The Complete Guide to Paper Laminator
Protecting important or unique documents and creations can easily be done with the process of lamination. This involves attaching a plastic cover or wrapper to the paperwork that will ensure it remains in good condition for a long time. It seals or ‘encapsulates’ the paper, preventing external influences from damaging it.
Many offices, commercial premises, schools and individuals use the technology to safeguard certificates, photographs, business cards, ID cards, signs, menus, and other documents or paperwork. We will take a closer look at how the process works and what uses it has, so you can find out more about the benefits of this machine.
What Is a Laminator Machine and How Does It Work?
There are many types of paper laminator machines nowadays, but they all work on the same principle. The paperwork is fed into the machine one page at a time, sandwiched between loose plastic sheets. Using pressure, heat, and its internal roller mechanism, the machine bonds the plastic tightly together and creates a protective cover and sealing around the edges.
Some machines require manual adjustments to the temperature, but modern high-end paper laminators have options for setting the pouch thickness and they adjust the temperature accordingly automatically. You can find cold laminating pouches that are self-sealing, but most pouches need a heat source for secure sealing.
Depending on the type of machine, the pre-heating time and the time between two feedings can vary, as can the speed, so when you buy one look at the speed, width, and warmup time.
You should also take into account what size of paper you would like to seal and decide if you need an A3 or A4 laminator, as well as the intensity of use. If you intend to laminate multiple items on a daily basis and at a high rate per hour, then you should opt for a heavy-duty machine built to work faster and harder.
All the Different Uses
Protect Important Documents
Hard copies of certain documents can be very valuable but susceptible to damages, especially if handled frequently. Dust, dampness or other external influences can easily corrupt the brittle paper, and in some cases, it is impossible to get another copy. Lamination is a perfect way to keep these documents protected against creasing, staining and sun damage.
Old photographs and historical documents from a couple of hundred years ago that are not too fragile to undergo the lamination process can be preserved as well and keep them from deteriorating over time.
You can use the process for business documents in the office or personal papers at home, for menus in restaurants and coffee bars, legal documents and signs, or anything else you need to save in a neat and clean condition.
Prepare Presentations and Instructions
Lamination improves the appearance by enhancing the ink colours of the printed piece. The layers of plastic preserve the ink and the colours on the paper, it provides protection against fingerprints and smudges, marks, and abrasions.
It is extremely handy when you want to prepare presentation materials for work meetings and the end result will be a more professional look that holds the attention longer. Sales presentation materials, product fact sheets, trade show materials, you name it. Your work will look impressive.
It is also very useful when creating signs and work instructions. Because it is strong and stiff, the laminated documents can be displayed anywhere you need it, on doors or next to machines, and you won’t have to worry that it will get damaged from grease, dirt, or other contaminants.
Working in education means preparing many educational materials like flashcards, maps, posters, and so on. This implies hard work for the teachers who can save a lot of time and not to mention nerves if they laminate most of the materials.
Children will use or touch the materials and that means tears and wrinkles, tiny fingerprints and stains. To avoid this and be able to use them for longer periods, they can easily protect them with paper laminators.
Students use them too, for their class schedules, science projects, book covers, etc. Once you have the machine, all kinds of ideas pop up.
Before you start the machine, make sure you read the instructions for the particular type you have. There are hot and cold laminators with their own advantages, although the hot ones provide an airtight seal with lasting effects and are more common. The cold ones might be a better option for graphics printed from certain inkjet printers.
Step 1 – Preparation
• Gather the necessary supplies: laminating sheet, scissors, or a trimmer.
• Remove any staples if there are any.
• Select the right laminating sheet (thinner or thicker laminating films, with silk, matt or gloss look)
Step 2 – Laminating
• Turn the machine on and wait for it to heat (it only takes a few minutes)
• Place the paper on a flat surface between the laminating sheets.
• Place the pouch into the machine (for thicker ones lower the speed)
• It automatically grabs the pouch and starts laminating
• Don’t pull the pouch, wait until it comes out.
Step 3 – Trimming
• Let the paper cool for 2-3 minutes.
• Trim the excess sheet
To Sum Up
Laminators come in a variety of widths, which determines the maximum width of the paper you can put in. If you intend to laminate large scrapbook pages, look for one that can accommodate at least 12 inches. If you are sticking to smaller projects, the standard 9-inch laminator will work.
If you are going to use it for a ton of documents, speed will be another factor you should consider. Higher numbers indicate faster speeds. Laminating is quite an easy process, but a great way to conserve valuable paperwork. It will prevent unnecessary printing, saving you time, recourses, and energy.