USB Duplication – The Advantages
Like any other form of media there are positives and negatives for USB duplication. Here are the main points for consideration:
1) Memory size – An 8GB memory stick holds twice as much data as a regular DVD and, as mentioned above, you can source 512GB memory sticks if required.
2) Versatility – You can get your company logo screen printed onto your memory sticks, and the array of available designs is amazing.
4) Re-use – You can choose to partition your memory sticks when they are duplicated, so that any unused space on it can be used by the recipient. That way your company logo is always in front of the user. A CD or DVD cannot be re-used and may well just get viewed once and then lost in a drawer or a pile of other marketing material. Provide a lanyard or keyring with your USB stick for added practicality and continued brand awareness.
5) Security – Copy protection and full digital rights management is available for your USB memory sticks. The data will be non-erasable, copy protected, password protected and even unprintable if required. Any good USB duplication service provider will provide this service.
USB Duplication – The Drawbacks
1) Cost – For many projects cost is a major consideration and USB duplication is substantially more expensive than DVD duplication. As with most things, the more you order, the lower the unit cost. When you consider the array of advantages above and the requirements of your project, the cost trade off is usually easy to swallow.
2) Time – Usually, due to the large amount of data to be transferred onto the drive, USB duplication takes a little longer than DVD duplication. If you haven't got a super tight deadline then this won't be an issue for you.
Choosing Your USB Memory Stick Style
If you have started to look into USB memory sticks for your project then you will have noticed the bewildering array of styles and designs that are available to you. The actual flash memory itself is small and flat so the housing can pretty much be whatever shape takes your fancy and if you're having many thousands, then it might be worth inquiring about bespoke mouldings to suit your company logo.
You are by no means limited to plastic mouldings for your USB drive housing, depending upon your industry category you may choose to go for a wood carving or metal moulding. The flash memory can also be incorporated into other useful devices such as business cards, torches, pens or bottle openers.
The USB Duplication Process
Businesses that provide a USB duplication service, usually a media duplication provider, will use a duplication unit that can be loaded with many drives at once. Depending upon the volume of work that the business does with USB drives they may use duplication units with anywhere between 20 and 60 ports.
The duplication unit also accommodates a master drive and all of the blank drives receive their data from this master drive which remains in the unit until the required number of drives has been produced.
For a high volume of large capacity drives this process will take a good while, so the more duplication units are available, the faster an order can be completed. Bit-level data comparison between the master and content on each drive ensures a working copy every time as defective memory sticks would throw up an error upon duplicating.
The USB duplicating units don't need PC's to run them and a 60 port device doesn't take up much space. Also, loading and unloading which needs to be done manually, is a very straightforward unplug and plugin process. Keeping the duplicated and blank media separate is important as you cannot tell just by looking at the USB drive whether it has been duplicated as is possible with a CD or DVD.
Printing On To USB Drives
The process used to print onto most USB drives that are capable of receiving a print, is screen printing which will apply up to 4 spot colours to the printable area on the drive. It's a great way of making sure your company logo and phone number are always on show for the end user of the device.
There is a slight drawback with screen printing directly onto the body of the drive where the drive is in very regular use and is constantly being handled, kept in a pocket or with a set of keys etc, eventually the print will start to get scratched and over time it will wear off. Screen printing onto the drives is very robust and this would usually take a serious amount of time to wear the print, but there is an alternative method of putting your logo onto a USB drive and protecting it with a non-scratch epoxy resin. This is referred to as a “domed” print because the clear epoxy resin has a curved surface over the printed area on the USB drive.