From Hand Engraving to 3D Printing The road to automation | Interview with Lau Sei Kwong

Lau Sei Kwong, President of the “Federation of Malaysia Advertising Manufacturer”, President of the “Association of Sarawak Advertising Company”.

One of the things that I enjoy about attending trade shows is that they give me the opportunity to interact and chat with many people. During APPPEXPO Shanghai, 2019, I had the pleasure to talk with Lau Sei Kwong, President of the “Federation of Malaysia Advertising Manufacturer”, President of the “Association of Sarawak Advertising Company” and also owner of a well know advertising and signage company in Malaysia.


Tell me about your company

The name of my company is “Apple Advertising & Trading”. My father began in the business in 1967 when he was nineteen years old and since then we have been in the advertising, signage and decoration business.

At the beginning everything was made manually; “I also began drawing and engraving by hand”. For example “if some one needed some lettering” first I had to do the mold, draw the shapes and then go to a manual machine to cut the letters by following the trace. Depending of the size of the work it would take between half to a whole workday and depending on the complexity of the work up to two weeks or more.


That sounds like a lot of work and time for one project. What was your impression when you saw for the first time a CNC machine?

(Smile and laugh) my first impression was that the CNC is better than hand (laugh). Technologies are changing; “I have been coming to the printing exhibitions for more than ten years”. Before CNC machinery we used to draw and cut a trace with a manual machine, now almost everything is done with the machine.


I think that for a company dedicated to advertising, signage and displays, the acquisition of a 3D printer would be a big improvement. Now that you have been introduced to the 3D technology and what they can do what do you think?

The difference between technology and handmade is very big. Although the technology gives an increase in speed and reduction of work times; what you do by hand gives you satisfaction, you put your heart into every piece that you do by hand. As an artist I prefer the handmade practice, but as a businessman I know that the technology has come to help improve the process.


I am aware that there are some changes that are difficult to assimilate, especially when you confront the artist with the mass production of his art. But with the appearance of new technology, also come new market niches that can make your company outstand of other companies. Can we expect a 3D printer in the future of your company?

Actually at this time (APPPEXPO 2019, Shanghai), I’m looking to bring back a small 3D printer to experiment, try out, do some tests and see how is the acceptance of the Malaysia market to this type of machinery. Depending on the acceptance maybe in the future I may acquire a big size 3D printer.


That’s amazing news. The technology is changing every day and since the future of printing is now heading on 3D printing, maybe next time that we meet you can tell me “now I can do a super-size 1.80 mts display in just 8 hours and my business has grown 200%”.


Photo courtesy Apple Advertising & Trading


Photo courtesy Apple Advertising & Trading



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