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Protecting Aesthetics

More than 30 sources of laminators to add the perfect finishing touch.

Big Picture

Reasons for needing a laminator in-house run the gamut from aesthetics to necessity – from wanting to add shine to a chic New York hotel graphic to needing to protect a rugged vehicle wrap from the Arizona sun. A laminator can help seal the deal on any job – adding both pizzazz and protection. Because the types of laminators on the market can be equally extensive, choosing a machine suited for your shop can be quite a challenge.

To help you find the perfect finishing solution, we’ve assembled the following roster of more than 30 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.

While this sourcelist provides a good sampling of laminators from each company, we haven’t listed every laminator model from each (visit their websites for a complete equipment roster).

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 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 Polar line of cold laminators is available in 25- and 38-in. widths. Works with boards up to ½-in. thick, features hard rollers, silicon rubber rollers, and single-roll heat control.

Autobond’s wide-format offerings include the thermal Mini, in widths ranging from 23 to 41 in.; the 30 x 41-in. Compact; 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 and can accommodate digital and offset output up to 24-in. wide and ¼-in. thick. 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 ValueLam 4500HC accommodates media up to 44-in. wide, and features hot and cold lamination with dual heated rollers.

The Codamount laminator is configurable as a pressure-sensitive, heat-assist, or thermal machine, in 26-, 34-, 44-, 54-, 64-in. widths. The Coda Cold-Mount System is a production machine available in widths from 14, 26, 34, 44, 54 in.; features include: automatic scrap rewind, operator adjustable tension control, self-locking 3-in. 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. The Squeeze Roll Applicator is a heavy duty design applicator for applying vinyl down to hard substrates and extrusions.

D&K International
D&K offers hot, cold, and pocket laminators with media capacities 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 63 features an extra-wide chassis and a 62-in. working width. 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.

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 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 SmartCoaters aqueous flood coaters feature: TruSpeed Compensators, Dual Quick Disconnect Supply Tanks, and an optional secondary IR heater/fan unit; available in 63-, 86-, 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 roll laminators are designed for pressure-sensitive film; JetMounter is available in 26-, 34-, 44-, 54-, 55-, and 63-in. widths.

The 2064Ct wide-format laminator with heat-assisted top roller 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.

Graphica Technologies
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 200 Series Professional Cold laminators in 33- and 55-in. widths are designed for cold lamination, mounting, and pre-mask applications. The 230C and 255C Series features: ½-in. and 1-in. variable roll gap, respectively; variable speeds; large nip rollers; and single-pressure adjustment. The 400 Series Professional Top Heat laminators are available in 55- and 63- in. widths.

HOP Inc.
HOP offers the tabletop TCC2700, a 27-in. roll laminator that accepts up to 5-mil thick laminating film and can be used to mount materials ¼-in. thick.

Lamina System AB
The Lamina Basic, FA, FAS, 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 Heat Shoe 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. 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 (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 newest laminator is the Neolam PE for cold laminating and mounting. Available in 43-, 55-, and 65-in. sizes, this machine can handle media up to 1.18-in. thick and its running speed is 13 ft/min. Other laminators include: the 65-in. Neolam 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 Americas
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; AccuCoat 3300; AccuCure 60 UV and the AccuCure 80 UV (60- and 80-in. wide, respectively); and AccuCure 72XUV.

Optima International
The 54-in. Optima RCS 5400 Minicoater uses water- or solvent-based laminates; the 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 46-in. cold laminator designed for print providers and framers. The company’s MCL260 is a 26-in. motorized laminator geared toward professional photographers.

Polisigns Supplies
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; 1300 EII 51-in. and 1600 EIV 66-in. cold laminators; and the Mini Manual cold 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 a photoelectric nip protection circuit; removable front and rear tables; and auto and foot pedal running modes.

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, also available with heat assist.

The Guardian line includes 65-in. cold and heat-assist laminators. The laminators can handle ½-in. thick media at 23 ft/min. Features include the Magic Bar System for accurate positioning, adjustable pressure settings, removable feed table, and more.

USTech Inc.
The cold laminating systems include Worf MJ Series (32, 52, 55, 62 in.); AK Series (4f, 55, 65 in.); VT Series (65 in.); and Pro C Series (44, 55, 65 in.). The 55- and 65-in. TX Series are cold laminators with heat assist. Hot/cold laminators include the HS Series single roller and HD double roller laminators both available in 44-, 55-, and 65-in. models.

USI’s heated roll laminators include the ProMount line of 27- and 46-in. machines and 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. Its heat shoe laminators include the 27-in. ARL and CSL models, 40-in. CRL models, and the 40-in. MRL42 combination laminator/mounter.

Wesco Machine
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.

Western Magnum
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.

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