MAGNETIC SIGNAGE -
As a distributor, my role in the marketplace is to serve printers both with magnetic materials as well as creative ideas and tips for printing by offset, silk screen and wide format solvent inket. The more a distributor knows about the uniqueness and the print properties of magnetic materials, the more they are able to help the customer and sell more goods. Because of the nature of a job, some print shops will print on vinyl material and adhere it to the magnetic material. As a distributor, we're asked by manufacturers to learn everything about the products we sell - - but it's impossible to "know everything". We believe in getting manufacturer support. For example as it relates to ink and ICC profiles. To be absolutely sure what you tell the customer is accurate and true - it's best to have specific vendors participate in the sale of their products.
Mike Gertz, Marketing Manager at Master Magnetics made a comment in Sign and Graphics magazine that I want to share with you. "Shop owners should look at print quality. There are big differences in print surfaces. Each manufacturer has its own 'secret sauce' formula for creating the vinyl base material and especially the print surface. We invite sign shops, when checking out products, to compare print quality on their own equipment. The vinyl sold by Master Magnetics has the ability to print high resolution graphics with different ink types-UV, solvent, eco-solvent and Latex."
In an article for Dealer Communicator, David King, Consultant, Printer, Car-Wrap Instructor and man of a thousand ideas said this: "There are profitable options for printable magnetic media. Magnet sheets media is under-rated in our business. I have sold hundreds of yards of this media for a number of different applications."
GIVING THE RIGHT INFORMATION FOR THE RIGHT PRINT PROCESS
Paper - There is a significant difference when printing flexible magnet on your paper printing system. The main difference between paper print media and flexible magnet print media is: WEIGHT - Paper is .75 to .85 G/cubic CM ...Flexible Magnet is 3.5 to 4.5 G/cubic CM. Flexible magnet is about four times as dense as paper.
Shape Memory - Flexible magnet is thicker and has more shape memory than paper.
Operating Temperature - Flexible magnet can be damaged by heat over 82 deg C / 180 deg F. Paper can be printed up to 100 deg C / 212 F.
The Feed In Roll Stand - Magnetic material is heavy, therefore a heavy duty feed stand is absolutely necessary. Another feature your customers will want to know is whether the feed stand can be easily turned.
Plotter Cutter Blade - Here again, magnets are thick, so if you're offering your customers an ordinary cutter blade it may not be suitable.
Laminator - There is incredible waste (sometimes 30% of the job). The weight of the material requiring heavy duty feed rollers may prevent feeding. Some printers have had to sheet the roll to small sheets and then hand laminate with a squeegee on a flat steel bed with the magnet side down.
Flexible Magnet - Unlike paper and other substrates, magnet has a memory.
Your Print Customers Need To Know:
a) Magnet material has curl from the roll in the direction of the length.
b) It has curl at the two edges in the direction of the width.
c) It has waves in the length from sitting on a cardboard center roll that is not supported well enough at cardboard core's ends or being dropped too hard causing a flat spot on the outside of the roll.
d) It has waves in the length from the tail of the roll attaching to the cardboard roll center and that edge replicates a small bump at every turn.
e) It has triangular shaped waves from being stored improperly on end. Be sure your warehouse manager knows to always store magnetic material laying horizontally and to be careful in handling this product.
Oil From Skin - recommend to both warehouse people and print customers that oils from hands can block the pores of the printable surface of magnets. Use cotton gloves.
Heat - temperatures over 194 degrees F can over heat the print surface and demagnetize the magnet slightly. The magnet print surface needs to stay below 180 degrees F as well as the magnetic material. Recommend they check with vendor for information relating to print and curing heat settings.
Magnet Attracted To Printer Platens - A solution that works when magnet material is sticking magnetically to the platens on the feed in or feed out of the printing head area is to place 2 layers of duct tape .010" thick to negate the magnetic drag on most platens.
A TIP THAT WILL EARN DEALER-OF-CHOICE STATUS
We buy a product called Transitional Graphics from New Force Magnets (Elbert, CO). The company advertises the product as a Quick Change Sign System and we've found it to work very well for use on blank walls and even on elevator doors.
Before I go further, you need to know that not all elevator doors are made of steel. So, the Transitional Graphics system is a perfect solution for that one situation. An adhesive-backed magnetic sheet is laid onto the elevator door. This layer may be blank or it may be a permanent master sign. For example: "Great Dining In Our Cloud Restaurant". The changeable signs are then printed on magnetic receptive Transitional Graphics material. On Monday it may say, "Lobster The Special For Monday" and on the next day, " Breakfast in the Cloud 7am-to-11am"
BY THE WAY .. printable sides of the master sign or changeable sign may be paper, vinyl, garment. Get your customers excited about this changeable system and the orders may overwhelm you. DC
John Nellessen Jr. grew up cutting and magnetizing magnets in his Father's magnet company, Master Magnetics Inc., in Colorado in 1976. He holds a BS Degree in Business Finance from the University of Northern Colorado. He started ALL Magnetics Inc. in 1986. He started Ningbo Magnetics Factory in 2002. He is President of ALL Magnetics Inc. (www.allmagnetics.com) 714-632-1754 and Ningbo Magnetics Inc. (www.ningbomagnetics.com).
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