November '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 2 • G R A P H I C S P R O 2 1 COMPANY HISTORY To accommodate the growth, the Bakers purchased a 42-acre facility north of Houston in 2010 with 25,000 square feet of building space. ey extensively remod- eled and built the building to accommo- date offices, new production workspaces, and equipment. At the time, Bakers' Signs was averag- ing $1 million in annual sales, with most of the work in installation and service. By 2018, the company increased sales by 1200%, hitting the $12 million mark. e Bakers also added a 10,000-square- foot production shop and nearly a dozen trucks to the fleet and some of the indus- try's latest technologies. Today, the com- pany is completing its newest fabrication building, bringing the total operations to 50,000 square feet. "Due to demand, our production has taken off like wildfire," Baker says. "We are building signs at a rate we don't have room for in our shop." With the increased space, the Bakers will be able to bring in additional equip- ment and employees to streamline its fabrication and assembly processes and handle more projects with a shorter turn- around time, Baker says. "e extra space will allow us to tackle more projects at any given time, which will def initely speed up production," Turner says. EQUIPMENT Currently, the company has a channel letter bender and large-format printers consistent with the latest technology in the signage business. e company will bring in new equipment, including: • Flatbed printers • 3 D technologies • Waterjet cutters • Advanced metal forming equipment (computerized brakes and presses for metal forming and rolling capabilities) • A second paint booth • Two state-of-the-art overhead cranes "Now we're using brakes that are man- ually operated," Baker says. "ese will go off computer files. We're taking skilled labor out of it, giving us the ability to operate more efficiently." e Bakers also opened another two acres of yard space for sign storage and staging. "It prevents bottlenecks and conges- tion," Baker says. "It allows us to be better organized and more effective and efficient. Being able to have sectors, that really helps with the process flow." e expansions result in Bakers' Signs needing to hire another 15 to 25 employ- ees, which will add to the current staff of 70. At the same time, Baker says that LED sign technology is less labor inten- sive and more efficient, cost-effective, and energy-efficient. "A lot of the processes and technology we're using today are a lot more friendly for the environment," Baker says. LED tubing, for example, is more effi- cient than neon, which can break easily, is costly and inefficient, and requires a great deal of maintenance, Baker says. "Now the technology has improved to the point of LED tubing having the same look as neon without the high cost and high maintenance," Baker says. e LED technology benefits projects like those for Javier Marcos and e LINE. "Ba kers' Signs' primar y goa l is to become the top sign solution in the U.S. by exceeding all customer expectations," Baker says. GP Shelley Widhalm is a freelance writer and editor and founder of Shell's Ink Services, a writing and editing service based in Loveland, Colorado. "A lot of the processes and technology we're using today are a lot more friendly for the environment."

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