Awards & Engraving

April '18

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30 a-e-mag.com • A&E APRIL 2018 woodworking, exhibition stand manu- facture, plastic fabrication, sign making, point-of-purchase applications, graphics and print finishing, and aluminum and other non-ferrous metal fabrication among many others. "CNC routers are used in many different industries from sign makers to plastic fabricators, woodworkers, and general construction applications," he elaborates. Some of these may be markets previously unserved by your shop, which means profit potential. Maybe your shop is more interested in some unique, niche markets, customers in your area who have a need for a specific service and aren't finding it. Routers can also help there. "Aside from interior and exterior signs, many businesses expand their services to provide frames, brackets, shelving, trade show displays, furniture, and cabinetry," Alvarez points out. He is quick to add that the possibilities of what you can do with a router are nearly endless. There are probably some awards retailers out there still feeling some trepi- dation toward this technology. Even with the opportunity to serve more cus- tomers, some may still feel the equipment is too large-scale for their business. Not so. "Routers can easily serve customers needing larger pieces or jobs with multiple copies of smaller items," Donaldson says. "The two main roles of a router are the production of larger pieces and multiple smaller pieces with one setup." Even if you don't have the larger jobs, routers can increase efficiency with the small stuff. DEBUNKING DETOURS It all seems pretty positive, but like anything, there are some drawbacks to bringing a router on board. Factors like size and cost should both be considered in addition to other elements of the things routers present. It's no secret that cost tops the list when it comes to new machine purchases. "The one issue that springs to mind is the initial cost," Marshall points out. "In order to purchase an industrial CNC router that can meet business Routers offer cutting capabilities that other equipment does not, making them great complements to shops that own laser engraving machines. IMAGE COURTESY AXYZ INTERNATIONAL Don't let cost intimidate you — a router often makes up its cost once purchased with the right marketing plan and customer base. IMAGE COURTESY AXYZ INTERNATIONAL

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