Monday, April 27, 2015
Sign Effectz goes ‘outside the box’ with new sign
April 27, 2015 10:20 AM
Milwaukee custom sign manufacturer Sign Effectz Inc. usually makes signs shaped like a box, but it is currently working on one with a less conventional shape: a waffle cone.

Oscar’s Frozen Custard hired Sign Effectz earlier this year to make a new sign for its Franklin location opening soon at 27th Street and Rawson Avenue.

“We started working with them for the new location, and we came up with this awesome design for the freestanding sign. They loved it so much they said we want to do this at all the locations,” said Sign Effectz sales manager Michael Dlugi.

While the sign is awaiting plan commission approval for the Franklin and Town of Brookfield locations, it was recently approved for Oscar’s West Allis location at 2362 S. 108th St. The installation is planned for the end of May or early June.

“I want to credit the design fully to Susie Taylor,” Dlugi said. “She is the creative mind behind a lot of the designs within their locations… she said, ‘We want something really iconic. We want people to know we’re a homemade custard stand.’”

Not only is the 23-foot high sign shaped like a custard waffle cone, but the sign will change colors every day based on the day’s custard flavor. For example, it will light up red for strawberry and green for key lime pie.

Sign Effectz also incorporated many elements to make it look like a real custard waffle cone. LED lighting is used to accentuate the wrapping of the cone, the custard looks like it is dripping, and it has a cherry on the top that will light up.

“It won’t just be flat with a painted image,” Dlugi said. “It will have texture to it just like if you were looking at an actual cone.”

In addition to the LED lighting to signify the wrapping of the cone, Sign Effectz designed each individual letter in the Oscar’s logo to light up.

“We took their idea and vision and turned it into something that has LED lighting, so it’s energy efficient,” Dlugi said. “It takes approximately 10 percent of power usage of what the old sign did on an annual basis.”

Sign Effectz is also known for building and installing the large Stone Creek Coffee cup on top of the coffee roaster’s building at 422 N. 5th St. in Milwaukee and the 30-foot wind palms metal sculptures at the Discovery World museum.

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ZBB secures energy management contract in Cayman Islands
April 27, 2015 10:25 AM
Menomonee Falls-based ZBB Energy Corp., a developer of energy management solutions for the commercial and industrial building and utility markets, recently signed a contract to provide an advanced energy management system for the largest "off-grid" renewable energy installation in the Cayman Islands.

The Cayman Technology Centre (CTC), a 38,000-square-foot office and retail complex in George Town, Grand Cayman, owned by NCB Group, will be designed to operate independent of the utility grid. The system's integration is composed of 10 50kWh ZBB's EnerStore V3.3 ZnBr flow batteries, a ZBB EnerSection energy management system, a 380kW PV installation and an 800kW diesel generator.

"Cayman Technology Centre is setting the stage for commercial construction in Grand Cayman," said Mathew Wight, managing director for NCB Group. "By integrating both solar energy with storage and geothermal technologies, CTC tenants will not only save money on their monthly utility bills but as developers, we are helping the environment and greatly reducing our carbon foot print."

"Endless Energy selected ZBB's energy storage and management system because it helped us provide our customer with what they wanted -- energy independence; reduced energy expenses; and protection of the environment," said Jim Knapp, owner of Endless Energy (Cayman) Limited, a renewable energy provider for sustainable building projects in the Caribbean. "We look forward to providing NCB Group and CTC with cost effective, utility quality power at a reduced cost using solar energy stored by ZBB to create one of the most environmentally friendly energy systems in the Caribbean."

Expensive electricity rates and challenged grid energy supply in the Caribbean is expected to significantly expand the market for micro-grid systems in the region, and ZBB believes that the trend toward grid defection and off-grid, self-sustaining commercial projects will continue in the coming years.

"ZBB is focused on developing and commercializing technology that enables owners of commercial and industrial properties to maximize their energy independence and turn their buildings from an energy user to a clean energy producing asset," said Brad Hansen, president and chief operating officer. "Energy management systems for the C&I market must be capable of performing a number of applications and be highly configurable to deliver value to the operator. ZBB is pleased to be able to bring our solution to the Cayman Technology Centre project."

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Hilary Dickinson This exclusive news bulletin is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Hilary Dickinson. This bulletin is published every Monday morning. Send manufacturing industry news and tips to or call her at (414) 336-7123.

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