All About Laminators

   Wide-format laminators


Laminators wider than 25" are considered to be wide-format. Although the lower-width units may be of use in small businesses or even at schools, for the most part these laminators are for commercial use, or for engineering drawings, or for very large signs, etc.

There's nothing small about these machines. The biggest units appear to be the USTECH 65-inch Ultra and PRO series (both cold laminators), and the 65-inch Royal Sovereign RSH-1851, but 63-inch units are common. They all have speed (up to 25' per minute — but there's a Ledco 30-inch machine which will go at 65' per minute), wide throats — up to a 1.5-inch nip, 5-inch rollers, and large supply rolls or pouch feeders. Most come with output tables and pickups. Some are useable on a bench or table; most are "stand-up" machines. At least one line works with an inkjet printer for printed-laminated output. As these machines must have reliable performance under a variety of circumstances, they have controls for variable speed, temperature adjustment, reverse roll, and pressure adjustment, and have slitters and cooling fans.

See also Compact Laminators

Although the technology is mature there are problems inherent to the size of the machines. One such is that of applying proper pressure across the whole width of the laminate. Some manufacturers use rollers that are slightly thicker in the middle than at the ends, but this doesn't always work satisfactorily. If the laminators are mission-critical to you it would be wise to seek around for reviews of the various machines.

One apparent anomaly is the Phoenix 44 Base and Roll laminators, which are touted to produce 10 and 25 prints — per day! However, these are mounting laminators (2-temperature thermal system) which can handle boards up to 1/4-inch, so along with the width they can handle it's not so surprising. These are quite low-priced, also.

Almost all the major laminator manufacturers produce wide-format machines; of the companies listed on the "Manufacturers" page, only Fujipla, and Makit do not.

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