GRAPHICS PRO

Start Here October '22

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78 graphics-pro.com S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 2 into a 24,000-square-foot building that offers full manufactur- ing of electrical and architectural signs, sign products, channel letters and vehicle graphics. Before buying the ROLL-X worktable, Bent and Ziccardi insisted their staff "should know how to do this the old-fash- ioned way," she says, "and then we gave up." Signarama's employees use the table to mount masked vinyl and digital prints onto various substrates. "If we need to laminate, we don't need to unload a lamination machine. We cut the sheet off for what we need and apply it to one project," she says. "at's another time saver and material saver for us." e table is 5' × 11.5' — wide enough to allow for a 54" digi- tal print. "Our old table was a 4' × 8' plywood table and prints were always hanging off the sides. Now the whole print fits on the table. It is positioned in the middle of our production room with a laminator on one end of it." Signarama makes a lot of its signs on HDU materials. After they come out of the paint prep room, staff use the table to apply paint mask material, protective covering to put on the CNC router. "We used to do it by hand, too," she says. e worktable has an adjustable height feature that works great if employees are different heights. ey can raise or lower the table to fit their own ergonomic needs. Employees also like that the table is illuminated, which "helps them weed on white vinyl because they can see the cut marks better. If they are doing an overlay on multiple colors, it helps you see through the substrate," Bent explains. "It definitely has contributed to the overall effi- ciency or productivity in the workplace." SIZE & SPACE Raum Divarco, general manager of CUTWOR X USA, maker of CWT flatbed applicator tables, says that most smaller mom and pop or residential print shops won't have equipment to print on rigid substrates. Most of them will start with roll printers or plotters, a worktable to mount prints on rigid substrates and a digital cutting machine. CUTWOR X sells smaller table sizes, entry level options to get people started, Divarco says. If a shop makes traffic signs, for instance, they wouldn't need a 10' table if they are only mount- ing blanks for smaller road signs. If they are doing fleet graphics or highway signs, they will need longer tables to pre-mask blanks. One of the biggest considerations is space. e company's more high-end worktables have lift kits, lights, a heat-assisted roller, and cost nearly $35,000, so a shop wants to make sure they have room for it so it can be used properly and not just end up "as a table collecting boxes," Divarco adds. "at can happen in the blink of an eye. You get busy and it becomes a collection tray, and you damage it." Price isn't as much of a consideration because there are so many platforms offering so many sizes it is easy to find the table size a shop needs for a good price that will fit the space, he adds. Shops that have the luxury of extra liquidity might want to opt for a machine with a higher price tag because it "generally means you will get more premium rubber, which is pretty important when using it for a pinch roller for lamination," Divarco argues. He adds that clients do come in with size and space restrictions thinking they will want a lower end model but will leave with a more expensive one after seeing a hands-on demonstration and realizing it will alleviate workflow bottlenecks. "Our old table was a 4" x 8" plywood table and prints were always hanging off the sides," says Dawn Bent. "Now the whole print fits on the table. It is positioned in the middle of our production room with a laminator on one end of it." (Image courtesy Signarama Huntington Station)

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