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Sigh... employee cut into the bottom roller...

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by kanini, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. kanini

    kanini Member

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    I have a new employee that has used the laminator for masking vinyl, and today when I went laminating some prints I noticed a cut in the bottom roller! I have instructed the employee to absolutely NOT cut anywhere near the roller and to take extra caution about this, but of course I should never have let him use a knife but a scissor anywhere near the laminator. It is in the bottom roller in one spot, maybe 20 inches long. The laminator appears to be working well when I laminated the prints, but how concerned should I be with the roller? Do I need to change it? I of course will make certain this won't happen again...
    Sigh... :banghead:
     
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  2. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    cut the employee
     
  3. kanini

    kanini Member

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    Yes *lol* I feel like I'm in the mood for that, I always try to take good care of my machines, but when the company is growing (started out as a one man shop) it happens more and more crazy things that costs money...
     
  4. MikeD

    MikeD Active Member

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    I was never taught how to correctly web a laminator. A few Signs101rs' gave me advice on getting the materials through the nip by pushing a sled through, and that made things much easier. What I ended up with was about 14" of vinyl webbed through and about the same amount of laminate. At that point I close the nip. in order to expose the adhesive I take a super sharp exacto and use the backside of it to gradually scrape away at the liner near the edge until the layer of adhesive is exposed. Then I slip the sharp side of the blade between the layers and slide it down to the other end. I liken it to skinning an animal; blade just under the skin- avoiding opening up the body cavity. Since the nip is closed and everything is tight, I'm able to do this on a section that's between the rollers, so I haven't cut one yet.
    I'm sure this is not the correct way to do it... I run several hundred feet daily and would hate to have a slice in a roller like the OP now has.

    What should the OP's employee should have done to avoid it?
     
  5. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

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    I accidently cut about a 6" line into the roller the first damn day I had it. I have no idea how i did it but was very concerned that I just ruined a brand new piece of equipment.

    It has run perfectly fine ever since, maybe because it was not deep. test yours out, it may be fine.
     
  6. petesign

    petesign Very Active Member

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    When we had our daige we somehow got laminate wrapped all around the roller, he had to try and cut it all off. Needless to say, we had a cut in the roller by the time we were finished. (We shortly after removed the back shelf from that *#&%& and it helped prevent that from happening again.) You couldnt use a sled on that thing, because you had two screws to turn to adjust pressure, and had to see the rollers to get it set properly.

    The roller got worse over time, and by the time we 86'd that thing, it was leaving little bubbles where the cut was when we laminated. Also had some silvering around it worse than in other places. If you are lucky it wont be bad. I considered going to the auto parts store and buying a tube of silicone gasket to try and fix it - but ended up getting our RS laminator before it got to that point. Replacing rollers sucks, best of luck.
     
  7. night eagle

    night eagle Active Member

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    id make him pay for it or make him leave!!! i would give him the option to take 50.00 out of his pay every 2wks to pay for it till its taken care of or he can quit or be terminated...your better off if he quits so you dont have to pay unemployment...

    one thing i have learned is that employees will NOT be careful with your business unless they have skin in the game. who cares if they screw an order up if they dont have to pay for it...but the second they have skin in the game and have to pay for their own mistakes, its amazing how much more carefull they are.

    this is standard procedure in all of our training of employees here and every employee understands that rule before signing on as an employee...

    mark galoob
     
  8. SIGNTIME

    SIGNTIME Active Member

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    there is no reason to have a knife blade that close to the rollers except when dewebbing(new word) when you are webbing do as you do but peel the backing before you run it through the rollers, im sure there is plenty of youtube videos.
     
  9. kanini

    kanini Member

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    Thanks for the replies!! Feels much better already. I laminated some fairly long prints and didn't notice anything weird, so I guess it helps it's the lower roller. I think it could be worse if it's the upper one, but I've already requested a quote for a new roller so I'll know if I need to change it later on if it gets worse.

    Yeah, I agree with you Mark about employees not being as careful as yourself if they have "nothing to loose", and I think it's hard to adapt from being a one man show to now 3 people in the shop. I have to think about this guy, he is still on trial time so...

    Thanks again for the supportive answeres!
     
  10. kanini

    kanini Member

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    Oh, and by the way we did just do masking with transfer tape and not laminating so it was no need to go there with a knife...
     
  11. synergy_jim

    synergy_jim Very Active Member

    We web our machines a couple times a day and have never had a need for a knife near the rollers.....
     
  12. kanini

    kanini Member

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    Yeah, figured out it could be an expensive fix... It didn't show anything when I laminated so I guess I'm lucky for now, but maybe it could get bad later on perhaps? Well, time will tell. I too think I maybe worry too much when it was the bottom roller but glad to hear you might survive even with a few nicks in the bottom roller...
     
  13. ucmj22

    ucmj22 Very Active Member

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    Sounds like using your employees as an insurance policy. If they are a crappy employee prone to these types of things, fire them. If not, talk to them, stress the importance and make sure it doesn't happen again. Its part of the cost of running a business.
     
  14. MikeH

    MikeH Member

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    We have used GE silicon caulk as a bandage. For pre-masking it will probably work at least for the short term, for laminates you may have a problem. If you sled it through however the cut on the bottom will not matter. Now you are down to one good roll, on top with no replacement so if you cut that one you will need to replace at least one of them. I would love to hear what the quote is for the replacement roll and the turnaround time.
     
  15. kanini

    kanini Member

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    My machine is a 54" with heated top roller, but I'll post the price for info when I get the quote. It's a German made laminator, Biedermann, and has worked exceptionally well. The sad part it's only about 6 months old...

    Good point Signtime about peeling the back first, I'll have to try that. Until now I've only cut trough the liner (not above the roller to avoid cutting near it) pulling off the backing paper and webbed it that way...
     
  16. Sticky Signs

    Sticky Signs Very Active Member

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    What you decide to do with the employee is up to you. Get some zippy cutters for trimming stuff on the laminator to avoid cut rollers in the future.
    Now, you can probably get away with a little slice in the roller but it will most likely fail in the future and it will probably fail on a Friday night when you have a bunch of stuff due on Monday morning.
    Also keep in mind that you now have a safety issue on your hands. Those things are wrapped pretty tight and you don't want to be near it when she lets go. I've had a roller explode on me once and I'm thankful that I didn't get hurt. Almost crapped my pants, but I didn't get hurt.
    So, with that said, I'd get a new roller.
     
  17. omgsideburns

    omgsideburns Very Active Member

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    Well, you learned a lesson about letting the new guy use equipment by themselves.

    Use the laminator like nothing happened. If it leaves marks then worry about replacing it. Otherwise it's a reminder of what not to do for everyone else.
     
  18. night eagle

    night eagle Active Member

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    you can call it what you will, fact of the matter is, my peeps make FAR less mistakes and pay MUCH greater attention to detail when they know they will have to fork out money out of their pocket for their stupidity.

    also just fyi, i dont let anyone but me use any of my machines including lam, printer, cutter, paper printer.

    most errors are from stupid mistakes that the employee just wasnt paying attention.

    example...last employee that just quit had 500 8.5 x 11 full color 4/4 sheets to tri fold. i sat him down at production table, showed him exactly what i wanted done, and gave him a few examples. i explained that this paper had to be hand folded and to be careful and take his time to do it right. i asked if he understood and he noded and said he understood. dumb a** folded every one of them wrong and customer kicked it back and i had to redoo. it was a rush job that should have made me look like a hero...instead now im the butt head that did not get the job done and i lost the customer...even though i made it right...

    example...another peep that used to work here...i had a job for 5k business cards....very simple, all she had to do was cut them on our 10 up business card slitter. she ruined ALL 5000 of them by skewing each one. if she would have just looked at one she could have easily seen that it was unsellable. i had to do that whole job over also.

    i provide excellent training in every aspect of this business and will not let an employee do something without supervision without being fully trained for that part of the job. these are examples of increadibly stupid errors that could have been avoided if the employee had paid attention...i really dont see why i should have to pay for stupidity like that.

    and after i started the policy of employee screw it up employee pay for it, its amazing that those kinds of errors just dont happen near as much anymore.

    mark galoob
     
  19. Ponto

    Ponto Active Member

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    ...off topic but,.......perhaps you could have avoided the "stupid errors" if someone "qualified" (such as yourself) indicated that you would check in early on to verify the production was going smoothly as expected......jus' sayin'..........

    JP
     
  20. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Just discipline him Yakuza style and run the last digit of his pinki finger under the rollers.
    It will leave a lasting impression on the value of keeping foreign objects away from the rollers.

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
  21. Ponto

    Ponto Active Member

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    ...sorry to hear about the mishap,....our roller is not pristine any more but still performs well....

    JP
     
  22. MikeH

    MikeH Member

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    One last, hopefully helpful tip. When we get a wrap we first back out as much as we can with the reverse switch on the laminator. Then we use a hem cutter, I'm not sure if it called that, but it is used to cut the stitching when sewing. It looks like a small mettle serpents tongue with one side longer than the other. Both sides are blunt with the cutting surface where they come together in the middle. It is a little time consuming but better than hacking up a roll.
     
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