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Hardware Thread, Laminators in Technical; Hello All, I seem, slightly randomly, to be in charge of the laminating equipment - I guess it comes under ...
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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Laminators

    Hello All,

    I seem, slightly randomly, to be in charge of the laminating equipment - I guess it comes under "print finishing". We seem to do an awful lot of laminating, with two laminating machines in the staffroom for our classroom assistants to use. Those machines keep conking out - generally laminating pouches getting stuck and melting onto the rollers. These aren't cheap laminators from Argos, either, these are reasonably heavy-duty machines from a speacialist supplier. However, it seems they aren't quite up to our volume / style of use, so I'm looking at alternatives.

    Has anyone had much experience with cold laminating systems? I understand there's systems a bit snazzier than just simple self-adhesive pouches. Do they produce decent results? Are they easy to use? The laminators are in the staffroom and free for everyone to use, so they need to be simple to operate. I've seen some cold laminators that seem to be a simple couple of rollers with a hand-cranked handle, which most people should be able to get the hang of - does that sound right?

    Does anyone use continuous-roll hot laminators? So instead of individual pouches we'd have a machine that uses rolls of laminating film. Again, are they pick-up-and-use easy, or do they require training?

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Do they not come with a carrier card? that way you should never have a pouch melting itself to the roller.

    Ben

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    dhicks (2nd January 2013)

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    We have two continuous roll laminators used in our Reprographics Department. As far as I know the only training required is:

    1. Turn on the heat and allow it to get to temperature.
    2. Start rollers and insert item to be laminated.
    3. Collect laminated item at the back of the laminator [run guillotine-like blade to separate item from the rest of the roll]

    I have never loaded the two rolls of laminating material but I am told it is very easy.

    When used by our Reprographics staff they have not given a single day of poor service [They have been mis-used by other staff and have needed some TLC afterward]

    Laminator make/model: GBC Ultima 35 EZLoad


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    dhicks (2nd January 2013)

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Do they not come with a carrier card?
    Yes, but it often doesn't get used - staff are in a hurry, or forget, or don't know to use it in the first place. The problem is probably a time / space / training / staff availability issue as much as anything, but I figured I'd try and find the easiest-to-use, least-breakable laminating system to start with before starting on alowing only "laminator certified operators" or whatever to use the machines...

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    We have two continuous roll laminators used in our Reprographics Department.

    Thanks, good to know, and operation does sound simple.

    When used by our Reprographics staff they have not given a single day of poor service [They have been mis-used by other staff and have needed some TLC afterward]
    That might be an issue - laminating here is done by classroom assistants, with the equipment in a corner of our (rather full) staffroom for anyone to fiddle with.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Indeed as the use of the carrier makes it impossible to wrap a pouch around the rollers.

    Ben

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    glennda's Avatar
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    My Last place had a large roll laminator. Instructions stuck on it, as long as the teachers didn't change the temperature it was a case of turning it on let it warm up and then press start and feed.

    I've found with the pouch type it all depends on the pouchs themselves and isn't normally the laminator which is the problem.

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    dhicks (2nd January 2013)

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    ...That might be an issue - laminating here is done by classroom assistants, with the equipment in a corner of our (rather full) staffroom for anyone to fiddle with.
    With that in mind and accepting that any bit of kit can have a malfunction the obvious drawbacks of the laminiators that we use [as I see them] are:

    1. Poorly mounted media drum(s) causing mis-feeds [this should be obvious to the user]
    2. Mis-feeds caused by poorly aligned item to be lamininated
    3. Leaving the motor running so that the laminating media is drawn through the mechanism and wasted.
    4. Leaving the heating element on [although I believe it has a safety cut out and so should not get to the point of overheating]

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    mdench's Avatar
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    as @glennda has said we use a roll laminator but we with our new photocopiers we have started trialling the new rich "plastic" paper. Which you can print straight onto as if printing normally and is virtually indestructible and many parents / teachers have commented that it looks much nicer up on the walls than some badly laminated piece of paper. Many you could find something similar?

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    dhicks (2nd January 2013)

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    I used to take these things apart on a very regular basis, can't say I have touched one in the last 3 years.

    Rob

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    plexer's Avatar
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    AQL4 A4 Aqualaser printable paper 250 sheets 120gsm

    £33.80 for 250 sheets, ouch.

    Ben

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    dhicks (2nd January 2013)

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdench View Post
    with our new photocopiers we have started trialling the new rich "plastic" paper. Which you can print straight onto as if printing normally and is virtually indestructible and many parents / teachers have commented that it looks much nicer up on the walls than some badly laminated piece of paper. Many you could find something similar?
    Ooh, that sounds interesting. We've just had all new laser printers and photocopiers installed in September, and we now have Equitrac running to keep track of who prints what. We had a colour laser printer left over, so I've set it up in the staffroom with the idea that people can use it to print colour images on card. I tried some random "glossy laser printer photo paper" I found lying around but that had a tendancy to jam the printer, but printable plastic paper sounds as though it might be just the thing. Is this the Aqualaser stuff that plexer has linked to below, or some kind of Tyvek-based paper, or something else?

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    mdench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Ooh, that sounds interesting. We've just had all new laser printers and photocopiers installed in September, and we now have Equitrac running to keep track of who prints what. We had a colour laser printer left over, so I've set it up in the staffroom with the idea that people can use it to print colour images on card. I tried some random "glossy laser printer photo paper" I found lying around but that had a tendancy to jam the printer, but printable plastic paper sounds as though it might be just the thing. Is this the Aqualaser stuff that plexer has linked to below, or some kind of Tyvek-based paper, or something else?

    It looks similar I'll try to remember to have a chat to the ladies in the office next week as i think we get ours straight from ricoh.

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    dhicks (3rd January 2013)

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    john's Avatar
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    Ahhh yes the evil beast we have it in bits often enough usually as someone has been rushing and not watching it as its carrierless (yet i don't trust it) and then it jams.

    My advice, keep doing as you are BUT get one that has a removable top, ours has 2 1/4 turn screws on it that turn with a 1p coin and then are very easy to remove the jam from so yes it jams I'm not denying that but fixing takes about 1 minute compared to a long time with the older ones that were not supposed to come to bits.

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