Cut, weed and mask vinyl: 120 minutes I cut the graphics from black vinyl and weeded out the arrows and borders. The aluminum panels were 16-by-24-in. so I worked two-up.
Cut and apply reflective sheeting: 60 minutes I applied white reflective sheeting to the ten aluminum panels using the RollsRoller Applicator Table.
Apply graphics: 30 minutes Using the applicator table once more, I applied the graphics to the reflective film that I had applied to the aluminum.
The application is finished, so I removed the masking, cut the panels in half and got ready to round the corners.
Round corners: 30 minutes I then rounded the 1 ½-in. radius corners, using a manual Accucutter Cornermate corner tool.
Here the completed signs are filling up the rack.

What’s it cost to produce these twenty 8-by-24-in. reflective signs?

Tracking the time and materials on a very routine sign project

By Michael James

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2020

Materials:
.080 3003-H14 aluminum: $138.45
3M 3430 EGP reflective vinyl 16 mils thickness: $43.04
Oracal cast vinyl Series 951: $41.21
RTape 4075 RLA application tape: $5.83
Total materials: $228.53

Labor:
Design/file prep: 30 minutes
Cut, weed and mask vinyl graphics: 120 minutes
Apply vinyl graphics: 30 minutes
Cut and apply reflective sheeting: 60 minutes
Shear aluminum: 30 minutes
Round corners: 30 minutes
Total time: 5 hours
A customer recently placed a rush order with us for twenty 8-by-24-by-.080-in. reflective aluminum One Way signs, ten left-handed and ten right-handed. Normally, we would outsource this project, but we simply didn’t have time to wait.

These signs were to go on private property and were not required to meet MUTCD regulations. MUTCD would have required high intensity reflective material and 5052-H38 aluminum. Instead we used engineer grade prismatic reflective material (16 mil) and 3003H14 aluminum. Unlike the 5052-H14, this type of aluminum is soft enough to shear and bend.

We prepared the file to match the standard One Way sign format, using Gerber Omega software. Since this was a one-color job we opted to use cut cast vinyl instead of wide format printing. By stacking two cut files vertically, it made cutting and applying the vinyl easy.

Using the RollsRoller applicator we quickly applied the reflective material to the sign blanks followed by the cut vinyl graphics. After cutting the signs apart using a foot shear we rounded the corners using a heavy duty 1.5-in. radius corner rounder.


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