Vacuum press is a user-friendly alternative to light-duty laminator
Drytac Corp. has acquired the North American operations of Hot Press Inc., which makes clear, glass-top vacuum presses. Drytac management believes the Hot Press vacuum press provides a viable alternatives to light-duty roll laminators"?particularly for users of medium-format inkjets for in-house corporate, fine art, photography and other lower-volume applications.
Hot Press vacuum presses range in size from 29 x 41 in. to 56 x 103 in. and are priced from $3500 to about $9000. Many picture framers, fine-art printmakers, reprographers and photo labs currently use vacuum presses as a way to minimize goof-ups in print finishing.
By watching what they're doing through the glass top of the vacuum press, operators can avoid misalignment errors of see if print corners have folded back on themselves.
A Drytac spokesman notes that "Many production factors have to be controlled on laminators that don't have to be controlled in a dry mounting press. Physical forces at work on a laminator distort the film at every phase of the process." For example, one of the key challenges of operating a roll laminator is making sure that tensions are correctly set on each of the film web. Because a vacuum press uses sheets of laminating films, controlling web tension isn't an issue: The Drytac spokesman point out that that unlike a roll laminator, the odds of getting a wrinkle-free job on a dry-mount press the first time are good.
According to Drytac, current Hot Press customers can expect an expanded range of dry mounting and laminating supplies and improved distribution and support through Drytac's six stocking locations.
Drytac also plans to add vacuum-press training to its ongoing series of print-finishing seminars.
Even though using a vacuum press is easier in many ways than using a roll laminator, operators still need to understand the four variables that affect all mounting and laminating jobs: time, temperature, pressure and humidity. On a dry-mounting press, the operator generally sets dwell time and temperature in accordance with product directions. But operators should understand how humidity affects the process, so that appropriate adjustments can be made. (Drytac: www.drytac.com)