YESCO, the 101-year-old company known for creating, repairing, and maintaining internationally recognizable signs, announces the addition of a new, custom-made Neon Pumping Station now in service at the YESCO Las Vegas shop.
When neon signage enjoyed its height of popularity during the twentieth century, YESCO operated four neon pumping stations in their Las Vegas location. Currently YESCO has two stations in operation and three full-time neon technicians on staff whose combined years of experience total nearly eight decades. On any given day, YESCO can produce thirty-five to forty neon units. Generally each unit takes approximately thirty to forty-five minutes to create, though the colors used can affect this amount of time needed.
The first step in the neon fabrication process is the forming of the glass tube. The neon technician uses various styles of gas torches to form the glass into straight or complex shapes. These torches include the stable ribbon-fire torch, which has an adjustable flame width, a CrossFire torch, and hand torch.
After the tube’s shape is established, electrodes are connected to the glass tube to facilitate the bombarding process, during which high voltage is applied to the glass tube to burn off any impurities. Any impurities that remain inside the tube could result in discoloration when the tube is illuminated.
Following the bombarding process, gas is introduced to the tube via a vacuum pump, and the unit is sealed. Once this process is completed the unit is connected to a transformer and allowed to burn until the unit is stabilized.
The color coating used inside the glass tube combines with the gas used to create different colors once the gas is activated by electricity. For example, neon gas creates a red color and argon gas creates a blue color when pumped in clear glass. However, when glass tubes are coated with different color compounds, up to one-hundred different colors can be achieved.
“These devices are built to order; you cannot buy them off the shelf,” said Dan Beza, production manager, YESCO Las Vegas. “We have a second new station on order to replace an older model which has been in service for many, many years.”
Neon signs when well-built and protected from the outside elements, have an indefinite life expectancy.