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A double act of biblical proportions!

A double act of biblical proportions!


Its growing range of machinery for modern sign and lettering manufacture, Applelec has recently purchased a laser-welding machine, which is now speeding up letter production at its Leeds facility.

Used primarily to construct stainless steel built-up letters, the machine fuses each letter’s face to its return to create a far more durable letter than those produced by hand soldering techniques. In addition, the rapid production ensures that labour time is reduced with any savings passed on to Applelec’s customers.

Andy Armitage, Applelec’s Business Development Manager, explained: ‘The machine is the latest addition to our Leeds factory and is used in conjunction with our automated return shaper to speed up our letter making processes. This creates a highly organised production system that delivers tangible labour time-savings and production efficiencies that we are looking to pass onto our customers in the form of reduced costs.”

Complementing the automated return shaper, which was named Delilah, the new laser welder has been christened Samson to create a mechanical double act of biblical proportions! The machines are situated in a purpose built room and are managed by Applelec’s experienced letter making technicians.

Speed is the name of the game with the laser welder, which can fuse stainless steel together in thicknesses of 0.7mm to 3mm. In letter production, the letter face and return is first tacked into position by the machine in a swift, neat start to the construction process, which takes just a couple of seconds to complete. Next, the letter is fully welded by the machine, in order to create a continuous or intermittent seam, depending on the requirements of the individual project.

The durability and strength of letters produced with the laser welder is considerably increased when compared to a traditional hand soldering process. The laser welder fuses the metal of the letter face and return to create a high strength seam that is significantly more durable than a letter seam created by applying solder with a soldering iron. Indeed, the laser welded letter is so robust it can withstand powder coating processes up to temperatures of 170˚-190˚, thus eliminating the need for a high temperature solder.

The machine speeds up processes across the production line and can additionally be used to quickly tack shaped returns to letter faces before they are passed to the letter workers to be soldered. Similarly, the laser welder is used to weld bridges for fixings that are incredibly strong and hard wearing.


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