The Digital Factory
by Dawn Homa
Working in a factory, production, and fabrication brings up images of people working like robots doing the same job over and over. Boredom and drudgery of the factory workers from the 50’s, 60’s and even into the 90’s are often depicted in photos. 2018…the sign industry has changed that. Today’s factory and production work in a sign shop is cleaner, easier, and more efficient.
But it does require other skills to be successful. The workers in a modern sign shop need to be computer/software savvy. They need to be able to set up digital files to be printed, laser cut, engraved and CNC routed by machines.
Graphic design software creates multi-dimensional sign faces that are sent to the CNC router. The CNC automatic tool changer selects the various tools to create the sign face. Then the face can be painted in a paint booth with computer-generated custom paint matches. You no longer need to paint by hand.
Cameras are used on the CNC router to precision cut shapes, allowing for pop up displays and even boxes to be easily fabricated.
Flatbed printing reduced the need for vinyl as the image is printed direct to the material. This also reduces labor and time to complete signs.
The laser engraver can etch onto metals and wood and can cut acrylic letters. It is all set up with computer software and sent to the machines.
We are having an Open House of our Digital Factory and would love to give you a tour. You can see the machines operating and maybe even make a few signs.
We are looking for our next generation of sign makers. If you would like to bring your child and show them our facility for future positions in the Signarama Sign Shop, that would be great!