Laminators and lamination technology have been around for decades. Not much as changed, as far as the film is concerned, but there are a few “modern” changes that have made lamination easier, faster and more professional. There are a few questions you may want to ask yourself before purchasing a laminator.
Laminators protect and preserve documents. This may be a menu for a restaurant, a treasured photograph or a stack of business cards. Some higher-end laminators can even be used to mount photographs, maps and posters to foam core board.
There are two primary types of laminators. These are pouch and roll laminators. Both ultimately bring about the same result and quality, but use slightly different methods to do this. Pouch laminators are typically smaller and are designed to laminate smaller documents. Roll laminators are designed to laminate many small items or larger documents such as posters or maps.
The largest documents usually laminated by pouch laminators are 8 ½ x 11 in size, although the length isn’t as much a limiting factor as is the width of the document. Roll laminators are usually around 25 inches in width, however, some industrial roll laminators can exceed 60 inches in width for laminating banners and other large material.
Pouch laminators use lamination pockets, referred to as pouch lamination film. These pockets are usually sealed on one side and open on three sides. Documents are then inserted into the pocket and run through the pouch laminator. This usually involves the assistance of a carrier, which is a non-stick manila-colored folder. The pouch is placed in the carrier to prevent the film from jamming in the machines and keeping hot glue from getting on the rollers.
Roll laminators use two separate rolls of lamination film. One is on the top and the other is on the bottom. The film is slid onto a metal mandrel, much like wrapping paper is on a cardboard core, which supports and dispenses the lamination film. The film is wound through the roll laminator prior to use. Once fully heated, material can then be run through the laminator.
A few modern changes that have manifest over the past few years with both pouch and roll laminators. Many laminators, both pouch and roll, now have digital readouts that indicate the temperature, speed and other settings. Adjustable temperature and speed control are both features that are now found on more than half the laminators on the market, where it used to be a small percentage. Many roll laminators also include cooling fans that help cool down the film as it exits the machine. This helps to prevent wrinkling and warping.
Lamination film is one of the most important parts of laminating something correctly. Years ago, when owning a laminator was cost prohibitive, pressure sensitive lamination film became very popular. Machines were not typically used and the film was manually applied to the document.
The downside to the pressure sensitive (cold) lamination film was the uneven application that resulted in wrinkles and bubbles. Pressure sensitive film is still used today, but primarily for heat sensitive documents and materials. The film is no longer manually applied, but is now used in conjunction with a cold laminator.
Hot lamination film is now the film of choice. While the glue is warmed in the laminator, silicon rollers evenly apply pressure to the film across the entire document. The more rollers in the laminator, the better the results. Film is available in a wide variety of sizes and thicknesses. The thickness of the lamination film is referred to as the mil. The mil thickness is measured in thousandths of an inch. Five-mil film is five-thousandths of an inch thick.
Laminators continue to be a popular tool for protecting and preserving documents. The type of laminator you buy or use depends entirely on the volume you need to laminate, the size of the document you need to laminate (thickness, length & width), future use, location where the laminator will be used and who will be using it. Contact Office Zone for more information on both roll and pouch laminators.
- What’s the Best Laminator for you? Roll or Pouch?
- Best Laminating Film for Your Roll or Pouch Laminator
- What is a Pouch Laminator?
- What I Like About The Pinnacle 27 Ezload Roll Laminator
- Featuers To Look For In A Pouch Laminator
This entry was posted on Monday, December 29th, 2008 at 6:01 pm and is filed under Featured Products. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.