If signage businesses want to stand a chance of survival, they must quickly leverage versatile automation tools and equipment. Take a look at our latest blog to see how the MCT Cutter helps companies not only survive, but thrive.
Why provider response is critical
Technology growth gives customers more and more opportunity to demand faster, more personalized and more flexible signage options.
Automation is critical to the survival of the modern signage business. It is easy to believe the local mom-and-pop signage shop that has been around seemingly forever will continue to conduct business as usual for the foreseeable future. After all, how much could really change in that industry? But, in fact, things have progressed, and the shops that hold onto the mentality that things don’t change or that production should be a certain way because of how it’s always been are facing near-term extinction.
Automation in the print and signage world has had the effect of adding hours to the day for small and midsize print shops. Processes that once necessitated at least constant manual oversight, if not constant manual labor, can now be done without much manual involvement at all. The time it takes for a small shop just to package and mail unfinished articles for outsourced finishing is time that can now be reclaimed. And with the ease of custom online ordering and rapid turnaround delivery time, automated machinery that will enable survival through increased output ability, reduced production costs, and the ability to penetrate and compete in other markets, such as apparel, home furnishings, and packaging.
Automation is not only critical for survival in the modern signage market, it is also critical to a sign and print business’s ability to grow. Production automation with a tool like the Gerber MCT Cutter has the ability to replace up to five or six full-time workers on the production line, which frees up time and resources that can be redirected to business growth efforts. With the efficiency that automation brings, even a small mom-and-pop shop in a low population area can afford to compete with their large production competitors. Investment in a tool like the Gerber MCT Cutter pays for itself in approximately one year, and is an investment from which even a small shop will receive a return for years to come thanks to savings on multiple fronts, including reduced outsourcing and labor demands.
Efficiency and diversification are key to surviving in the modern signage era, and equipment versatility is critical to achieving both. A versatile tool like the Gerber MCT Cutter enables a printer to put a variety of media through their production system with minimal lag time between runs and without having to switch systems. This results in less equipment to purchase and maintain without losing the quality of custom machinery.
Unlike many all-in-one type products, the diversity of features of a state-of-the-art multifunction tool like the Gerber MCT Cutter is not a value-add gimmick. Instead of simply adding on some soft signage features, rather, the cutter is designed to perform each function as well as if that were its sole purpose. By using its router tool, for example, a sign maker could produce a high-quality rigid sign just as good, if not better than, they were able to produce on conventional hard signage machinery. By simply switching tools on the cutter, however, the same sign maker can use the same equipment to cut and finish a set of polysynthetic banners with equal or better precision than can be done on more conventional, material-specific soft signage machinery.
The versatile cutter not only makes production easier, it actually makes it better thanks to a variety of effective finishing tools. With soft signage, the production process has historically seen a heavy burden on sewing, a finishing step that is often outsourced due to the prohibitive cost of industrial sewing machines and need for quality-controlled precision in that particular finishing step.
With the laser, one can cut soft signage with such clean edges that there is no need to perform the typically necessary process of sewing, and then on the next run one can cut acrylic material and not have to polish the edges because the cutter produces such a fine finish.
The Gerber MCT Cutter enables print and sign shops to finish nearly any type of material in-house, including everything from written materials and sign graphics to soft signage comprised of natural or synthetic fibers to vinyls and other decals. The tool’s versatility is enhanced by the finishing ability of its built-in high-power laser, which can be employed for high-precision cutting and edging of acrylic and other synthetic materials, which reduces the need for in-house labor or costly outsourcing.
Indeed, the Gerber MCT Cutter has the power to turn a small, traditional signage shop into a one-stop source for all types of printed materials thanks, in substantial part, to its fully integrated suite of equipment tools software. In a single system, a printer can run print registration and finishing production software, all of which is backed by a service provider that has served the industry for 50 years on a platform of innovative solutions and customer support.