Proliferation of affordable digital color printers is generating dozens of new options
Makers of all types of solvent-inkjet printers proudly promote the ability to create graphics that are outdoor-durable without lamination. And, digital flatbed presses eliminate both the laminating and mounting steps typically required to fabricate rigid displays. But do these advances in inkjet printing mean that the demand for print finishing is going to vanish? Absolutely not. The market is just changing, that's all.
Trend 1: More Affordable Equipment: As USI's new equipment and supplies catalog points out, organizations of all types and sizes are using laminators to protect, enhance, and display all types and sizes of graphics.
Municipalities, government groups, and law-enforcement agencies laminate permits, signs, ID tags, legal documents, maps, and blueprints. Restaurants and pubs laminate menus, placemats, counter cards, coasters, promotions, and tent cards. Corporations laminate signs and banners, sales presentations, layouts, and trade-show graphics. Hotels, state parks and resorts laminate signs, trail markers, tournament badges, and menus. Churches laminate bookmarks, memorial cards, song sheets, and ID tags. And medical facilities, hospitals, law offices and schools laminate learning aids, charts and documents, and signs and posters.
Because many of these organizations can now print many of these items themselves, it's not surprising that we're now seeing so many equally affordable devices for print finishing.
Drytac, Daige, AGL, and Seal have all introduced new options for light-duty and mid-volume print finishing.
Plus, GBC is promoting its Catena 25AA laminator as a 3-in-1 Finisher for signmakers. Priced at $2500, the tabletop laminator can finish and mount prints up to 25 in. wide. It can apply GBC's ultra-thin AccuShield liquid-coating alternative to banners or mount images printed on GBC's SecurFilm? printable laminating film to rigid substrates. It can also be used with GBC's Pouch Boards, which have a laminating film attached to a mounting board. (www.gbcconnect.com)
Seal's 62 Ultra is a compact laminator that lists at just under $9000. With a heated top roller and controls the device can be used to mount, laminate and encapsulate prints up to 61 in. wide. Partly because of its three preset temperature controls, minimal operator training is required. (www.sealgraphics.com)