At Signarama Evansville, we get some interesting projects to work on, for a variety of clients. It’s one of the reasons we have so many different pieces of equipment: so we can manage anything that comes our way.
One recent project involves laser engraving 500 wooden plaques for a high-end wooden cabinet maker that will be shipped to showrooms nationwide. Each plaque will honor the salesperson with the highest sales volume in their region.
The client sent their plaques to our Signarama Evansville office — which are really cabinet faces they manufactured themselves, of course — for us to engrave with our laser cutting machine.
The way we engrave the plaque is rather interesting. We set a couple blank plaques on the engraving bed, while the laser moves around the plaque itself. It’s similar to the computerized CNC router we use for our other signs: the machine registers the edges of the plaque, and then engraves the letters based on the data in that particular plaque’s file.
Normally, we might engrave only a plaque at a time, but for 500 plaques, we have to move a little faster, so we have two plaques engraved in the same pass by laying them side by side in the engraving bed. This cuts our time in half.
Further, we can treat the project almost the same way a printer would do a mail merge project. There’s a single layout for each plaque, and then a spreadsheet of names and locations that are merged into the layout file. The laser then “prints” each file and moves on to the next one, just like a mail merged letter.
We can even do this with a pen engraving project. Oftentimes, Signarama Evansville will be asked to produce a large number of wooden pens, but it would take too long to do them one at a time. So we made a jig for each pen to sit in its own pocket. The engraver can find the starting point for each pen, and engraves several without swapping them out individually.
Of course, we can only do so much. While we have an operator watch over the engraving, the correct spelling of the content is up to the client! So it’s always a good idea to proof everything a couple of times before you send it over. Of course, if Signarama is helping you with any sign designs, we’ll send you a final proof before we get started.
Once the plaques are made, we’ll then ship bundles of them to the different regional managers, who will then personally distribute the plaques to each store.