Sign Architects have introduced a large format laser cutter to extend production capabilities and increase business potential.
The London-based signage consultancy and material wholesaler are a one-stop-shop for signage and branding. Offering a consultative approach to signage, graphics and more, the company was founded in 2015 and has grown exponentially to work with market-leading clients including Malabar Gold & Diamonds, Paris St Germain, Elie Saab, Bang & Olufsen and Creams Desserts.
Growing business demand
Serving clients across the UK, Sign Architects offer services including letter cutting, illuminated signage, interior signs, vehicle livery and graphic printing. Client satisfaction is at the heart of their company ethos, so the team are committed to pushing the boundaries of innovative design as well as investing in the best equipment to ensure a high-quality and commercially viable service for any sized project.
In the past, Sign Architects processed their most used materials, cast acrylic and aluminium composite sheets, with a large format 3 x 2-meter CNC router. This system was a reliable tool, although acrylics required flame polishing to achieve a polished edge which meant additional steps in the production workflow.
Director Yusuf Rab and CEO Imran Haidar noticed an increase in the demand for laser cut work. Lacking an in-house solution and keen to meet the growing number of sales enquiries of this nature, Yusuf decided to expand the company’s production facility to incorporate a laser cutting system. Yusuf started to look for a reliable laser system which was large enough to address the demand for wide-format jobs as well as smaller ones.
Yusuf first discovered Trotec at the Sign and Digital trade show where he saw a range of flatbed laser systems in action. In discussions with Trotec staff, Yusuf discovered the SP3000, a large format laser cutter with a 3 x 2-meter bed size. Following a demonstration at Trotec’s showroom near London and further discussions and consultation with Trotec’s team, Yusuf and Imran invested in a 200-watt SP3000 CO2 laser cutter.
Increased enquiries and a competitive edge
The SP3000 has been a turning point for Sign Architects, with the expanded production capabilities resulting in a 12% increase in new customers. Being the only service provider in their area to offer both CNC and laser work, Sign Architects fulfil on average 15 laser orders per week, and having the SP3000 means that they also pick up work from other signage manufacturers who don’t have laser technology.
With two distinct cutting systems, the team use each to their strength, the laser for acrylic work because it creates a polished edge while cutting, and the CNC for aluminium composite. The SP3000’s 200 watt laser source enables Sign Architects to effortlessly and accurately cut acrylic in thicknesses from 2mm up to 20 mm. The reduction in production steps has saved Sign Architects a significant amount of time which they pass on to customers through reduced lead times. Having the laser cutter allows Sign Architects to reduce the standard 7-10 day turnaround to just a couple of days if needed.
Imran and Yusuf have praised their Trotec experience. Alongside Trotec’s global reputation, the UK team worked with Sign Architects to provide an efficient installation to meet the company’s requirements. Alongside building the laser cutter in a designated room, the extraction was fitted under the floor to minimise cabling and trip hazards. Sign Architects now have dedicated rooms for their laser and CNC systems, with an office for the designers located in between.
Looking to the future, Imran, Yusuf and the team are looking to further capitalise on the success of the laser cutting business. This includes expanding into offering other products and services such as novelty gifts and acrylic photo frames. Sign Architects have noted that the laser offers near-unlimited possibilities for the company, something which they are keen to explore and continue to develop.
Imran said “The laser has been a great addition to Sign Architects’ production. With the growing demand for laser-cut signage and letters, we can rapidly respond to the needs of the market and provide a high-quality service for customers.
We are excited to expand our offering of laser cut products and services, we feel we’ve only scratched the surface of what is possible.”