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A Laminating Education: Tips and Tricks for Roll Laminators

At Ambind Corporation, we like to describe laminating as both an art and a science. When customers are protecting their projects and frequently handled documents, they have to perfect the process of lamination. This takes both practice and education. In this article, we will briefly describe some of the common issues that arise during laminating, as well as the tips and tricks needed to remedy these problems.

GBC Ultima 65 Laminator

Wrinkled Film

One of the most common concerns customers raise is that they find wrinkles on the film when it exits the machine. Wrinkles are almost always caused by an issue with tension on the supply rolls (where the film is coming off on the top and bottom). It is important to make sure that there is proper tension on both the top and bottom rolls. When you grip the rolls of film and oscillate them back and forth in your hand, there should be a minimal amount of “drag” that will keep the film flat as it is pulled onto your media by the motor. The tension also needs to be the same on the top and bottom rolls, so we like to grab both rolls at the same time to test for even tension.

Waves in the Film

When you see waves or ripples in the film across the entire width of your laminated piece, you are most likely experiencing an issue with the heat of your laminator. When the heat is adjusted too high, you will see waves in the final product. Most machines have recommendations for the speed and temperature for different film specifications. If you are experiencing waves in your laminated pieces, try adjusting the temperature first, and then the speed.

Film Isn’t Sticking

While there are a few possibilities here, we recommend checking for the following adjustments.

  1. First, make sure that the rollers are not gapped (for machines that have a lever on the side to adjust the gap between the heated rollers).
  2. Second, make sure the film is threaded around the idler bars (especially on the bottom), and that the idler bars are moved into the proper position for laminating.
  3. Next, try raising the temperature of the machine, as the film that is not adhering might not be melting enough. You can also try to adjust the speed a little slower.
  4. In the last scenario, an adjustment might need to be made to the roller pressure, but this is something that you will need to call Ambind Corporation to help you with.

In certain cases, you may need to consider using a special low-melt adhesive film, or even one that has ultra-high bonding qualities. Contact Ambind Corporation for more information about whether or not this type of film would benefit you.


Laminating involves the proper combination of heat, speed, and pressure. That is the science of laminating. However, the small tricks and tweaks you use can make all the difference in the world when it comes to getting the perfect end product. That is the art. For additional references, check out this wonderful resource: Nobelus University. As always, we are happy to help you through any laminating crisis you may be having. Call Ambind Corporation at 716-725-0470 for technical support – whether you bought the machine from us or somewhere else.

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