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Looking for real world experienced opinions of quality laminator

Discussion in 'Laminators' started by trakers, May 14, 2014.

  1. trakers

    trakers Very Active Member

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    Looking to add a laminator to accompany our 54” wide format printer. Seems like according to salesmen, whatever they happen to make the most margin on is the best, I’m guessing.

    We have it down to a choice between a Royal Sovereign and a Seal.

    I would like to solicit real-world opinions from you fellas and gals to what you use/prefer and if you believe that heat assist is necessary. We do not and most likely never will do wraps due to an oversaturation of lowballers in our area quoting full vehicle wraps for $750 (no kidding).

    Laminator will be lightly used and primarily for 25” and above lamination of digital prints.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. player

    player Major Contributor

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    For light use have you thought about an offshore one from USTech?
     
  3. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    At my last job we had a Seal and an Enduralam, both were great for different reasons. With my company I bought a GFP 463th, my only regret is not waiting long enough to get the new 563th! It seriously is awesome and we can laminate full runs of 150+' with less then 1/8" variance.
     
  4. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

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  5. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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  6. LarryB

    LarryB Member

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    If you are picking between the entry level models I would go with the Royal Sovereign. The Seal 54 el does not have a tension bar which makes it a lot more difficult to laminate. The Royal Soverign has a tension bar which helps out a lot.

    I had a Seal 54 el and ended up sending back and getting the Royal Soverign and couldn't be happier. My distributor told me he had been having other complaints from other customers. He feels they made some recent changes which are causing problems.
     
  7. SignProPlus-Chip

    SignProPlus-Chip Active Member

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    LEDCO.

    We have THREE of them currently and they work like a dream. There is nothing on them you cannot service if need be (they are very "nuts and bolts"), and their customer service is excellent. Even if you pick up a used one, as was our first one, they will still manufacture old replacement parts for you. You can get your rollers resurfaced through them etc... too.

    Look for them used. You can get an outstanding deal, and since all parts are still available... you don't have to worry about a good deal on a used machine that is missing something. Seriously, you can find a $10,000 machine for far less than half that. We paid pennies on the dollar for all three of ours.

    We currently have one 50 inch for mounting graphics, one 50 inch for regular laminate and a 60 inch for our wrap laminate. Love em all.
     
  8. DesireeM

    DesireeM Member

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    You could get a roller applicator table instead of a laminator.
    We have a Rolls Roller which hooks up to a compressor so you can change the application pressure for lamnating vs applying/masking. The table also lights up and has a cutting mat. It's all we use to laminate. That way at least it's serving more than one purpose. Multi-use. More bang for your buck. They're pricy but it pays for itself quickly because it's WAY faster and easier. Just another option for ya...
     
  9. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    How are you able to laminate prints longer than the table? it's not uncommon for us to laminate 1/2 - full rolls of vinyl in one go, I don't see how the rolls roller can do that. It looks amazing for applying, and for laminating prints under 10 feet long.
     
  10. mark in tx

    mark in tx Very Active Member

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    I would go with the Royal Sovereign.
     
  11. Drip Dry

    Drip Dry Very Active Member

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    We first had a Ledco. We thought that was the best, until we got a GFP 463.
    I can't tell you how happy we are with it. It is simple to load, it always runs straight. No problems in 2 years. About 7,000 from Avantage

    When we were shopping, we came across the UStech brand, At the time, others here were talking about it. Some bought them. There are threads here that you can see the trouble they had.

    If you buy a GFP, you don't need the takeup or heat assist. Could have saved about 1000.

    Again... buy a GFP and you won't be sorry
     
  12. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

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    I agree with you.

    Once you use one there is no going back to the big squeegee or laminating machine.
    You can do long runs if you needed to.But why do long runs when your going to cut it up anyway.
    We just laminated and applied a 4x20' lexan face in about the time it would take to set up a laminator

    We have a shop built one that works good and just ordered the one I posted earlier on this thread.

    We have had laminating machines and they are a PIA compared to a roller.

    The difference between buying a laminator and a roller is a no brainer decision.
     
  13. rdmdarr

    rdmdarr Member

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    You need to start a thread about the laminator from china when it comes in. I am thinking about getting a flatbed roller by end of the year, and I am very interested in this one. Keep us updated!
     
  14. mpn

    mpn Active Member

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    +1 to the roller thread. That looks interesting.
     
  15. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

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    It's a little scary.
    I just wired $6500 usd to some china bank.
    I'll keep you posted
     
  16. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    Let me know as well. I contacted that company about that machine, but they couldn't put me in touch with anyone in North America that had one who I could ask questions to, so I backed away.
     
  17. TCBinaflash

    TCBinaflash Member

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    Those roller units are interesting. Seems like the kind of change that needs hands on experience to note the difference in workflow.
     
  18. trakers

    trakers Very Active Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback fellas. Still not sure what to do. On the one hand our Graphtecs and Mutoh work great but were a bit pricey, so we know the value of quality.

    On the laminator seems like a no brainer to buy a similar quality unit and be done with it, but the limited use it will get means it will never pay itself off.


    Maybe we can pickup a used Seal or similar quality unit soon.


    I wish there was a lighter duty unit made by a name brand company that could be had for a few grand.
     
  19. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Very Active Member

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    We bought a US Tech. Might go against the grain but I am super happy with it. If something happened to it I would have another ordered by morning. Can't seem to make it ruin a print.
     
  20. player

    player Major Contributor

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    Which model?

    What is the longest continuous run you have laminated and how much does it drift from one side or the other?
     
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