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  • Clearly See the Difference a Cutaway Makes

    Posted on February 21st, 2013 admin No comments

    Do you find it hard to explain how your product works even though it is a simple process? Typically we expect to see a more complex unit, like an engine, cutaway but cutaways are effective for all types of products. Opening up your product to inspection inspires confidence in your brand and company since you obviously have nothing to hide. Many companies cutaway their product and their competitors product so customers can see the critical differences.

    Take a look at the photos above and you immediately understand what these products are supposed to do without anyone speaking a word. That is the power of a cutaway.

    Call CalCo at 847/639-3858 or contact us with any questions or for a free quote.  Let us help you put your product on display with a cutaway because “Your Product is our Profession”.


  • Eye-Catching Displays Can Make Your Booth More Power-Full

    Posted on January 6th, 2012 admin No comments

    corners-2 copy

    Walking around the show floor at the recent Power-Gen Show in Las Vegas, it is clear an abundance of power solutions are available, and the market is growing.

    One of the larger exhibitors at the show, Leslie Controls, Inc. (designer and manufacturer of control valves for over a century – providing ZERO LEAK control valves for the power generation, industrial, marine and oil and gas markets), took advantage of their open booth design by placing product and information at every corner of the booth. The overall look was fantastic and drew in many people to learn more about Leslie Controls, and how their product’s advantages set them apart.

    Does your booth offer an opportunity for prospective clients to have a hands-on experience in regards to your products? Sometimes this makes all the difference in the world.

    Contact CalCo at 847-639-3858 for help with your booth or product displays.   Click here for more contact information or visit us on Facebook.

  • You Can’t Mix Up a CalCo Cutaway

    Posted on October 18th, 2011 admin No comments

    There are many reasons why CalCo has been a leader in the cutaway business for decades and why so many clients keep coming back.  The most important  reasons are our knowledge, skill, and attention to detail which make a CalCo cutaway stand out above and beyond expectations.  Another reason is our ability to listen and work with clients to achieve the optimal and desired finished product.  Working with our clients to achieve the desired results is a cornerstone of our business and one of the main reasons that our clients return.  We use our extensive mechanical knowledge to show your product to its full advantage while telling the story that your marketing department wants to highlight.

    We were recently asked to create a cutaway of a mixer, seen below, that would be displayed at one of the biggest fluid handling trade shows in the country.  It was on display at the WEFTEC show in Los Angeles.

    The company conveyed to us how they wanted the mixer to look, including cut area and color scheme matching, we replicated those instructions and included this rail and T block support system which resembles the system used in the field. The company got exactly what they were looking for and we got another satisfied customer.

    At CalCo exceeding expectations is what we strive to do for all of our customers.  We want to give you the best display possible so that you and your product look good.  If you need help with a display please contact CalCo at 847/639-3858 or click here for more contact information.  Find us on Facebook 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.

  • Meet Dan Fierla, Senior Supervisor and Cutaway and Display Expert, at CalCo

    Posted on June 10th, 2010 admin No comments


    Ever wonder how CalCo can continually make first class cutaways and always seems to know just what you wanted? We owe much of it to our production supervisor, Dan Fierla. Dan started at CalCo as part of a high school cooperative work program and has been here ever since. In his 32 years, he has moved up the ladder from high school intern to Senior Supervisor, in charge of production and managing our facility and workers. If you have worked with CalCo you may have spoken to Dan and you most likely learned that he has high standards for the work that we do. If it doesn’t meet Dan’s expectations, it is not going out the door. Customer service and satisfaction has always been a key component at CalCo and Dan is one of the reasons why. Another of his famous attributes is his dedication to time commitments. We pay close attention to deadlines and work hard to meet every one. While we always try to work projects into our schedule, we have turned away business because we could not have maintained our high standards and met the delivery date.

    According to Dan the most important information that you can give us about your project is……

    “information that will help me to make your project have that just right look.  Details like, what are you trying to show with this cutaway/display?  Is it the size/type of the internal parts you want to showcase? Or is it something special that separates your product from the competition? This information helps me to design the cuts to show what the customer needs and wants to see.”

    His favorite project that he has completed is…..

    “I had the honor to work on and am very proud of a Double over head cam V6 marine engine for a large engine manufacturer. This project from start to finish was done right.  David Meeler from their marketing department, came to Calco, told me all of the features he would like to show, which helped me to machine the engine and give it that personal touch.  Colors and color coding were all picked out by the customer. When the engine made its maiden voyage at the Florida Boat Show it was a big hit.”

    Something you should know about him is……

    “I get great satisfaction out of working with the other members of the CalCo team.  I am driven to make CalCo the Best it can be for both employee and customer. When I see pictures of  trade show booths like Navistar, DeZURIK and Kimray, and all of them use Calco cutaways/displays to show case their products,  I have a great sense of pride in knowing I played a part in helping them project a positive image.”

    Dan’s level of experience and overall knowledge of products helps you in terms of deciding the best way to display the internal components of your product. Chances are great that Dan has the best and most cost effective way to show your products key features.  He can assist you in creating your ideal cutaway/display.  He also has innovative ideas to show off large products, create working models or design custom stands.

    If you have a project that you are interested in discussing, give CalCo a call at 847/639-3858, email us at or click here for our contact page.

  • CalCo’s New Brochure is Now Available

    Posted on December 31st, 2009 admin No comments

    Fresh for 2010 Calco has developed a new brochure showing all of the services offered and some examples of the quality craftmanship that is synonymous with the CalCo name.  CalCo has been offering quality tradeshow displays and cutaways for over 50 years, especially to industrial product manufacturers.   Now see some of the other services available such as 3-D models or prototypes, working models, special lighting, custom bases, corporate gifts, POP displays and other tradeshow or marketing products.  You can count on CalCo as a turn-key solution for your sales and marketing needs.

    The front and back cover of the new brochure are shown below, and the full PDF can be downloaded here. (right click and choose “Save As”)


    To get a look inside our new brochure please send your information (name, company and address) to  You will receive one in the mail right away so CalCo can help you start the year right with some new ideas to show your product in its best light because “Your Product is Our Profession”

    For more ideas visit our website at ,  click here for contact information or call 847/639-3858.

  • The Buck Stops Here

    Posted on November 20th, 2009 admin No comments

    Publication1Your company uses a variety of vendors for certain products or services every day, making make life easier for everyone. So do we.

    Your company probably uses a few providers that actually make life more difficult for you or your coworkers. Same here.

    On Monday one of our primary vendors emailed to let us know that our project with them was complete. . .Great.

    This was typical and expected. . .

    However, the details on getting the order back to us were left out, forcing us to stop what we were doing, contact them about it and make these arrangements ourselves. Done.

    Once the items were received, we found quality issues on practically every piece that was delivered. Where was the quality control??

    We would have sent the entire order back to be redone from scratch, except that we needed these pieces for a larger project that our client was expecting on time. We had to stop what we were doing (again) and fix every mistake and flaw to bring this project back up to our high standard of quality, (which our client expects).

    Everything worked out in the end, our client was thrilled with the final result and his coworkers were equally impressed with the craftsmanship and attention to detail, (and the shipping was arranged without our client’s involvement whatsoever).

    So the extra effort on our end resulted in a great experience for our client. We love that.

    The vendor’s actions, on the other hand, had to be managed, monitored and corrected.   Is this the case with some of your providers?

    Communication and responsibility are the landmarks of a company you can trust for the long term. The reason companies like CalCo have been around for over half a century, is because they are trusted, respected and are the go-to guys when quality and professionalism are important.

    Did you know that CalCo can handle your POP displays, your screen printing, your photography, your display storage, your prototyping, your sales cases, your website design, your 3D animation, your metal finishing, your large format printing, your digital image manipulation, and many of the other items you struggle with every day?  It’s true.

    Please call 847-639-3858 or email to see if your project can be handled correctly this time by CalCo, let us handle the problems so you can just sleep easy for once.

  • Signs of Economic Recovery -What should you do to get ready?

    Posted on November 9th, 2009 admin No comments


    Now that the rays of a recovering economy are starting to shine on many industries, the time is right to get ahead of your peers and grab the lion’s share of the upcoming new business.

    This means getting in front of them with your best and latest development along with a compelling offer or story. When telling your story, you need to present the information in an easy to comprehend manner in order to make a favorable and memorable first impression.

    Many times industrial product sales require in person interaction or a trade show environment to engage the audience and to tell the full story. Both of these venues are expensive and time consuming so it is imperative that you have everything you need in advance to make your presentation meaningful.

    When it comes to product presentations that are expertly crafted, CalCo can be trusted to convey the desired message for your product in the most professional manner. Whether a simple cutaway will suffice to show a hidden feature, or an interactive digital presentation is more suited to this end, CalCo has the tools to quickly and efficiently create a winning product exhibit.

    Some of the most popular services by request are:

    Product cutaways and painted displays
    Motorized or hand actuation products
    Passageway and part colorization
    Internal and external lighting effects
    3D animation and interactive online presentations
    Full color scale modeling and prototyping
    Plus YOUR IDEAS for the ultimate presentation

    The past is behind us, and now is the time to move ahead and get that new market share before your competition does. Take advantage of the enhanced outsourcing capabilities available at CalCo to move with your best foot forward.

    As we begin this upturn, get started while your competition is still recovering and build your sales and marketing program to take advantage of the many opportunities on the horizon. Get your customers, and the industry as a whole, excited about your new offerings with some innovative marketing displays or presentations for your next tradeshow or sales call.

    For more information or to contact CalCo call 847/639-3858 or click here for contact information.

  • Finish Types and Options for Industrial Products

    Posted on October 27th, 2009 admin No comments

    Let CalCo Finish Your Product


    Sometimes pumps, valves, engines, bearings or other industrial equipment don’t start off as beautiful show pieces. With CalCo’s help that can all change. Imagine your product as a colorful, shining display pulling in potential buyers and selling itself. That is what a good display or cutaway can do. Your product looks exciting, new and its true function can be seen and admired.


    Let CalCo take your product from plain to dazzling with the following options:

    Our Standard Show Finish is durable, very attractive high gloss finish.  All parts are disassembled and prepped for finish and our standard paint finish is administered over an etching primer.  Cost-effective plating options are available for metal fasteners and key components .  Many additional options are available including clear coat finish as well as minor grinding and smoothing of casting seams and imperfections.

    Our Euro-Deluxe Finish is used primarily for trade shows, product introductions and corporate lobby installations. All surfaces are ground and smoothed to remove imperfections from casting or welding. These surfaces are then prepped repetitively with several stages of filler and hand sanding. Finally, the display is finished with multiple automotive paint steps and a clear coat finish. Metal fasteners are carefully polished by hand then chrome plated and polished again to a mirror finish.

    Training Finish surfaces are prepped and painted but not treated to remove casting imperfections. The finish is attractive yet durable and is easy to maintain. For displays that are needed for working models, we may recommend electro less nickel-plating to enhance component movement.

    In addition to having the surfaces of your product ground and painted CalCo can take the hardware on your product and make it shine too with a number of plating options:

    Anodizing is an attractive way to prepare aluminum and is available in a variety of colors.

    Electro-less Nickel is durable, minimal-build plating that covers evenly with very good lubricity and hardness.

    Metal plating – Copper, nickel, gold and industrial hard plating are also available.

    Chrome plating is available in bright, polished or satin finishes and can be applied to any metal.

    Black Oxide for steel or iron parts is used when a blue/black matte finish is desired.

    Once your product looks great it can be mounted on a standard aluminum base or a custom base can be created.  We make custom shipping containers to protect your product in transit too.

    Contact CalCo at 847/639-3858 or click here if you would like to discuss your product and learn how CalCo can help show your product in it’s best light.

  • 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