Blue Ribbon Trophy / LaserWerks
FiberMark expands product offerings, increases customer base for Blue Ribbon Trophy.
When you’ve been in business since 1954, like Blue Ribbon Trophy/LaserWerks has, you must be doing something right. For more than five decades the company has been building a loyal customer base in Orange, California, and the surrounding areas.
One of the first companies to perform laser engraving tasks in-house, Blue Ribbon began with a series of large-scale, industrial engraving systems. The company purchased its first computer-controlled laser engraving system in the early 1990s and continues to utilize CO2 laser engraving and cutting technology in their thriving shop.
The FiberMark does exactly what we need it to and that’s great for our business. Epilog just produces well-built machines with a great complement of features. Plus, their technical support team is unbeatable, and that’s crucial to any laser engraving business.
“We purchased our first Epilog Summit in 1993,” says Don Leedy, co-owner of Blue Ribbon Trophy/LaserWerks. “We followed it up with an Epilog Express in 1996, a Legend 36 EXT in 2007 and finally the FiberMark in 2008.”
Until they purchased the FiberMark, Don and his wife and business partner, Susan, utilized the CO2 machines and marking agents for their metal marking needs.
“We used the CO2 machines and CerMark primarily for stainless steel and a small number of other metals,” Don said. “The process was so inefficient that we didn’t do a whole lot of metal marking.” As the demand for metal marking capabilities became more apparent in the awards industry, Don and Susan agreed they needed to incorporate equipment that could meet their customer’s needs in a timely and cost-effective manner.
“We looked at metal marking machines,” Leedy said. “We had wanted one for a long while, but we didn’t want one that ran off proprietary software, and we also didn’t want to be stuck with the engraving size limitations we saw in many of the traditional galvo-based YAG metal marking systems.”
Since Epilog’s FiberMark has an open architecture design, which means it can be used with nearly any Windows®-based software, the Leedy’s could continue working with the same programs they’d always used, such as CorelDRAW and Adobe Photoshop – eliminating the need to learn or train others on proprietary design software. They also get full use from the generous 24-inch by 12-inch engraving table on the FiberMark.
"We've used it for many metal items that previously we had to engrave on our standard engraving tables. We don't have to worry about clamping the items down so they don't move. The FiberMark has a large enough table that we can hold many odd shaped metal items," Leedy said. “The FiberMark simply met all of our criteria,” Leedy said. “It’s allowed us to engrave on virtually any metal and produce amazing detail – even in one or two-point fonts!”
Another benefit is being able to add to their product line. “The FiberMark is used every day,” Leedy tells us. “We’re engraving everything from award plates, flashlights, flash drives, jewelry (including Rolex watch backs), stainless steel mugs, to control panels. We’ve recently done large silver serving trays that engraved with incredible results.”
The expansion in Blue Ribbon’s product line has equated to an increase in their market share. “The FiberMark has allowed us to engrave many more industrial products, opening up a whole new client base for us,” Leedy said. “We tried very hard to accommodate metal marking needs prior to getting the FiberMark, but nothing has been as easy-to-use or profitable as this system.”
Though machine performance was the biggest reason Blue Ribbon selected the FiberMark for their metal marking applications, Leedy said their relationship with Epilog, its sales staff and technical support team was also a big factor in their decision to purchase.
“The FiberMark does exactly what we need it to and that’s great for our business.” Leedy said. “Epilog just produces well-built machines with a great complement of features. Plus, their technical support team is unbeatable, and that’s crucial to any laser engraving business.”