AXYZ Introduces METALWORKER Router for Metal Cutting

AXYZ Tailored Router Solutions (Burlington, Ontario) has added the METALWORKER router to its lineup of industrial-grade CNC machines.

The new machine was developed to help fabricators process nonferrous metals in low-to-high volume manufacturing environments.

METALWORKER was designed for end users looking to process small-to-large sized sheets of material including aluminum, copper, zinc, metal composite and more. A rigid frame coupled to a stress-relieved gantry reduces tool motor vibrations and provides edge quality, the company said in a release.

For more information on METALWORKER, contact a local AXYZ sales rep by completing the online contact form, or by calling (800) 361-3408.

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Mutoh to Host Printing United Color Management Boot Camps

MUTOH America, is hosting two PRINTING United Alliance Color Management Boot Camps Sept. 21-23 and Oct. 19-20, 2021 at its Phoenix headquarters.mutoh Printing United Color Management Boot Camps

These in-person boot camps will take a deep-dive into color management techniques, including how to measure color in RIP programs, build ICC profiles, and use electronic spectrophotometers.

Led by industry professional Dan Reid of RPimaging, the courses will prepare attendees for qualification and/or certification as a PRINTING United Alliance Certified Digital Color Professional, part of the PRINTING United Alliance program.

COVID protocols are in place and seating is very limited – register today:

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ShopBot Tools Offers Customized CNC Tool Services

ShopBot Tools, an industry leader in the design and manufacturing of professional and affordable CNC routers, has announced the expansion of their Customized CNC Tool Services offerings. shopbot desktop cnc router

Making CNC technology and tools accessible to everyone has been a commitment from ShopBot Tools since first starting in 1996, and they’ve recently seen a new trend develop: An increase in requests for more customized CNC tools. Specializations include things like a deeper Z-axis, multiple spindles, tool sizes different than standard size offerings, and having a dedicated rotary axis, among others.

“Because ShopBot is the OEM for our machines and components; we take ownership of our projects from start to finish,” says ShopBot COO Brian Owen. “We also handle all aspects for the customer from project scoping and design to procurement, assembly, shipment and installation. Since the people working on each step of this process are the same people that design and build our standard CNC machinery, they have the understanding and skills to work directly with the customer to learn about what they need from a CNC tool.”

ShopBot continues to believe that everyone should be able to successfully employ the capabilities of CNC—making small- to medium-size shops competitive in today’s market. That often can include configurations that make the tool better suited to the customer’s production needs.

With 25 years of engineering and design experience, and the versatile, expandable, and upgradable nature of the ShopBot machine platform, ShopBot’s engineering team will work with customers to spec out a tool to fit their custom application. “We work one-on-one with companies, big and small, as well as individuals, to get them the tool that they need,” says ShopBot Lead Engineer, Ryan Patterson. “Because we have experience working with a wide range of materials, and are the people that design, build, and support the tools, we’re able to help customers find a machine to fit their workflow and increase throughput in their shops.”

ShopBot’s array of CNC routers are used in prototyping, full production cutting, carving, machining, and milling in a variety of materials, including wood, MDF, plastics, foams, and soft metals. The full line of tools from ShopBot is oriented to be used for both standard and specialty operations. ShopBot’s CNC tools are affordable yet deliver professional power and precision associated with heavier and more expensive CNC equipment.

Custom machines are available in any size. Businesses don’t need to limit their production capabilities by trying to fit their unique application to the standard offerings of other manufacturers. ShopBot offers accessible expertise right here in the US paired with the excellent service for which they are known for in their industry.

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JDS Industries Announces String of New Hires and Promotions

JDS Industries (Sioux Falls, SD), a wholesale supplier for the sign industry, has announced two new hires and three promotions.

Both Connor Abbas and Sanil Khamkar joined the company on June 23 as e-commerce developers in the IT department. Abbas earned his degree in computer programming from Southeast Technical Institute and has experience in web design making custom tools, web interfaces and applications. Khamkar recently earned his master’s degree in computer science and has collected two years of web development experience.

Megan Rolfson has been promoted to the position of accuracy specialist. She joined the company’s customer service team in 2011 and was promoted to customer service fabrication specialist in 2017. She will begin her new role as accuracy specialist on Sept. 7.

Ashley Phillips has been promoted to the position of buyer in the purchasing department. She began her career with JDS in customer service in February of 2019 and was promoted to accuracy specialist in the transportation/purchasing department in September of 2020. Phillips started her new duties as buyer on July 26 of this year.

Teri Bruce has been promoted to credit analyst in the accounting department. She began her career with JDS in customer service and has spent the majority of her time with the company as a collections representative. Bruce began transitioning to her new role as credit analyst on Aug. 25.

For more information, visit

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Install Bollards in 30 Minutes or Less with FlexPost

InstallFlexPost® offers a flexible bollard/signpost solution that not only saves money by eliminating damage to the parking lot and customers’ vehicles but also makes installation a snap. In fact, most of the company’s customers have installed their FlexBollard-XL™ with Signpost in less than thirty minutes, with no special tools or bulky equipment needed.

Simply drill four holes and bolt down—all hardware, sign brackets, and installation instructions are included in the box. In the event that the parking lot needs to be reconfigured, simply take out the four bolts to remove the bollard. Then either replace the bolts in the empty holes or fill them in.

Compare this to the labor and costs involved in the installation of a concrete-encased core-drilled bollard, which involves heavy equipment, the mixing of concrete, several hours of labor, and oftentimes cordoning off the parking lot.

FlexBollard-XL™ with Signpost.

Core-drilled bollards have their place in protecting a storefront, utility boxes, gas station pumps, etc. However, because they do not flex, they are not the ideal solution for parking space signage—as damage can be caused to both the customer’s vehicle and the parking lot upon impact.

FlexPost’s heavy-duty XL base can be installed on an asphalt parking lot surface in four easy steps using standard tools. In addition to asphalt, FlexPost also offers XL mounting options for concrete, natural ground, or a high-strength adhesive for use in parking garages.

—Press Release

The post Install Bollards in 30 Minutes or Less with FlexPost appeared first on Sign Builder Illustrated, The How-To Sign Industry Magazine.

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New Zünd Software Makes Cut-File Preparation Easy and Efficient

With PreCut Center, Zünd is launching software that facilitates cut-file preparation for applications involving unprinted materials. With PreCut Center, fully nested cut files can be prepared in a few simple steps. The software significantly reduces the workload in file preparation, generates optimal material yield, and eliminates the potential for error.

Zünd’s new software solution creates a simple and highly efficient workflow for generating cut files. PreCut Center simplifies file preparation and output and lets the user select a level of automation based on individual production requirements. All it takes is a few simple steps to create a fully nested file. Whether users prefer a manual or automated process, the software allows for selecting the workflow that makes the most sense for a given production scenario.

After importing the desired shapes into Zünd PreCut Center – ZPC, the user assigns them to the corresponding recipes. Recipes are basically road maps for creating cut paths based on specific parameters. The recipes can be imported or created as needed by the user. The next step entails defining materials and material parameters. The shapes are subsequently nested on the unprinted material. This process results in optimal material yield with minimal waste and reduced production time.

In addition, PreCut Center – ZPC also lets the user integrate selected metadata. Information printed along with the job facilitates job tracking and, once cutting is complete, enables quick and accurate attribution of cut parts to corresponding orders.

PreCut Center is available in two versions, Basic and Pro. Users can select the version and associated features according to their needs.

Zünd PreCut Center’s open architecture permits importing cut shapes and data from multiple sources. PreCut Center Pro provides fully automated nesting capabilities at the push of a button and lets users individually edit nested layouts and cut paths. In a last step, Zünd PreCut Center generates a cut file in .zcc format and makes it available for subsequent import into Zünd Cut Center – ZCC. An option also exists for outputting files in .dxf format.

You can immediately download software licenses for use in a subscription model. Licenses are valid for a period of one year.

—Press Release

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Roland DGA Completes Comprehensive Online Application Page Library

Roland DGA just completed its online “Application Page Library”—a comprehensive resource at the website offering a wealth of information on virtually every imaginable application that can be performed with Roland DG’s advanced digital devices.

A project years in the making, this extensive forty-seven-page library is an outstanding resource that existing end-users and prospective customers can access instantly and free of charge.

Designed to inspire as well as inform, each page features tips and pointers related to the specific application, images showing the different kinds of output possible, and recommendations on the best Roland DG devices for those types of jobs.

—Press Release

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ISA to Hold Final Virtual Workshop for Sign Manufacturing Day

The final workshop in preparation for this year’s Sign Manufacturing Day is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. EDT.

This workshop focuses on the day of the event as well as keeping the energy of Sign Manufacturing Day going year round. To register for the workshop, visit

The 2021 Sign Manufacturing Day will take place on Friday, Oct. 1. Developed to identify the next generation of sign workers, the program affords sign companies the opportunity to build bridges with local community, technical and high schools.

For more information about the workshop or Sign Manufacturing Day, contact Allie Kunc at

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Business Management: Vibrant Prints Fuel Growth

Zach Jones, owner of Z7GFX in Hazel, Alabama, has always taught himself what he needed to know to run his business, mainly, he says, because “I didn’t have the money to pay anyone else to do it.”

A long-time fan of the art of graphic design, Jones learned Adobe® Photoshop® and InDesign® so he could run an online business while in college. After graduation, he freelanced as a racing engine builder and then followed that up by working as an iron door manufacturer.

One day, his boss asked him to wrap a work trailer. “I’d never done a wrap before,” he said. “That’s when I discovered I really enjoy wrapping.”

Jones enrolled in a Roland DGA Born-to-Wrap class back in 2015 and learned how to design effective vehicle graphics, produce quality prints, and quickly wrap a vehicle.

Z7GFX does a lot of graphics for racing teams.

Soon after that, Jones purchased a Roland DG SOLJET 64-inch printer/cutter and, in 2016, started Z7GFX in his parents’ garage. “I’ve always been into drag racing and my family has roots there, so those connections really paid off when I opened my wrap business,” he says. “In addition to racing teams, I do work for racing industry manufacturers. I do lots of jobs for several big names in [that side of the] industry.

With help from his family, Jones ending up building his current 4,000-square-foot shop, featuring a climate-controlled installation area, on some family-owned land. “I like owning a graphics shop because there’s always a lot to do,” he says.

In 2020, Z7GFX grew to the point where they needed to add a second printer, so Jones purchased a Roland DG TrueVIS VF2-640 64-inch large-format printer and a Roland DG GR-640 64-inch cutter. “The nice thing about having two printers is that you can get projects knocked out really quickly,” he says. “The VF2 has the new Orange and Green inks, and the print quality is outstanding. It’s really wild how bright the inks can be, and how fast they dry.”

Multiple printers help the business complete jobs quickly.

The Z7GFX shop is located in the Huntsville, Alabama metro area, which means they get lots of clients from the city and its neighboring towns. We wrap fleets for some local universities,” says Jones. “We also do food trucks, utility trucks, delivery trucks, catering vans, transit busses, and just about anything else on wheels. We’ve done work for the fire and police departments in the area.”

Jones also provides a lot of custom wraps and color changes for clients who are looking to personalize their ride. “We saw a significant increase in auto restyling requests during 2020,” he says. “Currently we offer more than 400 color options, as well as unlimited ways to customize one’s car or truck.”

Huntsville also happens to be a big military town, so Z7GFX also does work with charities for the families of military service members or first responders. “We also help out if a local church or charity needs graphics,” says Jones.

A bus wrap designed, printed, and installed for Alabama A&M University.

In addition to vehicle wraps, Z7GFX also offers custom decals, along with printed banners and posters. “We don’t do signage in the industry sense of the word,” he says, “but we will help out clients who need four-by-eight-foot signs printed.”

Jones says that he is pretty decent at scheduling but did find that a recent wrap job “snuck up” on him. “I had to leave early for a race and the customer wanted to pick up their wrapped vehicle later that afternoon,” he says. “Luckily it was a franchise wrap, so they sent the artwork over. I ran it on the VF2 using Roland’s TR2 inks and was able to laminate and install the graphics the same day.”

Z7GFX also offers print-and-ship graphics for their clients who are out of state and even overseas. “We send out tons of drag racing team graphics kits, sponsor decal kits, and name and number sets,” says Jones. “We’ve recently launched our new website where customers can upload files and we ship them their graphics.”

Z7GFX designs effective vehicle wraps for their clients.

To attract new clients, Jones does a lot of outreach by posting their work on Facebook and Instagram. “That really amplifies our word-of-mouth referrals and brings in a lot of clients,” he says. “We’ve also focused on requesting additional Google reviews because we’ve noticed that the more five-star reviews we have then the more traffic we get.”

Jones believes that his shop is on a good trajectory, aided with quality production equipment needed to continue to grow his business. He has one employee now and hires others when needed. “I’m actually looking for additional help right now for both production and installations,” he says.

Currently Jones is excited to be opening an online store. “We’re also working on streamlining our ordering process overall,” he says. “It’s amazing how quickly you can knock out a thousand decals, so we want to make it easy for our clients to order them.”

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Auto Dealership’s 30-ft.-Tall Neon Sign Catches Fire – Again

The 30-ft.-tall, neon-lit sign outside of Rick’s Auto Sales in Cedar Rapids, IA caught fire on Labor Day evening, resulting in an estimated $10,000 in damages, The Gazette reports.

It hasn’t been determined what caused the sign to go up in smoke, though owner Rick Porazil suspects a blown transformer or even a bird may be the culprit.

Porazil told the paper this was the second time the sign has caught fire and that Monday night was “kind of a déjà vu.” The first fire happened in the summer of 1998 and was due to defective wiring.

Porazil said he will ask the sign installer to look at the damage. “They did the neon this time and they will assess if it needs to come down,” he said. “The whole front-end fiberglass is burnt, but we have to see how bad the neon tubes are and how hot the glass was.”

Crews are on the scene of a fire at Rick’s Auto Sales (1945 42nd Street NE, Cedar Rapids). Looks like the LEDs on the car on top of the sign busted.
📷: Amanda Enos

— Mitch Fick (@MCFick) September 7, 2021

Read more at The Gazette.

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