A recurrent theme of our time is the ability to “multi-process,” or do several things at once. This is generally a challenge, especially if the load is all on one person, but sometimes there are tools and machines that can make this goal a reality. One of those is the Orbital-X plate processor from Nova Polymers.
This off-white box with five drawers and a few pushbutton controls largely automates the production of photopolymer ADA signs. Each function can run independently and simultaneously so jobs of different types can be processed at the same time, providing unprecedented productivity.
This might seem almost too good to be true, but over several hundred installations across the globe, we’ve seen the benefits of living large in every shop that produces ADA signage utilizing photopolymer. That said, a few questions always come up from the curious and those who are skeptical about the capabilities of this small-footprint machine.
How durable is the technology?
This one is no surprise in a world of short-lived, technology-based products. Too many devices are built with replacement in mind. But the Orbital-X is designed to be an integral part of ADA sign production operations for years.
“A well-maintained machine will certainly last 15-20 years,” says Dave Miller, Managing Director of Nova Polymers. “Two important components are the brushes and the water used. We recommend cleaning the brushes every day to remove the build-up of unprocessed photopolymer. Otherwise, the brushes will require replacement much sooner than necessary“.
What else am I looking at for maintenance?
As with almost any product, maintenance is dependent on use.
“We recommend annual bulb replacement,” says Mr. Miller. “This is simply a best practice to avoid problems that could occur when production schedules are tight. It is better to replace all bulbs as part of scheduled maintenance than to replace one or more when they fail in the middle of a job, which can take a machine offline and slow production.” While annually is a guideline, the best practice is to use a Stouffer scale to measure light output.
The Orbital-X does a lot at once. It must be a complicated run and repair.
This is one of the most compelling aspects of the Orbital-X. While it does many things, often at once, it is designed to be simple to use and maintain.
“Unlike some other systems on the market that are dependent on being connected to a computer and always having the latest software, the Orbital-X is a standalone device that is not dependent on anything other than the operator,” explains Mr. Miller. “About 95 percent of all repairs and maintenance (which rarely occur) can be addressed with a phone call to Nova Polymers.”
Moreover, the Orbital-X doesn’t require a specialized installation or dedicated room. “We have installed many Orbital-X processors in manufacturing areas, surrounded by computers, work tables, people, and various other fabrication tools,” relates Mr. Miller. “When Nova Polymers’ NovAcryl material is used the machine is odor-free so it is safe for humans to be in close proximity. In addition, the Orbital-X doesn’t have special heat and humidity requirements or need specialized ducting. The Orbital-X can really be placed almost anywhere in your fabrication facility.”
In addition, electrical requirements are easy: just 220 volts at 60 cycles, so there’s no need to run extra power or add specialized circuits to add an Orbital-X to a production workflow.
Sound good, but how do I know it will work correctly?
Unlike some other technologies, every Orbital-X Nova Polymers manufactures is fully tested and calibrated before it leaves our plant.
“Each machine is calibrated to provide a UV light measurement of 16 on the industry-standard Stouffer scale, a light intensity that assures proper exposure for ADA-compliant photopolymer signs. This way you know your machine can be productive right away,” says Mr. Miller. “All machines also come with complete operator training and instruction on the nuances of making fully-compliant ADA signage and on-site education for your team about ADA sign codes“.
Value and ROI
With the ability to have all five drawers in operation at the same time, the Orbital-X provides exceptional productivity that delivers a strong ROI that many shops can achieve in a matter of months. Based on a normal photopolymer sheet of 19×25-inches and a typical ADA-compliant sign of 8×8-inches, the Orbital-X can prepare six signs per sheet. This works out to just 1500 signs before the ROI for the machine shows up on your balance sheet.
“That’s a very fast return,” says Mr. Miller. “More and more customers are taking advantage of Orbital-X technology because this ROI, combined with the reliability, durability, and ease of operation make this a go-to choice for efficient and profitable photopolymer production.”
Get a first-hand look
If you are heading to International Sign Expo in Las Vegas, take a few minutes to visit Nova Polymers in Booth 2317. You can get a first-hand look at the Orbital-X and get answers to every question about how this machine can fit into your operation. While you’re there, be sure to ask about the Sign Expo special.
When you sign an agreement for a new machine at Sign Expo, you receive two days of onsite training with Brad Sorrow, National Sales Executive, and one day of onsite ADA training, moving you one step closer to profitability with photopolymer technology.
And before you go…
Be sure to get your free show pass by visiting Sign Expo 2019 and make an appointment to meet with a Nova Polymers signage specialist to help you to steer clear of running afoul of any ADA regulations on your next project.