By Lisa Guerriero
Direct printing to magnets expands a print service provider’s (PSP’s) business with existing clients, while utilizing equipment that many already have. With the right kind of flatbed printer and a cutter in place, a printer needs only the magnet media—and the expertise.
As interest for printed magnetic output grows, applications increase, especially for wide format. Some PSPs focus almost exclusively on this kind of output. Magnets in Print, based in NJ, opened two years ago with magnets as its keystone.
Gavriel Soltan, owner, Magnets in Print, took his background in promotional items and turned it into a wide format opportunity. Soltan spent nearly three years building up, and then running The Promo Hut. In that field, he observed the opportunity for magnetic printing. “It’s a market that I felt was not oversaturated with any large supplier,” he explains, estimating that only about 30 percent of the market is comprised of large companies.
Soltan also believed there was a need for a higher quality, durable product. He decided to apply his knowledge to the burgeoning niche and opened Magnets in Print in May 2013. “I like to think I filled the void that existed,” he recalls. The company works with clients around the U.S. and is a member of organizations like the Advertising Specialty Institute and Promotional Products Association International. Soltan describes its services as “digitally printed magnets in all shapes and sizes in full color and custom shapes with quick turnaround and the highest quality product to promotional product companies.”
As its name suggests, the three-person company specializes in magnets. It prints everything from wide format car to high-volume picture frame to low-quantity business card magnets. Monthly output is around 100,000 magnets per month, depending on the sizing. The PSP begun introducing other products such as bumper stickers, repositionable indoor media, and a repositionable, removable mouse pad, and may eventually move into floor products.
All magnets are printed on the company’s CET Color Q5-500. When he first established the business, Soltan knew he wanted a flatbed so he could print directly on magnetic media and a UV printer so the output would be durable outside. He needed a machine that could keep up with the company’s production level, but within his price range. The CET Q5-500 was the answer. The device handles typical jobs—often 1,000 to 5,000 magnets that must be produced in a day—as well as larger orders of over 10,000.
The original CET Q5-500 used Ricoh’s Gen4 printheads and was recently upgraded to Ricoh Gen5 printheads, which “doubled the speed of the machine,” notes Soltan. The company also moved from CET’s Series 60 inks to Series 90. He values these inks because they offer great adhesion and cure quickly.
Magnets in Print relies on Newlife Magnetics LLC, because the product “is bonded to the vinyl during the manufacturing process, making it outdoor durable with no risks of de-lamination,” according to Soltan.
Magnets on the Move
RushKing Promotions contacted Magnets in Print for a unique job on behalf of a client who was organizing an event, Just One Shabbos, in the NY-NJ-CT area. Just One Shabbos is part of a larger international effort to encourage unaffiliated Jews to experience the Shabbat. “They needed to spread the message to encourage people and families to host others for meals or the whole Shabbat,” explains Soltan.
Soltan was happy to help RushKing’s client spread the word through vehicle magnets. “We were part of a tremendous advertising campaign in the Tri-State area and we supplied the magnet end of the job,” he notes. The client needed the order fairly quickly, but Magnets in Print has a long history with RushKing, and knew the graphic files would come in print-ready, expediting the process.
There were six versions of the graphic, each candle-shaped and containing the Just One Shabbos event information, but with a different slogan. Working with 30mm media from Newlife Magnetics, the Magnets in Print team used its Graphtec America, Inc. FC2250 cutter to maximize the number of pieces culled from each custom-sized sheet of 36x60inches.
Printing 120 designs on 17 sheets, the team turned around the 2,000 magnet order in one day. The printing went quickly and smoothly, though it was time consuming to cut each magnet, observes Soltan. One notable challenge was keeping all the different versions straight, so they’d be sorted when the client received them, while still getting the work done quickly.
“They loved them—and reordered a week later,” says Soltan of the client. The second order consisted of another 1,000 magnets, and Magnets in Print completed it and sent it out within a day.
A Vehicle for Printers
Magnet printing is in the wheelhouse of many PSPs with flatbed printers. The capability of the materials is matched by the growing number of applications.
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Mar2015, Digital Output DOMP1503