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Steve Clarkson
01-22-2010, 2:44 PM
Epilog just sold Pet Smart over 800 lasers to be put in their stores as kiosks for dog tag engraving.......

James Jaragosky
01-22-2010, 2:54 PM
Epilog just sold Pet Smart over 800 lasers to be put in their stores as kiosks for dog tag engraving.......
Hope you had Epilog stock.
You might want to find out who supplies the encodes strips to Epilog and get stock in that company as well.

On a more serious note I see opportunity for a large service contract here. 800 lasers ran by people with no experience all making minimum wage:eek:
Jim J.

Belinda Williamson
01-22-2010, 3:54 PM
Epilog just sold Pet Smart over 800 lasers to be put in their stores as kiosks for dog tag engraving.......

I didn't realize they had sold that many, but the Pet Smart here in Savannah has had a laser since last October or November. They sell the engravable tags at the check out and all you have to do is by one, pop it in the machine, and type out your text - at least that's how the check out clerk explained it to me. :rolleyes: I haven't taken the time to check it out but apparently everything is done by the customer and there is no dedicated store employee to provide this service.

Dan Hintz
01-22-2010, 3:57 PM
Belinda, are you sure it's not a rotary? Pet smart (and similar large stores) have had rotary engravers for 7-8 years (or more). Same deal, customer buys a token for the machine, type sin the wanted text on a touchscreen, picks a tag design, and hits the big green 'go' button.



James, no kidding! The amount of pet hair alone floating around those stores is scary... dust bunnies galore!

Belinda Williamson
01-22-2010, 4:03 PM
Belinda, are you sure it's not a rotary? Pet smart (and similar large stores) have had rotary engravers for 7-8 years (or more). Same deal, customer buys a token for the machine, type sin the wanted text on a touchscreen, picks a tag design, and hits the big green 'go' button.



James, no kidding! The amount of pet hair alone floating around those stores is scary... dust bunnies galore!

As I said, Dan, I haven't taken the time to check it out myself. I'm only going by what the check out person told me. I did specifically ask if it was a laser engraver and she said it was a laser. They did have a rotary machine that was located to the right of the entry/exit. I noticed that it was gone. I looked at the tags that are offered and they are anodized aluminum. I believe the clerk was just confused and the machine must be store employee operated.

Belinda Williamson
01-22-2010, 4:21 PM
Is it possible that Epilog has come out with a new small scale engraver specifically for dog tags? One that is basically fool proof?

James Stokes
01-22-2010, 4:37 PM
It was Epilog and from the way I read it was that it was a totally customer operated kiosk. The walmarts have had the customer operated kiosks for a long time. I believe these lasers are built from The Helix model.

Martin Boekers
01-22-2010, 6:14 PM
Here's the Epilog link;

http://www.epiloglaser.com/news_tagworks.htm

Marty

Martin Boekers
01-22-2010, 6:28 PM
A bit more info on Tag works founder.

TagWorks, LLC was co-founded in 2007 by its Chairman Richard McWilliam, a well-known sport and entertainment industry entrepreneur, who is also Chairman of The Upper Deck Company located in Carlsbad, California. TagWorks, a Tempe, Arizona-based company was established to market innovative pet products based on a patent pending laser kiosk approach that engraves designer pet tags.



ANAHEIM, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE (http://www.businesswire.com/))--Location Based Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB:LBAS), a leading-edge family service provider of personal and pet locator devices and services, today announced it has signed its first purchase order for $3.7M with TagWorks for PetFinder® devices to be delivered January, 2009.

“By partnering with TagWorks, we secure a distribution relationship with a proven provider of leading edge pet related technology”
“By partnering with TagWorks, we secure a distribution relationship with a proven provider of leading edge pet related technology,” said Dave Morse, CEO of Location Based Technologies. “We are committed to bringing the best wireless products and experiences to U.S. customers and truly believe that PetFinder is a breakthrough product that will change the way families stay connected with their pets.”
The PocketFinder® and PetFinder family of products uses advanced technology to help families and their pets stay connected. The smallest known single-board GSM/GPS device easily fits onto the pet’s collar and can be accessed via the Internet, cell phone or landline to show its exact location in real time. In addition, the devices include several advanced features, such as allowing users to designate customizable alert areas as electronic “fences” to notify them when a pet leaves or enters a specified area or checking the 30 day history to assess your pets exercise regimen and wanderings.


Sounds like a guy on the move!

Marty

Doug Griffith
01-22-2010, 6:44 PM
I'd buy stock in the company supplying filters for the fume extraction systems they plan on using.

David Fairfield
01-22-2010, 7:09 PM
Waiting for the day you get a haircut by sticking your head into a kiosk like that :D

Dave

Ed Lang
01-22-2010, 7:13 PM
I have two machines but would never use one for my pet(s) tag(s)! You may ask WHY? The color on the tags wear off and so there goes the engraving. Do you want your lost pet to be out with a tag that has no information on it!

This is one place that I feel a drag or impact marking is much better!

Gary Hair
01-22-2010, 7:17 PM
I'd buy stock in the company supplying filters for the fume extraction systems they plan on using.


Lasering anodized aluminum doesn't produce much in the way of noxious fumes. When I do large batches of them I run the laser for 30-45 seconds at the end of the run and that's for almost 300 tags. For a single tag I wouldn't even bother.

Gary

Gary Hair
01-22-2010, 7:19 PM
The color on the tags wear off and so there goes the engraving.

You must have defective coating. Anodized that I get from Chewbarka are extremely durable and I have never seen the coloring wear off. Done properly, anozided aluminum is extremely hard and very wear-proof. Think of all of the paintball guns and bicycle parts that are anozided.

Gary

Scott Balboa
01-22-2010, 7:23 PM
I've lasered pet tags on anodized aluminum and it lasts a long time. Anodized can get scratched, blent, left in the rain, and still be legible. My puppy has one I made from black anodized and it is pretty beat up (already) but looks better than the diamond-engraved "bright brass" tag my fiance got for her a few days before I made my own version.

Oh well, how often do any of you guys get requests for engraved pet tags? At less than $10 a pop is it really going to make a dent in all of our business?

Joe Peacock
01-22-2010, 10:00 PM
Hope you had Epilog stock.
You might want to find out who supplies the encodes strips to Epilog and get stock in that company as well.

On a more serious note I see opportunity for a large service contract here. 800 lasers ran by people with no experience all making minimum wage:eek:
Jim J.
Yea, that's going to be real interesting seeing how they handle the servicing on the lasers. They will probably get 5% of the installs calling every month because they didn't clean the lenses or something minor like that. That alone is going to tie up a tech at Epilog. I bet they hired one or two more people just to handle the PetSmart business. If is becomes a tech support nightmare for PetSmart there may be 800 used lasers on the market to choose from.
Joe

Mike Chance in Iowa
01-22-2010, 11:10 PM
You must have defective coating. Anodized that I get from Chewbarka are extremely durable and I have never seen the coloring wear off. Done properly, anozided aluminum is extremely hard and very wear-proof. Think of all of the paintball guns and bicycle parts that are anozided.

Gary

I agree with Gary. I have both laser engraved and rotary engraved anodized aluminum tags I have been testing side-by-side on both the animal and human species. Both are wearing the same amount. When the aluminum wears thin, that's when you start losing your engraving on either type. I have abused a laser engraved tag with a dremel grinder and various other things I can get my hands on. The engraving remains visible as long as there is metal.

Martin Boekers
01-22-2010, 11:56 PM
I don't see a problem with encoder strips if their product is anodized that seems to be the least of affluent issues I have encountered. a halfway decent air filtering system should take care of that. Maybe they are using something else such as "Laser Black" coatings (JDS) I haven't used that yet so I can't speak on it's hazards.

When they refill the kiosk it only takes a few seconds to clean a strip and or lens anyway. (Routine Maintenance)

I'm not sure if the Zing uses encoder strips?

The bigger problem would be the mechanics of loading the tag into position and delivering it when finished.

Actually I could see this doing better in a mall, the tags don't have to be just for pets. There may be a pretty good market with the younger crowd depending on cost.

I give the guy credit, for a company in business only 2 or so years, and a depressed economy he seems to have jumped in head first with this and his earlier project.

Time will tell, as it always does!:D


Marty

Dan Hintz
01-25-2010, 8:15 AM
Martin,

Tag location would most likely be taken care of by a platen with tag-specific indentions (at least that's how I'd do it). A row of shaped indentations... heart, square, circle, dogbone, etc. Customer puts it in the correct slot (maybe a depressed button in each indention to ensure the customer gets it right), closes lid, hits button, and away we go.

The aluminum is not the problem with the encoder strip, it's the nasty environment. Pet hair will quickly clog any basic filter, and unless they have a plan in place to clean those machines weekly, they're going to start dieing.

Mike Null
01-25-2010, 8:27 AM
Hats off to Epilog, their engineering and marketing people, for embracing this idea and bringing it to reality. I wish them only good luck.

You can bet they created more than a few jobs for Americans with this venture.

Peter Meacham
01-25-2010, 9:56 AM
The new Tagworks engraving kiosks work pretty slick. All customer operated. The cost of the tag, which is purchased at the checkout stand, includes engraving. Several styles of tags available. Some of the tags have a pewter frame holding the tags. Prices were about $7.95 (including two-sided engraving).

A carrier in the machine flips the tag over to engrave the second side when it has finished the first side.

The customer selects the text they want on both sides, typically the pet's name on the front side and the contact information on the reverse side. All text is selected via an on-screen keyboard.

One little glitch I noticed was when a customer did not load the tag properly on the carrier and the tag dropped down and out the chute. She did not notice this and told the machine to go ahead and engrave - so, the machine engraved an empty carrier. The customer had to get a store employee involved at that point. The machines may need a fail-safe fix for that type of event.

The machines are all fully enclosed with a small viewing window for the customer and a lift door to insert the tags onto the carrier.

The machines do not look anything like our laser machines that have an engraving area that is fully accessable by the operator. They look more like a typical vending machine. The customer activates the process by passing the tag package (after purchase) under a bar code reader on the machine. That probably tells the machine what type of tag it needs to engrave. Unsure if it is tied to the store POS system to determine if the tag is paid for or not - probably it is a stand alone system and assumes the tag is paid for.

Scott Shepherd
01-25-2010, 1:01 PM
Let's hope it works out a little better for them than the deal with Universal putting lasers into Ritz/Wolf Camera shops.

That ended up bad. I think ULS designed a custom interface as well, based on the original order. In the end, I don't think they ever got all that was promised to them, and then chain filed for bankruptcy.

Tom Bull
01-25-2010, 1:18 PM
The future belongs to the robots. Another example of a machine doing what a person used to do re: Red Box movie rental. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, it's faster, cheaper, maybe more accurate. It's just going to be seen more and more. I can see where there won't be people at the counter of fast food; instead you just go to the touch screen, make your order, swipe your cc (or id chip, or cell phone-vending machines in Sweden work from your cell phone), go to the chute and wait for your grub.

Mark Ross
01-25-2010, 4:53 PM
Scott,

What did the units in the camera shop do? Engrave pet tags or something else?

Scott Shepherd
01-25-2010, 5:47 PM
Mark, they engraved photos on items. I'm not 100% certain, since it's been a while since I had the discussion with someone, but if memory serves me correctly, Universal took some time and developed a special driver for them that made processing the photographs really easy for their employees.

It was all done by their employees, nothing was done by the customer.

Here's the original link when I saw it....

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=72044&highlight=camera

Dan Hintz
01-26-2010, 7:03 AM
Well, issues with the ULS machines or not, Ritz was having problems long before they installed those machines. They charged high prices in a market that was moving in a direction (from analog to digital) not compatible with long-term survivability... when you can delete images you don't like on the spot and hand over a memory card with the images you want printed in an hour at the local drug store, it's tough to survive paying mall rents.

Lee DeRaud
01-26-2010, 10:05 AM
The future belongs to the robots. ... I can see where there won't be people at the counter of fast food; instead you just go to the touch screen, make your order, swipe your cc, go to the chute and wait for your grub.AFAICT, that's just a case of using silicon-based digital robots to replace the carbon-based analog robots they have now. :eek:

The new ones will be much easier to program, or so I'm told. :cool:

Tim Bateson
01-26-2010, 10:30 AM
...A carrier in the machine flips the tag over to engrave the second side when it has finished the first side...

I want one of them there doohickies!

Bill Cunningham
01-26-2010, 10:20 PM
I'm sure that if you want a afternoons entertainment, just go stand beside one of these 'customer operated' (foolproof :D) machines for a bit.. I'm sure the engineers have thought of every possible problem that could occur,:p 'except' the ones that are gonna happen.. Make something that's fool proof, and the universe will supply an automatic upgrade to the next version of fool, it's the law! (Murphy said so)

Martin Boekers
01-26-2010, 10:45 PM
Bill,

Your post reminded me of this video. Never underestimate a child!:p

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVWyT5RWHtA


Marty

Carrol Fleming
01-27-2010, 12:37 AM
I'm sure that if you want a afternoons entertainment, just go stand beside one of these 'customer operated' (foolproof :D) machines for a bit.. I'm sure the engineers have thought of every possible problem that could occur,:p 'except' the ones that are gonna happen.. Make something that's fool proof, and the universe will supply an automatic upgrade to the next version of fool, it's the law! (Murphy said so)

I have this quote up in my office, I think it says it all:

“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” ... Douglas Adams :D

Dan Hintz
01-27-2010, 8:28 AM
Martin,

I love how the kid continues to clean the door windows while this is all going on...

Martin Boekers
01-27-2010, 9:07 AM
Martin,

I love how the kid continues to clean the door windows while this is all going on...

It's great! The parent is something else, most would be mortified and get help immediately, this mom tells the kid to climb out of there now not even thinking about safety.

This would be a perfect segment to "where are they now"!

Marty

Bill Cunningham
01-28-2010, 10:06 PM
Could have been worse I suppose... She could have dropped some coin in the machine, picked the kid up with the claw, and plopped her in the chute :D