More than 40 sources of laminators to protect and perfect print jobs.
Laminators and their requisite laminate media serve to not only increase the lifespan of your shop’s printed masterpieces, but they can also add to a graphic’s aesthetics. Yes, some clients change out their graphics so rapidly that longevity is not an issue, but laminating can be critical to graphics that are subject to ongoing abuse or even just normal wear and tear. Meanwhile, other graphics can benefit immensely from the addition of a texture or perhaps a glossy or matte finish that enhances the look of the artwork. And, of course, by charging for the increased lifespan and the visual enhancements of the output you can substantially increase your profit margin for individual projects.
To help you find that fountain of youth for your productions, we’ve assembled the following roster of more than 40 companies producing laminators that use pressure-sensitive and thermal films (hot, low-temp, and heat-activated), as well as those that utilize liquid laminates, to protect, encapsulate, and mount wide-format graphics.
This list offers a sampling of laminators from each company; we did not list every laminator model from each company (visit their websites for a complete equipment roster). Note: Looking for laminates? We provided more than 70 sources for laminates in our January issue, “Laminates: Enhancing the Print,” pg 28 (and online, at bigpicture.net; keystroke “enhancing the print” into the search engine).
Advanced Greig Laminators
AGL’s 82-in. Compadre is a heat-assisted cold laminator that comes with a multi-media addition: It offers optional built-in video training and music. With top-headed rollers, the Compadre can hit top speeds of 15 ft/min. It features a rotary dial with pre-set gap adjustments from 1/16- to 1 in., auto-grip core chucks for tool-free material changeovers, and pneumatic controls to raise and lower the roller nips. With the optional Zune upgrade, users can view how-to videos on the machine itself, and also add music of their choice (the machine also connects to the AGL website to download updates, as well as new techniques and instructions).
The company also offers the 62-in. Encore series of entry-level machines for pressure-sensitive and heat-activated films. The series includes the NH, a cold laminator optimal for direct-to-vinyl; the SH, with a single top-heated roller for one-sided thermal films and pressure-sensitive overlams; the higher-performance DHR, which builds upon the SH; and the advanced Maxim model.
The Advan-Tac EZ Mounter, available in 25-, 61-, and 80-in. widths, is a cold laminator that allows for single-sided lamination and is able to coat boards up to ½-in. thick. The AD JetMounter is a 53-in. cold mounter designed for pressure-sensitive laminates and adhesives.
The Orasign 1600EH is a hot/cold laminator; the Orasign 1600EC is a cold laminator. Both machines work with media up to 63-in. wide and 1-in. thick.
The Ademco Phoenix 44-in. laminator comes in three models—Base, Roll, and Pro—and accepts media up to ¼-in. thick. All three models use pouch boards but can be converted for roll films.
Autobond’s wide-format offerings include the thermal Mini, in widths ranging from 23 to 41 in.; the 30-x 41-in. Edgemaster 76 E encapsulator; and the 41-in. 105 CTP aqueous coater.
Banner American Products
The MightyLam 2700HC laminating/mounting machine features heated rollers, release liner takeup, and an adjustable feed table guide with hot and cold lamination. The standard 3-in. core adapters allow it to handle 1- and 3- in. core thermal films and 3-in. core pressure-sensitive films. The machine can accommodate digital and offset output up to 24-in. wide and ¼-in. thick. The 27-in. Easy-Lam green laminator features a standby mode that brings the thermostat down from a laminating temperature of 300 F to 150 F while the machine is not being used (the machine returns to a laminating temperature of 300 F within seven minutes). The ValueLam 4500HC accommodates media up to 44-in. wide, and features hot and cold lamination with dual heated rollers.
Based in Spain, BeDigital offers the Vulkan series of thermal laminators, which come in 66- and 81-in. widths. Also available are the Sonny 1400C, a tabletop laminator with two cold rollers and the ability to work with media up to 55.1-in. wide and 1.96-in. thick; the 63-in. Genus 1600, which can handle cold lamination and image mounting onto slightly rough surfaces; and the 82.6-in. Genus 2100, which features an upper heat roller and can accept media up to 0.96-in. thick.
The Codamount laminator is configurable as a pressure-sensitive, heat-assist, or thermal machine, in 26-, 34-, 44-, 54-, and 64-in. widths. Key features include: single side gap adjustment; nip rollers that open to 2 in.; safety motor stops (auto and manual); optional bottom feed and takeup; and more. The Coda Cold-Mount System is a production machine available in widths from 14- to 54-in.; features include: automatic scrap rewind, operator adjustable tension control, self-locking 3" core supply and take-up mandrels, safety motor stops, two-inch roller gap, and precise roller and pressure adjustments. The Cold-Mount tabletop laminator units are also available as strictly tabletop units (same sizes).
The 3M-approved, variable speed Omega SRA comes in hot and cold models, with adjustable pressure and web-tension control.
D&K offers hot, cold, and pocket laminators with media capacities ranging from 42- to 83-in. wide and up to 1-in. thick. The options in its wide-format Expression line include: the 62-in. Exp 62 Plus for both thermal and pressure-sensitive lamination; the 44-in. Exp 44 Twin for low-temperature laminating; the 42-in. Exp 42 Plus, a heavy duty laminator designed for laminating low-temp, thermal, and pressure sensitive films; and the 42-in. Exp 42 Pouch tabletop laminator.
The Exp 65 is a cold laminator with an upper heated roller (up to 140 F); it can handle material up to 67-in. wide. The Exp 63 features an extra-wide chassis and a 62-in. working width.
Also available (via the company’s forframersonly.com website) is the Expression Roller Press, a print-finishing system with a 42-in. working width, designed to mount and laminate in a single step. It features an adjustable thickness setting up to 1 in., a top speed of 3 ft/min, and a reverse mode.
Daige’s Solo Cold Laminator comes in 25-, 38-, 55- and 65-in. widths and accommodates boards up to ½-in. thick. Features include top and bottom nip rollers covered with hard silicone, steel cores, automatic take up, spring-loaded top rollers, a print holder in front for printing long prints, and a heavy-duty motor. Also available is the EZ Glide Applicator, a non-electric tabletop liquid laminator in 48-, 55-, and 62-in. widths.
The Emblem EasyLam Junior II cold laminator from Dataplot is for media up to 55-in. wide and 1-in. thick. It also offers the EasyLam Avantgarde, a high-performance heat laminator capable of accepting media up to 62.9-in. wide.
The Demco Seal-Xtreme is a 27-in. hot and cold laminator with variable heat control and the ability to handle media up to 1/16-in. thick.
Drytac’s AFC aqueous flood coaters feature: TruSpeed Compensator, Dual Quick Disconnect Supply Tanks, and an optional secondary IR heater/fan unit; available in 63-, 75-, and 128-in. widths. All are compatible with most roll-to-roll solvent, eco-solvent, and pigmented inkjet printers and can protect inkjet graphics on vinyl, PSA, non-porous textiles, wet-strength wall coverings, canvas, and other flexible substrates; they can also function as flash-drying devices for hard-to-dry inks, the company reports.
The VersaCoater XL is a wide-format digitally controlled, high-speed liquid coating machine available in 60- or 80-in. widths. It can process speeds up to 110 ft/min and is designed to handle flexible or rigid cut sheets up to 3-in. thick, as well as roll-to-roll media (with optional adapter). Drytac’s JetMounter cold laminator is designed for pressure-sensitive film; JetMounter is available in 26-, 44-, 54-, and recently added 34-in. widths.
Hong Kong’s Eastsign offers its BU series of cold laminators, ranging in width from 25.5 to 80.3 in., with manual, auto-feeding, and electric models; a BU series of liquid laminators, ranging in width from 63 to 126 in.; and a BU series of thermal laminators, ranging in widths from 25.5 to 90.6 in. Also available is its FM Series of roll laminators, available in widths up to 41 in.
The Australian manufacturer offers a line of thermal laminators, including the Compact (32 and 40 in.) and Centaur (31 and 40 in.), and the Emseal Thermal Laminator, available in 32-, 40-, and 54-in. widths. Also available: the Triseal multipurpose (hot and cold) laminators, which can handle media up to 0.5-in. thick and come in 32-, 40-, and 54-in. widths; and pressure-sensitive machines including the Applikator 2R and 4R Plus series (available in sizes up to 65 and 56 in., respectively) and the 65-in. heavy-duty Makrolam 2R 1650.
The Ezy Taper unit from the Australian-based company of the same name comes in 25- and 60-in. widths and features a self-adjusting system that allows various thicknesses of material up to 1.18-in. Each of the three models – the Standard, Standard/Deluxe, and Platinum Package – is capable of print mounting, cold laminating, tape application, mounting of pre-masked vinyl, and flood coating.
The 2064Ct wide-format laminator with heat-assisted top roller features include a simple LCD display for controlling pressure and temperature; swing-out film shaft; a pressure plate to flatten the leading edge of curled prints; and more. It handles film up to 64-in. wide and 10-mil thick and can run at speeds up to 30 ft/min for roll-to-roll applications.
Other products in GBC’s line of laminators include: the 79-in. 2080WFt and the 61-in. 640t, top-heat laminators for pressure-sensitive films; the Catena (25- and 41-in. wide) and Arctic (40- and 61-in. wide) cold laminators; and the 31-in. Discovery 80, a heat shoe laminator that uses infrared technology. GBC also offers hot and cold machines such as the 31-in. 5031TS, the 64-in 2064WF, the Titan (43- and 61-in. wide), the 64-in. Falcon 3064WF, and the 64-in. Orca 4064WF.
Golden Sign International
From Shanghai, the GSD electric and hand-crank cold laminator is available in 51- and 63-in. widths; also available are hand-cranked cold laminators in widths up to 63 in.
The Bondmaster series of large-format laminators includes thermal, cold, and hot/cold models in widths ranging from 38 to 62 in. All models offer single and double sided encapsulation.
Graphic Finishing Partners
The new 400 Series Professional Top Heat laminators are available in 55- and 63- in. widths. The new series features: 1-in. variable roller gap, 4.5-in. silicon rollers, 140 degree top heated roller, and speeds of up to 13.5 ft/min. The laminators are built for applications that require PSA films for overlamination, mounting, and pre-coating boards.
HOP offers the tabletop TCC2700, a 27-in. roll laminator.
Its SupraCoater LR1600 (63 in.) and LR3300 (126 in.) liquid laminators offer speeds up to 3100 and 4134 sq ft/hr, respectively. Both offer two coating nozzles.
The LamiGorilla is available in heated, low-heat, and pressure-sensitive models (all 55-in. widths). The LamiMonkey machines, available in hot and hot/cold models, are available in 28- and 44-in. widths.
Lamina System AB
The Lamina Basic and SA series from Sweden-based Lamina Systems are sheet-to-sheet semi-automatic laminator/mounters, available in widths of 43 to 63 in. The FA, FAS also available in 43- to 63-in. widths (for thicker bottom-sheet material), and high-speed Blackline series are the company’s fully automatic offerings. A manual version is also available. Distributed in the US by Graphic West Packaging Machinery (graphicwestpm.com).
The Digital is designed to laminate large graphics using films up to 10-mils thick at speeds up to 12 ft/min. Available in 42- and 60-in. versions, the Digital mounts with hot or cold adhesives, and can simultaneously mount and laminate. Also features pressure-release control and swing-away heat shoes. The company also offers the Econocraft (44 and 60 in.), a cold laminator, and the Signmaster 44, a hot/cold machine.
Other Ledco machines include: the 25-in. HD 25 Workhorse, the 30-in. HS 30 Thoroughbred, the Industrial series (38 and 60 in.), the 25-in. Premier 4, the 27-in. Professor, and the XL Pouch (27 and 44 in.).
Marabu North America
Its StarLam 1600R roll-to-roll liquid laminator can handle substrates up to 64-in. wide and features rotating metering rods, a self-contained cleaning system, and an advanced drying technique. Designed for single-operator use, it boasts a speed of up to 4 ft/min.
Italy-based Neolt offers the Neolam PE, an entry-level solution for cold laminating and mounting. Available in 43-, 55-, and 65-in. sizes, it can handle media up to 1.18-in. thick with a running speed of 13 ft/min. The 65-in. 1650E laminator offers a heated upper roller for cold lamination; and the CE (43 and 55 in.) and C (43, 65, and 81 in.) laminators are for cold lamination. Also available are the NeoLam M (43 and 65 in.), Dual F (65 and 81 in.), S (43 and 65 in.) and H (43, 65, and 80 in.) series of hot and cold laminators.
Neschen offers an array of laminators under its Seal brand including the Seal 54 EL, a 54-in. wide entry-level, cold-roll laminator and the Seal 80 Pro, an 80-in. wide mounter, laminator, and encapsulator that accommodates materials up to 1.5-in. thick. Other features include: feed table with integrated tensioning rollers, roll/image trough, and flip-down image guide; flip-up pull rollers; Combi-supply shafts; ergonomic touch pad control panel on a pivot arm; output slitters; automatic upper take-up shaft; and more.
Also available: Seal Image 600md (61 in., dual-heat, bi-directional); 62 Pro; 54/62 Base; UltraPlus Series (five models total); and the ProSeal 44 pouch laminator. Neschen also produces a variety of liquid coaters, including: the 18-in. Accu-18XE; 60-in. AccuCoat 1600; AccuCure 60 UV and the AccuCure 80 UV (60- and 80-in. wide, respectively.
The 54-in. Optima RCS 5400 Minicoater uses water- or solvent-based laminates; the 36-, 56-, and 76-in. 110/220 V models can accommodate vinyl, canvas, photo-paper, Tyvek, and other types of media. Also offered is the 36-in. Convertible Rollacoat Liquid Laminator.
Pacific Studio Supplies
The ACL460 is a cold laminator designed for print providers and framers. The company’s MCL260 is a 26-in. motorized laminator geared toward professional photographers.
Offers the ENTM series of cold laminators and the ENHTM series of hot laminators, all in 54- and 66-in.wide models and all can now handle media up to 1-in. thick. The company also offers the 63-in. PLAII liquid laminator.
Professional Laminating Systems
PLS offers the 27-in. PL227HP and the 38-in. PL238WF, which can laminate substrates up to ¼-in. thick. The 44-in. PL244WF thermal laminator can accept media up to 3/16-in. thick and features variable speed control, 12-in. diameter roll capacity, digital temperature readout, and more.
Its Quality 64TLX is a 62-in. top-heated mounting/laminating machine with a top roller for thermal lamination and a bottom roller that can be used for self-adhesive films. Features photoelectric nip protection circuit; removable front and rear tables; and auto and foot pedal running modes.
The M65 Mini Mounter tabletop cold laminator is 27-in. wide and accepts media up to 3/8-in. thick.
Royal Sovereign International
Its hot and cold machines include the 27- and 41-in. models of RSS Hot-Shoe and RSR Rolling-Shoe as well as the 41- and 65-in. RSH Hot-Roller. The RSC cold-roll laminator offers pressure-sensitive lamination for images up to 65-in. wide.
Splash of Color
The Cool-Lam 640C is a cold laminator for pressure-sensitive media up to 63-in. wide. Features include a motor-reverse function, single set of main rollers, powered take-up shaft, and more.
The Pro S Series (single roller) and Pro D Series (dual roller) laminators are available in 44-, 55-, and 65-inch widths. The cold laminating systems include Worf MJ Series and the new USTech VS Series, which features a 1.5-in. nip opening and three sizes: 44-, 55-, and 65-inch wide. The new 50-in. Master Cold laminator offers an Auto Liner backing paper pickup system.
USI’s heated roll laminators include the Samson Plus 4200/6200/6300 (42, 62, and 63 in., respectively). The 6300 is a heavy-duty machine featuring variable speed, reverse, independent upper/lower electronic temperature controls, and can accommodate substrates up to 1-in. thick. Also features: three emergency stop buttons, release liner rewind, foot control pedal for hands-free operation, length cutters, and more. Its heat shoe laminators include the 40-in. and 42-in. CRL models, and the 40-in. MRL42 combination laminator/mounter.
Heat options include: the 30-in. F30 and the 38-in. F38, with flat composition wood-grain laminate tables, 3-in. silicone rubber rolls, forward brake, and reversible variable DC control; and the 54-in. W56 model, which can handle any substrate up to 2.5-in. thick.
Offers the XRL Hot Roll laminators in 24-, 36-, and 48-in. widths. Although primarily used in the circuit-board industry, these laminators can also be used for laminating large-format graphics.