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Routers : revolutionising signages !

2016-03-31 11:25:45 -



Routers : revolutionising signages !

The usefulness of routing is immense in  the signage world. The router can open the pandora's box of joy for the end-users because in today's world of glamour and advertising, it helps you to stand out  and stay ahead. Unlike the run-of-the-mill signs, the end user gets benefited by the eye-catching dimensional designs of routerised sign.


Sign industry's domain  comprises of latest in the   print technology i.e. the digital printing, which has already caught up and is being used extensively throughout the world. It has been used in innumerable ways to enhance the beauty and usefulness of the signs. But in today's fast paced cut-throat scenario, digital printing has already seen its pinnacle and is now considered not enough for signages. Moreover, the digital print market has also become very much overcrowded. So, digital print vendors/professionals are now looking for other avenues to survive in the market. And in this scenario, Routing or CNC (Computer Numeric Control) Router provides the answer. It gives the sign maker, the cutting edge over his competitor. Not only this, the router upgrades him to a fabricator, and put him in a new role of a solution provider.     


The usefulness of routing is immense in the signage world. The router can open the pandora's box of joy for the end-users because in today's world of glamour and advertising, it helps you to stand out  and stay ahead. Unlike the run-of-the-mill signs, the end user gets benefited by the eye-catching dimensional designs of routerised sign.


Infact, etching and engraving are the oldest forms of writing, because after the discovery of iron, man started using iron hammer and chisel to engrave. This is the only reason why so many intricate carvings done on stones can still be seen all over the world. Till a few years back, the intricate and fine art of cutting, etching and carving used to be done manually. But now through CNC routers, one can do world-class etchings and carvings in one-tenth of time. CNC router is a boon to the signage industry. It tremendously enhances the look and usefulness of a sign. It can cut intricate multi-dimensional figures of different shapes and sizes, which give an extra edge to sign and make it far more superior in every aspect than the plain two-dimensional signage.   


There are many places where routerised signs can be placed to increase the look and beauty of the surroundings. Generally, people get lost in the labyrinth of hospital's corridors and passages, due to lack of proper indications or signages. If hospitals have proper ADA signages (Braille and raised letters) indicating  departments and directions, these could very well guide the visitors. Similarly, airports, railway stations, bus terminals etc also need proper ADA signages to facilitate the travellers and daily commuters.  Even roadside signages, which are taken care of by municipal corporations, have lot of scope for routing.


In post modernisation era, where hectic advertising and buyers rule the roost, signage has become an important part of the whole paraphernalia of good showrooms. Good multi-dimensional signage accentuates the look of a showroom. The routerised signs can be placed outside the showrooms at a good height so that they are visible clearly from a distance. It can be further illuminated with attractive colour scheme for night viewing.


There is a good scope of routerised signs inside the showrooms also where a lot of product-display stands and small signs can be erected, making way for mechanical routerised signs.  Routerised signs also have their utility in clubs which are frequented by elite people who appreciate beauty and looks. Near the entrance, routerised sign with club name can be placed by assimilating it beautifully with the club's flora and fauna. Recently, many multiplexes have come up in metros. These multiplexes are using the best and the most modern signages. They can be used as benchmarks of signage for other establishments.


A router is an advanced and sophisticated machine, one of the latest marvels of mechanical engineering. Before buying any router, one should have the basic knowledge of router's working principles. It has four type of drive motors. Stepper motors, DC servos, AC servos and Hydraulic servos. A stepper motor moves according to the electric pulse it receives. Servos are like electric fan. They move when the current is supplied and become standstill when the current is switched off. AC servos produce more power than DC servo. Hydraulic motors are used in boring blocks. The motion of a router is under three axes, i.e. the table (x axis), the gantry (y axis) and the up-and-down spindle (z axis). A router usually follows one out of four motion systems, i.e. ballscrew, leadscrew, rack and pinion and belt or chain.           


There are many routers available in the market. But one shouldn't plunge headlong to buy router without doing any research on what is available and what is needed. Some of the companies, which are producing routers are Cam Tech, Gerber and Multicam etc (see box). Some of these models are available through  their distributors in India. All these companies have very good prospects as most of the big corporates are shifting towards routerised signages. The major companies, which have already switched over to routerised signages are Mahindra & Mahindra, Telco, Honda Cars etc. Companies like Reliance Petroleum, BPCL, SHELL and HPCL etc are planning to take the alminium composite material route for long life signages.  


A router that suits well to the business is a very good investment as it tremendously increases the business volume. So, one should be careful while choosing the perfectly apt router for the right kind of application.

The first important step that should be followed while buying a router is to do the review of the company. The review includes  duration of company’s business, the technological capabilities and support programmes. Since computerised sign making is a fast paced industry, it is important to choose a manufacturer who has a proven record of technological innovation and capabilities and talent for adopting the changing needs of technology.


Once the manufacturer is identified, the next step is the equipment itself – specifically, the CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) software and the router. Ease of use is an important requirement and as such should also be considered.             


The ideal computerised routing system should have following features:


* Panelling: Output jobs larger than the table.

* Nesting: Arrange jobs together to maximize material use.

* Repeat: Quickly and easily repetitive work.

* Lead In/Lead Out: Eliminates plunge dimples for the best quality edges.

* Inlay: Precisely cut artwork that fits together every time.

* Auto – Carve 3D Sign Carving: Produce signs with three-dimensional incised carved letters, symbols, graphics and borders.

* ADA Signage: Create quality Braille and raised letters.


As a router has many capabilities to increase business, one must do some research. One should also be looking for a system that sticks to industry standards and is compatible with other CAS (Computer Aided Sign making) programmes. After examining all the options, ‘price versus feature’ assessment is the last step before ordering the equipment. If decision to buy a router is taken after thorough assessment, it is bound to take your business to the path of prosperity.