So you’ve given the project your all—the colors are correct, the graphics are sharp, and the print is flawless. But it needs a little something else. Perhaps the client mentioned that the finished piece would be installed in a high-traffic area and you want to provide the print with additional protection. Or maybe you suddenly see that it looks fine, but “fine” isn't good enough—and you and the client decide to add a texture to the final piece or enhance its gloss.
Just as a baseball manager can bring in his best relief pitcher—aka “closer”—to wrap up the win, you can do the same by bringing in a laminator to seal the deal. To help you find your own next print closer, we’ve assembled the following roster of more than 40 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. As always, we strive to provide a good sampling of wares from around the market; if we've missed a company, please let us know.
Note: Looking for more information on laminating media? Check out our January “Protection and Pizzazz” feature (p. 38), which provided snapshots on laminate offerings from more than 80 companies across the marketplace.
Advanced Greig Laminators
The 61-in. Compadre, a heat-assisted cold laminator, remains the latest machine from AGL. The company also offers the 62-in. Encore series of entry-level machines for pressure-sensitive and heat-activated films, including 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 even more advanced Maxim model. Additional 62-in. hot/cold machines include: the 64 series, 6400, and 6450. The 8000 series boasts a 76–79-in. width.
Its Advan-Tac EZ Mounter is a cold mounter able to coat boards up to ½-in. thick that allow for single-sided lamination; available in 25-, 61-, and 80 (available on request)-in. widths. The 53-in. AD JetMounter is a cold mounter designed for pressure-sensitive laminates and adhesives.
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.
The Ademco Phoenix 44-in. laminator comes in three models—Base, Roll, and Pro—and accepts media up to ¼-in. thick. All three models use pouch boards but can be converted for roll films.
Offerings include the thermal Mini, in widths ranging from 29 in. to 41 in.; the 30-in. Edgemaster 76 E encapsulator; and the 41-in. 105 CTP aqueous coater.
Banner American Products
The entry-level 45-in. Entry 4500 offers top and bottom heat and is available in 36-, 42-, and 44-in. widths. The ValueLam 4500 comes in the same widths and with the same standard features but has a more basic design and an MSRP roughly $3000 less than the Entry 4500. Additional products include the 27-in. Easy Lam, Easy Lam II, and Mighty Lam 2700.
The Sonny is a 55.1-in. table-top cold laminator that can accept media up to 1.96-in. thick. The 63-in. Genus 1600 can handle cold lamination and image mounting onto even slightly rough surfaces, and the 82.6-in. Genus 2100 has an upper heat roller and can accept media up to .96 in. thick. The 63-in. Queen is a laminator/encapsulator with upper and lower heat rollers. Also available: the 83-in. Splash UV liquid coaters and the Vulkan series of thermal laminators and encapsulators, which come in 66.1- and 81.2-in. widths.
The Bienfang Roller Press is a 42-in.-wide cold laminator/mounter that accepts media up to 1 in. Also available: the 25-in. MultiSeal 252 hot and cold laminator/encapsulator.
Coda Cold-Mount System mounts and laminates media up to 2-in. thick. The system is available in 26-, 34-, 44- and 54-in. widths. Coda also offers motorized and hand-operated versions of its Cold-Mount tabletop laminators in widths up to 54 in.
AppliPhase line of roll laminators.
D&K offers several laminators ranging from 83 to 42 in. wide: The 83-in. Exp 83 cold laminator with a heated upper roller; the 63-in. Exp 63 thermal laminator with heated rollers; the 62-in. Exp 62 Plus for both thermal and pressure-sensitive lamination; the 44-in. Exp 44 Twin for low-temperature laminating; the 42-in. Exp 42 Plus, a heavy duty laminator designed for laminating low-temp, thermal, and pressure sensitive films; and the 42-in. Exp 42 Pouch tabletop laminator.
The Quikmount 4 cold laminator from Daige is available in 25-, 38-, 55-, and 65-in widths. The EZ Glide Applicator is a tabletop liquid laminator in 38-, 55-, and 62-in. widths.
The Demco Seal-Xtreme is a 27-in. hot and cold laminator with variable heat control.
Drytac's VersaCoater XL UV is a liquid roller coater, available in 60- and 80-in. widths. Its AFC series is a water-based and solvent system flood coater, available in 63-, 75-, and 128-in. widths. The JetMounter cold laminators are designed for pressure-sensitive film and available in 26-, 44-, and 54-in. widths. Also available: the JM63, a 63-in. top-heated laminator for pressure-sensitive, heatset, and single-sided thermal overlaminates.
Hong Kong’s Eastsign offers a DingTec BU series of cold laminators, ranging in width from 25.5 in. to 80.3 in., with manual, auto-feeding, and electric models; a BU series of liquid laminators, ranging in width from 63 in. to 126 in.; and a BU series of thermal laminators, ranging in widths from 25.5 in. to 90.6 in.
Emblem EasyLam Junior II cold laminator is for media up to 55-in. wide and 1-in. thick.
Thermal laminators include the Compact (32- and 40-in.) and Centaur (31- and 40-in.), and the Emseal Thermal Laminator, available in 32-, 40-, and 54-in. widths. Also available from EMSeal: the Triseal multipurpose (hot and cold) laminators, which can handle media up to .5-in. thick and come in 32-, 40-, and 54-in. widths; and pressure-sensitive machines including the Applikator 2R and 4R Plus series (available in sizes up to 65 and 56 in., respectively) and the 65-in. heavy-duty Makrolam 2R 1650.
The company's Jeti Cyclone UV liquid laminator, designed for the flatbed market and flexible and rigid substrates up to 3-in. thick, is available in 60- and 80-in. widths.
GBC's line of laminators includes the Catena (25- and 41- in. wide) and Artic (40- and 61-in. wide) cold laminators. GBC also offers the 79-in. 2080WFt, a top-heat laminator for pressure-sensitive films, and the 31-in. Discovery 80, a heat shoe laminator that uses infrared technology. Other hot and cold laminators include the 31-in. 5031TS, the 64-in 2064WF, the Signmaker (25- and 43 in.-wide), the Titan (43- and 61-in.-wide), the 64-in. Falcon 3064WF, and the 64-in. Orca 4064WF. (Note: GBC's commercial print finishing business was acquired by India-based Cosmo Films earlier this year; the acquisition is expected to close in Q2 2009.)
Golden Sign International
The GSD electric and hand-crank cold laminator is available in 51- and 63-in. widths; also available are hand-cranked cold laminators in widths up to 63 in.
Graphica Tech produces the Bondmaster series of large-format laminators, which includes thermal, cold, and hot/cold models in widths ranging from to 38 to 62 in.
HOP offers the tabletop TCC2700, a 27-in. roll laminator.
Its SupraCoater LR1600 and LR3300 liquid laminators offer widths of 63 and 126 in.
The LamiGorilla is available in heated, low-heat, and pressure-sensitive 55.1- and 63-in. models. The LamiMonkey machines, available in hot and hot/cold models, are available in 25.8- and 44.1-in. widths.
Lamina System AB
The Lamina Basic and SA series are sheet-to-sheet semi-automatic laminator/mounters, available in widths of 43.3 in. to 63 in. The FA, FAS (for thicker bottom-sheet material), and high-speed Blackline series are the company’s fully automatic offerings. A manual version is also available.
The Econocraft (44 and 60 in.) is a cold laminator; the Digital (42 and 60 in.) and Signmaster 44 are both hot/cold machines. Thermal laminators include the 25-in. Educator, the 25-in. HD 25 Workhorse, the 30-in. HS 30 Thoroughbred, the Industrial Series (38 and 60 in.), the 25-in. Premier 4, the 27-in. Professor, and the XL Pouch (27 and 44 in.).
Lumina 2600/5000/6500 liquid-laminate rollcoaters are available in 24-, 48-, and 64-in. widths, respectively.
Neolt S.p.A offers several hot and cold laminators. The NeoLam M (43 and 65 in.), Dual F (65 and 81 in.), S (43 and 65 in.) and H (43, 65, and 80 in.) series are hot and cold laminators; the 65-in. 1650E laminator offers a heated upper roller for cold lamination; and the CE (43 and 55 in.) and C (43, 65, and 81 in.) laminators are for cold lamination.
Neschen liquid coaters include the 52-in. AccuCoat Giclee Sign Coater, 60-in. AccuCoat 1600, 129-in. AccuCoat 3300, AccuCure 60 UV and AccuCure 80 UV (60- and 80-in. wide, respectively), and the 72-in. AccuCure 72XUV.
Seal laminators include the Image 600md, a 61-in. thermal laminator; hot and cold lamination is available on the 80-in. Seal 80 Pro and 61-in. Seal 62 Pro Series. The 62-in. Image 62 Plus is for thermal and low-temp films; the Seal 54 and 62 Base are 55- and 61-in. (respectively) cold laminators with a heat assist. The Seal 44 and 62 Ultra Plus Series offer single heated roll, dual heated roll, and cold models; the ProSeal 44 pouch laminator offers pre-set temperature controls.
The 54-in. Optima RCS 5400 Minicoater uses water- or solvent-based laminates; the 36- to 193-in. Convertible Rollacoat is a UV-cure coating system.
Pacific Studio Supplies
Image Shield Solutions Cold Laminators include the hand-cranked 27-in. CL270s and the 46-in. automatic ACL460.
Offers the ENTM series of cold laminators and the ENHTM series of hot laminators, all in 54- and 66-in.wide models. The 63-in. PLAII is a liquid laminator; the EII and EIV cold laminators are 51 and 66 inches wide, respectively.
Professional Laminating Systems
The company offers the 27-in. PL227HP, 38-in. PL238WF, and 44-in. PL244WF thermal laminators. The PL227HP and the PL238WF can laminate substrates up to ¼-in. thick and the PL244WF can accept media up to 3/16 in. thick.
Its Quality 64TLX is a 62-in. top-heated mounting/laminating machine with a top roller for thermal lamination and a bottom roller that can be used for self-adhesive films.
The M65 Mini Mounter tabletop cold laminator is 27-in. wide and accepts media up to 3/8-in. thick.
Royal Sovereign International
Hot and cold machines include the 27- and 41-in. models of RSS Hot-Shoe and RSR Rolling-Shoe as well as the 41- and 65-in. RSH Hot-Roller series. The RSC cold-roll laminator offers pressure-sensitive lamination for images up to 65-in. wide.
Splash of Color
The Cool-Lam 640C is a cold laminator for pressure-sensitive media up to 63-in. wide.
The LS1050 Scotch cold laminating system accepts media up to 25-in. wide and 3/16-in. thick.
Products include: the 55-in. Uniform WetGuard liquid laminator; the DryGuard series (25-, 38-, and 55-in. widths) and Guardsman B series (55-in. width) cold laminators; the Guardsman C series (43.3-, 65-, and 80.7-in. widths) are cold/heat-assist laminators; the Guardsman S and H series (both available in 43.3-, 65-, and 80.7-in. widths) and the Dual series (65- and 80.7-in. widths) offer hot and cold lamination.
Its heated roll laminators include the 45-in. ProMount Plus 4510 and the SamsonPlus 4200/6200/6300 (42, 62, and 63 in., respectively). Heat shoe laminators include the 27-in. CSL 2700 series, the 27-in. ARL 2700 (with and without fans), the 40-in. CRL, and the 40-in. MRL42 combination laminator/mounter.
Heat options available for the 30-in. F30, 38-in. F38, and 54-in. W56 laminators.
The company offers the XRL Hot Roll Laminators in 24-, 36-, and 48-in. widths. Although primarily used in the circuit-board industry, these laminators can also be used for laminating large-format graphics.
Printvinyl Scored Print Media
New Printvinyl Scored wide-format print media features an easy-to-remove scored liner for creating decals, product stickers, packaging labels, and more. The precision-scored liner, with a 1.25” spacing on a 60” roll, guarantees a seamless and hassle-free removal process.
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