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Got our Flatbed Aplicator in - Tips?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Signed Out, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Signed Out

    Signed Out Very Active Member

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    Aug 6, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Figured I'd start a new thread, now that the table has landed.

    We got our Rollover table installed on Monday...a long Monday... Classic model, 13'x5.5', adj. height.

    When I first saw these tables years ago, I scoffed, what was the point, can do everything already with a $6k roll laminator. But, thanks to many glowing reviews of tables of all brands (hard to find anybody who regrets an applicator table purchase) I recently realized the benefits. So I had/have high expectations.

    So far I like the table. But I have a couple things to work out. Nothing major, I don't think.

    Our uses for the table are about 60% applying transfer tape to graphics for vehicles/trailers, mostly 54" tape. And 40% mounting vinyl to sign substrates.

    When taping with 54" tape, with the roll of tape sitting on top of the table's roller and the media holder, the roll of tape wants to jump off as you push the gantry forward. So you have to keep a hand on the roll of tape applying decent pressure to keep it from jumping off. So far we haven't messed anything up because of it and have been able to tape 2 sets of 18' long print/cut graphics this way. Gantry also requires much more effort to push along while taping with 54" tape than I expected. We have tried taping with the roll of tape on the gantry media holder, you don't have to worry about the tape jumping off, but since it's a 3" core on a 2" rod, the roll of tape moves around causing the tape to wrinkle and fold over on itself and no bueno. So I wonder if others have experienced this too or if it's a trait of the Rollover brand? We are using 3M scps55 tape which is pretty tacky. Working on getting a set of media core adaptors sent out to us which will hold the roll of tape tight on the media bar and hopefully solve the problem.

    Mounting vinyl to substrates is as easy and efficient as advertised. No complaints. Love the lighted table for lining up prints to boards. No more folding corners and looking for indents, or reading rulers, just line it up.

    Other notes.

    We've gotten a few pretty good shocks (which I read was going to happen). Any fix for this?

    The cutting mat is super tacky to substrates and to vinyl or tape that gets stuck to the table, like if you don't trim the excess from a 54" print for 48" board. The excess vinyl is so sticky to the mat it's annoying trying to peel it up in order to get the board off, or move it around so you can trim it. Not a huge deal, just don't center your prints and trim one side of the print down before mounting. But then, and also, our main substrate painted aluminum sticks to the mat like a mofo after the roller runs a print onto it. Have to pry a corner of the sheet up with a cheap squeegee, then work the rest of the sheet off. Is this normal for these cutting mats? Do they "break in" over time? Other brands better?

    I might try rolling out some clear transfer tape on top of the cutting mat to see if it alleviates my sticking problem. Bonus, might prolong the life of the cutting mat, and cheap to replace. Downside, probably a royal pain to peel off after being cut on though... maybe braper under a substrate each time, keep a roll on one end of the table? Anybody run into this, have a solution? Or do I just need to work with it for a bit and adapt?

    Sorry for long post.
     
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  2. Snydo

    Snydo Active Member

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    There is a break-in period for the cutting mat, the more cut marks the better, the "tackynish" will diminish over time. We've had ours(CWT same dimensions as yours) for about 18 months now and it has saved us mountains of time.
     
  3. Signed Out

    Signed Out Very Active Member

    1,124
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    Aug 6, 2010
    Upstate NY
    That's good to know. A little hesitant to treat this cutting mat like the others in our shop, since it's like 10x the cost to replace. Have you noticed any issues masking or laminating on a mat that's all cut up? I'd imagine it wouldn't make any difference for mounting to substrates.
     
  4. Snydo

    Snydo Active Member

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    May 1, 2008
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    No issues, it works better when it's all cut up because whatever your masking has the ability to release would be wrinkles in front of the roller as it moves across the table.
     
  5. Signed Out

    Signed Out Very Active Member

    1,124
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    Aug 6, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Started a new thread when we got it. Time to update.


    We finally got the core adapters in yesterday. They make a huge difference for applying 48" and 54" rolls of tape. Don't have to worry about the roll jumping off, takes less effort to move the gantry, and easier to web up when the roll is fixed to the media bar. I did find that you can't sandwich the roll of tape super tight with the core adapters, need to leave about an 1/8" of wiggle room for the roll.

    We love the table so far, saves tons of time vs a roll laminator for mounting and taping.

    Still a bit of a love hate relationship with the cutting mat. Still really tacky, which is very annoying sometimes, but also is helpful when lining things up. Getting used to that part and workarounds.

    How are others who have tables cleaning their cutting mats and roller?
     
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