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Improved Wide Format Laminators Hit The Market

 
Wide Format Lamintor
New features can help sign shops’ competitiveness

As the sign industry continues to advance at such quick rates, many sign shops are finding that they need to upgrade their equipment in order to keep up, and laminators are no exception. Laminators have seen many improvements in the past five years, and these new capabilities can go a long way in increasing a sign shop’s competitiveness. With faster turnaround times and more flexibility in substrates, a sign shop can provide its clients with better service and products.

When It’s Time To Buy A New Laminator

Of course, sign shops commonly enter the market for new laminators when their current units break, but many are also interested in purchasing a second or third laminator even if there are no problems with their original equipment, says Jerry Hill, vice president of new market business development for Drytac, a graphics finishing equipment and supplies manufacturer and distributor in Richmond, Va. Tight deadlines are the reality of the industry, and with an extra unit or two, a sign shop can greatly increase its productivity for a higher profit.

Most often, though, Hill finds that sign shops are ready to move forward with another laminator because their current units lack the required capabilities to operate in today’s business environment. When a sign shop first opens its door, it typically makes the minimum purchases to run the business. The laminator may have been serviceable in the early years, but as client demand increases, the lack of capabilities doesn’t always cut it.

“You basically have a bare-bones unit in the beginning, but once you’re in business for six months, you start looking around and wondering why you’re wasting a lot of time and energy with this laminator,” Hill says. “It’s taking two people to do this operation, and if you had a better laminator, you could free up a person. That’s when you have to look at the expense you’re paying for a second laminator with more capabilities in comparison to the labor costs and your profit potential.”

New Available Features

The new laminators on the market now offer new films and adhesives to account for improved inks and toners, says Bob Elliott, product manager for lamination equipment at GBC, a laminator manufacturer in Lincolnshire, Ill. Many inks and toners contain additives to help them pass through print nozzles without clogging; however, those additives also made it more difficult for laminate adhesion.

This is especially true for UV inks, and there are laminators designed specifically for that application, says Francesco Romanello, co-founder and CEO of Rolinx Performance Products, a laminator manufacturer in Irving, Texas. With this laminator, a new grade of steel and silicone are used on the rollers in order to apply additional pressure, which helps achieve the proper bond between UV inks and the adhesive or laminate.

Roll-to-roll laminators are playing a large role in the market, especially as wrap applications continue to grow, and more sign shops are finding that heated laminates are necessary, Hill says. In the past, sign shops typically relied on cold laminates, but the trend is moving toward using a heat assist. With a heat assist, the top roller is warm rather than hot like some laminators, and this improves the performance of the lamination.

“The heat assist softens pressure-sensitive laminates and helps with the flow,” Hill says. “It can eliminate silvering, which is a visual effect that basically traps a little air in the laminate and keeps the pressure-sensitive adhesive from flowing into the nooks and crannies, but if it’s a little warm, it flows a little better to eliminate that silvering.”

For some roll-to-roll laminators, drifting can be an issue, Hill says. Sometimes this is a result of a poor setup while other times this is due to poor shifting capabilities. Whatever the reason, this causes the print to the side by a few inches. This may not be a problem for a 30-inch graphic in a 60-inch laminator, but this can cause major problems for a wide-format print.

“When drifting happens, you’re dragging the side of the machine, and you get wrinkles as a result,” Hill says. “It’s not a pretty picture, so you have to evaluate a machine in terms of how is it set up and whether it is beefy enough so that you don’t get these drifting issues.”

To keep the print straight, roll-to-roll laminators now include an auto-calibration feature, Romanello says. Before auto-calibration was available, an operator had to manually ensure the print remained straight, but that wasn’t an easy process and often caused creases and air bubbles.

“Auto-calibration has pretty much eliminated these concerns,” Romanello says. “It’s a very easy step; it just requires pushing two buttons on the control panel, and the machine does everything else on its own. The whole process takes about two minutes.”

Some of the new features on laminators also greatly reduce setup time, Elliott says. For example, today’s laminators come with more unwind and rewind shafts.

PREPARING FOR FUTURE NEEDS

When purchasing a new laminator, a sign shop should not only look at its current needs but also evaluate future requirements. While determining what the future holds is hardly a science, a sign shop can prepare for multiple scenarios by purchasing a laminator that offers add-on features, Elliott says. The initial laminator offers more basic options, and as business grows, a sign shop can buy the appropriate features for its specific line of business. For instance, a new upgradeable laminator can offer the capabilities of adding more unwinds and rewinds to work better with pressure-sensitive adhesive and side slitters for increased efficiency for trimming.

Often, sign shops simply buy laminators on price, but this can cost them in the long run, Romanello says. Many laminators are offered as generic bundled packages that do not consider possible future needs. But without the right capabilities, a sign shop cannot take on larger projects and will have to either turn down work that could lead to more business in the future or farm it to another shop, missing out on the potential profit.

“If you just buy on price, you may find yourself stuck with a unit that is extremely difficult to run that creates a lot of waste, loss of money, down time, print time and frustration,” Romanello says.

Ultimately, purchasing a laminator should be a strategic business decision. Price is an issue for every business, but the initial cost is only one part of the picture. New laminators are an investment, which requires a greater upfront cost for longer-term rewards.

Best Large Format Laminator as Ranked by You!

 
Best Large Format Laminator

Before You Buy a Laminator - Read This!

 

SEAL Offers "SEAL guard Advantage" Warranty Program

SEAL lamiantorsIf you are considering buying a laminator now or at the upcoming SGIA show in Orlando, Florida Oct 23, 25, 2013, then you should read about the new "SEAL guard Advantage" program. While SEAL equipment has long been known to be trouble free for years, over time, it may still need some adjustments. More importantly, as an operator you may just need help figuring out  how to acomplish an application. 

In either case, the SEAL guard Advanatge program could be the right choice for you, extending the normal 1 year warranty by an additional 2 years AND providing VIP access to the SEAL experts.

One additional feature of the program is FREE entry to any of the SEAL training & education seminars held throughout the USA. These sessions include hands on training from SEAL experts!

  • Get FREE hands on Training,
  • Access to a special VIP tech support line,
  • Affordable Health Care for your Laminator!

Read more by downloading the PDF summary of the program. The SEAL guard Advanatage warranty program starts at just $19.99 per month!

Click the image below to get the summary of the program!

 

SEAL guard Advantage Warranty

 

 Going to the SGIA tradeshow? Be sure to visit us in booth 1428!

5 Killer Reasons to Visit Our Booth at SGIA 2013

 

SGIA 2013There are many reasons to visit us in booth 1428 at the upcoming SGIA trade show in Orlando, Florida Oct 23-25, 2013. However, let's talk about just five.

1) SolvoPrint(tm) Easy Dot - The revolutionary new printable vinyl that can be installed bubble and wrinkle free with no special tools!

2) Fresco AdTex(tm) - The textile removeable wall graphic that really works!

3) Pure Color(tm) Samaba textile - A textile that has the look of a million dollars but costs just pennies!

4) SEAL(r) 65 pro MD - The fastest, most technologically advanced laminator in the world!

5) Experts in Graphic Design, Printing and Finishing (cl) - REAL experts not sales people!

 This year we are showing off some very cool products that will provide you with more profit making power. By the way the (cl) after item five means - cool!

trade show marketing resized 600Not only will you get to see, touch and take home samples of products, but you will also get to see live educational seminars that will show you how to use them. These demonstrations will be hosted by industry leading experts in large format printing and graphics. 

If you have questions about print media, laminating, layout, design, software, printers or maybe just the future of the busniess, our experts may be able to assist you. 

What about details on the above products? 

Search our blogs because we have talked about them all, or just come by and spend a little time with us.

We will be waiting for you in booth 1428 !

 

Roll Laminators – So Many To Choose

 

July 9, 2013 by 

Roll laminators are intended for commercial purposes. These machines are widely used in print shops, business service shops, and copy centers. Its many variations were designed to accommodate different commercial-standard roll laminating necessities. There is a specific model created to produce a particular product or result, i.e. printed materials, signage, banners, or documents. Sizes vary as much as the purposes. Popular ones include 12” and 60” wide formats.

Because of its diversified usefulness, roll laminators are popularly used in several types of industries and companies. If you are planning to get one for your business, you may find it confusing to choose the best laminator that fits your needs. Knowing the basic processes of this useful equipment will help you decide on what features you can use for your business’s purposes.

Cold Roll Lamination

roll laminator

Cold roll lamination became widely popular when wide-format ink jet printers, which was known to use papers and inks perishable to heat, became the rage. This process involves using a pressure sensitive laminating film, which has one side covered with adhesive and the other a glossy backing. The latter can be peeled off to expose the adhesive side for sticking purposes. Since the process does not require heat, the cold roll equipment is used. With this process, you do not have to buy expensive equipment. You will find it particularly useful for laminating materials that are easily damaged by heat.

This type of roll laminator comes in several variants: simple and two rollers; manually operated machines; and large motor-powered equipment with sophisticated features such as high precision rollers and adaptable roller pressure. Cold roll lamination is commonly utilized in the print and signage-making industry.

Hot Roll Lamination

Hot roll lamination uses thermal equipment. It works through heated rollers that melt glue placed onto lamination film, which in turn is then applied onto a card or paper with the use of pressure rollers. Because it comes in different sizes, you can choose the one which perfectly fits into your available work space. Regardless of size, however, hot roll laminators are primarily utilized for either decorating or protecting printed materials. They apply lamination film of differing thickness onto fabrics or paper.

The equipment typically uses two strategically placed rolls, one on top and the other at the bottom. These rolls, which could either be heated rollers or shoes, melt the adhesive that is placed on the lamination film. Heating the adhesive applied on the film prior to its application on paper/fabric, speeds up the process. Unlike the cold lamination process, heat roll lamination may be more affordable since it requires cheaper adhesives and laminates.

(Original Post: http://printfinishblog.com/2013/07/roll-laminators-so-many-to-choose/)

For even more information information on wide format laminators visit the SEAL brands website at http://www.sealbrands.com

Wide Format Laminating Training Boot Camp

 

July 9, 2013 Elkridge, MD 8 AM to 5 PM

SEAL LAMINATOR

  • Getting wrinkles with your laminator?
  • Wasting lots of film webbing?
  • Struggling to get a nice finish?
  • Having trouble mounting images?

A laminating training boot camp has been scheduled by Neschen Anericas at the Training & Education center in Elkridge, MD on July 9, 2013. This boot camp will cover many aspects of finishing and address the struggles that users of laminators are having with wrinkling, drifting, silvering or other finishing problems. 

Each student will have actual hands-on time with a laminator and finish the projects they create.

As you know, wide format printing has fast become the norm in many print and sign shops. Medias are being used both indoor and outdoors, and both are in need of protection from scratching, UV light or even graffiti.

Regardless, of the equipment model or brand of laminator you own, this class is a full day of production. Once you return to your shop, all the techniques learned in this boot camp will save you time and eliminate excessive waste. In this laminating boot camp, Neschen Americas will have students actually create and laminate using films such as SEAL Anti-Graffiti, gudy Window, and more. In addition, they will use medias for both permanant and removable signage.

“The best hands-on training for laminators and materials I have attended.”
- Rob Galloway, Charlotte, NC

If you want to see more detail and/or register for this class, just use the button below.

Register Early and save $50! Group Discounts available.

Do UV prints need laminating?

 
UV4 resized 600

Do UV prints need laminating? - Mike MacPherson, Director of Sales - Western U.S.

Do UV prints need laminating? Considering UV printer technology, in particular the UV ink characteristics, it is a good idea to understand the answer to this question.

Often, here at Neschen Americas, we hear that you do not need to laminate prints off a UV printer.  While a print off a UV printer limits the need for laminating, for example, to reduce the ink fading, it does not eliminate the need entirely.  Let me explain.

describe the image

 

 

 

Let’s take a look at the UV printed image shown here. This was printed on Sintra with UV inks and is not laminated. 

There are several observations that may help us see a need for laminating.

1)      The image has obvious banding,

2)      The image has a matte finish, and

3)      The image colors are not vivid.

4) The ink can be scratched.

 

describe the imageNow let’s take a look at the same image laminated with SEAL® Thermashield.

The laminated image now has a gloss finish, vivid colors and less banding! In addition, the image is prtected from scratching and has an even longer outdoor durability and protection from UV light fading.

Below, the image to the left is not laminated the image to the right is laminated with SEAL Thermashield.

Many UV printers (HP FB) lay down a slightly crystal or orange peel finish and SEAL lamination films can change that to a more desirable finish of your client’s choice. 

Another common issue with UV prints is light refraction, or lawn mower rows.  These can often occur when running the UV printer at top productions speeds.   SEAL lamination films can help lessen these lines in your UV prints.

describe the image

No doubt, UV printed images are very durable, but they are still often subject to scratching, chipping, dirt, fingerprints, etc.  Laminating with a SEAL film can and will give an additional layer of protection that enhances the quality of your UV print. 

There are other less obvious cases to be made for using SEAL lamination films on your UV prints, SEAL films will no doubt enhance the lifetime of the print, SEAL films will enhance the color pop of the print and SEAL lamination films will give you the ability to up sell an added feature to your print.

Do UV prints need laminating? The answer most often is. YES!

*******************************************************************

Want to talk about this? Have your own opinion? Either post it below or email Mike directly at m.macpherson@neschenamericas.com

Are you Growing Your Sign Shop to Keep Up with Wide Format Printers?

 

Thinking about a 65 inch SEAL laminator

 

Something to think about

I’ve seen so many changes in the graphics market over the last 25 years. When I started, we were still cutting some vinyl by hand and, printing on vinyl, well let’s just say it was a dream that we thought was years and years away. Yep, to get vinyl printed you had to send it off to someone like 3M and wait and hope for the correct colors, plus pay a premium.

A little History

When the little 36 inch VinylJet™ printer from Encad was released in 2003, I was amazed! And it only cost $12, 995. Okay, it didn’t take off due to technical issues, but it created a lot of interest in the potential labor saving printing to vinyl. Can you imagine paying that today for a 300 dpi resolution printer that took forever to print? Still it was leading wide format technology at the time.

From there we saw a printer explosion and few other technologically challenged wide format printers appeared and disappeared, but Mimaki, HP, Mutoh, Seiko, Roland to name a few, soon jumped into this potentially large wide format printing market and overcame many challenges. Most of these were solvent printers, and as far as width, they grew from 36 to 48 then 54 to 60 and now to the 65 inches most common today!

Media to put in these wide format printers, has been trailing slightly behind, but seems to be finally catching up as are laminates and adhesives for finishing. Today we have wide printers, wide media, wide laminates and adhesives for applications like vehicle wraps and more.

Ask Yourself…

So the question is, are you growing with this wider market? Are you still using a smaller laminator and finding that it's just short of the width you need? Is your current laminator more of a headache, needing constant service or worse creating wrinkles or other undesirable effects? Have you set your sights on a 65 inch laminator? Do you need a 65 inch laminator?

Good thing you are going to subscribe to this blog, right? It’s been 10 years since that little 36 inch wide format printer was released. Just 10 years and look where we are now! Where will we be in the next 10 years and how can you prepare for it?

Just click the button below find the answers and download our comprehensive report on 65 inch laminators!


Getting Help with Your Wide Format Laminator

 

Are you having a difficult time finding someone to help you with your wide format laminator? Are you struggling with webbing issues or wrinkles in the final print? Do you have a hard time finding an expert, a real expert, in wide format laminating? If, you answered yes to any of these questions read on!

laminating help made simple

Help Should Be Simple

Neschen Americas, the makers of the SEAL(r) laminator series, is the leader in laminator equipment and has a quality staff of technical and customer support individuals with decades of experience. But experience is nothing if the person cannot explain things simply and patiently.

Let's say you need help with webbing or getting started with your project. Instead of a person speaking in "tech-ish", you need a person who can patiently ask the right questions and slowly and simply explain how to solve your immediate issue.

The customer support people at Neschen Americas are just such people! Neschen customer support personel will listen, learn and then explain in simple terms.

What If You Don't Own a Seal Wide Format Laminator?

Okay, you'd like the kind of help that is simple, but you don't own a SEAL laminator. Now what? Well, we can still assist you. While we give our own customers priority on the phone, we have numerous other methods for offering you help.

For instance, check out our social media sites, www.mygraphicsguru.com and www.facebook.com/NeschenAmericas. Both of these sites are designed to put you in touch with other wide format laminator users and our support team is constantly monitoring these sites as well. Who knows, they may take an interest in your problem and give you the right direction to solve it regardless of your laminator make or model.

Its Not Always the Laminator

I'm not saying it's you but.....well sometimes its about learning to use the wide format laminator properly and sometimes it's about using the right laminates and adhesives. In addition to our world renowned technical support, we also offer training and education through webinars, live printing and finishing seminars in various cities and through on-demand educational videos. Here is an example of one of our training videos:

Get Technical Support Today

Now, if you want personal help with your wide format laminator, even if you own something other than a SEAL laminator, it's simple and you can make money! Just try some of our laminates or adhesives, making you a Neachen Americas Customer, and your on-board for all kinds of technical  assistance.

We can provide sample rolls of any of our products for you to try. Just use this button to find out how.

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