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Laminator is Eating Prints & Profits

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Hardware' started by Sign Works, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. Sign Works

    Sign Works Very Active Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Sacramento, CA
    Oh man I'm hoping someone can lend some support on my current issue with my laminator, on one job in the last couple of days I have trashed nearly a full roll of Oracal 3951 along with a roll of the 290 lam film. First off I never experience this problem using 3651 w/210 lam, always goes smoothly but whenever I attempt to lam 3951 w/290 lam film I end up with wrinkles in the prints. The laminator is a used GBC Titan 110 which came out of a friends franchise sign shop, I had the machine demo'd a couple times to insure that it was fully operational and I personally know the guy so he wasn't just trying to dump a piece of crap on someone, he needed to get the larger laminator to accompony his new Mimaki printer. Now when I attempt to laminate the prints I set up (web) the laminator as instructed, dust off my prints & roll up prints then just manually hand feed it into the rollers, this is where it appears that the prints (vinyl) is not entering the rollers evenly along the 30" wide leading edge, it appears that the center starts just a hair before the edges resulting in slight waves which after 3-5 feet of lamination the waves increase to buckles and then eventually wrinkles, now it's just the prints that are wrinkling, not the lam film nor the kraft paper run on the bottom, just the prints. Today I attempted to lam the 3rd set of prints for this job thinking that maybe just more tension was needed on the lam roller, wrong! This problem is inconsistant so it leads me to believe it's more likely to be operator error (ya, that would be me, LOL) as opposed to it being something wrong with the machine itself. I have heard of using a leader board to start the prints and this is all I can think of at this point to insure that the prints enter the rollers evenly. Is there anything anyone can think of that I might be doing wrong? my technique? the machine? anything? I'm desperate here and if I ruin the 4th set of prints tomorrow I'm afraid I just might totally loose it alltogether, believe me any insight or help on this will be greatly appreciated. Man you guys with the 54" prints must have one heck of a time, that's another thing, I can't even consider attempting vehicle wraps until I get this issue resolved, sorry for the extremely long post, thanks all.

    Almost forgot, just a thought, do you think the kraft paper could be the culprit here? See I'm desperate I'm grasping at straws now.
  2. chopper

    chopper Very Active Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    Big Lake MN
    is this the first thing that you laminated since you brought the machine home?? if so It may be the machine, mine is a seal brand but after moving it
    I need to set the rolls up properly( I was told by seal that when you move the machine it screws up some of the settings even moving it on the floor may cause an adjustment problem) I would check with a dealer or your friend and maybe the manual if you have it (should be able to get it on line) and check the setting to make shure that they are correct before you blame your self.
    hope this will help you //chopper PS also when I run my prints through I roll them up on a old core so they go in streight
  3. RJ California

    RJ California Active Member

    Jul 19, 2005
    I have a different machine so I'm not sure if this will apply (or if I'll be able to explain it).

    I apply a thin cut piece of aluminum or Sintra (cut to approx 4"x48") and put that down on the exposed adhesive side of the lead area of the laminate. Now I loosen the tension on both sides so that it is loose enough to pull the laminate with the aluminum lead through the tension roller. Now that it is through you can pull the laminate by hand to get it to even tension on both sides. Now tighten the tension back up and it should be good to go.

    Also--- Make sure that you line the backing paper perfectly on the takeup roller so that it is aligned with the laminate roll.

    Like I said this might not apply to your machine, or you might not understand what in the world I'm talking about.

    Sorry about the loss of laminate and vinyl --- I can definately sympathise. I lost many yards also before I figured out a few little quirks of the machine.
  4. Sign Works

    Sign Works Very Active Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Sacramento, CA
    I have had the machine for about 6 months and have mainly used it with the 210 lam without any problems but most of the time those prints are smaller, nothing usually over 5-6 ft. long. I only encounter the wrinkling when attempting to use the 290 cast lam and those are generally longer prints 8-10 ft long, sometimes one or two go through just fine and then whammo the next one wrinkles terribly. Today in an attempt to avoid further waste I did some testing first, when I thought I had proper tension on the rollers I ran a 30" x 12' piece of 290 lam release liner through followed by a 30" x 12' piece of 2 mil cast vinyl all of which laminated beautifully, feeling confident I then feed one of the prints through, not 4' in before it started to bunch up and wrinkle and the same on the next one. I'm really begining to wonder if it's just that paticular vinyl or even possibly a bad batch some how although it looks perfectly normal and flat before feeding it into the laminator. I have had 10-12' sections off of this same roll laminate successfully so I am really at a total loss here. I talked last week to a somewhat local GBC distributor and they want a couple thousand dollars just to come out and check out the machine, thought that was a little too costly, anyhow I ain't willing to give up just yet so I guess I've got some more research to do, only other option is to scrap this machine and buy a new one like I probably should have done in the first place.
  5. canadianchef

    canadianchef Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Backup Time !

    Time to get a Big Squeegee !:Canada 2:
  6. onesource

    onesource Very Active Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Oneside of the rolller is wore or needs adjusting "uneven" long runs will go astray call manufacturer to get new ones or see if it can be adjusted.
    Hope this helps
  7. Baz

    Baz Very Active Member

    I dont have a laminator myself (i use a friends). I dont think the problem is with your machine, this isnt the first time i hear people having trouble putting 3951 through a laminator. I havent used it myself. I'm still using 3M 180 for my vehicle decals needing 2 mil cast and dont plan on changing.

    Funny how i go through tons of 3651 and never had any problems but for some reason (many actually), i dont trust anyother cast film than 3M for my printing. It's just to damn expensive a product to start "trying" other brands just to save a couple of bucks. At least i know with the 3M i wont have any problems.

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