Herb Olbrich, owner of LMK Waterjet in Kenilworth, New Jersey, was asked to perform a miracle for 34th Street in late October this year. He had less than a month to produce a high-profile holiday sign for a major retail store in New York City before the start of the official shopping season. With the intention to inspire consumers, this retailer requested a 3-story high sign for installation on the side of their building. The sign captured the spirit of the season with one universal message: Believe.
The display company responsible for the project called upon LMK Waterjet's services to create this sign out of inch 5052 aluminum. They requested Olbrich to cut the sign's lettering from 5 feet x 10 feet metal sheets. The conventional machinery in his job shop could not handle such large material dimensions. However, Olbrich's business foresight in purchasing an OMAX 80160 prepared him for such large scale cutting projects.
"I think the waterjet was a perfect application for this job," he said. "It was quick; it was clean; you don't have to worry about burrs. When I asked the contractor about the installation, he said everything fit perfectly and it was the best result they could have imagined."
Every component of the sign was cut on the waterjet. Each section was about 10 feet long and attached at flanged seams. Every flanged section contained a series of bolt holes and etched identification numbers for easy installation. Around the perimeter of each letter, nominal 3/16th inch holes were pierced every three inches to make way for clips for stringing lights throughout the entire "Believe" sign. Olbrich described his first experience of seeing the finished product installed on the retail store over Thanksgiving weekend.
"It was very emotional because here is something that I had something to do with and millions of people will see it," he said. "It's not that often that you're able to see the fruits of your labor out in the public like this. When I went to see the sign, I had my three kids with me who were back from college. They said 'Aw, dad, that's cool!"
When asked what his holiday wish was for the season, Olbrich stated he would love to see the retail store continue their "Believe" ad campaign next year and commission for more signs he could cut with his OMAX waterjets.
"That would be absolutely the icing on the cake - to see my signs on every branch store across the country," he said.
Owner: Herb Olbrich
Location: Kenilworth, New Jersey
Specializes in: Waterjet cutting and machine shop services for art to parts and anything in between