Saturday, July 25, 2015

Call 847-398-5212, How a Heated Roller Laminator Saves Money

Every school has one. Teachers and scrap bookers say it is one of their favorite tools.  Yet, in these tough economic times, the laminator is often one of the first pieces of equipment to remain idle.  This does not have to be so.  With a heated roller laminator, you can reduce your laminating costs without sacrificing quality.
First, let me provide a quick lesson on laminators. Roll laminators come in a multitude of sizes, configurations, and costs.  Laminators generally operate in two ways.  A heat shoe laminator consists of curved pieces of coated metal that surround the laminating rollers.  This metal is heated up and the laminating film is pulled across the shoes to melt the adhesive on the laminating film.  The rollers simply provide the pressure to stick the film to the item you are laminating.  The second type of laminator is a heated roller laminator.   Just as it sounds, the rollers in a heated roller laminator, which are normally made of silicon, are heated and thus melt the adhesive and provide the pressure for laminating at the same time.

So how can a heated roller laminator save you money?  It boils down to two factors: heat and waste. Let's look at each of these in more detail.

Heat Shoe Laminator
In order to melt the adhesive on laminating film, heat must be applied.  A standard 1.5 mil laminating film that is commonly used in schools generally melts around 275 degrees.  Now, with a heat shoe laminator, there is a small gap in between the heat shoe, where the heat is applied, and the rollers, where the pressure is applied. Now because there is no heating occurring in this gap, the laminating film cools down in between the heat shoe and the roller.  This often requires the laminator to be heated to a temperature much higher than 275 degrees, using more electricity and increasing the wear on the laminator's internal heating element.  A heated roller laminator does not require the laminator to be heated over the operating temperature of the laminating film because the film is constantly in contact with the heat source as pressure is applied to the item being laminated.  Lower heat equals less electricity used and less wear.  Not only is this good for your pocketbook, but good for the environment as well.

Heated Roller Laminator
A heated roller laminator results in much less waste than a heat shoe laminator.  Much like inkjet printers, a large part of the cost of laminating does not stem from the laminator itself, but the consumable supplies used.  Standard laminating film can be as expensive as $50 per roll.  By minimizing even just a few feet of waste per roll, large savings can be made.  A heated roller laminator minimizes waste in two ways.  First, when a heat shoe laminator is warming up, only the portion of the laminating rollers that are closest to the heat shoes are being heated.  The back sides of the laminating rollers remain cool.  This results in a repeating foggy pattern on the first several prints that are laminated because the cooler sides of the laminating rollers lower the temperature of the laminating film below the film's melt temperature before the appropriate amount of pressure can be applied.  Unless the laminator operator rotates the rollers during warm up, the first few feet of laminating film is wasted.



This is not the case with the heated roller laminator because the rollers are uniformly heated. Second, the clarity of laminated prints tends to be better with a heated roller laminator.  The laminating film is pulled across the heat shoes in a heat shoe laminator.  Any dust or burrs on the heat shoe can scratch the laminating film as it is pulled across the heat shoes.


In the past, heated roller laminators have been overly expensive when compared to heat shoe laminators.  GBC manufactures a popular heated roller school laminator; however the price is much higher than standard heat shoe laminators.  However, Banner American Products, a California-based manufacturer, recently introduced a low-priced heated roller laminator called the EasyLam School Budget.  The EasyLam Budget is half the price of existing heated roller laminators and is manufactured in the US. Start saving today with a heated roller laminator.

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