How can I change the film on my roll laminator?

posted this on Jun 30, 2015

Most roll laminators are very easy to use, and require little maintenance. One part of owning and operating roll laminator that can sometimes entail a little bit of a learning curve is when it comes time to change the film or laminating roll. Your machine should come with instructions on how to do this, but if you can’t find them or just want to give it a go, here are some of the basics.

1. On your roll laminator, you will notice that there are some long tubes. Those are known as spindle pipes and that is where the rolls of laminating film go. In some cases there are arrows that indicate which direction the rolls are supposed to go. If you see the arrows, simply follow them. If you don’t, you may have to consult your owner’s manual for more assistance. If you no longer have the manual, go to your manufacturer’s website and see if there is a version you can look at online and/or download.

2. It is important to note that while some machines do allow for the changing of rolls while hot, it is recommended that you undertake this project while the rollers are cold to keep you from receiving accidental burns.

3. Once the now roll is on the spindle pipes, you can start to thread the laminating roll through the machine’s roller bars. You will notice that there is a slick, clear side to the roll and a dull side. The dull side contains the adhesive, so these will need to be facing each other when the two sides meet when they come in contact with the heat rollers.

4. This next part is a little tricky but it can save you a lot of trouble. In order to keep the sticky parts of the roll apart during this process, fold some of the roll over a piece of paper or perhaps something a little thicker like a filing folder, and tape the adhesive side to it. Then you will want to turn on the machine and let the roller advance the folder or paper through the machine while it is still cold. While you are doing this, to the best you can to make sure that both sides of the roll are aligned. Then advance item all the way through the machine and shut off the drive.

5. A little bit more about aligning the laminating roll: do the best you can to ensure that the edges of the roll are both the same distance from the edges of the heated rollers, and that they are also as even with each other as you can get them. Do a quick test run of the drive (without heat) of maybe two to five seconds to see of the edges of the roll remain centered and aligned. If so, great. If they are not, you will need to make adjustments to the roll in whichever direction is needed for centering. Take pains to ensure that the rollers are aligned, because this step makes all the difference in the finished product, and misaligned rolls both look unsatisfactory and can permanently damage the items that you are laminating.

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