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Laminating Issues

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by carter75, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. carter75

    carter75 Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Ok, a little back story first...I have been "in the business" for about 2 years is all. I am working at my 3rd different shop now that I am back in school but basically do production work and handle installs and wraps. The shop I am at now has a Seal 54 laminator and we are having issues with it.

    Not machine problems, more like operator problems. I am unfamiliar with this laminator and don't know how to do things differently to make them work better. Where we have problems are on long runs of vinyl to be laminated. Today we were laminating a semi trailer wrap so full rolls of vinyl at a time. Over time the vinyl would start to drift and we would have to cut between the panels and re-string the vinyl in the laminator and continue on. The shop I was at before has a large laminator that we were able to have the vinyl on a core and measure it and the vinyl to a precise measurement and could do very long amounts with no drift at all.

    Does anyone else have a set-up that they use for this type of laminator that allows them to do long rolls of vinyl in a single pass that they are willing to share? Pictures?

  2. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    You answered your own question. It needs to be put on a core. I would show you my Rube Goldberg set-up for long runs, but Fred would kick me off this site.
    Suffice to say it consists of an 8' piece of muffler moly, 2 jackstands, bungee cords and a stick. Alright you can stop laughing now...stop..stop it.. I'm gonna tell mom.

    We do so little of the long run stuff I haven't needed to buy the roll option for the laminator. Need it like once a year if that.
  3. MikeD

    MikeD Active Member

    Oct 25, 2011
    I have a the same laminator in the 42" version and use it only for laminating 150' at a time.
    Starting at the printer, I make sure that my media is not telescoped at all, and attached to a take up core as squarely as humanly possible. After that, I end up with a print that is centered on the vinyl perfectly without any drift. If there is any telescoping at all I correct it by loosening the roll a little and then tightening it back up. Then I can take it to the laminator and do the same thing; ensure that everything is square/parallel and centered. Pull the vinyl through the nips and attach it to a core (I built one as the 42 didn't come with one- does the 54?)
    If your media is webbed correctly and tension is set well, the entire roll should go through straight. If it doesn't , than you may have more pressure on one side than the other. To test for even pressure, take a 3" wide piece of rigid vinyl and place it between the rollers on one side. Use a spring scale to pull the strip out. Repeat on the other side.
    If it takes more pull to move the vinyl on one side than the other, you can (at least on the 42,) take the side panel off and work the screw that controls pressure until it's even.
    Good Luck!
  4. WB

    WB Active Member

    Feb 9, 2006
    you could always make it easier on your self and separate your panels.

    We laminate 1 panel at a time, each panel rolled on a smaller cardboard tube. 1 guy laminating, 1 guy guiding the panel as it comes off and trimming. We hardly ever ruin a print.

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