Specifications | ABC Office Educator Laminator User Manual

Operation Manual
June 1999
Read all precautions & instructions carefully before
operating laminator
IMPORTANT: Don’t laminate one-of-a-kind documents unless you are sure of your
laminating skills and can afford to damage or ruin the document.
Don’t laminate valuable items such as stamps, baseball cards, autographs or other
collectables because the value of such items can be destroyed by lamination. Collectors
generally value these kinds of items only in their original state.
Remember that you cannot laminate thermal paper, such as typical fax paper, because it
is activated by heat and will turn black. Also, remove paper clips and staples because
they can damage the rubber rollers. Be careful about laminating anything that will be
affected by heat. For example, the colors in crayon drawings may run together or be
smeared, especially if the crayon layer is heavy. Light crayon drawings may not be
affected, but test an expendable sample of any item that may not laminate well.
Table of Contents
1-1 Introduction
1-2 Features and benefits
1-3 Options
1-4 Characteristics
1-5 Principles of operation
1-6 Laminating film
1-7 Warranty
2-1 Unpacking and Inventory
3-1 Product Illustrations & Names of Parts
4-1 Safety Precautions
5-1 Setup & Operation
5-2 Threading the laminator
5-3 Threading diagram
5-4 Laminating
5-5 Recommended temperature settings
5-6 Preventing and solving problems
6-1 Instructions for Options
6-2 Footage counter
6-3 Slitters
7-1 Maintenance
7-2 Cleaning the heat shoes
7-3 Cleaning the rubber rollers
7-4 Lubrication
1-1 Introduction
This laminator is designed to provide quality lamination of a wide range of papers and
materials up to 1/8” thick using film up to 5 mil thick. Common applications include but
are not limited to maps, digital imaging, packaging, posters, instructional aids, signs,
presentation materials, photographs, copies (B&W or color), prints, flyers, promotional
sheets and many other items. Options include footage counter, and a roll feed.
To assure the best performance from your new laminator, please follow the safety,
installation, operation, and maintenance instructions in this manual. Read the manual
before using the laminator, keep the manual with the machine, and periodically review
the instructions. The manual also contains warranty and parts information.
The international “HOT” warning symbol will be placed on the appropriate
areas of each laminator.
We take this opportunity to thank you for selecting the laminator and to assure you of our
commitment to your satisfaction with our products.
As you unpack your new laminator, please complete the following information. Always
have this information ready when calling.
Dealer where purchased____________________________________________________
Installation Date___________ Serial #___________________ (back of the laminator)
WARNING: High temperatures are present and care should be exercised in
operating the laminator. The laminator should not be operated without the
plexiglass safety shield.
Ledco, Inc
4265 North Main Street
Hemlock, NY 14466
Web: ledcoinc.com
Fax: 716-367-2978
Phone: 716-367-2392
Email: ledco@ledcoinc.com
1-2 Features & Benefits
Your new laminator has several standard features that set it apart from other models.
The clear safety shield keeps fingers away from the head shoes and laminating rollers
while allowing you to see your work.
The easily accessible heat control permits the use of many different types of thermal
laminating film from 1.5 to 5 mil thick.
Ease of cleaning. The silicone rubber rollers and the Teflon-coated heat shoes of the
laminator should be cleaned regularly
Tension control knobs are built into both supply roll mandrels so that wrinkles and
curling in the film can be elimated.
Ease of maintenance. The Educator is made to last, however, some items on a
laminator do wear out. Even the high-quality silicone rubber used in the rollers will
lose flexibility over time. Extensive use may wear out the rollers on an operator may
cut a roller by accident. Rollers and other key parts can be changed quickly without
disassembling the frame.
Reverse can be invaluable at times to help avoid problems or clear misfeeds.
Silicone rubber laminating rollers are flexible enough to provide good edge seal and
firm enough to offer a good surface seal. A high silicone content insures a much
longer average roller life. They can accommodate poster board or other materials up
to 1/8” thick.
Very strong steel cores prevent roller flexing and insure uniform pressure across the
width of the laminate, giving you the best quality lamination available in mediumduty commercial machine.
Zippy safety cutter is shipped with the laminator to allow quick and easy cutting and
trimming of the lamination web.
Removable power cord prevents unauthorized usage without locking away the whole
100% made in the U.S.A.
1-3 Options
There are several options available to make the Educator more versatile.
Footage counter. This device can be reset to measure film usage in feet. Also
available in a metric version. The footage counter and slitters will not fit on the
machine together.
Slitters can automatically cut away side scrap which can greatly reduce the amount of
time needed to trim your work. Most Educator-class laminators do not have slitters
available. The slitter knives can be completely retracted into their holders when not
in use.
Right side feed guide to go with the standard left side guide and feed on sheet at a
time with greater accuracy or feed two sheets at a time in alignment with each other.
The dust cover will help keep the machine clean while not in use.
1-4 Specifications
Laminating Width:
up to 25”
Maximum Film Roll Diameter:
Maximum Film Gauge:
5 Mil
Maximum laminating thickness:
37 L x 11 H x 16 W
Shipping Dimensions:
37 L x 17 H x 18 W
Weight/Shipping Weight:
76/84 lb.
110 V (220 optional)
1560 watts
15 amps
*Specifications are subject to change without notice.
1-5 Principles of Operation
The laminator operates by pulling film with a thermally activated adhesive over a heat
source and into a set of laminating rollers. Film from a supply roll passes over heat shoes
to activate a polyethylene adhesive layer on the film. It then passes through rubber
rollers to apply pressure and bond the film to the item being laminated. The film’s
adhesive is pressed into the ink and fibers on the surface of the paper.
The strength of the lamination bond can be checked by cutting a large “X” on the surface
of a laminated sample with a sharp blade. Use the tip of the blade to pry up one corner of
the “X”. Grab that corner and pull up the film. Ink and/or paper fibers coming up with
the layer of film indicates a good adhesive bond.
If the film comes up too easily, with no ink or paper, the lamination was probably done at
too low a temperature. Check the instructions that may have come with your laminating
film and/or the lamination chart in section 5-5.
Please note that when doing X-test on glossy (coated) paper, a good X-test will pull up
ink only. The film should not come up easily. When laminating material that is not
glossy (uncoated), the paper is often more fibrous and a good X-test will yield ink and
paper fibers coming up with the film.
1-6 Laminating Film
Most thermal laminating film consists of two layers: a base of polyester and an adhesive
layer of polyethylene. The polyester layer forms the harder outer surface of the film and
does not melt at laminating temperature. It provides rigidity and protection for your
laminated items. The greater the polyester content, the higher the level of protection,
rigidity and luster. The polyethylene layer melts at laminating temperature and bonds the
film onto the subject material under the pressure of the laminating rollers. As an X-test
demonstrates, the adhesive is pressed into the paper and fills irregularities in the surface.
The proportion of polyester and polyethylene in a film is usually described with numbers.
For example a “1-2” film consists of one mil of polyester and two mils of polyethylene.
The first number refers to the base layer. The second number refers to the adhesive layer.
A mil is 1/1000 of an inch.
Since polyester is the more costly of the two types of plastic generally used in laminating
film, a “3-2” film will cost more than a “2-3” film. Both are 5–mil films but the “3-2”
version will seem a little thicker on a piece of laminated material because it will be
slightly stiffer. Thermal laminating films are available in many different base/adhesive
combinations. Five-mil film, for example 1-4, 2-3, 3-2, and 4-1 combinations.
In the US laminating trade, the generally accepted practice is to describe two-sided
lamination, or encapsulation, by the thickness of one layer of film. For example, “3-mil
lamination” should refer to lamination with two layers of 3-mil film. If you are buying or
selling lamination film or lamination service, please make sure both parties understand
the film descriptions being used.
There is a huge variety of thermal laminating films available to suit many different kinds
of application. Here are some of the more commonly used “special” film types or film
• Film with low-melt adhesives, also known as co-polymer films; these often have
better clarity and are less likely to curl or ripple.
• Matte films to eliminate glare or to accept printing or accept printing or writing; many
suppliers offer films with glossy and matte (non-glare) finishes.
Rolls of film may be purchased in different widths. The size of the laminator is the only
limitation to the width of the film rolls you can use. The Educator can use 4, 12, 18, or
25 inch rolls. Make sure the upper and lower roll widths are the same, and are aligned
with each other.
Rolls are also produced with different lengths of film on a roll (250’, 500’, 1000’). The
Educator will easily accommodate film rolls up to 6” diameter.
When installing film, always center the rolls if film on the supply roll mandrels so the
core grippers engage the cardboard core. Look for the score marks around the supply rill
mandrels to aid in aligning the top and bottom rolls.
We recommend 3-mil film for the most common applications, including posters, signs or
instructional aids. The 3-mil film provides better protection, more rigidity, and a more
lustrous appearance than 1.5-mil film. Five mil film is suggested for those applications
that need the most protection and rigidity.
Lamination with 1.5-mil film can sometimes present problems because the film is so thin
it loses heat easily. It sounds backwards, but 1.5-mil film has to be run at a higher
temperature than a 3-mil film with the same adhesive. The higher temperature
compensates for the faster rate of heat loss during lamination. A standard 3-mil film is
applied at 280°F, while a standard 1.5-mil film must be applied at 310°F. Even when
applied at 310°F, a 1.5-mil film is still more likely to delaminate later.
If the item being laminated is fairly thick, it will pull heat from the film. This will lower
the temperature of the 1.5-mil film and prevent it from sticking properly. When
laminating thick items with standard 1.5-mil film, it may be necessary to raise the
temperature to 330°F or 340°F. Do not use any higher temperature for any film than is
needed to get an acceptable degree of adhesion, as measured by an X-test. Remember
there are low-temperature films that should run at much lower temperatures than those
cited in this example. (see the chart on film operating temperatures.)
Rolls of film are sometimes spliced. Most film suppliers will mark a splice with colored
tape. This way, you can see the splice as a “dash” of color on either end of the roll. If
you spot a spliced roll in advance, you can put it on the top supply roll mandrel in order
to see the splice coming more easily avoid putting material under the splice. Or you
could put it on the bottom roll if you plan to be laminating items that will never be seen
from the back side.
1-7 Warranty
This laminator is guaranteed against defects in material and workmanship for a period of
two years after date of shipment. Defective parts will be replaced without cost within the
warranty period, provided the laminator has not been abused, altered or operated contrary
to instructions. Ledco, Inc. Shall not be liable for any alterations or repairs except those
made with its written consent.
This obligation under warranty shall not extend to the following:
• The adjustment or replacement of parts which are the normal responsibility of the
owner. For example, rubber rollers, heat shoe coatings, scratched or chipped paint,
loose fasteners (screws, nuts, etc.), or other items that show wear under normal use;
i.e. “normal wear parts”.
• Normal operating adjustments to heat, speed, tension, etc.
• Parts that are not manufactured by Ledco, Inc. If the individual manufacture warrants
these items, their warranty is, in turn, passed on to the original purchaser of the
laminator. Ledco, Inc. does not incur any obligation or liability as a result of the
warranties that are the sole responsibility of the appropriate individual manufacturer.
Any laminator that provides defective during the warranty period may be returned to
Ledco, Inc. unless it is decided that the necessary repairs can be made during a service
call. Notice of the defect should be submitted in writing or by phone to Ledco before any
steps are taken to repair or return the machine. Phone: 716-367-2392 Fax: 716-367-2978
If the machine is returned, the following should accompany it.
• Customer name, address and phone number.
• Written particulars regarding the malfunction.
• Date of installation.
• Serial number of machine.
• All returns must have a return authorization number on the outside
of the shipping container. Send all returned equipment freight
PREPAID to: Ledco, Inc., 4265 North Main Street, Hemlock, NY 14466:
Tel: 716-367-2392 Fax: 716-367-2978 Email: ledco@ledcoin.com
If your machine needs servicing after the warranty has expired, please contact your
dealer. Ledco, Inc. does offer technical support if your dealer is unable to assist.
This warranty is expressly in lieu of all other warranties expressed or implied, including
the warranties of Merchantability and Fitness For Use and of all other obligation or
liabilities of Ledco, Inc. Said company neither assumes nor authorizes any other person
to assume it for any other obligation or liability in connection with the sale of this
laminator except as provided for above.
Further, this warranty will not apply to any machine or part thereof which has been
damaged as a result of an accident or as a result of the abuse, misuse, or neglect of the
machine. The warranty is also void if the laminator has been altered or repaired by any
other than an authorized repair facility or dealer.
2-1 Unpacking and Inventory
Except for the supply roll mandrels and feed tray the laminator is assembled at the
factory. Upon arrival, inspect the unit immediately and thoroughly using the packaging
list that accompanies the shipment. Please follow these steps to correct any problem with
your shipment. Ledco, Inc. cannot accept any responsibility for damage or loss unless
you notify us within ten days of receipt of shipment and follow these procedures:
Breakage or Damage: It is imperative that any shipping damage is reported and a
claim is filed with the delivering carrier immediately upon receipt of damaged
shipment. The procedure for reporting damage depends on the method of shipment.
Please note damage on the bill of landing.
Freight, Express, or Truck Delivery: According to the contract terms and conditions of
the carrier, the responsibility of the shipper ends at the time and place of shipment. The
carrier then assumes full responsibility for the shipment.
1. Notify Ledco IMMEDIATELY.
2. Hold damaged goods with container and packing for inspection by the examining
agent. Ledco will arrange the inspection.
4. Submit a copy of the inspector’s report to Ledco. Ledco will file the claim with
the carrier. Ledco will replace your machinery if necessary. You will be credited
for the damaged machinery when the claim is processed.
1. Check the packing list notations. The apparent shortage may have been marked
as an intentional short-shipped (back-ordered) item.
2. Reinspect the container and packing material, particularly for smaller items.
3. Make certain that unauthorized personnel prior to complete unpacking did not
remove the item and inventory.
4. Call us and send immediate written notification of the shortage.
Incorrect Shipment:
1. If the material you receive does not correspond with your order, notify Ledco
immediately. Include the order number and item(s).
2. Hold item(s) until return instructions are received.
3-1 Product Illustrations & Names of Parts
The photos below and on the following pages identify major components and operating
controls. Refer to them as you study the installation, operating and maintenance
procedures described in this manual.
4-1 Safety Precautions:
1. High temperatures are present and care should be exercised in operating and
maintaining the laminator. Even after the machine has been turned off it
will remain hot for an extended period of time. Contact with hot surfaces
may cause burns.
2. Always make sure the power cord is not placed under the laminator where it
might get overheated from proximity to the bottom heat shoe.
3. The safety shield must remain attached to the machine and in position any
time there is power to the machine. You may tip the safety shield down while
loading the film. Always make sure the rollers are NOT turning when the safety
shield is flipped down.
4. Never operate the laminator with neckties, jewelry, or lose clothing. Tie
back long hair. These items can be caught and be pulled in by the laminator
causing serious injury.
5-1 Setup & Operation
With the laminator on an unobstructed, level surface, perform the following checkout
before threading the machine with film.
Warning: Make sure the power cord is clear of the underside of the machine prior
to operation to avoid overheating the cord.
1. Remove all packing straps, rubber bands, tape, and plastic ties from the machine.
Remove the protective paper from the safety shield.
2. Turn the heat/power switch to the Off position. Move the drive switch to the
middle/Off position.
3. Plug the machine into a working outlet of at least 15 amps. Plugging in the
machine does not power on any control unless a switch has been left on.
4. Turn the heat/power switch to the ON position. The heat indicator lamp in the
heat switch will come on. It will stay on until the machine has reached set
5. Once the heat is turned on, it will stay on until the switch is manually turned off.
There is no automatic shutoff on this machine, except in the case of a blown fuse.
6. Turn the heat/power switch on the ON position. The heat indicating light will go
7. Turn the drive switch to FORWARD position. The pull rollers and the
laminating rollers should rotate. The fans will operate while the drive motor is
8. Turn the drive switch to the OFF position.
9. Turn the heat/power switch to the OFF position, unless you are going to proceed
with threading and laminating. Unplug the machine.
5-2 Threading the Laminator
1. Remove the supply roll mandrels and the feed tray. The supply roll mandrels are
now ready to accept loading of the film rolls, wound with the polyester (shiny)
side out. When viewed from the front of the machine, the core grippers on both
top and bottom supply roll mandrels should point toward the heat shoes (and
toward each other). The tension control knobs should be positioned on the right.
Notice the knobs are labeled “Top Right” and “Bottom Right”. If you have rolls
of film on which the material is wound in the opposite direction (adhesive or dull
side out) exchange the top and bottom supply roll mandrels so the core gripper
positions are reversed.
2. Slide a roll of film onto the top supply roll mandrel, turning the roll slightly to
slide the gripper inside the core. Make sure the dull side of the film is facing
up and the shiny side is facing the heat shoe during the threading. Scored
marks on the supply roll mandrels provide a guide for proper alignment of the two
rolls of film to each other. NOTE: The pointed metal piece protruding from the
center of the supply roll mandrels grips the cardboard core of the film supply roll
to prevent slippage. When placing a roll of film supply on the mandrel, twist the
film supply roll on the direction away from the point on the gripper, or the gripper
may break or become dislodged from its mounting.
3. With the roll aligned with the scored line on the right side of the mandrel, place it
in the top bracket. Place the left side of the shaft in its slot first, then place the
right side of the shaft in its slot, turning it as needed. FOLLOW THE
4. While the machine is still cold, review the threading diagram. With the bottom
roll of film centered on the mandrel and the shiny side facing down, run the film
under the bottom idler bar and pull towards you.
5. Refer to the threading diagram. The top roll of film should run under the silver
stabilizer bar and over the front of the top heat shoe. Remember, the shiny side of
the film must always go against the shoe. The dull (adhesive) side must face
away from the shoe. Make sure the two rolls are aligned with each other before
going to the next step.
6. Turn the machine on and heat to the desired temperature.
7. With both rolls threaded and installed in their respective brackets, unwind enough
film from the top roll to reach the bottom of the bottom heat shoe. Next, unwind
enough film from the bottom roll to reach the top of the top heat shoe.
8. Now drape the film from the bottom roll against the top shoe. If the laminator is
hot, the exposed adhesive on the top web will hold the bottom web and make it
easy to stick the two rolls together. If you are threading the machine while it is
cold, use tape to stick the bottom web against the top web.
9. Tip the safety shield down into the laminating position. With the film draped
over the two heat shoes, push one edge of the threading card between the heat
shoes so that the film is firmly positioned against the laminating rollers. If a
threading card is not available, any piece of card stock or poster board will work.
10. Make sure there is still enough slack in the web. Turn the drive switch to
FORWARD, permitting the film and feed board to pass through both sets of
rubber rollers. Carefully monitor initial threading to be sure the web reaches and
passes trough the pull (back) rollers. When the threading card has cleared the
back of the machine, move the drive switch to the center position (off).
Whenever you want to remove the film and/or laminated material from the back
of the machine, use the Zippy cutting toll provided with the laminator.
11. Slide the feed tray into position.
12. If the machine has the slitter option, make sure the slitters are disengaged (blades
in the raised position) and moved all the way to either side of the machine.
13. Film tension adjustments can be made at this time. Refer to section 5-4 for
CAUTION: The laminator is designed to be run with the operator directly facing
the control panel and feed tray, not at an angle or from the side of the machine. For
operator safety, the safety shield must be in position over the upper heat shoe when
the machine is ON, or when the drive switch is in the forward position.
5-3 Film Threading Diagram
5-4 Laminating
1. Turn the heat/power switch to ON. The heater light will come on. The laminator will
be ready to operate in about 10 minutes. The heat indicating light will turn off when
the machine has reached the correct temperature. Allow about 20 minutes for warm
up the first few times the machine is used.
WARNING: Never permit the temperature to exceed 310°° F while film is threaded
and the laminator is not running. The film could disintegrate and require cleaning
and rethreading of the machine. When it is necessary to laminate at temperatures
in excess of 310°° F, such as for poster board or when using 1.5 mil film, pull some
excess film off the film supply rolls to provide slack so the film is not tight against
the heat shoes while the machine is heating. This will keep the film from melting
when the laminator is not advancing film.
When the heat indicating light is on, it means the thermostat is calling for more heat to
maintain the laminating temperature. During normal operation, the light will go on and
off periodically. After initial warm-up (but not before), there is enough heat for
laminating to continue normally even if the light is on. The heat drop during lamination
is too slight to affect operation.
2. Position the feed guide for the work to be performed. Adjust by loosening the black
knob, sliding the guide to the desired position, and tightening the knob.
3. Check the tension on the film supply rolls to see if the top roll and the bottom roll
have approximately the same tension. This may be done by gently rotating the rolls
back and fourth. If a roll moves too freely it is too loose. If a roll is difficult to move
the tension will need to be decreased.
4. Once the machine has come up to temperature, as indicated by the heat indicating
light going out for the first time, you are ready to laminate. Check the heat setting
dial to make sure the machine is at the right temperature for the film you’re using.
Making sure that the safety shield is in the operating position (up), move the drive
switch to the forward position. Film will begin to pass through the laminating rollers.
Once you start the film, watch the film as it passes over the heat shoes to let the
wrinkling disappear before inserting material to be laminated. Each time you stop the
film, slack will form in the web of film. It will take a few inches to get the slack and
the resulting wrinkles past the shoes.
5. Slide items over the feed tray, positioning them against the guide and into the
laminating rollers.
6. Examine the film as it exits the machine.
If bubbles or wrinkles appear in the film, this means there is not enough tension to draw
the film tight and smooth over the heat shoes. Turn the tension control knobs clockwise
to increase the tension.
If the film is tight and smooth as it goes over the heat shoes but then draws in towards the
center of the machine or squeals, there may be too much tension on the supply roll
mandrels. This can be corrected by turning the tension control knobs counterclockwise to
decrease the tension.
Film that is 1.5-mil thickness requires very little tension.
BOTTOM ROLLS. If the film curls up or down after it leaves the machine, read the
above section on supply roll tension again and readjust the supply tension on both rolls.
7. When starting the machine to begin lamination, let at least 10 inches of film go
through the rollers before inserting the items to be laminated. This takes out the slack
in the film and removes the cooler strip of film that forms just in front of the nip when
the laminator is hot but film is not being advanced. This also removes any areas of
film with excess adhesive that may have pooled just beneath the shoes.
8. If the tension appears balanced, but you notice waves or ripples toward the center of
the web of film as it comes out the back, the temperature may be too high or the
lamination speed may be too high for that film. These waves in the film are called
“heat wrinkles”. These heat wrinkles are formed when the film has not cooled
enough before coming out the back of the machine. For the best results, the film
should be cooled below melt temperature while it is pulled tight and perfectly flat
between the laminating rollers and the pull rollers. If it gets out the back of the
machine while still at or above melt temperature, heat wrinkles can form. The major
reason for fans on a laminator is to cool the film, not to cool the machine.
5-5 Recommended Temperature Settings
The recommended temperature setting for low-temperature 1.5-mil film is 240°F. If you
are laminating with a different thickness of film, refer to the following table for
recommended temperature settings.
Your first source of information about recommended film application temperatures and
operating characteristics should be your film suppliers. If you do not know the source of
your film, or if the supplier cannot provide the information, please use the table as a
Film Melt Temperature Chart (All Fahrenheit)
Film Type
Film Thickness
1.5-1.8 mil
3 mil
5 mil
Low-temp (copolymer)
Ultra-low Temperature
Several important notes about this chart:
1. Your film vendor must have the primary responsibility for providing information
about the film that you are using.
2. This chart is to serve as a general guide when better data is not available.
3. If your film vendor cannot provide this and other information about the film you
are using, it may be difficult to achieve good results.
4. When laminating heavy posters or other thick items with 1.5 mil to 1.8 mil films,
some additional heat may be required to get a permanent bond. Never exceed
5. While offset printed materials may be laminated at the lower ends of the above
ranges, inkjet and other output from digital printers may require the upper end of
the range in order to get a good bond.
6. See 1-6 Laminating Film for more information.
NOTE: It is possible that variances from recommended temperature settings may be
necessary due to material thickness, ambient temperature, humidity or the quality or
thickness of the materials being laminated.
Please note the wide range of temperatures listed, especially for heavier films. This does
not mean any film that thick can be run anywhere within the given range. These are
“standard” or high-temperature and “low-melt” or low-temperature versions of all film
thickness. Some low-melt films work at lower temperatures than others do. It is
important you buy your film from a vendor who can tell you the following additional
information about any film you choose:
• The thickness
• The clarity
• Suggested melt-temperature range
• Polyester/polyethylene content
• How well the adhesive will stick to the kinds of images you’ll be
protecting and enhancing.
Temperatures may exceed 310°F when laminating poster board or other thick items with
1.5 mil film in a continuous basis. When the machine is stopped, turn the heat off if the
setting is in excess of 310°F. Never set the heat above 350°° with film in the
laminator. Temperatures over 300°F are not needed except with 1.5 mil film. Film that
is 3 mil or thicker is generally run at 280°F or less.
5-6 Preventing and Solving Problems
Please read this section before you have a problem.
Problem: Wrinkling of the material as it goes into the laminating rollers. This problem
usually occurs when laminating an item that has been folded, rolled, bent or wrinkled.
Solutions: Make sure the leading edge of the item being laminated is laying flat and is
inserted parallel to the laminating rollers.
It is sometimes essential to smooth out an item as it passes over the feed table and
through the rollers to ensure an even lamination without wrinkles. Smooth from the
center of the item, back toward the trailing edges. Once the item starts to feed, you may
also pull back and to the sides on the corners of the trailing edge.
If material has been rolled up, take the curl out of it on a table edge before laminating. If
some curl remains, it may be helpful to insert the item with the curl down so the leading
edge is pressed against the feed tray until just before the nip.
Problem: Wrinkling of the film around the material being laminated.
Solution: This is normal and inevitable on any laminator, especially with thicker
material. These wrinkles will be trimmed away with the scrap, so they do not affect
appearance. Because the rollers are being held apart by the paper or cardboard, they
cannot pull equally on the plastic around the paper. This creates wrinkles that tend to
look like the bow waves of a boat, radiating out through the clear part of the web from
the sheet of material.
Problem: When two pieces of material are laminated side by side, the plastic adheres to
one piece but not the other.
Solution: To get maximum efficiency from the film rolls, you can feed several items
into the laminator side by side. However, wrinkling can occur if these items are of
unequal thickness, because the laminating rollers are lifted off the thinner items by the
thicker items. When laminating items side by side, it is important to arrange them so that
the thickness is the same.
Problem: Wrinkling of the plastic on a laminated piece of material.
Solutions: Make sure you have enough supply roll tension to take the wrinkles out of the
film before it gets past the heat shoes (see 5-4 laminating).
Make sure the film is threaded properly (see 5-2 Threading the Laminator).
Problem: Film gets wrapped around the pull rollers.
Solution: Wile threading a laminator when the shoes are cold, the loose ends of the
unlaminated web are particularly susceptible to “wrap-around” on the rear rollers. To
minimize this possibility, pull the threading card after it emerges from the pull rollers
until the film clears. Stop the web and trim the film from the back of the unit.
If “wrap-around” does occur while the laminator is cold, you can easily correct it by
reversing the direction of the rubber rolls, permitting the laminator to release the film
from the rolls.
Problem: Film gets wrapped around the laminating rollers while the machine is hot.
Solution: Leave the heat on so that the adhesive does not harden, and follow the
following steps.
WARNING: Be very careful not to touch the heat shoes with the machine is hot.
1. Remove the feed tray.
2. Cut the film on the top and bottom, just in front of the idle bars.
3. Loosen the film from the heat shoes and grip the two loose ends, holding them
4. Turn the drive switch to the reverse position.
5. Turn on the drive at a very slow speed and allow the laminator to back out the
film that is wrapped around the rolls. Pull the film off the roller.
WARNING: Keeping the machine in reverse may cause a reverse wrap-around id
the film is not getting pulled off the roller. You may need to pull on the film with a
lot of force while stopping and starting the drive.
WARNING: Do not try to cut the plastic off the roller with a knife or other sharp
instrument. You will end up cutting the rubber rollers and turn an inconvenience
into a major repair bill not covered by warranty.
If this method does not work let the machine fully cool. Remove the heat shoes and cut
the wrap-around off the roller with a small pair of scissors, working the point and the
cutting edges away from the rubber to avoid damaging the roller. Then clean the rollers
per the instructions in the manual.
Problem: Not noticing that the rolls of film are almost used up (one roll of film always
runs out before the other.)
WARNING: If the film is run through the laminator without being matched to an
opposing film, the adhesive exposed to the rubber rollers will stick to the laminating
rollers and create a world-class wraparound. This type of wraparound is difficult to
clear because the film adheres to the roller and to itself for the entire length of the
accumulated film on the roller. It’s best to clear this right away, before the adhesive
hardens. Follow the steps above to clear.
Solution: To avoid this problem, stop the laminator before either roll runs out, cut the
webs of film, and remove the two near-empty rolls of film and then rethread new rolls.
When putting film on a laminator, always use two rolls of matched length and width.
Experienced users may leave the pieces of film remaining over the shoes and in the
rollers to help thread the new film. When the machine is warm, the ends of the new rolls
can be easily tacked to the already threaded pieces because the adhesive layer facing
outwards will be sticky. Be careful not to burn yourself on the heat shoes.
Problem: Film is not properly adhered or starts to come off sometime after lamination.
Solution: Unless there is something wrong with the film, this problem comes from film
being run at too low a temperature. Check the heat setting on the laminator. If the film is
not sticking to the item, it is likely that more heat is required.
If you are using 1.5mil film, this problem can occur if you are running the machine too
slowly. Because 1.5 mil film is thin and therefore loses heat easily, it can cool off too
much between the heat shoes and the roller nip if it is run too slowly.
If you are running thicker films, you may have the problem if you are going to fast. In
this case, the thicker film may not have enough time on the heat shoes to reach its
adhesive melt temperature. Thicker films may be run at lower speeds with no problem.
When laminating posters or other thicker material with 1.5 mil film, the paper itself can
absorb enough of the heat from the film to drop the adhesive below its melt temperature.
The film may start to come off immediately or it may start to fall off after a few days.
The solution here is to run the work at a higher temperature. About 320°F to 240°F will
usually do the job.
Sometimes you may see film detach from an item along one edge (the edge that was put
in first). This happens when the material is put all the way into the nip before the
machine is started. The area of film between the shoes and the nip can cool off too much
while the machine is idle. The adhesive may not be hot enough to stick.
The way to prevent this is to let a few inches of film go through before putting in sheets
to be laminated. This serves other purposes, besides ensuring the front edge of the piece
will be properly sealed. It gives the machine a chance to take up the slack that develops
in the film whenever the machine is stopped, and it prevents the following problem as
Problem: A laminated item comes out with a large “oily” spot on or near the leading
Solution: It’s not oil that causes this effect, but excess adhesive. When a machine is left
heated but idle for a few minutes or longer, the adhesive from the film over the shoes can
form droplets if material is put in immediately. This excess adhesive saturates an area of
paper, creating what looks like an oily spot. The solution, as mentioned above, is just to
let a few inches of film go through before feeding in your work.
Anytime you are laminating unfamiliar or costly items; it is a good idea to start with an
expendable sample or test piece. Laminating a test piece first gives you an indication of
the results you will get and also takes care of any pooled adhesive.
Problem: A milky, hazy line about an inch wide appears periodically across the width of
the web immediately after initial warm-up.
Solution: The rollers are not evenly heated, and the cold side of the rollers is preventing
the adhesive from melting. When warming up the machine, keep the rollers open and
keep the forward drive on low speed.
Problem: The machine produces a continuous squealing noise when laminating.
Solution: To a certain extent, it is normal for some laminating film to squeal as it is
pulled over the heat shoes under tension. This noise is produced via the same principles
that make a violin squeal. Some of the compounds put on film to keep it from sticking to
itself seem to act like resin on the bow of the violin – they enhance the noise.
To minimize squealing, run the laminator with the least amount of supply roll tension that
will do the job of removing wrinkles from the web of film. Make sure you are not using
a higher temperature than needed and clean the heat shoes periodically. If the noise gets
really objectionable, use a different type or different brand of film.
Problem: The laminated material seems to have a pitted surface or irregular surface that
does not match the texture of the paper being coated.
Solution: This is usually caused by adhesive build-up or dirt on the rubber rollers, but
may be caused by any matter stuck to the rollers, such as a piece of paper. Inspect the
rubber rollers and if they need cleaning refer to the owner’s manual.
Cuts or other damage to the rubber rollers, especially the laminating rollers, can also
cause irregularities in the surface of the film. The pull rollers are identical to the
laminating rollers and could be substituted if still in good condition.
Problem: The film shrinks as it passes over the heat shoe (known as “necking” in the
laminating trade).
Solution: Reduce the heat and/or the supply roll tension. The film is not shrinking so
much as it is being stretched by excess heat and tension, causing the web to get narrower
as it is pulled over the shoes.
Problem: No power is getting to the laminator.
Solution: Make sure there is power at the electrical outlet being used, and make sure
both ends of the power cord are firmly engaged. There are fuses inside the laminator, but
dead out lets and loose power cord connections are the most common causes of this
Problem: Wavy or rippled sections in the laminate, especially toward the center of the
Solution: These “heat wrinkles” are cause by excess temperature and/or speed for the
film being used. Slow down the motor and/or use a lower appropriate temperature for
that particular film.
Problem: General haziness or cloudiness in the film after lamination.
Solution: Increase the temperature. That cloudiness is a function of incomplete
adhesion. On a variable speed machine loaded with thicker film, it may be that the film
is being run too fast and is not getting enough time on the heat shoes.
Problem: Bubbles in the center of the web and/or film not sticking to the center of an
Solution: This problem can be caused by excessive laminating roll pressure. Putting too
much pressure on the laminating rollers actually decreases pressure in the center of the
The other likely cause of this symptom is worn rollers. For example, if hundreds of
thousands of 18-inch wide sheets are laminated on a 38-inch machine, the center of the
rollers can get worn down more than the ends of the rollers. In this situation, the
laminating rollers should be replaced. The rollers worn in this way are not suitable for
use as pull rollers.
For problems not listed here contact your Ledco Dealer. If the Dealer doesn’t know the
answer, please ask the dealer to contact Ledco and get back to you.
You are also welcome to contact us directly with any problem at 716-367-2392. Because
of the potential volume of support calls, we do encourage the use of the dealer network as
much as possible.
6-1 Instructions for Options
NOTE: The footage counter and slitter cannot be installed together.
Footage Counter
Measures film usage in feet, also available in a metric version. To measure the use of film
with the footage counter:
• Set the wheel of the counter against the roll of film.
• Press the reset button located next to the digital read out.
• The counter will continue to measure the number of feet of film used
unless the wheel is lifted off the roll of film.
The slitter allows you to quickly cut a laminated item, or group of items which maintain a
constant vertical arrangement. For example, a series of identically sized posters may be
cut as they exit the machine by positioning the blades on each side of the posters.
WARNING: The blades of the slitter are very sharp. Use extreme caution when
using this attachment. Always remove the blades when attaching or detaching the
slitter. Always retract the blades when they are not in use or when you are
adjusting their position.
• Remove the cutting blades from the plastic blade holders. This is done to prevent
accidentally slicing the rubber rollers during installation of the slitter and for operator
• Turn the heat/power switch and the drive switch to the OFF position.
• Remove the top supply roll mandrel from the laminator.
• Locate the two accessory mounting holes on the inside of each housing. These are
located above the wrap around guard.
• Lower the slitter into position between the housings, blade holders toward the front of
the laminator.
• Fasten the slitter between the housings using the four screws provided.
• Slide the blade holders into the desired position by loosening the black plastic knobs.
• Replace the blades in the plastic blade holders with the knife edge facing the FRONT
of the machine.
7-1 Maintenance
There are no user-serviceable parts inside the machine. Please refer internal
maintenance to qualified personnel.
DANGER: Always use extreme caution when performing maintenance on your
machine! Always make sure the machine is unplugged and that there is NO power to the
machine when working on or cleaning any part of the unit.
Use extreme caution to avoid hot surfaces which may remain hot for a period of time
even if there is NO POWER to your machine.
Use extreme caution to avoid pinch points at the nip of rubber rollers.
NEVER have rubber rollers turning while performing maintenance to your machine.
NEVER wear loose clothing, ties or jewelry (which may become entangled in gears or
rubber rollers) while operating or performing maintenance on your machine.
7-2 General Cleaning
Cleaning the laminator daily or weekly will help prevent dirt or adhesive build-up on the
rubber rollers and heat shoes and will improve the performance of the unit especially if
you have a dusty work environment.
7-3 Cleaning the Heat Shoes
During normal use, excess adhesive from the film will often cling to the heat shoes,
especially near the edges. Film coating powders can also build up on the shoes, and will
tend to increase friction between the film and the shoes. This type of build-up may not be
visible, and it may adversely affect lamination in a number of ways. Film squealing
loudly as it passes over the shoe can sometimes be a symptom of this problem.
TURN OFF and UNPLUG THE MACHINE. Using a clean, soft, dry cloth, gently rub
the adhesive or other contaminants off the shoes. Never use any abrasive material or rub
too hard on the shoes, because you may remove the Teflon coating.
You may dampen your cleaning cloth with soapy water or a mild water-based cleaning
solution, but make sure you carefully insulate your hands from possible steam burns if
you do this. The steam formed when water hits the hot surface can penetrate both the
cleaning cloth and your gloves.
Cleaning the Rubber Rollers
Both the laminating rollers and the pull rollers need regular cleaning. Collectively these
are referred to as the rubber rollers. The upper heat shoe on the laminator swings away in
seconds, making it easy to clean the laminating rollers.
To clean the laminating rollers:
2. Loosen the four thumbscrews located on the heat shoe brackets.
3. Lift the top heat shoe and secure it in the raised position by tightening both
thumbscrews in the upper set of holes in the side panels. Lower the bottom heat
shoe. This will expose the rollers so that you may clean them more easily.
4. Use the REVERSE switch to slightly reposition the laminating rollers so that you
can clean the entire surface on each roller by sections. The REVERSE switch is a
momentary switch. The rollers will stop as soon as you take your finger off the
button. Don’t try to clean the rollers while they are turning. Never operate the
rollers with your hands near the nip.
The rollers may catch your fingers and cause injury, or they may catch your cleaning
materials and damage the laminator. UNPLUG THE POWER CORD WHILE
Clean the rubber rollers with a mildly abrasive cleaning pad such as a white Scotch Brite
(Trademark of 3M) pad which may be purchased in the household section of your
grocery store (the green pads are too abrasive). Use mildly soapy water to clean the
rollers. Rub firmly but do not scrub the rollers vigorously as this might mar the surface.
Do not use sharp metal objects or steel wool as these will also mar the rollers.
The pull rollers should also be cleaned in the same manner. TURN OFF and UNPLUG
THE MACHINE and turn the rollers by hand. The pull rollers are easier to clean
because they are more accessible, and because they should not have any adhesive on
them. Be sure to reposition and secure the upper heat shoe before beginning to laminate.
The Drive Chain and sprockets on all models should receive a light coat of gear lube or
heavy grease (preferably lithium grease) after each 1000 hours of operation.
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