Laminating equipment is used in many businesses and industries; however, laminating machines do not last forever. If your laminating equipment has been experiencing one or more of these problems, it may be time to consider repairing or replacing it.
If your laminating equipment isn’t heating properly, it could mean there is a problem that either needs repair or replacement. Heated roll laminators utilize silicon rollers which are heated internally, and heat shoe laminating machines use a heated metal plate that activates the adhesive before entering into the rollers that apply pressure. If sufficient heat isn’t being created, then the lamination film might not stick. Similarly, if it is producing too much heat, then the film may show waves or bubbles. If you are experiencing either of these problems and have ruled out user error, consider getting an estimate for repair or replacement from a laminating equipment company.
2. Too Much Build-Up
Your lamination machines rollers may require cleaning as needed due to adhesive build-up. This can occur from excess adhesive being released at the outer edges or from roll film not being aligned. If not cleaned properly, issues can arise that may require maintenance or replacement. Excessive build up can cause uneven roller pressure resulting in an inferior quality lamination. Never use sharp objects to clean your rollers. Any cut our gouge in the silicon rubber can result in a bubble in your finished product. Before you use your machine again, take a second to examine the rollers, to ensure they do not show signs of adhesive build-up or damage.
3. Damaged Heat Shoe
Heat shoes are a metal plate with a silicon coating that roll lamination film travels over and applies heat to activate adhesives. If the heat shoe becomes damaged it can cause scratches on the outer surface of your lamination film. These scratches would show on your laminated print and not provide a professional looking finished product. The only way to alleviate the problem is to replace the heat shoe or replace your laminator if cost prohibitive to repair.
5. Is it the Film or the Machine?
When using laminating film in your machine you should consider the quality of the film, thickness of the film and what its temperature requirements are. If you have determined that you are a lamination film compatible with your printed materials, then the problem might lie with your machine. If you are having lifting issues, for example, it may be a temperature problem. There are some toners that contain wax based particles that enable the toner to fuse to the paper. If you have full color coverage with these toners, you may need a specialty lamination film, such as extra bond film. Extra bond film has adhesive specially formulated for these type of prints. If the prints are finishing with markings or imperfections, then you may be experiencing issues with your rollers.
Laminating is not always an exact science, but there are some problems you can watch for. With these four common problems in mind, check your machine when used next to see if you are having any of these issues and decide if it may be time for a repair or replacement.