Autobond’s research and development team have been working overtime recently and the company says it will be launching several additions to its already extensive range of laminators during the coming months. The first of these new products is the Mini 76 AT, which is a combination water-based/thermal laminator aimed at markets where companies want to run a bio-degradable film and/or labour costs are generally lower, but runs lengths often higher, than in Europe.
“Water-based adhesive film is about half the price of thermal film, but it requires greater skill from the laminator operator,” says Autobond managing director John Gilmore. “In countries where labour costs are lower but where the market for laminating is large, the new Mini 76 AT provides the perfect opportunity to produce all types of laminating cost effectively.
“The Mini 76 AT is equipped with a rewind unit for handling water-based adhesive film and the standard suction-drum version can run at up to 45 metres a minute. All Autobond models are designed so that extending the functionality is straightforward. For example, this new laminator could be fitted with a Heidelberg Speedmaster 74 rising pile back separation feed head, which would increase the maximum speed to 60 metres a minute.”
The thermal version of the Mini 76 is one of Autobond’s most successful models. The new Mini 76 AT has the ability to handle stock from A4 up to 76 x 102 cm in weights between 90 gsm to 650 gsm. All Mini laminators are designed so that they can fit into a factory where space is limited and the Mini 76 AT has a footprint of only 3.9 x 1.6 metres.
The heavy duty build helps to ensure reliability and accuracy, as well as enabling a nip pressure of up to six metric tonnes. This means that Autobond laminators can be used for work printed on litho or digital presses, as the force in the nip rollers allows good adhesion between film and stock even if toner based inks have been used. The high degree of automation incorporated within Autobond’s laminators, along with features such as the quick-change airshafts for mounting films, makes them extremely efficient and easy to use.
Autobond has developed a wide range of options for its laminators and machines can virtually be tailor made, if required, to suit a customer’s particular needs. Standard features include an adjustable anti-curl bar, pneumatically adjustable in-feed nip rollers and a pneumatic clutch to ensure constant tension of the film.
The laminators are available in sizes from B3 to B1 and can be made as perfectors, allowing both sides of the sheet to be laminated in one pass. Operator training can normally be carried out within a couple of days and there is also a remote diagnostic facility. This means that an experienced Autobond engineer can easily log on to a laminator, wherever it is in the world, and provide advice to the user.