The pouch laminator is the most common and economical laminating equipment for most homes and offices. They are compact and don’t require a laminator stand. They can be used on any counter, furniture or desk top and can be stored when not in use. Laminators vary in size and are available in sizes up to 20 inches.
A pouch laminating machine costs less and is easier to operate than a roll laminator. You can find them in any office supply store, online or in most stores that sell office equipment. A variety of sizes are available to laminate anything from an ID card to legal sized documents.
How a Pouch Laminator Works
These laminators use pouches of laminating film that are shaped like a folder. The document is placed inside the film and is then fed into the machine. The document is sealed inside the pouch. This method forms a permanent bond between the film and the document. There is a slight overlap of the film, which leaves a clear edge around the document.
Once laminated, the document is water proof and tear proof. This protects documents from getting destroyed or becoming dirty. In addition, lamination gives your documents a professional look. When you laminate reports or presentation materials, they have a high quality look.
Types of Pouches for your Laminator
Thermal pouches are heat activated. They adhere the film to the document at higher temperatures of between 175 and 270 degrees Fahrenheit. Low melt pouches are available and bond at temperatures between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Photographs and other images can be damaged at high temperatures and should be protected with cold lamination or low melt.
Pressure sensitive pouches are used in cold lamination machines. These use pressure to attach the laminate to the document. The pouch has release paper which must be removed to expose the adhesive. The document is then placed between the layers and fed through the machine. Pressure from the rollers helps the laminate adhere to the document.
Barcode pouches have an opaque covering that prevents bar codes from being copied. These are available in a variety of sizes.
Security coating is used with photographs in developing. The laminate is completely bonded with the image and can’t be removed without destroying the photograph.
Magnetic stripe pouches store information in magnetic codes which can be decoded by a stripe reader. These are commonly used by businesses for swipe cards in access control systems.
Pre Punched pouches have holes already punched in them. This allows you to put the finished documents in a binder without having to punch your own holes. A variety of hole arrangements are available to fit just about any binder.
Buying a Good Laminator
Consider the documents you will be laminating. Make sure the size of the machine is sufficient for the documents you need to protect.
Be sure the machine you choose is suitable for the work you will do. If you will be laminating a lot of pictures, you may not want a hot laminator. Another option is to choose a machine that will work with all laminates on the market. These tend to be more expensive, but are more versatile.
Consider how many documents you will laminate in a day. Pouch machines are best for laminating up to 50 pages each day. If you will be doing much more than this, consider a larger machine.