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Sign Shop Increases Business with DFC-H5 Saw & Substrate Cutter

aluminum composite panel and sign making substrates being cut by a vertical panel saw

Dan Emmons and Geoff Poulin, owners of a small, three-person sign-shop were unsure about the best ways for positioning their new FASTSIGNS® Franchise for success, but had heard about our new machine, the DFC-H5 vertical panel saw and substrate cutter combination machine. They were one of the early adopters and quickly saw the benefits of the vertical panel saw, seeing a quick return on investment with the machine.

Their first project completed for a local hospital showed just how much of a game-changer the DFC would be for their business. To decorate the rooms of a new wing at the local hospital they were tasked with producing 132 art prints mounted on 12mm, half-inch thick, polymerizing vinyl chloride (PVC) panels. The job required cutting down 22, 4′ by 8′ sheets to a yield of 6- 30″ by 21″ panels which would later have art reproductions, printed on by their wide format printer and applied to each panel.

During the cutting process they utilized the built in horizontal and vertical rulers, and used the vertical panel saw to break down the initial 4’ by 8’ panels into a more manageable, 30” by 48” panels. They then inserted the MID-WAY Fence® which allowed them to size down the 30” by 48” panels at waist level to the final size of 30” by 21”.  In the end, they efficiently produced 132 panels from the original 22 PVC panels.

Expanding Business in the Midst of the Pandemic

When the unexpected pandemic arose, FASTSIGNS® of Burlington, Vermont rose to the challenge and used the DFC for cutting ¼”, 3/16”, and 1/8” thick acrylic panels into smaller rectangles and producing shields for local businesses. These shields provide a barrier between two people, ultimately preventing the spread of droplets.

Emmons stated that without the capabilities of the DFC-H5, they wouldn’t have been able to take on jobs requiring them to cut plastics and they would’ve lost out on that business or had lower margins by sending materials to a plastic processing shop. The DFC-H5, cuts right through delicate substrates and FASTSIGNS® of Burlington is taking on projects that they wouldn’t have been able to with other cutting methods. They have also taken advantage of the saws ability to cut horizontally and performed rip cuts of 12’ polycarbonate panels.

Cut Substrate Panels Up to 1.75” Thick With One Cut

The DFC-H5 has allowed FASTSIGNS of Burlington to accurately cut a multitude of sign making material that they wouldn’t have been able to process with a standard upright substrate cutter. The most common materials they work with includes: 1/8th inch aluminum, a variety of wood, high density CORAFOAM® (HDU), and aluminum composite sheeting (DIBOND®)  among other common sign making material.

Rather than cutting, scoring, and snapping, 1/8th inch substrates and ending up with rough edges that often occurs, the 1.75” maximum cut depth on the DFC-H5 allows for cutting substrates up to 1.75” thick in one cut with a clean edge. The key, according to Emmons is making sure that you have the right saw blade for the job.

Emmons maintains that the DFC-H5 vertical panel saw and substrate cutter combination machine is well worth the investment and is a game changer for sign shops. The DFC-H5 is a must have for anybody getting into the (sign making) industry or looking to expand.

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