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Roll laminators vs flatbed

Discussion in 'Laminators' started by Ldireprophil, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Ldireprophil

    Ldireprophil Member

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    I have a new GFP 363TH roll laminator but am thinking about getting a CWT or Rolls Roller table. Would there be a reason/need to keep the GFP or would the table make it obsolete?
     

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  2. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Yes you need both if you need to laminate long runs of roll stock.
     
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  3. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    Can't really tell from the specs on the GFP 363TH if it is bidirectional. If it is, is there really much to gain by going with a table (which is functionally very limited) when you can do the same thing with your roll to roll laminator as you would with a table, plus the advantage of take up rolls and power.
     
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  4. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    Table is for mounting substrates but can be used to laminate, would only do that for small runs and there’s a lot of extra work.

    I can laminate a roll of vinyl (we’ll say 50x 38” signs) in what, 15-20 mins on the roll to roll? That 20 mins wouldn’t even be your prep for cutting out the laminate sheets you need. Never mind individually mounting each sheet of laminate onto your sign. A decent worker would probably mount sheets in what, 3-5 mins each not including prep? So that’s 150-250 minutes as apposed to 15-20 mins.
     
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  5. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Member

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    Youd waste more material as well. Each individual print would need a little buffer area whereas on a roll you can stack them right against each other.
     
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  6. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Major Contributor

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    This comes down to the same concept of hybrid vs true flatbed. For mounting panels or laminating rigid stock a flatbed applicator is superior, faster, and less likely to skew than a R2R laminator. For roll stock and R2R laminator is far superior as it is continuous feed.
     
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  7. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    I can guarantee our rolls roller operator can mount 10x faster (Not even joker) On our table, than you could on a laminator, and be more accurate.

    Nothing beats a flatbed applicator for mounting signs - Now if youre doing 4-5 signs a day, it doesnt matter. If you're doing hundreds a day... then a flatbed applicator is a must.

    Both have their uses - A roll to roll is good for anything over 10 Ft of laminating. If you're a slow/small shop and your prints are generally 10 Ft long.... a flatbed applicator is quicker than a roll to roll, especially if you're using multiple different overlams.

    Anything 10FT > I use a roll to roll.

    Anything under I use our flatbed. But we have cheap gloss, cheap matte, Intermediate gloss/matte... premium gloss/matte, along with 4-5 other specialties..Most of our products are full rolls which we put on our roll to roll laminator... Everything else thats a specialty is just flatbed - I wouldnt want to load our roll to roll up 6 times a day with different overlams for 6 FT of material each time we print something.

    Both have their uses, which is better for your shop is up to you.
     
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  8. DrunknMonk

    DrunknMonk Member

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    you need both, flatbeds don't use enough pressure.
     
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  9. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    Agree 100%.

    We have a GF 563TH and a CWT 1640, couldn't part with either IMHO. We usually keep the 563 spooled up with wrap laminate or another common laminate and then use the CWT mostly for mounting, and also short run, specialized laminating projects as others have said.

    Yes, either machine can be a standalone - but both have their strengths and weaknesses and absolutely compliment each other if you can have both.
     
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  10. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    Definitely need both. Simply put you need a laminator for laminating and a table for mounting.

    I’m not saying you can’t do either with both. Just the laminator will laminate 10x faster and the table will mount 10x faster.
     
  11. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    I don't see that being the case. With a bidirectional roll laminator you mount to substrates exactly the same way you would with a table, so how do you figure it is 10x slower?
     
  12. jmcnicoll

    jmcnicoll Member

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    I have used both and if I was paying the bills I would buy a nice roll to roll laminator. You can mount with it and lam entire rolls as well. Big AGL fan for laminators. Table units not worth the cost in my opinion. Agree if you high volume shop mounting can be faster on a table unit, but more prep time. When you get the right job I have mounted full rolls of printed and laminated vinyl via a laminator without ever cutting the roll, just keep putting boards in. Need the right size job or board to work.
     
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  13. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Member

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    Its pretty fast using a regular laminator. You can get one of those cheap china ones just for mounting and keep a good one for rolls. To me, its better to do it from end to end and not split it in the middle. This way keeps the backing paper on it the whole time and you don't have to worry so much about skewing or stretching.
    Something to consider though is having employees. The tables are pretty simple to teach someone how to use and less struggle doing full sheets by yourself.
     
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