Sign & Digital Graphics

September '19

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • September 2019 • 23 The Assembly Process To assemble the awnings, more awning manufacturers are invest- ing in technology to improve the accuracy and efficiency in their production processes, says Craig Zola, vice president of marketing and distribution for Herculite Products, a textile manufacturer in York, Pennsylvania, of several awning fabric brands. The manufac- turers are moving away from manual fabric cutting and assembly to using computer-based cutters and plotters and thermal welding equipment for the seaming and assembly, he says. "These methods reduce fabric waste and improve the speed of project throughput," Zola says, adding that the manufacturers can produce textiles with more consistent physical characteristics in the stretch and dimensional stability. The awning fabric or other material is supported by a frame made out of square piping or tubing in two primary materials of steel and aluminum. Steel is hot-dipped in galvanization to rust- proof the inside and outside, while aluminum doesn't need treat- ment because it does not corrode. "Steel is heavier, but size for size much stronger and it costs less to purchase," Douglas says. "Aluminum requires more material to get the same strength as steel, but it is lighter for the install and cleaner in the fabrication process and lasts indefinitely." The awning has fasteners at the top to anchor it in place and outbars at the bottom, which extend out to the front and support the canopy. The frame is installed by using the fasteners, dictated by the type of surface for the mounting. For a block wall or concrete building surface, Z Clips typically are used, which are mounted to the surface using a fastener, such as a tapcon or sleeve anchor, Yopp says. The awning tubing is set into the top of the Z Clip, where a one-inch gap is formed between the clip and surface, and the awning is anchored in place, he says. Z Clips also can be used for wood, but instead of a tapcon or sleeve anchor, the clip is held in place by self-capping screws, Yopp says. Image courtesy of Glen Raven. Image courtesy of Glen Raven. Image courtesy of Glen Raven.

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