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  • New Fire Pump Cutaway Banner Available from CalCo

    Posted on February 7th, 2013 admin No comments

    It is here!!

    Fire Departments have had great success using our Hydrant Cutaway Banner for training and to meet ISO standards.  We have had many requests for a Fire Pump Cutaway Banner and we are pleased to be able to offer this new banner to help meet those training needs.

    The Fire Pump Cutaway Training Banner is 6 ft tall by 2 ft wide and is in full color.  It comes with a portable stand but it can also be mounted on a wall.  The banner is vinyl so it will last for years.

    The cutaway banner will give your trainees a clear idea of how the fire pump operates.  There are multiple cutaway sections and enlargements so your instructor can show the details of the pump.  This banner may be able to fulfill the ISO requirement for a fire pump cutaway.  While the final decision ultimately lies in your inspector’s hands, many times this type of solution is valid, and at a fraction of the cost, only $195.00 with a portable banner stand included!

    Be sure to check with your inspector or local ISO/State (or whichever organization is running the inspections) to see if this solution will qualify for your location, and then call 847-639-3858 to order. Our hydrant banner, seen below,  is available too.




  • CalCo: Making Cutaways Longer Than McDonald’s Has Been Making French Fries

    Posted on August 31st, 2011 admin No comments

    Sometimes history goes back such a long way, it is difficult to fully grasp what a phrase like “for over 50 years” really implies. In fact, CalCo is getting close to the 60 year mark, and with this landmark anniversary comes a treasure trove of knowledge and experience.

    CalCo has been around as long as the Corvette and WD40. In 1953, most Americans were enjoying the first issue of TV Guide, now that television was becoming a common electric appliance in the home. Ernest Hemingway received the Pulitzer Prize for ‘Old Man and the Sea’ and Elvis Presley had just graduated from High School.

    Since that time, the cutaway has remained practically unchanged as a valuable tool for:

    • Equipment training
    • Sales presentations
    • Trade show/lobby displays
    RegO regulator cutaways, 1971

    RegO regulator cutaways, 1971

    RegO regulator cutaway 2011

    RegO regulator cutaway, 2011

    It was once said that the Polaroid camera, the fax machine and even email were each going to spell the end of the physical, real-life cutaway. Even today rapid prototyping and lightweight modeling technologies seem to threaten the need for this specialized service.

    The fact of the matter is that nothing can replace the understanding and sensory communication that a true cutaway offers. “This cutaway is an actual product; the same one you will be buying, maintaining or investing in”, they seem to say.

    “THIS is the actual casting quality. Touch these seals yourself.  These gears mesh together as smoothly as when you turn this handle”. What can possibly take the place of an experience created only by a unique and custom version of your product, made by experts that know how important this experience is to your audience?

    Only a company that has evolved alongside much of the technology that comes through the door can fully understand the subtleties and unique characteristics included in each one.

    Do you want quality? CalCo craftsmen average a staggering 11+ years of experience

    Do you want reliability? CalCo stands behind all promises of cost and timing

    Do you want dependability? Many current clients have been using CalCo for decades, some since the very beginning

    Do you want flexibility? Every day CalCo handles custom requests for everything from signage and lighting to animation and sales kits. What do you have on your plate that you’d like to see come to life?

    Let’s step back for a moment:

    How can you tell a do-it-yourself wall painter from a professional? The edges. That place where the new paint stops and the ceiling or unpainted wall begin. That place where a clean, straight and even line running the entire length of the corner is the simplest to imagine, yet most difficult to achieve.

    CalCo has been working on the ‘edges’ for almost 60 years, and the magic of a CalCo cutaway is not in how even the paint is, or how all the cuts line up perfectly, or even how simple but very effective the cut design is. . .

    The magic is in how much conversation the cutaway spurs about your product and its many benefits and advantages. The magic is in how many orders are placed within viewing distance of a cutaway. The magic is in knowing that this process works year after year after year after year. . .

    Contact CalCo at 847/639-3858, click here for contact information or find us on Facebook.

  • Your Lightweight 3-D Displays: From a Drawing to Reality

    Posted on August 12th, 2011 admin No comments

    Are you getting hammered by shipping costs to get your industrial sized displays to trade shows and back? Is the weight, pun intended, of moving your displays becoming tiresome? CalCo has an alternative solution for you and how you display your products; and it’s easier than you may think…

    It all starts with a CAD(computer aided drawing) file of your product. Once we are provided with this file we can scale it down to your liking and produce a light weight 3D model for you to tell the story of your new innovating and/or always reliable product. Models are created out of a very durable ABS plastic using a Fuel Deposition Modeling method, know as FDM.

    Shown below are two pump models that we recently created for a client.

    3-D Pump Model 2Vertical Pump Model

    All of the individual part files are printed separately and then built into an assembly using very little glue and mostly scale-version fasteners. You can see some of the parts were printed in color to highlight specific components and areas of the pump to describe features to potential users. These two units normally weigh hundreds of pounds each and can now be brought to a show in carry-on luggage!!

    To get started, simply email CalCo your 3D files for a quick and helpful quotation or to discuss the opportunities that are possible today.

    For more information call CalCo at 847/639-3858.   Click Here for an article with information about other lightweight options or click here for more contact information.

  • How about an Engine Cutaway for your Lobby Display?

    Posted on July 20th, 2011 admin No comments

    engine4salePICT0111 ps

    CalCo specializes in trade show, sales and lobby displays, especially product cutaways. Our own lobby has many examples of our work and is getting crowded so we are offering two cutaway engine displays for sale. If you need a display and don’t want to customize it yourself one of these may be the solution.  Both displays are engine cutaways with interior and exterior paint, colored passageway paint, cutface paint and plating of metal parts.  They are mounted on custom stands, one wheeled and one stationary with a VW base.

    For more pictures, details or pricing of these engine cutaways or a customized display please contact Chris at CalCo at 847/639-3858.

  • Ideas for Trade Show Displays from CalCo

    Posted on June 13th, 2011 admin No comments

    Valve CutawayDisplay with shipper

    Our goal is to make your job of displaying your product easy whether it is at a trade show, at a sales call or in a training center.  We want to provide a customized solution for your product to show it in its best light.  Your satisfaction is our first priority.  With that in mind we have written some in-depth articles with ideas for displaying your product and we are trying to give you new ways to get information.  We have posted some informative articles about engine cutaways, trade show displays, shipping containers/case options and working models.  These articles give an overview of some choices for your displays and what CalCo can help you create.  Click on the links below to read these articles:,-Why,-Who&id=5807313

    In addition, CalCo has a Facebook Page!! “Like” us on Facebook and get all the latest NEWS from CalCo directly. Browse our photos for ideas, ask questions and let us know what you think. We want to hear from you!

    Get more ideas on our website at or look through our past articles on this site. To contact us call 847/639-3858,  click here for more information or visit us on Facebook.

    “Your Product is our Profession!”


  • A Small Product Can Make a BIG Impact as a Cutaway

    Posted on March 16th, 2011 admin No comments

    Corning Gilbert cutaway by CalCo Cutaways

    A cutaway is used to show the internal parts of your product which can be your most important selling tool.   The internals are often what separate your product from the competition so giving your customer an opportunity to view the actual parts and how they interrelate helps explain the advantage of your product.  If  “a picture is worth a thousand words” then how much is the real thing worth?  Usually when we think of a cutaway we think of a large engine or pump with many complexities but cutaways can be done for any size and kind of product.  Sometimes smaller items or simply constructed products can benefit the most from a cutaway.

    Recently we cutaway a coaxial cable connector with great results.  A cutaway of this nature is difficult because once the cable is cut it will not stay together.  There are numerous layers that can separate and fall out of place.   In this case we were able to embed the product in acrylic so all of the parts are visible and will stay in place.  A greater benefit is that the end result not only shows the product but can be engraved with your name, logo or any other information  and in this case it is being used as a marketing tool.  What a great way to show your product and get your name in front of your customers!

    If you are interested in having your product cutaway or if you want a corporate giveaway and need some ideas, give CalCo a call at 847/639-3858 or follow this link to Contact Us.

  • Frequently Asked Questions about CalCo Cutaways

    Posted on September 29th, 2010 admin No comments

    How much do CalCo’s services cost?

    Each project is different and is priced according to man hours involved, materials for bases, shipping containers or electrical parts, and outside services like plating.  We provide quotes based upon our estimates of time and material to do each job.

    How long does it take?

    A good rule of thumb is to plan ahead. Some projects can be turned around in a week or two, and some can be 90 days, depending upon the project. When production levels are high, lead times are longer, and it is always a good idea to get a no obligation quote in advance.  Our average turnaround time is 4-6 weeks but it is entirely dependent on our schedule at the time that your project arrives.   If necessary and if physically possible, we will adjust our schedule to meet yours and once we commit to a delivery date, you can count on it.

    What do you need from me to provide a quote for my cutaway project?

    The best and most effective way is to send the part with a description of the work you want done.   If your product or part is very large, transportation can be difficult, so typically we like to have a dimensional drawing along with weights and the primary materials of the product (carbon steel, stainless, aluminum, etc.)   A photo of the product is always helpful as well, along with a description of the areas you are looking to feature.  With this information we can provide an accurate estimate, which can be confirmed upon receipt of the actual product.

    How do I specify where to cut on my product?

    Generally, you will receive the best cutaways if you tell us what features you want to show and leave the specific cutting designs to our skilled technicians. They have the knowledge and experience to show and retain components in such a way as to show what you want in the best and least expensive way. We strive to show as much as possible in one view with as simple a cut as possible.

    If I can do all or some of the work in-house, shouldn’t I?

    There are three ways of looking at this question:
    Financially: Because we specialize in making cutaways and displays, we are pretty darn good (and efficient) at it. Therefore, it generally takes our experts less time to do a cutaway so we are almost always less expensive than full or even incremental in-house costs.

    Quality Control: We provide all cutting, clearancing, finishing and final fitting, plus basemounts and shipping containers. All these services must be coordinated, anticipating the needs of the others. At Calco you get a one stop shop that will handle all of these needs for you. We have the tools necessary to do the job right and the expertise and knowledge to make it look great.

    Resources: Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that it is the best use of your resources (time and talent). Most companies are continuously assessing what they should and can do well, and then outsourcing the rest.

    What else can CalCo do for me besides cutaways?

    • Working Models
    • Custom Stands and Basemounts
    • Lighting
    • Custom Fit Cases
    • Custom Fit Permanent Shipping Containers
    • Animation and Electronic Media
    • Professional Photography
    • 3-D Printing, Scale Models and Prototypes
    • Point of Purchase Displays and Signage
    • Custom Sales Awards and Corporate Gifts
    • Web Enabled Training and Training Programs
    • Metal Plating
    • If you don’t see what you need, just ask!

    Our Promise:

    Highest Quality, Great Value and Guaranteed On-Time Delivery.  We want our customers to be satisfied and we will do everything within our power to meet this goal!

    If you have any other questions that you would like CalCo to answer please contact us by email at or by clicking the envelope in the top left corner of this window.  For more information visit our website at or click here for contact information.

  • Alternatives to Large Trade Show Displays – Animation, Scale Models and Large Scale Printing

    Posted on August 24th, 2010 admin No comments

    Do you have large products to display at your next trade show?  Are the logistics of moving them around getting to you?  CalCo has some options for displaying your large products in a memorable way.  We offer animation, scale models or large scale printing as alternative options for your large products.

    Our animation can show your product in action and it can be completely interactive for your customers.   They can choose whether to start or stop the animation and what information will help them or the animation can play continously.  Additional literature can also be accessed to provide more detailed information.  Our unique perspective on the way products work and the cutaway process give us good insight in to what your customer wants to see and how to achieve it.  The beauty of animation is that it can be used in multiple environments – at a trade show, on your website or on sales calls.

    Clear Case glass 2Pump cutaway animation still

    Scale models are another option to show your product in complete detail by using a light-weight, full color model.   We can create a cutaway section of the model as well to show the interior components and how they interrelate.  Your model is an exact duplicate of your product but in a small transportable size.  We can create a custom case to make moving it to your next trade show or sales call easy.

    Cutaway modelgearboxfrom file to model quick and easypump model

    Untitled-1 copy

    With large scale printing you can show your product in full size and detail with out moving it to the trade show.  We offer professional photography shoots of your product at our facility.  The photos can be used for large displays in your trade show booth or they can be utilized for brochures, banners or other internal or external advertising needs.

    photo_engineBIG1hydrant poster1

    If the cost and headache of moving your large products are getting to be too much, give CalCo a call to see about the alternatives of animation,  scale models or large scale printing.  We can help you show your product in its best light without carrying it around with you.  Call CalCo at 847/639-3858 to discuss your alternatives or click here for contact information.

  • Fire Hydrant Cutaway Poster, Great ISO Training Solution

    Posted on March 29th, 2010 admin No comments

    hydrant cutaway poster image sm

    Have you been looking for a Fire Hydrant Cutaway to fill a requirement for an upcoming inspection? Are you finding the $2,000 to $4,500 price tag for a full size hydrant cutaway to be a bit cost prohibitive? CalCo has just the solution for you:

    A 6-foot-tall, full-color Fire Hydrant Cutaway Banner may be able to fill in for the real thing.  While the final decision ultimately lies in your inspector’s hands, many times this type of solution is valid, and at a fraction of the cost, only $195.00 with a portable banner stand included!

    It has been found that a thorough understanding of the parts and relationships involved in your standard street corner hydrant can be critical when in an emergency situation. This knowledge is most effectively taught through the use of a full size, hands on hydrant, which operates the same way an installed hydrant does.  However, when this type of tool is unavailable, the Fire Hydrant Cutaway Banner is the next best thing.

    All of the important internal features are prominently displayed in ‘close to full scale’ size, making understanding and visualizing the real thing easier than using a poster size photograph or drawing.

    Be sure to check with your inspector or local ISO/State (or whichever organization is running the inspections) to see if this solution will qualify for your location, and then call 847-639-3858 and have your credit card handy to get as many on order as you need for your area.

    In the cross section between safety education and budget requirements, the Fire Hydrant Cutaway Banner is the overflowing winner!

    Click here for further contact information.

  • A Spectacular Valve Cutaway Example

    Posted on October 6th, 2009 admin No comments

    postcard valve front 2

    To most of the world a valve is a valve,  not too exciting or original.  But to those in the business a valve can be very exciting.  The small differences from one valve to the next can make a big difference in performance and wear.  What better way to show off these differences then by opening up your valve and showing the important internal components that make your product unique with a Valve Cutaway.  A cutaway can be used at tradeshows, sales meetings, investor relations meetings, for new product introductions and in brochures or ads.

    It can be hard to picture how a product functions when from the outside it looks like a simple thing. A cutaway can provide the means to show off all of the complexity or simplicity of your product. By opening the product so that the internal parts can be seen you can show the true capabilities of your product.

    CalCo has created cutaways for many types of valves including;
    Control Valves
    Check Valves
    Butterfly Valves
    Gate Valves
    Diaphragm Valves
    Needle Valves
    Globe Valves
    Pinch Valves
    Solenoid Valves
    Ball Valves

    See the gallery below or visit the CalCo website at to see more examples.  If you are looking for a Valve Cutaway or any other type of industrial cutaway please call CalCo at 847/639-3858 or click here for contact information.

    valvecopy copyhydrant copycutaway_41checkvalve copyvalve2 copy

    ball valve1