Sign & Digital Graphics

2012 Buyers Guide

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Timeout—A time limit for an operation. If the timeout period expires before the operation completes successfully, some default or alternative action is taken. Titanium Dioxide—Pigment used to make white inks (both UV-curing and eco-solvent). TiO² is dense and heavy and has only recently been used in digital printing applications. Tolerance—The amount of acceptable difference between a known standard and a measured sample. Tone—The effect on a color brought about by blending it with another color. Tool In/Out—Command given by computer to router to place a bit into material to begin routing. Controlling the speed and angle of tool in/out makes for more-accurate routing and less chance of damaging the material. Topology—Physical and logical arrangement of a networked system. Touch Screen—Also called a touch-sensitive screen; a computer monitor attachment that can sense the location at which a viewer touches the screen to respond to a question or prompt in a script. Often used as part of an interactive kiosk. Traffi c—In electronic digital signage, data being transferred over a network. Downloading of text and graphics represent low-bandwidth traffi c, while streaming video is higher. Traffi c Count—The estimated number of people who will see a sign in a given time period. Transfer Paper—A special paper used for the transferring of color images to substrates by using a heat press or similar device. Transfer Tape—Medium-tack adhesive-coated translucent paper, placed on weeded vinyl images still on the original carrier liner; the tack of the tape is stronger than the adhesion of the vinyl to the coated liner, so the image is pulled off the liner in a transfer to another surface. Transformer—In neon displays, the mechanical or electronic component that transforms incoming voltage (primary voltage) into a higher voltage (secondary voltage). Also an electrical component with two or more sets of wire windings separated by some insulation material. The windings are wound on a magnetic core to magnetically couple energy between the winding. Transformers only work with a changing voltage. They act as a virtual electrical short if you apply Direct Current (DC) to them. They may be designed to work on line frequency AC (50Hz or 60Hz) or high frequency (greater than 20KHz) in a Switch-Mode power supply. They provide voltage scaling and galvanic isolation. Translucent—The property of a substrate, vinyl, paint or ink to allow the passage of some light through it without being completely transparent. Transistor—The electronic equivalent of an adjustable valve. Trapping—In screen printing, to overlap one color on another. Trapping may result in the creation of a third color in the overlap area. See also Bleed. Triple Message Sign—A type of sign consisting of rotating triangular louvers. The louvers turn in unison, showing three different messages as the three faces as exposed. Tube Colors—Tubing for neon signs is produced as a clear glass, or in colors. Different tube colors serve as fi lters that only allow the desired to color to shine through. In many cases the only way to achieve rich primary colors is through colored glass. Tube Diameter—The term often used to describe the width of a tube, expressed in millimeters. Typeface—The design of a given set of letters, numbers and symbols, without reference to size or width. See also Font. U UCR (Under Color Removal)—Color separation process in which black ink is used to replace cyan, magenta, and yellow (CMY) in shadow areas where the three inks overlap, since black (K) is the combination of CMY. (Similar to GCR.) UL (Underwriters Laboratory)—Private organization that tests electrical devices and their construction and certifi es their safety. Mid-June 2012 87 UV (Ultraviolet) Light—Part of the spectrum ranging from 185 to 450 nanometers. UV has both a negative and positive infl uence on the sign industry. When UV strikes certain surfaces, such as the phosphors in neon and fl uorescent tubes, it is transformed into visible light. UV is also used for curing some screen printing inks. UV is also the prime cause of pigment failure in some paints and vinyl, especially red. UV-Curing—In certain inkjet printers, the process in which a lamp emitting ultraviolet (UV) light is used to transform monomer-based liquid inks (deposited onto a substrate via the printhead) into polymer-based solid inks. Commonly used process in many digital fl atbed printers. The ink chemistry employed can be either free radical UV curing (common) or cationic UV curing (not yet widely used). Underbase White—Printing application in which a solid fi eld of white ink that is laid down to be overprinted with an image, as when printing onto a non-white surface. V Vacuum Forming—Taking a fl at sheet of plastic material and giving it dimension by placing it in a mold, heating it until it's fl exible and then withdrawing the air in the mold, creating a vacuum. See also Thermoforming. Vacuum Gauge—Measures the degree of vacuum in a neon manifold by measuring residual gas pressure. Vacuum Table—Surface where hold-down of a substrate for printing, routing or engraving is done by air suction, as opposed to clamping or using a T-slot table. Suction is usually provided by a vacuum pump. Value—When dealing with color, value is the measurement of brightness, with zero percent representing solid black. Value Engineering—Assessing a sign based on the cost of its materials, design, installation and maintenance, with the goal of getting the best value for the money.

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