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On 2/3/2016 at 12:47 PM, Steve Yanez said:

Ive always been told that the Koreans have superior products as opposed to the Chinese

It depends on the company and the product.

 

I worked in China for over a decade.  I worked in manufacturing and at one point I was the GM of Fallon Shanghai, remember Fallon?  Iin designed the factory space  for mass production of neon beer signs.  I also designed the pumping system which effectively pumped 12 units a cycle. The quality of our CHINESE made neon beer signs were superior to anything made in America. Shame about the Great Recession putting the kibosh on the company. 

 

Regarding Chinese LED quality, again its who is making them as there are some very good LED manufacturers in China, as well as a lot of crapola.  I also worked in Jakarta Indonesia as a lighting consultant and there are a few nightclubs with interior lighting from 100% LED strip lighting.  After almost decade there has not been one failure.  So again if you're buying crapola don't complain.  The secret is finding the right Chinese LED company.

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5 minutes ago, TIHZ_HO said:

It depends on the company and the product.

 

I worked in China for over a decade.  I worked in manufacturing and at one point I was the GM of Fallon Shanghai, remember Fallon?  Iin designed the factory space  for mass production of neon beer signs.  I also designed the pumping system which effectively pumped 12 units a cycle. The quality of our CHINESE made neon beer signs were superior to anything made in America. Shame about the Great Recession putting the kibosh on the company. 

 

Regarding Chinese LED quality, again its who is making them as there are some very good LED manufacturers in China, as well as a lot of crapola.  I also worked in Jakarta Indonesia as a lighting consultant and there are a few nightclubs with interior lighting from 100% LED strip lighting.  After almost decade there has not been one failure.  So again if you're buying crapola don't complain.  The secret is finding the right Chinese LED company.

 

 

You''re correct, it is all about finding the "right" company.  We've seen & found some good ones


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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1 hour ago, TIHZ_HO said:

It depends on the company and the product.

 

I worked in China for over a decade.  I worked in manufacturing and at one point I was the GM of Fallon Shanghai, remember Fallon?  Iin designed the factory space  for mass production of neon beer signs.  I also designed the pumping system which effectively pumped 12 units a cycle. The quality of our CHINESE made neon beer signs were superior to anything made in America. Shame about the Great Recession putting the kibosh on the company. 

 

Regarding Chinese LED quality, again its who is making them as there are some very good LED manufacturers in China, as well as a lot of crapola.  I also worked in Jakarta Indonesia as a lighting consultant and there are a few nightclubs with interior lighting from 100% LED strip lighting.  After almost decade there has not been one failure.  So again if you're buying crapola don't complain.  The secret is finding the right Chinese LED company.

have any pictures you can share? sounds fascinating!

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Sure, I'm on the wrong computer but I have some of Fallon Shanghai...

 

This is an order for 3500 Miller Lite (Old Logo), we are waiting (too long) for Ventex transformers coming in from the states so all these are minus them - this was a typical month's production - we could do more but it was waiting for materials which always screwed with the schedule.   All the masterpack boxes behind are with the power supplies.  We only did pattern bending, no jigs or fixtures, with 25 benders.  Each table had a QC girl who checked every bit of glass made by the benders by slotting them into a jig. 

 

We used all EGL glass and electrodes and when we ran out of clear I did source Chinese clear that was made for lamp manufacture (I kept this a secret that we're using Chinese glass lol).  On a side line I wanted to do our own coating, its not rocket science once you have the right phosphor / binder and kiln. I've coated before in Australia ( tes I was there too! ol).  Where people sourcing glass come undone - the glass formula needed to be for lamp manufacture and the tubes are acid washed and dried before packing.  If you just buy any clear glass its ok for small units ~4 feet. Anything more than 5 feet you're pushing it and 7~8 feet fuhgeddaboudit! Yes it will pump and age ok, neon looks good bright red but then after about a day or two the electrodes cannot keep up with the outgassing and the tube fails. 

 

This is the pump I designed- 12 ports three bombarders (custom made with the secondary center tapped like a neon transformer for safety) at the far end was another pump. Each port could be isolated if there was a problem with a unit. We had three of these running continuously with two pumpers at each one.  One was the operator while the other one tipped off units on one end and connected six more on the other end.  So when one side was doing the final pumping down the other side was ready to go when the GTO was switched over.  My original plans had a bombarder GTO switch so it was just a flick of a switch to do the other side.  Our standard was the electrodes would be heated to a bright orange and we did a helium flush

 

The neon aged for 4 hours with the Hg in the trap, any unit not dull was rejected.  The ones that passed the first aging were aged for 7 more hours when the Hg was admitted. We had a lot of aging tables with three layers.  We could switch between 30 and 60mA, usually it was 60mA for 8mm we would use 30mA.  Aging neon with 30mA is too slow.  

 

Cheers...

 

PS Don't get me talking about neon...I'll bend your ear off!

Workshop Dec 23 2006 003.jpg

Workshop Dec 23 2006 012.jpg

Workshop Dec 23 2006 011.jpg

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I split these posts off to create it's own topic because it's far too interesting to get lost in the shuffle in a LED discussion.

 

Those are some awesome pics Frank, thanks for sharing those....oh and by all means I don't think anyone here can get tired from hearing about Neon!

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You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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I was always under the impression that the mass produced neon signs where pushed through a die and made. I had no idea they where actually hand made. thanks for sharing.

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That is the most impressive manifold I have ever seen. I would like to share these photos with a neon forum on Facebook. I have been asked, believe it or not, by a large company in another state, if I could imagine a manifold with 4 or 6 connection points.  If you're ever passing through Oregon stop in and we'll put one of these together.  

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On 9/14/2019 at 9:11 AM, Signsfast said:

I was always under the impression that the mass produced neon signs where pushed through a die and made. I had no idea they where actually hand made. thanks for sharing.

Many companies do use a fixture or jig for making multiple bends.  I was the engineering manager of a previous company who did use bending fixtures for jobs of 50 signs or more as the cost of making the fixtures against the time saved in bending wasn't worth it for anything less than that amount.  The fixture was a channel matching the diametre of the glass that is CNC cut into vermiculux board.  There would be a progression of fixtures for a neon unit starting with the first bend, then the second with the bent neon fitting into the channel and so on.  Experience with this form of bending is key to designing and proofing the fixtures.  

 

Back in the 80's several companies tried, and failed to make neon bending machines for simple block letters as the demand for neon exceeded the number of qualified benders.  

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On 9/16/2019 at 7:05 PM, bender said:

That is the most impressive manifold I have ever seen. I would like to share these photos with a neon forum on Facebook. I have been asked, believe it or not, by a large company in another state, if I could imagine a manifold with 4 or 6 connection points.  If you're ever passing through Oregon stop in and we'll put one of these together.  

Thanks! 

 

Multiple port manifolds are usual with mass production shops.  I've seen some very bad designs in my travels...basically anything that connects the tubulation to the manifold with a hose is not good.  

 

In a previous life I was a high vacuum service engineer for a agent of Leybold Germany.  I was factory trained by Leybold for vacuum theory, vacuum pump service / rebuild, high vacuum system service and maintenance.  This gave me valuable experience and knowledge for designing neon pump systems.    

 

In China scientific glass blowing is far cheaper than here in the US.  To make this system here in the US would be very expensive and unless you have 25 benders pumping out thousands of neon units far too much for a general shop.  

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