LED Accent Lighting

Lighting2With our new LED Lighting Components, we opened a large array of possibilities.  Not only can we create back lit frames for graphics, but these lights work well as accent lighting.  Here is how we created our LED accent lighting.

Take an extrusion, like our VS76 or VS108, and remove one side.  The large square profiles create the perfect housing for the LED strip.  It was tall enough and wide enough to fit our lights easily inside.  We attached the lights using the mounting holes on metal strip and bolted it to the extrusion.

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Attach one of our LED strips, and remove the lenses.  The lenses were removed to allow the light to spread evenly throughout the extrusion.

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Untitled-5iA 1/8” thick, semi-transparent, white acrylic panel makes an effective diffuser for the LEDs.  The light reflects off the aluminum surface and is directed toward the acrylic panel.  Next, you need to place an end cap on each end of the extrusion.  This helps capture the light and reflect it toward the acrylic panel.

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Special end plates were designed so the Accent Light can be incorporated with our other extrusions.  One plate is for attaching horizontally, and another plate for using the Accent Light vertically.  Both plates work without blocking any light from the light strip.

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The accent lighting can be used in an exhibit, an office, or anywhere an aesthetic lighting solution is needed.  We have created Accent Lights in up to 8’ lengths, in both VS76 and VS108.  Ask our sales reps about how we can incorporate our LED strips in your design.

Powder Coating Upgrade

As part of its commitment to offer its customers up-to-date, sophisticated technology under one roof, AGAM recently purchased a 75’ conveyorized oven.  The installation took place mid-April and was the conclusion of a long study period.

Sophisticated Engineering- When you install a conveyorized oven, you first must determine the capacity.  Our objective was to powder coat 2,000 to 2,500 linear feet per hour or 20,000 linear feet per day.  We determined that we wanted a minimum speed of 4’ per minute, and as a result, the oven needed to be 75’ long because parts need to cure for 15 minutes.

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Engineering details were complex and we went through numerous drawings to get things right, a sample is below.

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The new oven and conveyor system not only give us increased capacity, but we are now able to powder coat full lengths, 20’ or 6 meters.  We are seeing an increased demand for such long parts and extrusions used in large displays.

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Install- It took about 1 week to install what amounted to 2 tractor trailer loads of equipment.

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Adjustments- Tweaking the tension and adjusting the lubricating system for the automated conveyor was necessary.

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And to calibrate the oven to produce even heat from end to end took another couple of days.

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This substantial investment is in-line with AGAM’s dedication to offer to leading display builders an unmatched group of engineering capabilities, as well as sophisticated state of the art machining under one roof.

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Stay tuned for the next upgrade to our paint line coming in Q3.

Custom Angles

Complex projects on a tight schedule are no problem for AGAM’s experienced and well equipped production staff.  From custom fabricated steel parts to mitered corners to powder coating, AGAM’s breadth of services is extensive.  One specialty that is commonly taken advantage of is the cutting of custom angles.  Most of our profiles can be cut at an extensive range of angles, the most basic of which is the mitered 45 degree corner.  Mitered corners are a great way to achieve a clean look.

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AGAM’s technical expertise along with our extensive machining capabilities allow for the precise production of a wide variety of angles.  Each of AGAM’s production teams is equipped with three miter saws capable of cuts at +/-60° from 90°.  In addition to the saws in each team, we have one saw whose specific function is to cut more extreme angles.   This saw can cut profiles at +/-67.5° from 90° and is digitally adjustable up to one tenth of a degree.

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Our double miter saw features digital adjustability of both angle and length and allows us to cut both ends of an extrusion simultaneously.

When it comes to angles precision is essential so we equip all of our production specialists with the tools necessary to verify the accuracy and consistency of an order.  Many of these orders require custom angles.  Whether it is for structural support inside or outside of a frame, or a uniquely shaped FH frame, these atypical angles are quickly produced.  If being used for internal support we usually will be required to make custom angled CBX connectors.  These connectors are cut to the same angle as the extrusion that it is installed in, allowing for a firm connection.

One interesting use of mitered corners is the installation of horizontally miter cut FH19 into vertically miter cut PH1028.  This allows for a seamless wrap around SEG fabric.

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Another example is the below VS76 corner, which was welded together with FH76 installed inside allowing for the use of SEG fabric.  The frame is then powder coated to produce a seamless corner.

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Below custom angled pieces (with custom CBX connectors) allowed us to mount the curved ring to base plates.

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Custom angled FH1082 frames required 2 different angle cuts as well as custom miter connectors cut on our water jet.

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Accessories related to custom cut angles such as mounting plates, miter connectors or support brackets are produced using a variety of other machines, all of them in house.  Custom miter connectors are cut then drilled and tapped.  These all make for more interesting designs unique to each project.  Whether the angles are for a simple FH Frame, a small kiosk, or a complex display, AGAM has the expertise to quickly and accurately cut the custom angles your project requires.

Exhibitor2013 Engineering/Construction

This year, I was in charge of designing and building AGAM’s booth at EXHIBITOR 2013. In this 20’ x 30’ space, our objective was a strong architectural presence, an open and inviting floor, and to highlight new product developments such as Plikó with lights, the Aluminum Cladding System, and Cable Beam System.

From sketching to scale model, from rendering to final construction, we followed these goals. Each our concepts contained dynamic elements designed to add visual interest without detracting from the overall structure. One of the most important features in this year’s design was the lack of kiosks on the floor. Instead, we worked to integrated product displays into the columns.

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The tower was the hub of the design, similar to a lighthouse indicating the path to a safe harbor. From there, three main spokes diverged outwards. They were built using our brand new Cable Beam System with a 40’ (12 meter) span and require no center support (see brochure here). Walls of the columns and tower were covered with our Aluminum Cladding System, an innovative way of covering vertical surfaces (see brochure here). The addition of the cladding to cap off the sides of the SEG covered columns created a very finished aesthetic.


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On the Exhibit floor, we displayed Plikó, an ingenious, self folding, display with integrated backlit LED. There was ample room to walk around and to appreciate what visual impact these proprietary LED strips – made to AGAM’s specifications – can deliver.

On each column, we had bins full of gismos, all AGAM’s designed, engineered and made. Among these, an iPad Case + Swivel Mount, Push Button In-Line Connector, and other custom fabrication capabilities.

All inclusive, this exhibit incorporated nine new products – solidifying AGAM’s unchallenged position as a leader in innovation.

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During the engineering and construction phases, I pulled from all resources and machining capabilities that AGAM has. The design required such things as custom plates (produced by our Laser Cutting Center), custom brackets (bent on a CNC Press Brake), and custom attachments like a reinforcement gusset welded to a steel plate. Every visible aluminum and steel part of the exhibit was powder coated for a clean and consistent finish.

There are some really talented individuals here at AGAM inside the production plant and I am still amazed at how things are made seamlessly – matching exact specifications in record breaking turnaround times.

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I am honored to have led such a project and be part of a team of dedicated professionals in the various phases of design, engineering and construction of such exhibit.

Fellow exhibitors stopped by, even during setup and I could feel through their eyes their pride of seeing AGAM being a leading contributor to the success of the annual industry event. We, at AGAM, have really appreciated their compliments and comments and I take the opportunity of such blog to thank each and every one of them for that.

It was Coco Chanel – the diva of fashion – who once said, “You only have one opportunity to make a successful first impression”;   again, we did it.

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If you would like some detailed fabrication CAD drawings, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at ahart@agam.com and let me know which format you like (SolidWorks, AutoCAD, or others).

 

Alexandra Hart
Industrial Designer
AGAM
www.agam.com
1-800-645-0854

Fishing Rod Holder

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A customer requested we come up with a solution for a fishing rod holder.  They sent us pictures and drawings from a prototype.  From their picture, they were using steel rods welded to a steel plate and it did not have all the functionalities they were looking for.  They knew that AGAM could laser cut, bend and paint steel.

First, we developed a 3D model in SolidWorks, using the folding/unfolding feature of the software.  This reverse engineering process guaranteed that the finished piece matched exactly to the customer’s specifications.  After being powder coated, these holders were mounted to a PH1006 track.  The PH1006 allows each holder to move along the track and set in place according to the preference of each store manager.

The bottom of each holder has a PA2 that lets them slide it along a PH1006 that is recessed in their wood base.  They can then tighten the screws to hold it in position.  Below shows the process from the design phase to the laser cutting, bending and painting of this custom rod holder:

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AGAM’s PX8000 Snowflake Holiday Greeting

Using a universally accepted icon of the holiday season, I created a paper craft snowflake cleverly based on two PX8000 extrusion profiles. A secondary design component, a "barn door" card, was developed to surround and protect the paper craft snowflake inside the envelope. After the card is open, it subtly reveals the paper craft PX8000 snowflake behind a translucent holiday insert sheet.

This year AGAM decided to re-think the company holiday greeting card.  We had noticed in the past few years that electronic greeting cards had disappeared and that the traditional mailed card had become more blended. It was time to re-think the process. Design is differentiation, and being the person in charge of this project, I wanted to convey several important core principles of the AGAM brand promise:  sophistication, exclusivity and originality.

This was a beautiful opportunity to remind our clients that AGAM is a company that truly embraces both creative collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking.

Utilizing a simple slit on either the top or bottom of the two PX8000 extrusion profiles, the two printed components slide together to form its unique snowflake assembly. On the right side of each PX8000 extrusion profile are word cloud designs.With a universally accepted icon of the holiday season – a singular snowflake –  I created a paper craft snowflake cleverly based on two PX8000 extrusion profiles.  Well known within AGAM, the PX8000 extrusion is very significant as it was the first signature AGAM product early in the company’s history. In fact, the PX8000 profile shape still exists in the company logo even today.

Starting in late October, I had a very basic idea of the paper craft snowflake and created several prototypes.  Crude and hand-cut, these early prototypes helped me discover that the assembly aspect of the paper craft was more than a good idea — it was completely possible to produce.  As time went by, these early prototypes became more advanced and possible messages began to take shape on the cards.  And both paper stocks and translucent envelopes were being evaluated.

Early Holiday Card Snowflake PrototypesBy mid-November, final metallic Pantone colors had been selected, the word cloud messages had been carefully crafted and the project was ready for press.

The Final PX8000 Snowflake DesignCareful attention was paid to the snowflake’s paper selection. A stock was needed that not only could be strong enough for the paper craft to stand up on its own, but also able to hold a rich metallic PMS solid extremely well during printing.  Since heavier ink densities tend to become difficult for presses to hold fine typographical detail, the stock needed to allow for truly excellent coverage.

A secondary design component, a “barn door” card, was developed to surround and protect the paper craft snowflake inside the envelope.  The “doors” open in the front of the card from the middle (one to the left and one to the right). After the card is open, it subtly reveals the paper craft PX8000 snowflake behind a translucent holiday insert sheet.

As with any offset ink-based print project, the devil is in the details.  With all the fabrication subtleties of this project, it took a collaborative team of very experienced press operators and production specialists to print, emboss and laser die cut both the paper craft snow flake and its related “barn door” card.  And while laser die cutting is more expensive and time-consuming than other traditional die cutting processes, it gave the snowflake a truly precise and technical look.  When something looks effortless and simple, it usually means that a lot of thought went into every aspect of the design experience.

With its modern and stylish metallic ink with a contrasting orange logotype, precision laser die cut shape and most importantly — its innovative modular design — the paper craft holiday greeting card serves as a reminder of AGAM’s unwavering commitment to deliver sophistication, exclusivity and originality to our clients.

Never settle for average when you can achieve the extraordinary.

If you have any questions about the card feel free to email or leave a comment.

Justin Worsley
jworsley@agam.com
Multimedia Designer
AGAM
http://www.agam.com
1-800-645-0854

In HAAS We Trust

AGAM has a longstanding commitment to consistently provide better products and to increase services for our customers. Every year, a substantial budget is set aside for purchasing new machinery, employee training and general plant improvements.  This year, our biggest purchase was a HAAS VF 5/40 XT vertical machine center which was delivered and installed in early October.

All told, this purchase was nearly 2 years in the making.  Last September we visited EMO, which is an international trade fair for the machine and tool industry located in Hannover Germany.  While at EMO, we looked at machines from top manufacturers around the world.  After spending significant time with multiple machine center manufacturers, it became apparent that we needed to go with the industry leader- HAAS.

Choosing the appropriate model that could produce our entire range of products was not an easy one but our requirements led us to the VX 5 XT.  The HAAS VF 5 XT is a substantial upgrade from our current machine center in terms of size, speed and capabilities.  What this means for our customers is that both stock and custom parts can be made faster and to exact tolerances, ensuring that tight deadlines are always met.

The VF 5 XT features 5 axis capabilities, a 60” x 26” machining bed (allowing six vises), a 20 position umbrella tool changer, a 30 HP motor and full CNC control wrapped up in a 15,000 pound package.  We are especially excited about the rotary table we purchased for this machine.  The rotary table will create a fourth axis, allowing the HAAS to perform operations on multiple surfaces in just one set-up.

To supplement the VF 5’s capabilities, AGAM has also purchased CAMWorks.  CAMWorks is CNC based software that will allow us to program complex 3D parts quickly and accurately, rather than manual programming, which we needed to do previously.  Since we currently model our products in SolidWorks, choosing SolidWorks Product Partner CAMWorks for our programming software was a logical decision.

In fact, it is amazing how seamlessly this machine has fit in and become a piece of equipment that we rely on daily.

AGAM is very excited to have finally received this machine and we look forward to using its expansive capabilities to provide better service for all of your needs.  Please watch and enjoy the video below.

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