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IN THE BEGINNING
In December of 1994 my dad, Bob, decided that he wasn't happy with the quality of service available from the model aircraft vinyl suppliers with whom he had done business. Dad decided that my brother, Danny, and I should think about doing it. At that time we had an old IBM 33 megahertz machine and hardly any computer experience. We drove to Chicago to learn more about the process and the equipment necessary for the business. We bought a cutter, software, and a scanner, (the scanner is the only piece which I am still using). We had hoped to run Corel for the design work. We found that Corel wasn't powerful enough, so we ended up buying the top of the line software package to do the design work--FlexiSIGN Pro. This is the same software package we currently use. Obviously, it has been updated a few times, since the software originally came on 3.5" floppy disks.
We ran with that system for a very short period of time. We discovered that the old 33 megahertz machine wasn't going to cut the mustard or the graphics, so we updated to a 90 megahertz machine and thought that was the cat's meow. After a fairly short period of time, we decided that machine didn't have what we needed either, so we bought a 200 megahertz machine assuming that this would work for us for a long time. In fact, that was the longest running machine on our list. Finally, about 3 or 4 years ago, we buried that machine when it completely died. We bought a 650 megahertz machine to replace it. That machine lasted 2 years, and we are currently running a 1.8 gigahertz machine and hope to use it for a couple of years at least. Our new full-color printer requires it's own computer, a 3.2 gigahertz with all the bells and whistles. Today, I'm working with 4 computers and 2 graphics printers, 1 vinyl cutter and 2 'standby' cutters.
VINYL CUTTING AND PRINTING MACHINES
When we first started cutting graphics, we had a Roland 15 inch cutter, which is the smallest professional cutter you can buy. At the time it was adequate. It would cut small lettering very well, and it ran really quick. Shortly thereafter we found that in order to make the small aircraft lettering, a digital printer was going to be necessary. To make the graphics look the way we wanted them to, we needed a different machine. So, we bought Roland's 24 inch printer/cutter which does a very good job with smaller logos and other jobs a cutter can't handle. We are currently still using this machine. A few years ago we decided that cutting our bigger graphics on the slow 24 inch printer/cutter wasn't working very well, so we bought a new 24 inch Roland cutter. After this machine was put to rest, we bought a Vinyl Express 24 inch cutter, which is considerably faster than the Roland. In October of this year we purchased a Roland SP300 EcoSol printer to handle our large, full-color print jobs. All the jobs we used to turn down or 'job out' are now done easily in-house. With this machine, the possibilities seem endless!
On personal level, Danny and I both attended college while working for Die-Hard Graphics. He has since moved on to a career as a product developer at Horizon Hobby, with which I am sure some of you are familiar. I continue to work here at DHG and drive a school bus for Stark County School. My mom, Cheryl, or my wife, Amy, are available to help with some of the larger installations that I run into. Dad helps out with some of the sales calls and other day to day operations. My daughters, Makenzie (10 years) and Blair (5 year) are the Technical Advisers for DHG, and keep us all in line!
DHG's CUSTOMER SUPPORT POLICY
Our beliefs about our vinyl product and service are very simple. We use only the highest quality vinyl available. It is 2.3 - 3.0 mil (a unit of distance equal to 0.001 inch: a "milli-inch")and guaranteed for 7 to 8 years outdoor use. We strive for customer satisfaction, so that you will want to call us the next time you need vinyl graphics. If there are any questions or problems with a purchase, we hope to be given the opportunity to make things right. If you have trouble installing we have always replaced a graphic for little or no charge depending on size. We understand bad things happen, and we want the replacement process to be as simple as possible.
OUR TIME HERE AT DHG
In addition to our many loyal, local customers, DHG's graphics have been shipped all over the world--46 states (so if you know of anyone needing graphics in AK, ND, NM, or VT send them our way), 16 countries, and 5 continents. We have had some very interesting customers and installations over the 11 years that we have been here, and we have enjoyed all of it. If you get a chance, take a look at some of our installations and other graphics shown on this web site.
If you have any questions about any product, custom graphics or need an estimate, please give me a call or send me an email. We will do all we can to provide the best service available. If you are in our area, give us a call, and we will set up a time to get together and talk about your next project
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