Printwear

Start Here October '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 8 ity 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 precious and semi-precious met- als," she finishes. Pritchett brings attention back to the classic uses, applications that make rotary engraving such a ben- eficial technology for awards shops to own in gen- eral. "Diamond 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." One consideration to keep in mind is that rotary doesn't work with elastic materials, according to Donaldson. "Elastic materials such as rubber and latex stretch and push out of the way instead of cutting cleanly," he elaborates. "Conversely, ceramic materi- als such as tile do not engrave because the material fractures and pulverizes instead of cutting cleanly." Basic Market Analysis If you're still on the fence about adding rotary engraving to your arsenal, there are a few more benefits that can elevate your business. Along with the number of items that it can customize, it couples nicely with other technologies and shows a strong market stance among customers looking for personalization services. "Market intelligence indicates that rotary technol- ogy is maintaining its rightful place in the engraving industry as it continues to offer extremely versatile marking methods," Payne points out. She cites that, even with the buzz surrounding laser engraving, there is still a desire, and need, for the tried and true process of rotary engraving. Not only that, but there have been improvements made to the technology that keep it current. "Materials are easier to cut, look nicer, last longer, and in some cases, can be customized with (other technologies such as) sublimation," Donaldson states. Plus, surface engraving is still a popular desire among recognition customers in particular. "Surface engraving… has a clean, classic look for trophies and plaques," he finishes. But mostly it boils down to the ease, versatility, and simplicity of the technology. "Anything you can hold fixed in place could be engraved on," believes Pritchett. "If you can keep it still, it can be engraved." With so many benefits, it's hard to find an argument not to add this technology to your business. 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 pat- terns, and beveling can all help make your engraving stand out. 32 Image courtesy Gravotech TOP TIPS: Rotary Engraving Glass

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