Awards & Engraving

August '18

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By Liz Haas, Rayzist • Consider a custom mask service to produce your photomask stencils; this service saves you labor time for a min- imal cost. • Typically, a border of 1/4 or 1/2 inch is placed around artwork; if you have a 1-inch border, you can avoid the need to tape. We recommend an alignment or specific border that best fits your item or shape. This eliminates critical time in mask placement. • Invest in production equipment, espe- cially an automatic washout system. • Additional production tools to consider are a film dryer and larger exposure system. A larger exposure system allows you to expose multiple prints at one time or even long sheets. • Create a production setup/flow. It is important to have all supplies on hand. Use the dual door feature on your sand- carving system — this allows for an easy load of ready-to-blast items and unload of etched items. Placing the etched prod- ucts in a sink of water to allow the mask to lift off the substrate makes cleanup easy and fast. • Have a reliable self-contained sand- carving system. Use a system that recy- cles the abrasive. Prior to starting, order replacement parts for your system and go through any required maintenance. One way to sandcarve a large number of smaller items is to attach them to a background piece (as seen in this example), which speeds up the process. IMAGE COURTESY RUTH DOBBINS When blasting items for a high-volume order, having an efficient production flow/layout save time. IMAGE COURTESY RAYZIST TO BE HIGHLY EVALUATED Perhaps the one most important thing to keep in mind is to not panic. These orders may require a little more thought and planning, but they can yield great profit and keep customers coming back. The key is to keep an open mind. "Explore your options," Haas advises. "A large-volume project may have you thinking outside the box and could bring change to the way you currently process orders, pre- paring you for future large orders." Stephens adds to that sentiment. "High- volume orders can be intimidating at first, but having a good understanding of the requirements of such jobs is helpful in the long run. If done correctly, this kind of lucrative work will exponentially grow any business." How to Prepare for a High-Volume Sandcarving Project A&E 12 • A&E AUGUST 2018

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