By Lisa Guerriero
Part 2 of 2
Print providers looking to invest in a laminator have many options. Price, size, and features help distinguish products. Devices target entry-level laminate in addition to more advanced hardware for seasoned operators. When selecting a laminator, users can choose the ideal product for their needs depending on automation, film thickness, and how quick jobs need to be completed.
From Entry-Level To Automation
Advanced Greig Laminators, Inc. offers multiple laminator options, all with pneumatically adjusted, non-crowned rollers. The company introduced its Patriot model about two years ago. It features high-speed laminating capabilities of up to 30 feet per minute (fpm). Its rollers are designed to overcome the challenges of laminating UV-cured ink in addition to aqueous, eco-solvent, solvent, and latex ink. MSRP starts at $39,500.
The company’s Encore Series and 64 Series are available with or without heat and are configurable according to the customer’s needs. The Encore laminates at 15 fpm, with an MSRP starting at $15,900, while the 64 series’ speed is 20 fpm, with a $20,700 MSRP. The 6400 model, starting at $42,500, is designed for the most demanding printing environments. The rollers feature an eight-inch diameter, and the unwind/rewind stations utilize industrial analog gauges for enhanced process control feedback. With a speed of 20 fpm, it is available with or without heat and in varying configurations.
Artgrafix offers the Polar laminator series. Its PolarCub product is available in 13, 25, and 38 inches in a compact, manual design that fits anywhere in an office. A media guide holds printers in place to account for ideal positioning during mounting process and is removable for the lamination portion. Hard rubber rollers are included for added pressure.
Coda, Inc. provides numerous laminator options that range widely in size, price, and capabilities. These include hand-operated, motorized, and top-fed devices. The company offers both thermal and pressure-sensitive laminators with heavy-duty silicone rubber coated rollers on a structural steel core. All models accept material up to two inches thick.
Products start with the 26-inch CMP26-HS, a hand-operated cold mount press with an MSRP of $1,200. Available options include a portable stand with dual-locking casters, roll feed, and roll feed with take up for scrap liner. On the other end of Coda’s spectrum is the CML64, a 64-inch device with top feed and take up on a portable stand. The reconfigurable device features a $9,050 MSRP. Easy to operate, it runs on a standard wall outlet and features single-side roller adjustment. Its non-stick rollers are four-and-a-half-inch diameter. Options include adjustable heated rollers, bottom roll feed and take up, and an integrated cutter.
D&K Group debuted the Expression 55 Plus wide format laminator in July 2014. A top heated roller allows for single-sided lamination of thermal or pressure-sensitive films to self-adhesive vinyl and related print media. An optional media rewind also winds up finished materials on the back of the laminator for easy handling and post processing.
Daige Inc. offers Solo cold laminators, designed to offer key features at an affordable price point. Features include automatic pressure control, automatic take up, print holder, silicone covered nip rollers, and a heavy-duty motor. The Solo models come in three sizes—the 38-inch model has an MSRP of $1,695, the 55-inch is $2,195, and the 65-inch is $2,700.
Drytac Corporation’s laminators feature metal cabinets, heavy-duty casters, and stout-bearing blocks for consistent pressure. The company designed each of its three lines to be heavy duty, feature controls on the operator’s side, and offer easily replaceable parts.
Drytac’s JetMounter JM63 Fuzion XD, released last year, is sold at $7,595 MSRP. It features a heat-assist top roller to 110 Fahrenheit, 4.7-inch non-stick silicone rollers, a one-inch nip opening, and built-in flip open storage compartments. It’s also roll-to-roll capable. The JetMounter JM63 Pro XD, released this year, carries a $10,995 MSRP. It is roll-to-roll capable and features a top-heated roller to 248 Fahrenheit, 5.5-inch non-stick silicone rollers, and a two-inch nip opening. The JetMounter M55 Force, also released this year, is priced at $6,195. Designed as an entry-level machine, it is a heat-assist device with 4.7-inch non-stick silicone rollers, and a one-inch nip opening.
Eastsign International Ltd. offers three liquid laminators for either aqueous or solvent lamination. It designed the roll-to-roll devices for laminating applications like banners and wallpaper. They offer a maximum coating thickness of 30 microns. The BU-1600WL is 60 inches and has an MSRP of $7,598, the BU-2200WL is 84 inches and $8,998, and the BU-3300WL is 30 inches and $8,998.
GBC offers its Spire line of laminators. The Spire line of wide format thermal and cold laminators prove that performance doesn’t have to be expensive. Spire laminators promise a high-productivity solution for operators at any skill level. With durable all steel construction, enhanced mounting capabilities, and oversized feed tables, the Spire line is equipped with performance enhancement options that can easily be added later as needs expand.
Graphic Finishing Partners, LLC offers five laminator lines. The 355TH is the company’s newest offering. Introduced in 2015, it is a top heat-assist laminator with roll-to-roll capabilities. With an MSRP of $5,995, it is 55 inches wide.
The 800 Series, introduced in 2014, consists of dual heat machines with roll-to-roll capability. The flexible devices enable pressure-sensitive lamination and thermal encapsulation of vinyl or paper output. They feature independent heater controls and swing-out shafts. The 47-inch model costs $14,545 and the 65-inch version is $16,545. Graphic Finishing Partners’ other lines include a 30-inch cold-only device for $2,595, and top heat-assist devices for entry level as well as experienced users.
Marabu North America offers the StarLam 1600R, a roll-to-roll liquid laminator with an MSRP of $10,995. Where film laminators require more involvement from the operator, Marabu designed the StarLam for easy use. The laminate is flash cured on the substrate, promptly producing a complete roll of evenly laminated material. There is also a built-in bath for the Meyer rod, making cleanup a quick process.
Quality Media and Laminating Solutions distributes several laminator brands. It also offers its own models. The 64 TLX-P is a top heated roller laminator. Features include laminating widths up to 62 inches, motorized nip assembly, fold down front table, auto and foot pedal running mode, and rear rewind for finished prints.
Rolinx USA offers the Kala Mistral 1650 and 2100, which have a $12,495 MSRP and handle boards up to two inches thick. The devices’ auto-calibration constantly monitors and calibrates nip pressure and assures tracking throughout full rolls from start to finish. It offers precise pressure without the use of a compressor and eliminates the need to feel the “sweet spot,” as when using a manual adjustment hand crank.
Self-adjusting top and bottom rewind/take-up shafts enable double-sided, pressure-sensitive applications in a single pass. The Kala Mistral models also feature an LED light kit for lighting at the roller and in-feed area, one-piece welded steel frame that ensures rigidity and accurate tracking, and a built-in storage rack for easy switching among four rolls of material. Roll-to-roll capability comes standard with the laminator at no extra cost.
Royal Sovereign International, Inc. offers a diverse line of wide format laminators, featuring idle/tension bars to prevent wrinkling or skewing prior the film entering the rollers. They feature a rear remote control and rear media cutters for easy removal of finished laminated work from the laminator. When producing vehicle or fleet graphics, the 55- to 65-inch devices include or offer the capability of roll-to-roll functions.
The company’s products include entry-level and higher-end options, in sizes from 27 to 65 inches. Speeds vary from eight to 28 feet per minute, with MSRPs ranging from $2,150 to $15,000. This array includes thermal, cold, and dual laminators. Most Royal Sovereign models offer a quick notch gap adjustment system that take facilitates setting the correct nip opening when mounting images to substrates. The more industrial options have features like rewinders, a flip-up feed table, and a front feeder.
Supply55, Inc. specializes in large laminators with its Guardian line. Its smallest model is 65 inches and its largest is 82 inches. Its goal is to provide customers with devices don’t match their printer size, but rather exceed it—allow them to keep laminating after they upgrade to a larger printer.
The company designed its all-steel devices to ensure ease of use. Supply55’s Guardian line features crowned silicone rollers, upper and lower idler bars, and removable feed tables. The series includes cold and heat assist options, with MSRPs ranging from $5,495 to $10,995.
USI, Inc. offers several heat laminators used by the print and graphics, businesses, government, and educational markets. The CSL 2700 is a heat shoe roll laminator priced at $848. The 27-inch, fixed-speed device laminates films up to three millimeters (mm). It features adjustable temperature, a reverse switch, and a one-inch core.
USI’s ARL series consists of heat shoe roll laminators with MSRPs ranging from $1,160 to $1,995. Features include digital temperature displays, reverse switches, adjustable speed and temperature, and key locks. They laminate films between three and seven mm, depending on the model, and some models feature automatic shut-off timers. The ARL Pro series offers similar features, but are mounting heated roll devices. They mount up to 3/16-of-an-inch and laminate up to five mm. MSRP is $1,479 or $3,675 depending on size.
Vivid Laminating Technologies launched the Easymount Flow finishing table designed specifically to complement its Easymount Wide Format Laminating Systems this Spring. The Easymount range of roll film laminators includes over ten different models. The company recently added new features to the system, including a sturdier feed tray for laminating heavier substrates and new media holders that prevent prints from brushing on the floor.
Xyron has several laminators, including manual and electric models. The cold lamination devices have MSRPs ranging from $1,599 to $6,999. All three models feature a patented three-in-one technology that provides instant, full coverage without heat or messy spray adhesives. Items can be trimmed without peeling or lifting because of the edge-to-edge application and aggressive adhesive, which ensure a sealed bond.
Choosing the Right Laminator
There are numerous options for laminators, whether straight lamination, mounting, or both. Buyers must consider price and size, but they also have to decide between manual or electric devices and whether they need a cold or hot laminator. Those with more specific needs choose from a variety of features and functions.
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Aug2015, Digital Output DOLM1508