Laminators The Missing Link
Bringing laminating in-house increases quality, improves productivity and lowers costs.
IN THE print-on-demand equation, laminators are often the forgotten quotient, says Alan Parkhill, vice president of sales and marketing at Banner American. While many in-plants have been quick to embrace digital printing, most have not taken the next step and purchased the finishing and laminating equipment needed to ensure that their operation is truly print-on-demand.
"It's not print-on-demand if you send out your laminating work to a trade shop," says Parkhill.
When an in-plant farms out its laminating work it loses control, not only over the quality of the job, but the timing as well, explains Parkhill. But, by bringing laminators in-house, in-plants can gain back control over quality, offer immediate turnaround and cut their costs.
This is a good time to invest in laminating equipment, contends Parkhill. Not only is there a range of laminators in the market, an increasing number of them are targeted toward first-time buyers.
Laminators are also now more affordable and easier to use, adds Bill Gaspelin, the director of sales and marketing for Protect-All.
"Laminating equipment has gotten more responsive in terms of temperature control," explains Gaspelin. "Today's equipment offers even-heat and even-pressure control. This creates a much more successful application of heat to within a few degrees."
Today's variety of products means in-plant managers must take a closer look at how laminating equipment will fit into their operations before they make their first purchase. Protect-All President Tony Trajkovich recommends that in-plant managers keep the following tips in mind when purchasing a laminator:
• Purchase a laminator that fits the work you produce.
• If you run a variety of jobs look for a flexible, adaptable laminator.
• Discern the size of your jobs. If you run small quantities, you may not require a high-speed laminator.