Lamination is probably the simplest way to preserve important documents by adding a plastic film over its surface. Laminator machines are used extensively nowadays for safeguarding important certificates, checklists and safety instructions, ID and business cards, photographs, restaurant menus, signage and posters, and much more.
Many different types of laminators are available on the market, ranging from smaller desktop varieties designed for home use to much larger and expensive industrial versions. The larger lamination machines are capable of accommodating a wider array of document sizes and temperature settings. These laminators are generally equipped with multiple sets of rollers, and can provide a flawless finish under demanding circumstances.
Broadly speaking, laminators can be categorised into three major configurations.
Film Laminators: Two separate layers of laminating film are used by these machines. Documents to be laminated are placed on the film’s bottom layer and a separate top layer is automatically aligned and pressed down by the hot rollers. These laminators are extremely flexible, and are used extensively in large-scale production environments.
Pouch Laminators: This is the most commonly used desktop-type laminating machines we see around us. In these machines, the documents are fed manually through adhesive-lined clear plastic pouches. A sealed cover is formed by pressing them together under hot rollers.
Cold laminators: These are non-heating laminators suitable for handling documents that might get damaged by the standard hot lamination process or are sensitive to high temperatures. Though these laminators are cheaper, the pouches used in cold laminators are considerably more expensive.
Laminators can also be categorised as A3 and A4 laminators based on the type of documents they can handle. The A3 type is used for laminating relatively larger print materials such as exhibition graphics, public signage, window dressings, etc. On the other hand, A4 laminators are used for protecting ID or business cards, menu cards, reports, photo montages, instruction guides, etc. Most A4 desktop laminators are pouch type, and make use of rollers for sealing adhesive plastic coverings around the document.
Selecting the Right Laminator
Choosing the right kind of laminator for your needs can sometimes be confusing. The task here is to select the type that is most suitable for your budget and production environment.
- Office Use: While choosing a laminator for your office, you need to decide which size will serve your purpose and how often you are likely to use it. While the price and specifications of both A3 and A4 laminators can vary significantly, the more expensive machines are generally faster. These days, many laminators designed for intensive day-to-day office or school use come equipped with built-in memory functions. These machines don’t need to be reprogrammed each time you want to use it.
- Industrial Use: While choosing industrial laminators, you must consider the required degree of flexibility and the intensity of use. Another critical consideration is how long you need the laminated items to last. There are many heavy-duty laminator machines capable of laminating multiple items on a daily basis and producing superior quality laminations with a high output rate.
- Hot or Cold: For certain types of ink or printed materials, a cold lamination machine is more suitable because there is less blurring or colour variance in the absence of heat. On the other hand, hot laminators are suitable for applications where speed and repeatability are more important than the finish quality.
Regardless of your lamination requirement, RENZ Australia has a range of laminators for you to choose from. Please contact us today to find out more.