Nationwide Laminating & Finishing
Nationwide Laminating & Finishing: Helpful Tips

Increase Your Profits With Laminating

Published in Quick Printing

Do you need new revenue sources? Would you like to add more value to your service offerings? Laminating has helped many quick printers increase business and bring in more profit. Learn the nuts and bolts of laminating and how it can help you grow while protecting your current bottom line.

Top quality lamination increases many printed products' value. Educating yourself and your customers about the benefits of laminating will increase: 1) the value of your customers' products, 2) the demand for your printed laminated products, and 3) your profits.

Key Benefits of Laminating

Laminating improves a product's appearance. With a laminate that properly refracts light, you can make your colors appear to jump off the paper. Or, with a different glare-reducing laminate, readability improves. Frequently handled paper products will have their useful life and durability extended with laminating. Products with exposure to high humidity or direct moisture should always be laminated.

Emerging Trends in Laminated Products

The following is a short list of growing markets for laminated products:

Technical Tips

Wax-based ink melts, produces imperfect seals and therefore should be avoided. Before going to press, make sure that your ink is wax-free. Also, output from color copiers often contains wax and doesn't laminate well.

Top quality laminating companies have virtually eliminated silvering problems caused by trapped air pockets and poorly melted opaque glue that hasn't turned clear. Silvering results from either running sheets too fast, not applying enough nip pressure, or using non-aggressive adhesive glue. When sending out a laminating job, ask your vendor what glue they use on their film, if they have cooling units on their machine and the amount of pressure and heat used during their laminating process. If they can't tell you, find yourself a new laminating services supplier. Our company made these changes years ago and we've completely eliminated silvering problems.

Pay attention to laminate shelf life. Most laminate glues chemically deteriorate within six months. If you are a quick printer who has light-duty laminating equipment, don't let your laminating stock age because you could spoil a job by using old laminate. The better commercial laminating companies turn their laminate supplies in 30 days and never longer than 60. Also, light-duty laminating equipment has more drawbacks such as slow operating speeds, increased likelihood of curl, limited laminate purchasing power, and no inline trimming (good commercial machines trim to finished size with 1/100th" accuracy.)

Common Types of Laminate

There are many types of laminate film. Here are a few of the most common ones.

Money Saving Tips

  1. If you have a customer that is sold on laminating, but isn't sold on its cost, there's one trick that might reduce the price and make you a hero. If you double or triple the weight of your paper and reduce your laminate gauge, you should achieve nearly the same rigidity, strength and utility while decreasing your customer's cost as much as 35%.
  2. On some jobs, quick printers can reduce their costs by converting a customer's job from coated to uncoated stock (assuming printing on uncoated is acceptable) because the job will look the same and cost less.
  3. When producing business card orders, ask your customers if they would like their jobs laminated. If the job is properly imposed with at least 8 cards up, your laminating price, including round-cornering and profit, should be about $35 per thousand pieces. Many of your business customers will be happy to pay this amount in exchange for the added product utility.
  4. If you produce a lot of business cards, invest in a desktop luggage tag laminating system. A $200 machine and another $150 worth of supplies (tag laminate and luggage straps) will allow you to laminate one business card, give it to your customer and ask for an order for more. On average you will sell three luggage tags at $3.00 each, net a total profit of at least $5.00 and increase your word of mouth advertising - all for two minutes of work.

Industry Improvements

In the past, laminating trimmed flush products was risky because of laminate separation. Improved laminate glues with low melt copolymer adhesives, increased nip pressure and machine heat, and automatic cooling systems have virtually removed the risk of laminate separation. Your laminating services company should use commercial thermal film laminates with top quality glues. Our company hasn't used the cheaper film (general-purpose glue for porous paper) in years. In our opinion, the risk isn't worth the pennies saved.

Laminating equipment has made strides toward reducing offset powder problems. This is in contrast to UV coating - which still experiences rough results from excessive offset powder. Also, unlike UV coating, film laminating won't show cracking.

Turnaround times have greatly decreased in the laminating industry. Competitive laminating service companies routinely offer 24-hour turnaround times in addition to ancillary services such as shrink-wrapping, collating, mechanical binding, scoring, easel-backing and eyeletting. Unless you are getting this level of service, find a new laminating services company.

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Many quick printers have discovered the benefits of regularly presenting laminating as a value-added option to their customers. Let laminating help you increase your printed products' value, delight your customers, and protect your bottom line. After all, aren't these the reasons why we're in business?

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