Tucked away in a corner of the English countryside, is another ArtCAM success story. Kent is where you can find the headquarters of sign company Blaze Neon. This once relatively small company has experienced an explosion of growth in the last 10 years. It has fast become one of the key names in the UK sign industry, producing work for companies such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, Virgin, Warner Bros and Barclays Bank.

Putting together acrylic signage in the Blaze Neon workshop

Blaze Neon now has one of the industry's largest production capabilities. Taking into account its bases in the South East and West Midlands, the company has a production facility covering over 12,500 square meters.

Blaze Neon has been using ArtCAM Pro for over 3 years, to design and CNC machine the wooden tools on which they form their 3D acrylic signs. Steve told me that being able to produce the sign's complex shapes on the computer, has enabled them to drastically reduce their tooling costs. Previous to using ArtCAM Pro, all the mould tools were hand routed then sanded down. Blaze Neon is able to pass on this reduction in costs to their customers, helping them to win a greater number of lucrative projects, and raise their profile within the industry.

Bentley and Virgin Mobile sign

This growing recognition was confirmed earlier this year at Sign UK 2002, where they were awarded both the 'Best Commercial Sign Programme' and the 'Best Retail Sign Programme' awards.

The company's winning entry for the Retail Sign Programme was Virgin's 'V-Shop' nationwide re-brand, which judges described as "clean, clear, concise and instantly recognisable; a visually eye-catching, stimulating and modern piece of signage".

Steve Spackman commented that;

Without ArtCAM, the 3D dome tools that were required for this job would have taken days to produce rather than hours."

Other projects the Blaze team are working on include the signage for the latest budget airline to take to the skies, My Travel and Halifax Building Society's new look for the front of it's branches.

Barclays signage

The future seems bright for Blaze Neon as the company continues to grow and win praise from all corners of the industry, helped in no small part by the capabilities of ArtCAM Pro.