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Protecting Aesthetics

(July 2012) posted on Tue Jul 10, 2012

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

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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.