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began selling SDS automated
bending machines in 1997. Since then, they have
sold over 600 machines in North America and South
America and their associated islands. Globally, over
2,000 SDS bending machines are currently in operation.
AdamsTech’s years of experience and installed base
ensure their customers the best machines and the
best service in the world. The quality, versatility, and
flexibility built into the equipment sets SDS products
apart from the competition.
According to Mike Adams, President of AdamsTech in
Boulder, Colorado, the machines can produce all types
of fabricated letters, not just large, front lit channel
letters. “Most of the other machines available can
make large block letters, but they stumble when they
have to make small or intricate letters. Our machines
can make brass, bronze, stainless, and galvanized
letters. Even dimensional letters are easy to make
with our flagship unit, Super ChannelBender®. Super
ChannelBender can also process LetterBox™, our
proprietary extruded aluminum return material
for the production of trimless channel letters. This
revolutionary new technique is the future of fabricated
Value-Added Products
Adams has strong opinions about the trend toward
commoditization of channel letters in the sign industry.
“In the minds of many sign buyers, channel letters have
become a commodity product,” he says, “Those who
go with the lowest competitive bid should consider
the consequences. Commodity pricing results in
the decline of overall service and quality, and stifles
What is the solution to the problem of commodity
pricing? According to Adams, value-added products.
“When selling to discriminating customers, sign
makers who innovate have a competitive edge over
those who only provide typical products. There will
always be those who choose to purchase average
signage and there will always be those who choose to
purchase exceptional signage. It is the responsibility of
those manufacturers to convey to their customers the
differences inherent in those products. Even though it’s
usually more expensive, when buyers see the benefits,
they often decide to purchase the value-added
signage. One thing is clear: if you want to move away
from commodity pricing, you must move away from
the traditional production of channel letters and create
new types of signage that solve problems and provide
unique solutions for your customers.”
LetterBox Returns
What constitutes exceptional fabricated letters and
logos, and how do they differ from ordinary channel
letters? According to Adams, “One answer is broaching,
a machining process that creates the sharp bends
and small distances between bends necessary for
custom letters and logos. Another answer is trimless
channel letters. Super ChannelBender can process
LetterBox, our new extruded aluminum return material
that uses our EasyClip™ assembly method. Letters
produced using this method are made without trim
cap. Innovations like these allow sign makers to better
compete in the market.”
“LetterBox returns allow you to produce signs that
cannot be produced efficiently any other way,”
Adams continues, “The extruded material enables
you to produce many variations of fabricated letters:
frontlight, edgelight, halo, frontlight/edgelight,
frontlight/halo, halo/edgelight, and dimensional letters.
All these variations are done without the need for
rivets, staples, clinching, welding, or even trim cap.
That’s right. Trimless channel letters!”
Service and Support
When making a decision to purchase an automated
bending system, sign making companies should
consider the features of the equipment, its reliability,
the reliability of the company manufacturing and
selling it, and the quality of their service and support.
Harmon Sign of Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan,
has been evaluating channel letter automation
equipment since the first primitive semi-automatic
machines appeared on the market. They recently made
the decision to invest in the SDS Super ChannelBender
from AdamsTech. According to Jeff Kasper, President
of Harmon Sign, “This was the first machine that met
our requirements. The decision was based on several
factors. We judged the equipment more versatile and
flexible than other options. The machine can produce
more than just big block letters. The most critical factor
was the price-value relationship. We felt that we could
justify the investment, and it would yield a return
on our investment.” Jeff Morrow, Harmon Sign Plant
Manager, adds, “We are happy with the equipment. It is
in daily operation, and has been reliable. It has enabled
us to significantly reduce our labor costs.”
Return on Investment
James Cross, Product Manager for the ChannelBender
series, points out, “Return on investment is the
main concern for most sign makers. Production
and profitability are the result of a few key factors:
speed, efficiency, and labor cost. Based on real world
tests in a production environment, our SDS Super
ChannelBender is 15 to 30 percent faster than our
nearest competitor’s machine. That figure has nothing
to do with feed rates. The real tests are how fast and
how precisely a machine can actually fabricate the
The versatility of an automated bending system can
translate into a much faster return on investment,
too. For example, when a sign maker gets a request
for fabricated dimensional or architectural letters and
logos, if the requirements of the design can be met
with stock letters in standard fonts, they simply order
the letters from a wholesale supplier. But if the design
calls for a custom logo or nonstandard fonts, having
someone else manufacture these can be costly and
take time. Custom letters manufactured in-house offer
the ability to break free from the downward spiral
of commodity pricing. Most customers with these
requirements are willing to pay a fair price for the value
The ChannelBender Series
received. Of course, to achieve the sharp bends and
small distances between bends necessary for these
types of letters, broaching is required. Many of these
fabricated dimensional letters, whether stainless,
brass, bronze, copper, anodized aluminum, or painted
metal, are made using very shallow returns. One inch
deep returns are common. Adams points out, “When
choosing automation equipment, remember that the
more versatile the equipment, the faster the return on
Eco ChannelBender
Easy ChannelBender
Versatility was also a factor in the decision to purchase
a Super ChannelBender at Tyson Signs of Myrtle Beach,
South Carolina. Ebbie Phillips, Tyson Signs President
and CEO, says, “The equipment is definitely more
versatile than other options. It will do the standard
channel letters, but it also does those that are more
intricate. The equipment is more compact, simpler to
operate, reliable, and more accurate. It has been an
excellent addition to our letter department.”
The reality is that sign makers still need to produce
traditional channel letters. Some customers rely on
typical large block letters. Others will prefer to set
themselves apart with intricate, high quality signage.
The sign maker must determine if the letter fabrication
equipment being considered can meet both needs, if it
can reliably and efficiently produce all types of channel
letters, simple or complex. One competitor boasts that
their equipment can ”produce single-piece letters,
shapes and logos up to 15 feet tall.” Mike’s response?
“Yeah, our machines can do that as well—but if that’s
all they could do, we would just be providing another
‘me too’ product. Instead, AdamsTech offers automated
bending systems that are changing the way the world
makes signs.”
Super ChannelBender
For more information about AdamsTech and automated bending solutions,
please call our office at 303–798–7110, visit, or email [email protected]