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Gail Amole, GMN
By Gail Amole | Jun 22, 2017
USNR aluminum decal

GM Nameplate (GMN) created an aluminum label for USNR, an innovative company that manufactures a complete line of state-of-the-art equipment for cutting, handling, and drying lumber. USNR started as a small sawmill equipment supplier and has grown to be a global leader in the wood processing industry. 

USNR came to GMN to find a way to cut costs on their current nameplates in order to continue to maintain a strong brand identity on all of their equipment. Although changes needed to be made, USNR still favored the finish and dimensions of their prior nameplate. Luckily, GMN had the expertise to provide an aluminum decal with the same look and feel, but at a lower cost.

The first step of a printing job is often color matching. This step mattered a great deal to USNR because their prominent red color is such a distinct part of their brand. Therefore, it was imperative that the correct shade of red was achieved on the decal. GMN’s custom color-matching capabilities allow us to accurately color match from a variety of different sources – in this case it was a coffee mug.

Given the nature of the industry, the label also had to be extremely durable. After collaborating with USNR, GMN decided to screen print the label on .008 aluminum with a .005 3M adhesive backing. The aluminum label was fabricated with a steel-rule die, and thermal-embossed with a magnesium die to give the part more depth and make the logo pop. To complete the look, the part was given a satin polyurethane finish.

The end result met all of USNR’s aesthetic, durability, and cost requirements. The printed aluminum decal has a sleek look that aligns with their brand identity, protects against harsh environmental conditions, and allows USNR to expand the use of their branding components.

Jeff Friday, Marketing Specialist at USNR says it best, “With the per-unit costs reduced by 60%, it added great flexibility for us to use more of them in many more applications. It was a big win for us!”

By Chris Doyle | May 26, 2017
GMN's new digital THIEME press

GM Nameplate’s (GMN) Seattle, WA Division has just received a new digital press made by THIEME. This digital press produces the opacity of screen printing inks, but the print quality of lithography printing. The THIEME press has a very quick turnaround time, making it perfect for GMN to print lower volume jobs, as well as prototypes and projects that don’t allow much lead time.

Digital printing is a process that prints a digital-based image directly onto a substrate. There is less set-up and no printing plates or screens to make, which is not like other traditional printing methods. The cost of printing per sheet is often higher than that of other printing options, but is likely offset by the reduced labor time and cost savings due to not having to produce printing plates or screens.

Digital printing is best for lower to medium volume jobs that require gradations, half tones or more than three colors. The THIEME press can also easily print embossed overlays as well as transparent colored windows.

An advantage of the THIEME press is its ability for customers to make quick changes to digital images on the fly. The press also makes serialization and personalization possible by printing fixed and variable data simultaneously.

Print heads on GMN’s new digital THIEME press

The print heads include cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, light magenta, light black and white. If white is not used, the print speed is 150 seconds (2 minutes, 30 seconds), however when white is used the print speed is 300 seconds (5 minutes).

Although color matching is improving with digital printing, a downside to printing digitally is its limited color spectrum. If an exact color match is needed for a print, digital printing is not the ideal printing process. However, GMN can create a color profile that matches Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors, or color chips for each material. After the color matching is completed, GMN can supply custom ink cartridges.

The THIEME press can print on up to 2 inch thick material and on no larger than an 18”x24” sheet. If a job requires a larger sheet size, customers may be able to take advantage of our San Jose, CA Division’s HP Indigo digital press, which can handle a sheet size of 12.5”x37”. Customers may also utilize the Inca Spyder press at GMN’s Monroe, NC Division, where we can print 48”x60” sheets on a print bed that can take up to 5’x10’ of print area. 

While there are multiple factors that contribute to the decision of which printing process to use, there are clear benefits and drawbacks of each method. GMN works with each customer to determine which printing method is best for the specific project, whether it is offset, flexography, screen, or digital printing. GMN offers a printing solution for every type of project. 

Dean Karousos, GMN
By Dean Karousos | Jul 21, 2016
SOVARO cooler nameplate

With 60 years of experience in manufacturing nameplates, GM Nameplate (GMN) has developed a highly comprehensive set of capabilities in this area. In a recent project, we produced a Magni-Lens domed graphic for the new SOVARO cooler that highlights one of the many nameplate solutions we offer. This cooler was created by Suncast, a company from Batavia, Illinois known for their products and accessories that help organize backyards and gardens. The SOVARO cooler is a stylish, high quality product made to bring people a high-class cooler experience. This product exhibits sleek and elegant aesthetics for which Suncast needed an equivalent nameplate solution. When it came to finding a nameplate, Suncast was looking for a way to add a 3D profile to their letters.

Initially, GMN wasn’t the only company in the running for this project and multiple decorative processes were being considered. In an effort to find the best process to suit the customer’s requirements, we tested options such as 3D Electroform, plastic injection-molding, Magni-Form, and Magni-Lens (to learn more about our nameplate capabilities, please visit our nameplate page). In the end, Suncast felt confident in both the Magni-Lens technology and GMN to get the job done. Magni-Lens is a domed metal nameplate solution that enhances design and protects against a variety of indoor and outdoor conditions.

We created pre-spaced Magni-Lens letters in gold, silver, and chrome. The clear urethane dome of Magni-Lens helps to enhance 3D figures, which was exactly what Suncast desired. The flexibility of the Magni-Lens letters to conform to slightly irregular surfaces that don’t match one another was also a huge advantage because the coolers come in three different sizes, which means varying curved surfaces during application. Additionally, this solution comes at an attractive price with low tooling cost. It is durable and scratch resistant, which is crucial for the product’s outdoor environment.

GMN was the top contender for the job for a number of reasons including:

  • Extremely accurate color matching
  • The ability to “combo-run” the three letter colors simultaneously for a low cost
  • Accurate die-cutting of a premask liner that enabled Suncast operators to place the pre-spaced letters on the coolers with perfect registration
  • The right nameplate solution: Magni-Lens is a low cost, durable solution that enhances 3D figures