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Discussion Choosing the right 60"+ LAMINATOR

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by rdelight, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. rdelight

    rdelight Vehicle Wraps

    Jan 10, 2017
    Hi there,

    There are multiple threads about laminators, but they're all dated.
    I'm trying to pick a good reliable laminator, as I'm currently experiencing huge issues with my Master Laminator Us Tech Vt8700. It's creating wrinkles, it doesn't keep straight, it doesn't hold even pressure on both ends even with multiple adjustments and the support is literally none.

    So far I found that Seal is the number one laminator in the US, but it's quite pricy which pays overtime.
    What are your thoughts about GFP and Royal Sovereign?

    Should I go with a pneumatic or manual crank laminator? Does the pneumatic loose air and causing issues? Does the crank press equally on both sides?

    We mostly do vehicle wraps and for that, we only use cold lamination, but we also do some signs and cold laminating leaves some silvering, is this something that I should be worried and be a reason to get heat assisted one?

    Royal Sovereign RSC-6500H Laminator - $12 000 Heat assisted
    Seal 62 Base Laminator -$12 000 Heat Assisted
    Seal 65EL Laminator - $8 600 - Cold laminator only
    Gfp 363TH Laminator - $6 300 - Heat Assited

    There aren't any expos coming soon where I ca go ahead and test any of those. Hopefully, you guys have more experience.

    WYLDGFI Merchant Member

    Oct 27, 2006
    Linden, NJ
    Seal isn't bad....I would stay away from RS had one and didn't like it much. Small rollers didnt help.
    AGL I believe has the Compadre....its imported likely but not 100% on that fact. I almost got it and really liked it. Seems robust and easily maintainable. Have to worry about power too. 120/220 and amps of course.
  3. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    We run a GFP and like it alot.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. rdelight

    rdelight Vehicle Wraps

    Jan 10, 2017
    Looks like a lot of people are quite happy with the GFP.
    I see that the more expensive laminators are having silicone rollers and tension springs on each side of the roller, however the GFP doesn't have a spring, but it's direct adjustment nut and that worries me.

    Is it better to have silicon over rubber roller and does the tension spring vs nut matters?

    Another thing that comes to my mind is that GFP's are 400-500lbs compared to other brands that weights 700-800lbs. Does that mean they're made with cheaper/thinner material?

    I'm comming from a cheap chineese laminator and I don't want to repead my mistake again.
    • OMG / Wow! OMG / Wow! x 1
  5. Tessellate

    Tessellate New Member

    Dec 1, 2015
    Seal 62 base with heat assist here.

    We can run a 150’ roll of 180 with 8518 and it MIGHT skew a 32nd...

    Bought the machine second hand from a shop closing the doors so I would date it around 10 years old (as we have had the machine for 5 years) and the only repair has been a simple fuse when we left the heater on and it somehow tripped the fuse. A $0.25 fuse and we’re back in business.

    Cannot say enough good things about this guy. It’s dead simple inside so repairs for any future issues should not be a problem. Weights a small car but very tough because of it.

    Highly recommend - Buy once - cry once
  6. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Very Active Member

    Feb 20, 2020
    I hate air. Just another thing to trip over and a hand crank gives you feedback on tension. We have 2 cheap china laminators. 1 is so off you can visually see it. I think you'd be surprised how far out of wack these can be and still work right. Before you throw in the towel, mess with it a bit. When ours wrinkles, I grab the roll of laminate on 1 side. Just try to counteract the skew and see how it goes, you can see it react.
  7. tudouqiezi

    tudouqiezi New Member

    May 23, 2017
    Kala Mistral 1650
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. netsol

    netsol Active Member

    Apr 26, 2016
    englishtown, nj
    i am too cheap for a brand new RS or seal
    we have a 44" seal and a RS1650C that were both craigslist purchases.
    plenty of money left on the table to send rollers to a machine shop or a resurfacing company for the money saved
  9. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    Seal seems to be a good name, and well built, but I have never owned or ran one.

    We have a GFP 563TH and its been pretty good, big improvement over our US Tech AK-600. However, for the life of me I can't get it to track straight as much as I'd like. When I do get it right it is fine, but more often than not on long runs I wind up cutting and resetting the material after about 20' in or so. I

    would also look at the Kala Mistral as I have heard really good things about it.
  10. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    We run GFP 563th laminators here and do full rolls all day long. We are also primarily a wrap shop.
    Everyone in the shop can run these laminators they're so easy to use. I haven't seen any issues that weren't operator error out of them.
    After like 3-4 years one of our heating elements went out on one of our laminators, but it was the old style quartz element. It was easy to replace.
    We do run the top heat on 110 degrees to make it look perfect immediately, I think the little bit of heat helps the adhesive too.
  11. axelmk

    axelmk Member

    Sep 18, 2016
    Houston, TX
    We've had our Seal 62 Pro since 2008 and it has been a workhorse ever since. We've had to replace the heating lamps once in all this time of use and we use daily.
    Highly recommend it.
  12. OhioSigns

    OhioSigns Member

    Jun 20, 2014
    Greenville, Ohio
    I love my Kala Mistral 1650.
  13. balstestrat

    balstestrat Member

    Aug 25, 2020
    Neschen makes solid laminators but I'm not sure if they sell in the US.
  14. karst41

    karst41 Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Stone Mountain, GA
    Nix the Seal quality and service is gone with the wind. So bad that I scrapped my 62 Pro
    and plenty reports on Heater failure.
    Seal is now owned by GBC.

    RS 6500 no Temp adjustment runs at 138 deg
    No media slitter option
    Rollers are a bilch from heII to adjust.....! Unless you have the
    correct method. There are NO youtube videos for the 6500
    The older series procedures Do NOT work on the 6500.
    I bought this laminator, regrettably.

    GFP is the way to go.
    Ease of adjustment, Temp control adj. Slitter Option

    Get a good sales rep. That will make calls if your new equip
    has issues. Gregory in Ks (Steve) or Athens Paper would be a good call to make.

    A fully loaded GFP is under 12k
    If I could do it over,,,, GFP.
  15. wleong

    wleong Member

    Jan 4, 2018
    Does anyone have any experience with AGL laminators?

  16. BillGram

    BillGram New Member

    Jan 18, 2016
    William, I sold a lot of AGLs back in the 90s (Encad days) and early 2000s. IMO it is the best made and designed laminators ever made.
    Here is a Video Link to and AGL video. If you look for used AGLs on any use equipment site, ebay, etc., they are not there, no one sells them unless they are out of business. Easily a 25 to 30 year longenvity.
    If you are overlaming wrap film there is no better machine to do.

    WYLDGFI Merchant Member

    Oct 27, 2006
    Linden, NJ
    We have an AGL Encore. Its a beast and does an awesome job. IT was an investment and one Im happy I made for my company.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. BillGram

    BillGram New Member

    Jan 18, 2016
    Wyld Bill. Good to hear about your experience with AGL.
    I also suspect that you would say over time well it was well worth the additional money you spent vs. lower cost laminators.

    WYLDGFI Merchant Member

    Oct 27, 2006
    Linden, NJ
    100% yes. We had a model from a vendor of ours, imported from China and it lasted us 5 years or so...but the AGL is hands down awesome. Laminating roll to roll or even flat rigid prints it does the job right the 1st time. Heated top roller....works great. Just had to run an upgraded power line and air line to it. Not a big deal really.
  20. ozzie2433

    ozzie2433 New Member

    Nov 7, 2016
    Dallas, TX

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