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Sign Manufacturing Day

Date: Friday, October 7th, 2016

Hosted by: Encompass Sign Systems and Serigraphics


What is Sign Manufacturing Day?

"During Sign Manufacturing Day, participating companies open their facilities to students and community members to showcase the importance of manufacturing to the local economy as well as job opportunities within the industry. Sign Manufacturing Day 2016 is Friday, October 7, 2016." - International Sign Association (ISA)

Why is Sign Manufacturing Day Important?

A current issue facing sign companies is finding qualified workers to fill job positions in the fields of welding, installation, design, and assembly. Not only is hiring for these positions becoming more difficult, many communities rely on the manufacturing industry to support their economy. The International Sign Association (ISA) has partnered with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and many other companies nationwide to bring awareness to Sign Manufacturing Day. At Encompass, we were lucky enough to be a part of the first Minnesota represented Sign Manufacturing Day.

"Sign Manufacturing Day has been going on for the past FOUR years and is produced by the International Sign Association (ISA) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). Sign Manufacturing Day brings awareness of industry opportunities to high school, community college, and technical school students." – International Sign Association, ISA

This year we invited students from a local homeschool co-op to be a part of our very first Sign Manufacturing Day! The students ranged from ages two to 17 – it's never too early to introduce career options!

The children were guided on a tour through the Serigraphics and Encompass manufacturing plant and office spaces.

The first stop on the tour was estimating, where our estimator explained the importance of understanding mathematics and engineering in order to price signs. Many of the young girls and boys found interest in this career and had many questions. We believe this is because our estimator enjoys solving problems in order to understand how projects are made and how to price them accurately for manufacturing at a wholesale price.

The next stop was how we make our interior signs using a new technology called thermoforming. Many of the students and parents, if not all, were excited to learn of this new technology. Our Team explained how the process worked and why we took a chance on a new technology in an industry that will not only change the way we make ADA signs, but all signs. We explained the many options customers have by embedding fabrics, organics, metals and Crayons into the signs. We even demonstrated how we can make new signs out of recycled materials. The newest product we showed the students was the capability to make a sign photoluminescent (glow in the dark). We explained the need was not only for decorating your ceiling with stars, but by taking the same concept and applying it to signs, we can help guide people through a dark stairwell during power outages.

Students also heard from Production Managers, Project Managers, and Installation crew members from Serigraphics Sign Systems.

We enjoyed discussing the student’s interests in the different jobs in our company and why each person was drawn to their career.

This year, more than 2,500 students toured participating companies during Sign Manufacturing Day. This has grown since 2015, which had 2,200 students participate at 43 different companies nationwide! (ISA)

"Before the business tour, 57% of students considered a career in manufacturing. After the business tour, the percentage of students interested in a career in manufacturing jumped to 81%!" (ISA)

Visit ISA's Sign Manufacturing Day to learn more and to explore the Digital Badge offerings for students. Using these badges, student can be recognized for their extracurricular achievement.

To learn more about our signs, visit our gallery or contact Encompass Sign Systems today.


A Gold Timex to Photopolymer ADA Signage!

Thanks for your service to industry for the last 25 years. Photopolymer signs have been the predominant choice of designers for tactile ADA signage for a quarter of a century. Thankfully, at the inception of ADA legislation in the late 80’s and early 90’s photopolymer signs provided a standard process and uniform look for ADA signage. 

Without photopolymer ADA signs, designers in the 90’s would have chosen sub-standard, ineffective and random sign designs for their building environments. 

Before Beanie Babies, the World Wide Web, and before anyone understood the importance of branding…. photopolymer signs made it easier to outfit a building with ADA signs.  Even after the Japanese tsunami forced core prices to double, photopolymer signs remained the only good choice for designers. Thankfully, new technology has finally evolved. 

Thermoformed ADA signs give designers the creative latitude and durability that designers need to meet their client’s branding needs, at an appealing price point.  It’s no surprise that according to Dodge Analytics, “Thermoformed ADA signs” saw an increase of 237% in Specifications in 2016. Thermoformed signs are now universally acknowledged in Specs as an “approved equal” to photopolymer signs and that’s a big win for ADA thermoforming manufacturers. Those who really know about the differences between photopolymer ADA signs and thermoformed ADA signs are knocking clients off their feet with new ideas never available until now.

Photopolymer signs are still plenty viable.  There are over 3,000 sign-makers that still maintain their relationship with the two surviving raw material photopolymer providers. Machinery needed to produce these signs still exists and is almost free to get started; it’s the raw photopolymer material price increases to watch out for...  While Father Time and new technology may have caught up to photopolymers signs, their contribution and service to the industry over the last 25 years certainly must be treasured!   

To learn how to use this new thermoforming ADA technology and provide your design team a new design tool belt, durability and scalable branding offering, follow this link or simply contact us 763.270.4353

Heather M.:

About Encompass Sign Systems

Encompass Sign Systems specializes in thermoformed tactile signs and leading-edge directional and wayfinding systems. We provide designers and architects with highly scalable wholesale signage that have limitless branding capabilities and unsurpassed durability.