process for rotary engraving glass involves using a faceted rotary diamond cutter, an adaptor that allows the cutter to "float" over the glass, and a liquid coolant system. Many manufacturers also offer special holding devices for engraving glass items such as wine bottles. A primary advantage of rotary engraving on glass is that it produces impeccable results when the requirement is straight text and simple logos. General tip: Color filling, varying engraving depths and patterns, and beveling can all help make your engraving stand out. Register Here: or call 800.560.9941 Arlington Arlington Convention Center March 8-10, 2018 Education Begins March 7 Portland Oregon Convention Center Hall C May 11-12, 2018 Education Begins May 10 TRAINING in the HALL Amcad & Graphics ..................... #101 GSG ........................#609, #701, #801 Hirsch Solutions ......................... #813 JDS Industries ........................... #421 PDS Equipment .......................... #209 The Rhinestone World ................ #615 ACS ........................................... #815 TRAINING STOP TRAINING STOP IMAGE COURTESY GRAVOTECH

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