August '21

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5 4 G R A P H I C S P R O A U G U S T 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M g T he process of lamination is fairly straightforward. A film is placed over a print and then sealed tight with heat or cold and pressure. But like everything in the graphics world, laminators have improved with age. Now, instead of having to complete the process manually, many models of laminators use smart technology to help the opera- tor complete projects, from raising and lowering the rollers to the amount of ten- sion needed for a particular job. WORKING TOGETHER Some laminators use a touch screen to con- trol all of their functions, which "takes the guesswork out of laminating as it does all of the functions for you," says Bob Pryor, Graphic Finishing Partners. "It makes lami- nating exceptionally easy … Technology has come a long way." When purchasing a laminator, it is impor- tant that businesses choose a high-quality machine that can handle the different types of projects they expect to complete on it, from posters to stickers and car wraps. They should also plan ahead and purchase a ma- chine that can handle expected future growth while still fitting their existing floor space. Most laminators work best if there is a worktable at the beginning and end of the process. Pryor states that their newest laminator is 83" X 30.7" X 63", and their worktables are 48", measurements that are crucial to know. Worktables on both ends of the laminator add about 8 1/2'. Allow 6' of space on each side of the laminator to give operators room to move around the machine. The process can work without both worktables if space is an issue. Roll-to-roll laminators allow shops to process bigger jobs more quickly, but application tables are perfect for smaller projects. LAMINATORS Wondering what new features are available for laminators? As just one example, Graphic Finishing Partners' newest laminator comes with a digital microcontroller system, color graphic operational displays, electronic roller gap/pressure control, swingout unwind and rewind shafts, inline rotary side slitters, top roller heat assist, integrated rear rewind, roll label printer, operator warning alerts, and onboard operator help tutorials. The side slitters cut off excess print media when the job is complete, saving time in the trimming operation, Pryor notes. "We try to make solutions to save time and be more efficient," says Laurent Bouchard, Kala Finishing Systems. Kala's laminators also operate with smart technology, allow- ing one person to operate both the laminator and the cutting table or worktable at the end. The company's shafts work with the different finishing equipment the company manufac- tures, from its XY cutters to its applicators and laminators, which saves time and is more efficient, he says. Some application tables also have storage capabilities be- neath them, which is useful for a small shop. (Image courtesy Kala Finishing Systems) S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G Happy EXPLORING THE RELATIONSHIP OF LAMINATORS AND WORKTABLES B Y P A U L A A V E N G L A D Y C H Together When purchasing a laminator, it is impor Together

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