More on Popco's custom cutting

In our blog post from October 2014, we wrote about our cutting methods and devices. Briefly recapping that old post: Popco can cut sign-bases, SNAPRAIL™, poster rails and sign channels to customer’s specifications. Our heavy sign-bases are saw cut, and SNAPRAILS™, poster rails and sign channels are cut on our guillotine custom cutter (shown).

Custom cutting has become increasingly popular and this has resulted in some customer requests that we simply can’t fulfill, namely the ability to attain very precise dimensions.

As you can see, the dimension gauge on our guillotine cutter is in inches. Some customers have requested cut dimensions in decimals that do not translate easily into inches. An example would be a recent request for pieces cut to the length 10.6525. The inch equivalent to this is roughly 10-21/32”. What we can accept is requests in fractions that are no smaller than 1/16”, and our tolerance is +/- 1/16”.

Another issue is that the protective guards on our guillotine cutter prevent us from cutting pieces shorter than three inches. Check out the gruesome safety label on the cutter guard (shown above). We’ve not had an accident yet and, so long as we don’t attempt cuts shorter than 3-inches in-house, we hope to continue our sterling safety record.

Please call Popco for more information on custom cutting. Our sales representatives will tell you everything you need to know. For custom-cutting costs, check out our cutting-fee charts online. Here’s the link.

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Popco partners with ProAct

ProAct is an organization, based in Eagan, Minnesota, that serves people with disabilities and other barriers to employment and community inclusion. In addition to life training and transportation services, ProAct connects employers from the Twin Cities area, southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin with quality employees.

ProAct also offers businesses like Popco assembly, packaging and light manufacturing services. Since 2011, Popco has relied on ProAct for hand assembly of a number of our products such as our suction cups with hooks, flag clips and mirror clips.

Recently, ProAct honored Popco with the Business Partner of the Year award. In the words of Dave Cavalier, ProAct's Director of Production Services, this award is "...given only when a customer and ProAct have formed an extraordinary business connection." – "The assembly and packaging jobs from Popco have provided many hundreds of hours of work for our clients."

Since we have enormous respect for ProAct, we are deeply honored by this. We have every intention of continuing our relationship with ProAct and spreading the word of ProAct's marvelous mission.


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BPA, phthalates and other fishy things

Recently, a customer asked if Popco’s suction cups included BPA. This customer intended to use the suction cups in an aquarium and they wanted to be certain that the suction cups would not contaminate the tank and affect the fish.

BPA (bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical found in polycarbonate plastics. Studies have indicated that polycarbonate food containers that contain BPA can affect the food or beverages stored in those containers and result in a variety of negative health effects.

Popco’s suction cups are made from PVC and include no BPA. As such, our suction cups are compliant with the European Directive, RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances). However, Popco’s suction cups do contain phthalates, chemical substances used to soften plastics. The European Union’s REACH agreement identifies phthalates as substances of concern due to potential health risks. In California, proposition 65 listed DINP (di isononyl phthalate) as a chemical known to the State to cause cancer.

There are a number of categories into which phthalates fall. Some phthalates, including those used in Popco’s suction cups, have FDA approval. These phthalates are not considered harmful, in fact, they are found in products such as cosmetics, toys, food packaging and even medical blood bags and tubing.

What does this all mean: Popco’s suction cups do not rely on materials known to be harmful. Still, our suction cups are designed for, and primarily used for, the point-of-purchase display industry. We do not market our products to the food industry and we suggest that the suction cups be used in POP settings, not food settings. As for aquariums: We think the fish will like our suction cups just fine.

goldfish photo courtesy of depositphotos

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Popco’s all-new clip-on sign holders

Simple, sensible, versatile, reusable; these are some of the descriptions that apply to the new clip-on sign holders that Popco has added to our product lineup. The clip-on sign holders are available in small and large sizes, and with either clips on both sides or a combination of clip and sign-holding channel.

For more information on these new parts, click here.

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Popco’s new phone-order policy

There are a variety of ways that customers place orders with Popco. Typically, customers submit purchase orders or order online. These are our preferred methods since orders in writing help both Popco and our customers to be perfectly clear on an order’s details. Still, there are many times when ordering by phone is most convenient for our customers and we are glad to accommodate them.

After preparing all orders, Popco’s sales reps email an order confirmation to the customer. This gives the customer an opportunity to review the order before it ships and confirm that the verbal instructions given to the sales rep are accurately entered on the order.

To ensure the accuracy of the orders taken over the phone,
Popco has developed a new policy:

For phone orders that exceed $500.00, we now require customers to review and approve the order confirmation before the order ships. This extra step benefits customers and Popco by decreasing the chance that an order ships incorrectly; the order confirmation becomes, in effect, a purchase order.

Though this policy requires some added effort on the part of the customer, we’ve done all that we can to streamline the process and, at the same time, provide the paper trail that helps us increase the accuracy of the orders we ship

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Popco's new finned sign-foot

Popco has added a new product to our sign base category: the FWF-111-2 (finned wide foot). This part features a finned sign grip atop a 2-inch square base. In its standard configuration, the FWF-111-2 is available in clear PVC without adhesive on the base. At large quantities, the part can be run with permanent or removable adhesive on the base and also offered in black or white PVC.

The FWF-111-2 was produced in response to a request from one of our customers. To meet our customer’s tight deadline, Popco completed the design process, tooling, customer approval process and initial run of this part in roughly five weeks. Now, we can offer this customer, and others, fast lead time on the new part just as we do with all of our sign bases and other extruded or injection-molded parts. For more details on this new part, click here.

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Popco’s products support another project by the Principals

Popco is excited to be a part of another project by The Principals. The Brooklyn-based Principals are an experimental design studio, focused on the connections between architecture, fabrication and industrial design. In 2014, Popco’s products played a small role in a Principal’s project entitled Ancient Chaos. Details on that project can be found in our blog post from December of 2014.

Now, The Principals are participating in Collective DF, a prestigious design fair held annually in New York City. For this year’s event, The Principals are submitting a coroplast structure, the panels of which are bound together using Popco’s push-lock screws. The structure, a site-specific installation entitled Glacial Drift, is part green wall and part gathering space.

A digital rendering created by The Principals shows how the structure can serve as a place of respite from the bustling city and double as a beautiful and surprising piece of modern sculpture in what is normally a utilitarian area.

We’d like to congratulate The Principals for their involvement in Collective DF 2016 and thank them for trusting, once again, that Popco’s products are right for their projects.

For more information on The Principals, click here.

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Made in the USA by Popco

At Popco, we are proud of our family-business roots and the fact that many of our products are made in USA. Though we do import some of our products, our biggest sellers (the SNAPRAIL™ poster rails, sign channels and bases, small fasteners and suction cups) are all of Popco’s design and are US made. In fact, we keep it local; our extrusion and injection molding facilities are either in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area or just across the border in Wisconsin. Manufacturing our products locally gives us a high level of quality control and allows us to offer fast turn-times and very competitive pricing. Source your POP parts through Popco and you’ll benefit from these things while supporting American workers and manufacturing.

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Popco offers limited stock of banner hanging systems

While stock lasts, Popco is offering a very high-quality banner hanging system.  Consisting of a beautifully finished black aluminum dowel and matching black end caps, this system is meant to be used with fabric or vinyl banners that have sleeves for inserting the dowel.

The endcaps include an opening into which hanging hardware can be inserted. Together, these parts are great for long-term installations or for use where banners will be repeatedly changed out.

Durable and attractive, these parts are popular in retail settings and also in houses of worship and schools. Stock on these parts is limited and, once sold out, we will not be restocking. These new parts have now been added to our product pages. For more information, click here.

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Popco shipping options

Popco ships orders in variety of ways including:
• UPS small package
• FedEx small package
• FedEx LTL truck freight
• our customer’s freight carriers
• courier for local orders

The majority of orders shipped from Popco are sent via UPS. For ground shipments, UPS is a great deal for our customers. This is because the volume of packages we ship entitles us to an attractive rate and we pass those savings on to our customers.

For expedited shipments, FedEx offers us the best rate.  When helping customer’s on the phone, Popco sales reps make customers aware of their best options for expedited shipping. For online orders, on which a customer has asked for UPS expedited shipping, we will change the shipping method to FedEx when shipping on Popco’s account.  This results in a significant savings.
Customers can also choose to ship on their UPS or Fed Ex accounts, or with their freight carrier.

However it works best for our customer’s, Popco is happy to accommodate nearly any shipping 

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