The Hottest Job

Interior and exterior of mobile showroom display hot graphics.

This project is hot! Tyco’s fire suppression and detection division tapped Bloomingdale, Illinois-based Signs By Tomorrow ( to create graphics to cover the entire exterior and interior of its 50-foot-long mobile showroom trailer. The large-scale project was completed in approximately one week. Exhibit By Design in nearby Elgin, Illinois, created the entire showroom concept and provided the graphics to Signs By Tomorrow. The interior display required 24 vertical PVC panels printed with the company’s HP Scitex FB6100 UV direct-to-board printer. Those panels each required precision cutting to allow the graphics to serve as a backdrop for the showroom’s wall-mounted plasma TVs, demonstration booths, and display equipment.

Using its MultiCam 3000 CNC router, Signs By Tomorrow cut the PVC panels to nestle around frame work, electrical hook ups, plumbing, and hardware used on the interior of the trailer, says Mark Schellerer, senior account manager. Finally, the interior panels were installed using J-channels and hook-and-loop Velcro. The printing and cutting of the PVC panels took about four working days. "It was very important that all of the seams between the panels lined up perfectly, so it was a little more time consuming than our typical print-and-cut job," says Mark Schellerer, Bloomingdale Signs By Tomorrow’s senior account manager.

After the interior panels were installed on the bare walls, the trailer went back to Tyco for the installation of fire-safety equipment in the showroom. Schellerer says the shop took measurements of the exterior of the trailer before it returned for the installation of the exterior graphics. "That way, we could have all of our self-adhesive vinyl printed, laminated, and ready for installation before the trailer returned," he says. "The exterior panels required a day and a half for printing, cutting, and lamination. The installation also took a day and a half with four installers." The trailer’s back door created an added challenge: Tyco needed the trailer to be handicap-accessible. If a wheelchair needed to enter the trailer, the large back door would be lowered down to create a ramp. To give the graphics the durability required to handle traffic moving over them, Signs By Tomorrow produced self-adhesive graphics for the ramp utilizing 3M floorgraphic laminate.

Signs By Tomorrow also wrapped the exterior of the trailer. Graphics were printed on 900 square feet of 3M ControlTac 180-10 vinyl using an HP Scitex XL 1500. Those graphics were cut using a Graphtec FC 5100-150 friction plotter based on vector paths created in Adobe Illustrator. "The cutting systems that we’ve put in place eliminate labor from our production staff and introduce new products and possibilities for our customers," Schellerer said. "Offering rigid signs that are cut in any shape has helped our customer’s advertisements stand out from the competition."

Bloomingdale Signs By Tomorrow is an 18-year-old family owned print provider that employs more than 35 and operates two facilities totaling 22,000 square feet of workspace. The company has a slew of digital printers: two Oce Arizona 600s, two HP 5500 aqueous printers, two HP Designjet 9000s, an HP/Nur Fresco, HP Scitex 1500, and an HP/Nur Tempo FB 6700. It also has three different sized laminators, a liquid laminator and a MultiCam 3000 router. In addition to tackling the printing itself, the company has a full installation crew, six Onyx PosterShop workstations, a laminating department, heat welding/sewing department, vinyl cutting department, and full shipping/fulfillment capabilities.

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