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JOIN US THIS WEEK! We are heading to the NBM Show!

Mar 7, 16 • Front Page, NewsNo Comments

JOIN US THIS WEEK! We are heading to the NBM Show!

Expand Your Multi-Market Opportunities.  Join Us in Arlington, Texas for The NBM Show on March 10 – 12, 2016 at the Arlington Convention Center. 

THE NBM SHOW is the only event that offers you multiple dimensions of opportunity to improve your business by combining the very latest equipment, supplies and services in the sign making, digital printing, apparel, apparel decorating, embroidery, screenprinting, sublimation, awards, engraving and custom gift market. You’ll have endless possibilities to learn, experience, network and expand your business!  PLUS FREE TRAINING!!!!

registernow

Your FREE* Event Registration includes:

  • Entrance to the exhibit hall all three days
  • Unlimited Training by Exhibitors in the classroom and in the exhibit hall
  • Access to the Professional Training & Achievement Program
  • Admission to the After Hours networking event on Friday evening
  • Chances to win $500 in Buyer Bucks each day!

*Registration is free when you register in advance of the show. O-nsite and online registration submitted after March 9, 2016 will be charged $25 per Event Registration.

 

 

 

INDUSTRY EVENT ALERT!

Feb 29, 16 • Front Page, NewsNo Comments

INDUSTRY EVENT ALERT!

SPECIAL OFFER!! Schedule a demonstration with us during the show and get a $25 Poker Chip!

Register for a demonstration during the show! 

Universal Laser Systems: Booth #1326

Vision: Booth #1722

Direct Color Systems: Booth #2100

Join us in Las Vegas for the International Awards & Personalization Expo on March 2-4, 2016 at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

Why Attend?

  • Network with an exclusive community of suppliers, distributors, and peers.
  • Discover innovative solutions to your most pressing business challenges.
  • Expand your training base and knowledge levels.

Experience it all at the Awards and Personalization Association’s expos—designed to help you activate ideas and connections to enhance your business. Don’t miss the opportunity to spend dedicated time expanding your knowledge foundation. Our events offer hands-on training, essential insights into processes and products, and unparalleled opportunities to interact with peers and colleagues.

EDUCATION Sessions at the 2016 International Awards & Personalization Expo

With sessions focused on technical issues including CorelDRAW, sublimation, engraving, sandcarving, and UV printing and current business topics such as e-marketing, sales, and business operations our program will deliver you the information you need to succeed.  We have the best of the awards and personalization industry in one location to cover multiple categories of business-building instruction and hands-on sessions. The Education Expo sessions provide information specific to products supplied and used in our industry; these company-sponsored sessions provide you needed information to save time on products you are using in your business.

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Click here for the International Awards & Personalization Expo Schedule! 

ARA Sponsors

Register to Attend

Registration includes:

  • an extraordinary international trade show with access to key suppliers and distributors
  • all educational sessions unless otherwise noted
  • refreshment breaks.

registernow

Upcoming Industry Event ALERT!

Feb 22, 16 • Front Page, NewsNo Comments

Upcoming Industry Event ALERT!

Expand Your Multi-Market Opportunities.  Join Us in Arlington, Texas for The NBM Show on March 10 – 12, 2016 at the Arlington Convention Center. 

Experience the NBM Show

THE NBM SHOW is the only event that offers you multiple dimensions of opportunity to improve your business by combining the very latest equipment, supplies and services in the sign making, digital printing, apparel, apparel decorating, embroidery, screenprinting, sublimation, awards, engraving and custom gift market. You’ll have endless possibilities to learn, experience, network and expand your business!

NBM Show

FREE Expert Training

THE NBM SHOW offers classes to help you maximize your sales, improve efficiency and create a business that thrives in all economic conditions. The NBM 2016 Training by Exhibitors program consists of Training in the Hall, 30 minute in-booth sessions throughout the exhibit hall, and Training in the Classroom. On Wednesday, an all-day class will be presented by Equipment Zone. Thursday through Saturday, several 90-minute sessions – in a structured classroom setting – will be presented. Pick up new ideas and learn new skills to help you meet today’s needs and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities!  Click here for the list of training and descriptions.

 

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Who’s Exhibiting

THE NBM SHOW is THE place top industry manufacturers and suppliers showcase their product lines and services. Click here for the most recent Exhibitor List.

featured exhibitors

Register to Attend

Your FREE* Event Registration includes:

  • Entrance to the exhibit hall all three days
  • Unlimited Training by Exhibitors in the classroom and in the exhibit hall
  • Access to the Professional Training & Achievement Program
  • Admission to the After Hours networking event on Friday evening
  • Chances to win $500 in Buyer Bucks each day!

*Registration is free when you register in advance of the show. Onsite and online registration submitted after March 9, 2016 will be charged $25 per Event Registration.

 

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Featured Machine of the Week: VISION 1624 Pro Engraver

Dec 21, 15 • Front Page, NewsNo Comments

Featured Machine of the Week: VISION 1624 Pro Engraver1624-engraving-machine-1

Vision’s NEW 1624 CNC router/engraver offers huge capabilities in a small footprint.  If you are looking to produce repeatable, cost-effective work in less time, then the 1624 CNC Engraver is the
perfect fit for you!  This machine features the Vision high speed Series 4 Controller, graphically advanced Vision Pro software, and Red Laser Pointer for easy job setup.  The 1624 Pro Engraver offers a 16” x 24” aluminum T-slot table and is the ideal machine for wood, plastic, and metal engraving.  It works for a wide variety of applications including milling, drilling, contouring, and routing!

The 1624R Applications:

  • ADA-compliant signage
  • Routing out wood signs
  • Cutout letters
  • Control panels, 2 1/2D and 3D signs in sign foam, wood and more!

Download a printable PDF overview sheet here.

Check out the 1624R CNC Router in action:

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!: Tax Benefit for 2015

Nov 16, 15 • Front Page, NewsNo Comments

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!: Tax Benefit for 2015

The year is coming to an end but that doesn’t mean it’s slowing down.  In fact, for many companies this is one of the busiest times of the year.  Production is in full SAVEdemand!   Now is the time to purchase new and/or additional equipment for your business! Not only can it benefit production time but also provides BIG SAVINGS!   The accelerated deprecation deduction allowance permitted under IRS Section 179 is $25,000 for 2015.  This means up to $25,000 in qualifying new and used equipment, as well as off-the-shelf software, may be expensed this year if it is placed into service by the end of the day, December 31, 2015.

Ultimately, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase pr
ice of the qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the given tax year.  What does that mean? It means you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income.  For example, when a business buys a certain piece of equipment, it typically gets to write them off a little at a time through depreciation [i.e.$10,000 over a five-year period].  While it’s better than no write-off at all, most business owners would prefer to write off the entire equipment purchase for the year they actually buy it.  The whole reason behind Section 179 is to motivate the American economy, especially small businesses.  For many small businesses, the entire cost [up to $25,000] can be written-off on the 2015 tax return.

Limits of Section 179

Section 179 does come with limits – there are caps to the total amount written off ($25,000 for 2015), and limits to the total amount of the equipment purchased ($200,000 in 2015). The deduction begins to phase out dollar-for-dollar after $200,000 is spent by a given business, so this makes it a true small and medium-sized business deduction.

Who Qualifies for Section 179?Savings

All businesses that purchase, finance, and/or lease less than $200,000 in new or used business equipment during tax year 2015 should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction.

The deduction begins to phase out if more than $200,000 of equipment is purchased – in fact, the deduction decreases on a dollar for dollar scale after that, making Section 179 a deduction specifically for small and medium-sized businesses.

 

Section 179 vs. Bonus Depreciation

Bonus Depreciation is offered some years.  As of now, it is not being offered.

Although it is not available at this time [2015], here are some of the differences.  The most important difference is both new and used equipment qualify for the Section 179 Deduction (as long as the used equipment is “new to you”), while Bonus Depreciation covers new equipment only.  Bonus Depreciation is useful to very large businesses spending more than the Section 179 Spending Cap (currently $200,000) on new capital equipment.  Even businesses with a net loss are qualified to deduct some of the costs.

Section 179 “More Than 50% Business Use” Requirement

The equipment and/or software must be used for businesses purposes more than 50% of the time to qualify.  How do you know if it meets the requirements? Multiply the cost of the equipment and/or software by the percentage of business-use to determine the monetary amount eligible for Section 179.

Consider The Savings: Tax Benefit for 2015 is Expiring…

Oct 12, 15 • Front Page, News, TipsNo Comments

Consider The Savings: Tax Benefit for 2015 is Expiring…

What are you waiting for? Now is the time to purchase equipment for your business! The accelerated deprecation deduction allowance permitted under IRS Section 179 is $25,000 for 2015.  This means up to $25,000 in qualifying new and used equipment, as well as off-the-shelf software, may be expensed this year if it is placed into service by the end of the day, December 31, 2015.

Savings

Ultimately, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of the qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the given tax year.  What does that mean? It means you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income.  For example, when a business buys a certain piece of equipment, it typically gets to write them off a little at a time through depreciation [i.e.$10,000 over a five-year period].  While it’s better than no write-off at all, most business owners would prefer to write off the entire equipment purchase for the year they actually buy it.  The whole reason behind Section 179 is to motivate the American economy, especially small businesses.  For many small businesses, the entire cost [up to $25,000] can be written-off on the 2015 tax return.

Limits of Section 179

Section 179 does come with limits – there are caps to the total amount written off ($25,000 for 2015), and limits to the total amount of the equipment purchased ($200,000 in 2015). The deduction begins to phase out dollar-for-dollar after $200,000 is spent by a given business, so this makes it a true small and medium-sized business deduction.

Who Qualifies for Section 179?

All businesses that purchase, finance, and/or lease less than $200,000 in new or used business equipment during tax year 2015 should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction.

The deduction begins to phase out if more than $200,000 of equipment is purchased – in fact, the deduction decreases on a dollar for dollar scale after that, making Section 179 a deduction specifically for small and medium-sized businesses.

Woman with coins in jar

Section 179 vs. Bonus Depreciation

Bonus Depreciation is offered some years.  As of now, it is not being offered.

Although it is not available at this time [2015], here are some of the differences.  The most important difference is both new and used equipment qualify for the Section 179 Deduction (as long as the used equipment is “new to you”), while Bonus Depreciation covers new equipment only.  Bonus Depreciation is useful to very large businesses spending more than the Section 179 Spending Cap (currently $200,000) on new capital equipment.  Even businesses with a net loss are qualified to deduct some of the costs.

Section 179 “More Than 50% Business Use” Requirement

The equipment and/or software must be used for businesses purposes more than 50% of the time to qualify.  How do you know if it meets the requirements? Multiply the cost of the equipment and/or software by the percentage of business-use to determine the monetary amount eligible for Section 179.

How to Clean Laser Focus Lenses

Aug 24, 15 • Front Page, NewsNo Comments

Perfect engraving and cutting results require perfectly cleaned optics — especially when working with wood or rubber, which produce more dust than other applications. To ensure the quality of the laser engraving or cutting, you should check and clean the lenses and mirrors regularly.


Quick and easy

It takes no more than 2 minutes per day to keep the optics clean!
Start by visually inspecting the lens and the mirror on the machining head once a day and checking the side mirrors once a month.

It is a good idea to set fixed times for visual inspections. For example, check the lens every morning, and inspect he side mirrors on the first day of the month. That is all that is necessary, because the optics are protected from dust and dirt by the InPack Technology™.


Cleaning lenses in 2 steps

Clean the lens whenever you see dirt on it to improve the quality of the laser engraving or cutting, and to prevent the lens from breaking.

Step by Step

Step 1: Preparation

  • Blow off lint and dust with a blower or compressed air
  • Have some detergent and wipes on hand
  • Move the working table upward. If the lens falls down during removal, it not fall far and will not break easily.
 

Step 2: Detergent and wipes

  • Remove the lens and rinse it with cleaning fluid
  • Place a drop of cleaning fluid on the lens and leave it on for about 1 minute
  • Wipe off with a moist cleaning cloth

Now the lens is impeccably clean again and ready for the next application. When cleaning the mirror, you can take the same steps.


Optics: More sensitive than glass

The lenses and mirrors are fragile, so handle them with care. Avoid touching the lens with your fingers or with tools, because the danger of scratching the surface is too great.

We recommend using the included cleaning set, but you can also use cotton swabs.

Engravers Network Opens New Office in Houston, TX

May 27, 14 • NewsNo Comments

Houston, TX – May 23, 2014 – Engravers Network LLC, a distributor of engraving & marking equipment since 1984, today announced the opening of a new sales office in Houston. This is the second major expansion for Engravers Network since the 2013 purchase of a new 15,000 square foot building to house their corporate office and showroom in Arlington, TX.

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Do you have a Favorite Computer Utility Program?

Mar 25, 14 • Computers, News1 Comment

FastStone CaptureWithout a doubt, my favorite utility program is FastStone Capture, a screen capture utility. While CorelDraw Capture, Camtasia and other video programs are very strong capture programs I have used in the past, FastStone Capture is quick, editable, cheap and most of all portable. My job involves personalized training of a variety of software programs. And since the training is unique, it’s hard to have a complete script for my customers. (more…)