What are some quick tips for fixing my roll laminator?

posted this on Jul 8, 2015

If you have a roll laminator you know just how great it can be for laminating signs, banners, presentation covers, visual aids and document. However, there is nothing quite as frustrating as trying to troubleshoot problems with your laminated documents. Perhaps your laminate is coming out cloudy (silvered), wavy, with air bubbles, curled or with small unlaminated spots. All of these problems have different causes. However, here are a few things that you should consider when troubleshooting your laminator.

  1. Heat: If you have too much heat you will notice that the laminate is wavy. If you don’t have enough heat or the heat is inconsistent you will get silvering or cloudiness throughout yourGBC Pinnacle 27 EZ Load 27" Roll Laminator - 1701720EZ document. If this happens you will need to adjust the heat either up or down to compensate. You may also need to give your laminator enough time to recover heat after a long run of laminating since the temperature of the rollers will drop as heat is transferred to your documents.
  2. Speed: If the speed is too fast, then not enough heat will be transferred and you will get silvering in your documents. If the speed is too slow, then too much heat will be transferred and you will get waviness in your documents. Ultimately, you will need to find a balance between heat and speed. If your laminator does not have a heat setting, you will need to adjust the speed. Likewise if there is no speed setting you will need to adjust the heat. If you have both then you can attempt to adjust both to find the right setting for the type of paper that you are laminating.
  3. Tension: Something that is a little bit harder to deal with on a roll laminator is the tension. The tension setting determines how tight the laminate is stretched as it comes off the laminator. Generally, you should not mess with the tension settings on your laminator. However, if you notice that you are getting excessive curling, cupping or air bubbles in your laminated output, you may need to tweak the tension. Just remember that the tension on both rollers should always be set the same if you are running the same type of film on both sides.
  4. Dust: Small particles of dust on your documents and photos can cause your laminated documents to look speckled. In order to fix this you will need to remove the dust before you run your prints. There is a special tool called a PCR roller that is designed for this purpose. A PCR roller will remove dust from your printed output without damaging the surface of the prints.
  5. Adhesive Buildup: If you have small dots or sections on your laminated output that are not laminating you will need to check your rollers. Rollers that are damaged, cracked or have adhesive buildup may not transfer heat equally. Every place where the roller touches the laminate and there is adhesive buildup or a gouge in the roller you will end up with an unlaminated spot. The only way to deal with this problem is to clean or replace the rollers on your laminator.
  6. Toner Adhesion: Many types of laminating film will not adhere well to digital output with high fuser oil content. If you are having this problem, you may notice that the laminate will easily peel off your finished documents when face trimmed. If you are using this type of digital output you may need to look into using a high tack laminating film. Hi-tack laminating films use a more aggressive adhesive to ensure adhesion to this type of coated output.
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