Awards & Engraving

June '19

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It's not often you come across an awards and personalization retailer that offers routing services. These large machines serve many purposes in a variety of industries that serve signage needs; however, that doesn't mean they can't find a place in the traditional awards and gift shop. Interested in learning more? Following is a discussion about routers — what price points to expect when purchasing, which machine sizes are the best, applications, and other business considerations. What business considerations should be made by the awards retailer when starting in routing? Chuck Donaldson, Antares Inc. • The largest consideration is the cost of a router compared to the need of a router. Routers can be useful in increasing the volume of output, manufacturing stock pieces, and the production of larger items. However, how much the machine will benefit the company needs to be factored. • Router costs can range greatly based on size and quality. The most impor- tant thing for a retailer to do is factor costs for the machine that fits their needs plus software, computer, dust collection, tools, vacuum, etc. They need to look at the total cost of getting up and running, not just machine cost. • Electrical supply is often overlooked. Shops need to make sure they have enough power coming into their manufacturing facility to handle the large draw of the machine and accessories. Steve Alvarez, Laguna Tools • Prices on CNC packages vary greatly. Small-format tabletop machines can be purchased with software and tooling for about $9,000. Bigger production shops needing high output can expect to spend $30,000 to $100,000. • When purchasing a CNC router, it is critical to consider the future needs of your business and whether the machine you decide to purchase can be upgraded. Many machines can be upgraded with cameras and knife systems, which will work with printed materials that come off of UV flatbed printers. • There are several trade shows around the U.S. These are great venues that give you access to all of the machinery manufacturers, software, and tooling companies. You can see the machines in person, watch them run, and ask all the questions that you need to make the best informed decision. ROUTING 101 Thinking about adding a router to your business? Here's what you need to know IMAGE COURTESY LAGUNA TOOLS 38 • A&E JUNE 2019

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