When thinking about purchasing a Wide Format Laminator, the first thing to consider is what you want to achieve with the laminator. Different applications require different solutions. Think about what you need the system to do:
Once you have decided exactly what you want to achieve, you can start to look at all the systems that will cover your needs.
You may need to do just one application, however some systems offer money saving multi-functional capabilities ...
Encapsulating involves a heat activated thermal film being applied on both sides of the print. The finished result is trimmed to leave a clear border around the edge of the print, therefore encapsulated. Film is available in gloss and matt finishes in a range of thickness including 38, 75, 125 and 250 micron rolls.
Lamination is usually applied on 1 side only with a pressure sensitive over laminate film, either onto printed vinyl for mounted prints, vehicle wraps, signage etc or onto printable block materials for exhibition graphics.
Mounting fixes a print to a substrate/board using an adhesive. This can be permanent or semi-permanent.
All Easymounts laminate and mount. If you have requirements for Encapsulation, you will need an Easymount Double Hot Machine.
There are various options on size, here are the most popular options on the market...
Think about the maximum size you will need to go up to. It is also worth ensuring the model you choose provides an inch or so gap either side of your maximum print size.
There are a range of systems on the market offering, cold, hot or double hot solutions.
Single Hot systems will give a high quality finish if you have graphics and signs to laminate. Applying heat will also reduce any chances of silvering on the print.
Double Hot systems will laminate, mount and encapsulate so are highly flexible if you require multifunctional usage.
At Vivid we feel roller size is very important because larger rollers give a good even pressure and longer dwell time giving crease free lamination. The heat and pressure process is also activated quicker with larger rollers.
The Easymount range has larger diameter rollers than similar models on the market.
It is important to consider the volume you will be doing to ensure you get a good return on your investment.
Work out how many prints you will be finishing on a daily/weekly basis to give you an idea of the profit you can make.
If you are looking at producing large volumes, then you may want to ask about time saving features such as our optional motorized take-up for running reel to reel prints.
Getting to grips with something new is always a challenge. Always look out for easy to use features before you buy, these can include;
At Vivid we include training and installation with every laminator we sell. However as the name suggests our Easymount™ range is designed for even a novice to use.
Training with a group or team of people can also be carried out by an experienced Easymount Representative.
Our service engineers are also just a phone call away for any 'teething problems' you may experience.
Consider that buying on-line at a 'bargain' price may sometimes be false economy as the price may not include the training and full installation you will need.
Always ensure any product you buy has an official CE mark (which is a legal requirement). Also look out for these important safety features (The Easymount range has all of the listed features);
It is also important to update your Health & Safety policy and/or Risk Assessment to include rules and precautions for employees to follow when operating the laminator.
Only allow trained operators to use the laminator to reduce risk of potentially expensive incorrect use or accidental damage. Put a notice next to your laminator to clearly state this to employees, especially if you have new starters.
As with any new purchase of a large item, space is usually an issue for most people.
Remember you don't just need the system to fit, you need to allow a working area around it to give enough space to feed your prints in and for them to exit without being creased or crushed against anything.
Vivid recommend at least a 1 metre working area around the system to ensure safe operation.
Occasionally problems do happen, so it's good to know that if they do you have backup.
Always check to make sure the laminator you are looking to buy comes with a full warranty on parts and labour for at least 12 months (The Easymount range includes this on all models as standard).
It may also be worth looking into an extended warranty or service agreement, these can save time in the long run and ensure your laminator stays in excellent working condition.