Sign & Digital Graphics

February '19

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42 • February 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS When looking at features, width is a major consideration. Carl Hoffman, director of sales at Royal Sovereign, rec- ommends trying to purchasing a lamina- tor that matches the width of your widest printer. For sign shops that plan to pur- chase an even wider printer in the future, match to that width instead. Laminators are a long-term investment, so it's best to purchase a unit that can grow with you. In addition to width, gap height is an important consideration for mount- ing, Hoffman says. Most 54- to 65-inch laminators in today's market have at least an inch gap opening. Hoffman also sug- gests analyzing whether the laminator's maximum speed can keep up with your inkjet or offset printing demands. "Consider if you will be doing short run or long-length lamination runs," Hoffman says. "With long-length runs, consider a laminator that has a rear rewinder. This is particularly important for vehicle and fleet graphics." Get the Most Out of Your Laminator For the most efficient lamination, a sign shop should take the time to receive proper training on its laminator, Hoffman says. Lamination requires a certain skill set. Every operator needs to understand the proper speeds and temperatures for using a laminator and how to efficiently use the machine, but some operators are not well-versed in how to get the most out of their laminator. Ultimately, this often results in wasted material, which hurts a sign shop's bottom line. "We find that many people do not know or were not fully trained in the best practices of webbing a laminator," Hoffman says. "They are having diffi- culty or are wasting material with this process. There should be very little mate- rial used at setup, and it should only take a short amount of time to web your lami- nator." To avoid waste, Hoffman suggests to use a laminate that is the same width as the media. This also eliminates any chal- lenges that come with a laminate hanging past the sides of the media. If the day's lamination jobs require multiple lami- nate surfaces, the operator should also group like surface images together on the printer for the most efficient lamination workflow. Space can also be an issue for sign shops when it comes to lamination. Every shop only has so much square footage to work with, and space can become tight quickly when you're producing many wide-format graphics. For better use of space, Michael Osman, president of CWT Worktools USA, a signage equip- ment manufacturer, recommends sign shops include an application table with a work bench in their setup, which reduces the amount of space a shop needs for lamination. "Let's say I'm a new shop just start- ing up, and I just bought a laminator," Osman says. "If I'm going to feed a 4' x By including an application table in your laminator setup, you can save space and work more efficiently. Pictured is the CWT Platinum Laminator/Applicator Table. (Photo courtesy CWT Worktools USA) To get the most out of your laminator, it's important to receive proper training to reduce waste. Pictured is the RSC-1402HW. (Photo courtesy Royal Sovereign) With the right lamina- tor, you can use it as an upsell opportunity. Pictured is the Patriot Laminator. (Photo courtesy Advanced Greig Laminators Inc.)

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