by Cassandra Balentine
Part two of two
Vehicle graphics typically benefit from lamination. In addition to adding durability and protection, they aid in the installation process by creating a thicker media.
In part one of our series on vehicle wrap lamination, we reviewed popular characteristics of laminates and laminators used for this application. Here we highlight some of these options on the market.
The following solutions are recommended for vehicle wrap applications.
According to Tony Caruso, Eastern regional sales, AGL, the company’s Encore and 64 Series have proven themselves for decades as go-to lamination systems. Each system is available in four different configurations, which allows a graphics provider to acquire the right equipment for their operation. Unique features include Spring Blade Core Chucks, which positively lock rolls of material onto the supply shafts; swing out supply stations for easy loading of rolls of material; Repeatable Tensioning System (RTS), which allows the operator to record and duplicate proper film tension settings for each job; and a print basket used for easily feeding long, individual prints.
Eastsign International provides the 65mic clear film/clear permanent adhesive/90gsm 1S PE liner; a 80mic clear film/clear permanent adhesive/120gsm 1S PE liner; and an 80mic clear film/clear permanent adhesive/100gsm 1S PE liner.
The company offers two roll laminator for options—a traditional manual lifting machine, ideal for budget level, simple operation, and proper pressure. The other is premium pneumatic lifting, which can generate different pressure by air according to different laminates, its 75 feet per minute maximum speed is ideal for mass jobs. Optional cutters are used to trim or remove edges.
GBC, an ACCO Brand Company
GBC offers several machines that either come standard with roll-to-roll or is available as an option. The 65Pro MD is 65-inch wide device that comes standard with roll-to-roll and dual quartz heated rollers for hot or cold films, bi-directional functionality, and pneumonic pressure. “This machine is extremely versatile and great for higher levels of production,” shares Christine Birch, marketing manager, GBC an acco brand.
Gfp offers polymeric vinyl films for flat or simple curve graphic applications that are not considered wraps. “These films are far less expensive and have a shorter term durability than cast vinyl,” shares Mitchell Noble, marketing consultant, Gfp Partners llc.
For maximum productivity, the bestselling Gfp laminator for vehicle graphics is the 563 TH. This system includes top-heated roller and motorized rear rewind for roll-to-roll operation. It utilizes three inch aluminum, Quick-Grip shafts that swing out for easy loading and unloading increasing production 50 percent. The Gfp 563 TH is also available with rear rewind slitters for trimming the sides of the output reducing trimming time.
The Gfp 300 Series—355 TH and 363 TH—laminators offer a more affordable option for professional laminating operations. They include top-heated roller, integrated rear rewind, and the same rugged construction needed for high quality output. The 300 Series utilizes the same three inch Aluminum Quick-Grip shafts, but they lift out for roll changes.
Both Gfp machines feature metal alloy heaters, large diameter rollers, and rugged frame design to insure straight, true web throughput. This means longer, uninterrupted production runs and higher quality output.
Kala manufactures finishing equipment, including three models of laminators. The Mistral 1650 is best suited to handle graphics printed with eco-solvent or latex inks. It comes standard with a top-heat assisted roller, five interchangeable self locking shafts, roll-to-roll capability, and its patented auto calibration feature.
For graphics printed with flexible UV inks, Frank Romanello VP sales, Kala Finishing Systems, recommends the Arkane 1650 model. It comes with the same features as the Mistral 1650 but with a different set of rollers that are better suited for flexible UV inks.
The third Kala laminator model is the Arkane D, It offer two heated rollers up to 280 degrees Fahrenheit. This model is recommended for use with adhesive films requiring heat activation prior to installation such as Avery’s MPI 1405 series and 3M’s Envision Series.
Mimaki LA-W Series laminators offer heat assist. In addition, these laminators feature multiple speed settings and an adjustable pressure control. “All of this is exactly what customers need to laminate successfully and is provided on a 120v platform,” shares Michael Maxwell, senior manager – corporate strategic development, Mimaki.
Royal Sovereign recently launched the Sigmont 65H. This laminator comes complete with roll to roll capacity. As users process a considerable amount of material for vehicle and fleet graphics, this laminator boasts a top processing speed of over 40 feet a minute.
Supply55 does not offer laminates, but it does provide both cold and heat-assist laminators. Supply55 offers the Guardian line of heat assist and cold laminators in a 65-inch format. These devices are well suited for vehicle wrap applications.
Guardian laminators feature all steel construction, upper and lower idler bars, variable speed at up to 23 feet per minute, adjustable pressure settings, easy loading drop-in supply shafts, and crowned silicone rollers.
Print service providers have many good options when it comes to laminates and laminators for vehicle wraps. Having a versatile, reliable lamination solution is essential for vehicle graphics as it is often a necessary step for this particular application.
Read part one of this series, Laminate Considerations for Vehicle Wraps
Aug2020, Digital Output
<h2>laminators, wide format laminators<h2>