Located in Sudbury, Ontario, Sign Effects and Design Incorporated, is a manufacturer of illuminated and non-illuminated custom signs, banners, POP displays, awnings, and various other products. In 2007, the MultiCam 5000 Series Router was installed at Sign Effects and Design. We spoke with Wayne Lampman to gain an understanding of how it has integrated into the company and improved processes.
Why the 5000 Series Router?
Before acquiring the MultiCam 5000 Series Router Wayne stated that they had a MultiCam 3000 Series Router in a 4 by 8 table format. He said that he wanted a Router that was more robust and with even greater accuracy, which is why he began looking for a new machine.
What really stimulated Wayne’s interest to choose the MultiCam 5000 Series Router over the competition is the fact that MulitCam makes it possible to set both the top and bottom plate on their machine.This means that the the material surface and the maximum depth are able to be set. He added that he doesn’t use a sacrificial sheet but rather cuts right on the bed. A sacrificial sheet or spoil board is a piece of dispensable material that stays under the piece of material being cut. It is meant to protect the cutting bed, which is very expensive to replace, from the cutting tool. Therefore cutting without a sacrificial sheet requires extreme accuracy from the machine so as not to damage the cutting bed. The MultiCam 5000 Series Router was able to provide exactly this.
The 5000 Series Router in Action
Wayne is cutting a variety of materials on his Router. The versatility and power of the 5000 Series Router not only cuts a wide range of substrates in the sign making industry, but also has various other applications in other industries. The machine has been used at Sign Effects and Design to cut such materials as nylon, phenolic, plexiglass, C6 phenolic, carbon fiber, aluminum, aluminum panel, oak, ash, Teflon, plywood, particle board, and MDF.
A recent job Sign Effects and Design completed was to route the control panels for the Transformer rides at Universal Studios in Signapore and California. Another job was to manufacture gaskets that were sent down to the shop from a laboratory. Where they had trouble manufacturing them, Wayne had no issues on the Router and was able to complete the job in one day in his shop. Wayne has also been exploring the stainless steel cutting capabilities of the NEW Onsrud 83-135 ALTiN tool. The challenges presented by stainless steel routing are no match for this new single flute carbide tool with a coating of ALTiN to provide extra strength and prolong the tool life. Wayne has already been able to successfully cut through .125 stainless, and looks forward to exploring with the depth to cut even thicker.
Improving Processes and Increasing Productivity
The 5000 Series Router has allowed Sign Effects to integrate their digital flatbed printer with the machine and as a result improving their processes. This has allowed them to service their customers better and has contributed to increases in productivity. In terms of saving time, Wayne says “I am able to just let the machine cut, and instead of babysitting it, I am able to do something else”. For these reasons, and because of the speed and power of the machine, productivity has doubled. Due to this high level of productivity this machine is able to generate 1000 dollars an hour for Sign Effects and Design!
“We generate 3D product across northern Ontario that no one else in Sudbury can produce and because of that our profit margins are very lucrative. We are able to do everything in house so we can control quality and deadlines whereas our competitors have to ship it in. Others that have router tables only have small ones and what they can do in 2 hours I can do in 20 minutes” – Wayne, Sign Effects
When asked if he had any tips for future machine operators or prospective owners, Wayne said to “buy one bigger than you think”. There are so many opportunities for expanding what you use the router for. You want to purchase one that allows you to grow and explore the possibilities.