Sign & Digital Graphics

June '19

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • June 2019 • 21 Keep in mind this is not sticking vinyl letters on a window, this is a commit- ment to your sign shop team. It is a new revenue stream for your business and can become very profitable with the right equipment and the right team behind you," he says. If a sign shop invested $70,000 in a channel bending machine, it would need to sell 50 letters a month to pay off the equipment and put money in their pocket, he adds. "The key is buying a production piece of equipment and not a toy," Kane says. SDS' Cross says that it isn't hard for sign shops to get into making channel letters but it does require some capi- tal upfront and the knowhow to be a UL-approved shop. That means the shop has to have a licensed electrician on staff or they need to hire one as a consultant. Channel letters are the most lucrative part of the sign industry and the most expanding part of the sign industry, says Ondracek. The biggest letters that were done on an Accu-Bend were 21 feet tall, Ondracek says. Those letters usually adorn bigger hotels and stadiums. The width of the coils has also come down. Now the material is smaller and shallower, thanks in part to the smaller L E D lighting that is currently used. There is not a need for deeper channels to hold neon gas tubing. Channel letters typically have over- lapping seams that are held together with rivets. The rivet holes have always been drilled by hand after the letter is formed. SDS Automation developed a patented mechanism for punching those holes automatically as the coil material feeds through the bending machine. It also will punch the drain holes required to allow moisture or condensation to weep out of the bottom of the letters. SDS has also introduced a new stand- alone machine, the ChannelSander, to sand and prep the aluminum coils for custom paint colors before they are fed into the channel letter bending machine. In the past, letters would be sanded and prepped after they were bent into shape, which is a time-consuming process. "It's eliminating hours and hours of labor for even a moderately busy sign shop," Cross says. The industry keeps growing every year because development has exploded in many parts of the country. Suburbs are going up quickly and with that growth comes strip malls and other businesses that need signage, says Ondracek. He adds that there are about 40,000 sign companies in the United States and about half of them are either buying or making and selling channel letters, which is a big difference from 10 to 20 years ago. SDG About half of the sign companies in the United States are either buying or making and selling channel letters. YEAR WARRANTY THE INDUSTRY'S ONLY ONLY $19,950 (About $13,200 out-of-pocket aer Section 179 Tax write-off ) AC C U -B E N D MODEL 26 THE FASTEST & MOST POWERFUL channel letter bending machine in the industry! TOLL FREE 800-310-2887 SALES@COMPUTERIZEDCUTTERS.COM WWW.COMPUTERIZEDCUTTERS.COM

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