GRAPHICS PRO

October '21

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8 6 G R A P H I C S P R O O C T O B E R 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M Let's Talk Shop Application Tables INVESTING IN EFFICIENCY B Y C H A R I T Y J A C K S O N C hoosing to add a piece of equipment is an investment. Making that investment means the equipment should serve to cre- ate a profit for you, add or improve a service, or make your shop more efficient. We've bought numerous digital printers over the years – choosing to buy a new one when the older one starts having costly repairs or when the technology improves. We purchased a laser engraver when we wanted to expand into laser-engraved plates for the solar industry. A separate cutter was purchased to contour cut on a machine other than our printer, making our print/cut process more efficient. Buying an application table was a different investment. We couldn't print wraps or engrave plates – machines that give us a direct profit – but like the separate cutter, we could be more ef- ficient with our labor because of a table. Because the return on our investment was less obvious, we de- bated it for a few years before taking the leap. Hands down, buying the table was one of our best purchases. ONE PERSON We run a pretty busy shop with very few people. My husband and I have a sign production background rather than a sales/manage- ment background, so our approach to sign shop ownership has been very hands-on. This background has worked well in many areas as we have a good understanding of ways to improve production since we're entrenched in it alongside our employees. We noticed that the application of large signs on the table was inefficient. For years we ran our signs through the laminator to apply them, and this works great. You peel back the edges of the graph- ics or tape them to the substrate and run them through to speed application. This doesn't work as well for larger signs since the substrate is unwieldy and difficult for one person to maneuver, hold up the end, and peel back the backing paper as the graphic is run through. So, even though we didn't have to apply the graphics by hand, it usually required two people to run a 4' X 8' sheet through the laminator. On the other hand, applying a large sign on an applica- tion table is much more efficient. Once the substrate is laid on the table and cleaned, the graphics can be positioned in place. No taping or moving the substrate and graphics is required, risking losing placement. The pressure roller is simply lowered down, and the graphics are applied. The whole process takes less than five minutes for one person to complete. FEATURES I am not an expert on application tables or how their features have evolved over the years, but I do know that there were features we We've bought numerous digital printers over the years – employees. We noticed that the application of large signs on the table was inefficient. For years we ran our signs through the laminator to apply

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