Visit LaminationDepot.com to learn more about the MRB-300 3:1 Wire Binding Machine.
Regardless of what industry you're in, business cards are one of the most cost-effective and popular tools for sharing your business information with clients and prospects. With all of the user-friendly graphic design software available in today's marketplace, it's easy to create attractive and professional-looking business cards in your own office using a desktop printer. But once you've printed out your custom business cards, how do you cut them down to the appropriate size? In this post, we take a closer look at personal business card slitters, which accurately and efficiently cut letter-sized paper into standard 2" x 3-1/2" business cards with minimal effort.
Personal business card cutters are available with either manual or electric operation, with either standard or full bleed cutting capabilities. Standard business card slitters are used to cut cards that have a blank border around the outer edge of the design, which are designed using a 12-up template (12 cards per sheet). Full bleed cutters are designed to cut cards that have images or text that run to the edge of the card, created using a 10-up template (10 cards per sheet). The resulting cards are borderless, which makes the full bleed cutters an ideal choice for graphics- or photography-based designs. While full bleed cutters can cut standard business cards (created using a 10-up template), standard cutters are not able to cut cards with full bleed designs.
Whether using a manual or electric model, personal business card cutters generally perform a two-step process in order to trim the business cards down to size. On the first pass through the machine, the pre-printed, letter-sized sheet is inserted vertically and trimmed down to two 3-1/2" x 11" strips. The strips are then fed horizontally through the machine to be cut into 2" x 3-1/2" business cards. The entire two-step process only takes around 10 seconds (depending upon the machine), which means that you can accurately cut up to 72 business cards per minute.
Personal business card cutters are designed for trimming business cards, but they can also be used to cut a variety of other useful items. If you have a photo-quality printer, you can print sheets of photographs onto photo paper and cut them into individual, wallet-size prints using your business card cutter. You can also create ID badges for trade shows, events, or for use around the office using either a 10-up or 12-up template and trimmed with your business card cutter. Teachers can design their own custom flash cards or other teaching materials with ease using their favorite word processing or graphic design program, and cut them to size using a business card slitter. You can even make your own full-color, business card-sized magnets using printable, magnetic stock and your personal card cutter. If you are using a standard cutter, you will need to leave a blank border around any item that you place into the 12-up template in order for them to be cut properly.
Business cards are a valuable tool for sharing your name and company information with clients and prospects, but not every organization has the budget to order custom cards from a professional print shop. For small runs of professional-looking business cards on a budget, you can use your favorite graphic design or word processing program along with your color printer and a personal business card cutter to create your own business cards. In addition to making business cards, you can also use the same process to create ID cards, full-color promotional magnets, flash cards and other teaching aids, wallet-size photographs, and many other useful items. Personal business card cutters are a great choice for home offices, small offices, and classrooms, with their ease of use, versatility, and affordable price point.
Powis Parker's Fastback binding systems are known for creating durable and professional thermally-bound documents using their patented Fastback binding strips. The Fastback 9 binding system (which is one of their newest models) is the most compact and affordable of all of their thermal binding systems. Specifically designed to work with Lx binding strips, this user-friendly thermal binding machine is capable of binding documents ranging from 10 to 250 pages in length in as little as 35 seconds. In this post, we share a basic overview of the Fastback 9 binding process.
While pouch laminators have been the preferred choice for laminating small documents for many years, a growing number of organizations have been replacing their pouch laminators with compact roll laminators. With sizes from 12" - 13" wide, these office-friendly laminators utilize bulk film rolls instead of pre-cut laminating pouches, which can reduce your supply costs. In this post, we take a closer look at the Tamerica VersaLam 1300 - a heavy-duty 13" roll laminator that can mount, laminate up to 10 mil, and even perform single-sided lamination.
The VersaLam 1300 from Tamerica is a 13" roll laminator that is capable of laminating with film thicknesses ranging from 1.5 to 10 mil. Unlike other comparably-sized roll laminators, the VersaLam has a 3" core (using core adapters included along with the standard 1" mandrel), which allows it to use larger film rolls (up to 500') and a greater variety of film types. Many professional-quality films are only available with a 3" core, making the VersaLam 1300 the only 13" laminator able to use specialty films like DIGIKote, Super-Lam, and nylon laminating film. Though its laminating speed is a modest 4' per minute, it can mount up to 3/16", has high-quality heated silicone rollers, includes a rolling metal stand, and has a one-year warranty.
Furthermore, the VersaLam 1300 can perform both two-sided and single-sided lamination. It is equipped with decurling bars, which counteract the curling tendencies of documents that are only laminated on one side to help ensure a flat finished product. It also has an independent on/off switch for the bottom roller, so that the heat can be turned off during single-sided lamination.
Small roll laminators (with a laminating width of 13" or less) are growing in popularity with schools, copy centers, churches, offices, and even home users, because they have lower supply costs compared with pouch laminators and can often increase output speed (since the documents can simply be fed into the machine instead of being manually inserted into pouches). While there are a number of quality, entry-level machines in this size, there are very few professional-level machines. The VersaLam 1300 is capable of laminating using films up to 10 mil thick, can utilize rolls with both 1" and 3" core sizes, mounts up to 3/16" thick, and includes a heavy-duty, rolling, metal stand. It is also able to perform single-sided and double-sided lamination, thanks to built-in decurling bars and an independent heating switch for the bottom roller.
Though the VersaLam 1300 may be too large of an investment for small offices, it is by far the most affordable machine on the market when it comes to single-sided lamination. It is also the only 13" machine that uses heated silicone rollers instead of heat shoes (which tend to leave small scratches in the film as it passes over them). If you're looking for a robust roll laminator that is packed with features but doesn't occupy a lot of space, then you'll definitely want to consider the VersaLam 1300.
Velobind binding is a thermal binding method that uses two-piece plastic binding spines to create a durable bind. Unlike adhesive-based thermal binding methods which can often be edited fairly easily, documents bound with Velobind strips cannot be edited unless the spine is completely removed and replaced with a new spine. In this post, we learn more about the Velobind binding method and take a closer look at some of the unique benefits it offers.
There are two types of thermal binding – binding with an adhesive spine and binding with sets of pronged plastic bars (commonly referred to as "Velobind spines"). The most popular thermal binding style involves the application of an adhesive-lined spine to a set of documents using a specialized machine that heats the spine and melts the glue, allowing adhesive to permeate the documents and create a bind. These spines are available in a few styles, including varieties that have pre-attached covers in both soft- and hard-cover formats.
Velobind-style binding is preferred by people looking to create tamper-proof binds, as it is impossible to edit without having to rebind the document. To bind with these spines, the user punches the documents with the proper hole pattern (generally 9, 11, or 14 holes, depending on the document size), inserts the pronged side through the holes and then slides the flat side onto the prongs. The document is then placed into the binding machine, which trims the prongs to size and melts the ends to secure the bind. Because the individual prongs act as reinforcements for the spine, Velobind strips can be used to bind documents up to 3" thick, which is considerably thicker than most other conventional binding styles can accommodate.
Velobind spines (also called "hot knife strips") are available in 9-, 11-, and 14-pin varieties, which accommodate binding on 8 1/2", 11" and 14" paper. They are able to secure up to 750 pages in a single book, making them the preferred choice for large documents. Hot knife strips come in a broad range of attractive colors like other binding spines, but they are only offered in three sizes (1", 2", and 3") which makes stocking them much easier. Since the excess length of the prongs is cut off during the binding process, the same 1" spine can be used to bind a document that is 20 sheets or 250 sheets.
Velobind Binding Machines
Binding with Velobind spines requires punching with a specialized hole pattern before performing the thermal bind, which generally means that the machines cost more than other thermal binding systems. Because of the additional punching step, Velobinding is commonly regarded as being one of the most secure and tamper-resistant binding styles, which is why it is often used in binding legal documents.
The process for binding with Velobind strips is fairly similar to binding with other styles. To begin, the sheets of the document are punched in sets (based on the punch capacity of the specific model being used) until all pages as well as the covers have been punched. Next, the flat half of the binding strip is placed into the binding channel so that the alignment pin is inserted into the corresponding hole on the strip. Then, the pronged ends of the spine are inserted through the holes in the document. Finally, the prongs are inserted into the holes on the flat strip so that the document is sandwiched between them. The binding process is then activated (see the manual for your machine for specific instructions), and after about 30 seconds, your document is ready to remove from the machine.
Creating professional-looking bound documents is easy with thermal binding. Velobind binding is a secure and durable binding method that uses a thermal binding machine to melt and fuse a two-piece plastic binding spine. With its versatility and strength, Velobind binding is a great way to create bound documents that look and feel professionally-made at a reasonable cost.
Lamination Depot offers laminating pouches in hundreds of unique sizes to accommodate the most popular insert document sizes. Because laminating pouches need to be larger than the insert document in order to achieve a proper seal, there are a few guidelines that should be followed to help determine the most appropriate size for your document.
A minimum border of 1/8" is required on all sizes of your document in order for the pouch to seal properly. The easiest way to determine the ideal laminating pouch size for your insert is to simply measure the document and then add 1/4" to both the length and the height. The resulting measurements will represent the appropriate laminating pouch size for your insert. If your insert document is a standard size (such as a letter-sized sheet or a business card), then you will likely find a pouch that is designed to be an exact fit.
Even if your document is an unusual size, it is still somewhat likely that you will find a standard pouch size that will work. Although you cannot have a margin of less than 1/8" between the edges of your pouch and the edges of your insert document, having a larger margin will not cause any problems. You can choose to leave the larger border intact or trim it down to 1/8" using a paper cutter or a pair of scissors. If the pouch that you are using is substantially larger than your insert document, then you may notice small bubbles forming in the areas where the layers of excess film meet (which is why it is important to use the pouch size that most closely matches your document).
If you plan on using pre-slotted laminating pouches (or will be using a manual slot punch to add slots after lamination), then you will need to increase the margin to account for the slot. A standard slot is 1/8" tall, and a 1/8" margin is required above and below the slot itself, bringing the required margin to 3/8" for the slotted portion. When you add this to the 1/8" margin that is required on the edge opposite the slot, your pouch will need to be 1/2" larger than the insert document on the slotted side (and will need to be the standard 1/4" on the side without the slot).
Though most wire binding machines have built-in wire closers, many high-volume production environments choose to purchase a separate wire closer unit in order to increase their productivity. Furthermore, stand-alone wire closers are also a great investment for those who own comb binding machines, since spiral-o wires are specifically designed to be compatible with the comb binding pattern. In this post, we take an in-depth look at the DuraWire 450 wire closer and learn about how it can improve your wire binding experience.
All binding wires - including both twin-loop wire and spiral-o wire - are sold in an "open" state, and must be closed in order to finish the bind. After inserting the pages of your document onto the prongs of the wire spine, the document is placed into the wire closer with the wire facing down. As you pull the handle on the wire closer, uniform pressure will be applied to the wire binding spine in order to close it. Once the wire has been properly closed, the document is secure within the spine can be removed from the machine.
Benefits of the DuraWire 450
The DuraWire 450 by Tamerica offers users a number of benefits over most built-in wire closer models. Because the DuraWire 450 is a stand-alone unit, it can be operated independently from the punching machine, which means that two people can work simultaneously to dramatically increase productivity. It features an adjustable closing diameter, which allows you to set the closing width to match the size of the wire binding spine that you are using and helps to eliminate improperly closed wires. Unlike many other models that have a fixed maximum closing length, the DuraWire 450 has an open-ended closing throat to accommodate oversized documents in a two-step process (or documents up to 14" long in a single step). The DuraWire wire closer can close spines as small as 3/16" in diameter and as large as 1-1/4" in both 2:1 and 3:1 pitch, as well as 19-ring spiral-o wires. It is designed for high-volume binding environments, with heavy-duty metal components and a steel base that will stand up to years of use. The DuraWire also includes a one-year manufacturer's warranty.
If you plan on binding wire twin loop wire or spiral-o, then you will need a wire closer to close the open spine and finish the bind. Most wire binding machines have built-in wire closers, however organizations that create a large number of wire-bound documents often choose to invest in a stand-alone wire closer to help increase their output. The Tamerica DuraWire 450 is a heavy-duty wire closer designed to close wires of all diameters, lengths, and pitches with ease. Not only does it feature an extra-long 14" closing length (with open ends for longer documents), but it also has an adjustable closing diameter that can be set according to your spine size to help eliminate improperly closed wires. Whether you're looking to add a new wire closer to your production line or simply want a more robust closer than the one that is built in to your wire binding machine, the DuraWire 450 is worth considering.
As we've covered in previous posts, single-sided laminating is a great way to protect book covers, posters, maps, and other projects that need to be preserved on the front side while remaining untreated on the back side. Nylon laminating film is specifically designed to work in conjunction with your single-sided laminator to reduce curling for superior results. Traditionally, nylon laminating film has been offered with standard adhesion strength, but some projects require a more aggressive adhesive. That's where nylon Xtreme Bond laminating film comes in. This ultra-sticky film provides the same curl-resistant properties as standard nylon film, but with a specialized adhesive formulation that adheres to difficult-to-stick-to prints. In this post, we take a closer look at nylon Xtreme Bond laminating film.
Nylon Xtreme Bond laminating film is available in widths ranging from 12.5" to 19.5" on 3,000' rolls. The film is a thin and pliable 1.2 mil thickness, which makes it an ideal choice for making paper book covers. Because it is designed to be used with a single-sided laminating machine, it is only available on a 3" core. Nylon Xtreme Bond film is available in both gloss and matte finishes (matte is available by special order), both of which offer superior abrasion resistance as well as water-, oil-, acid-, and alkali-resistant properties.
The superior adhesives bond well with digital prints - including digital output from Xerox Docutech and Docucolor machines, Nexpress, and Xeikon Systems - and the film carries an official validation from the Xerox Finishing Lab. It is capable of adhering to fuser oil-based inks, digital toners, and even "wet" inks. Xtreme Bond film can even be die-cut for specialty applications.
Using nylon laminating film is a must if you want great results on your single-sided laminating projects, but most standard nylon films do not offer the adhesion strength that is required for working with digital prints. If you have a need to perform single-sided lamination on digital prints (or other difficult-to-adhere-to media, such as those printed with oil-based inks), then nylon Xtreme Bond laminating film is an excellent solution. It offers all of the same benefits as traditional nylon film - including curl-resistance, abrasion-resistance, and the ability to be die-cut - but also features a specially-formulated adhesive that tames most toners and inks. In conjunction with your single-sided laminator, nylon Xtreme Bond laminating films will transform your digitally-printed posters, book covers, maps, displays, and other projects into durable documents that will stand up to years of use.
Powis Parker's Fastback binding systems are known for creating durable and professional thermally-bound documents using their patented Fastback binding strips. The Fastback 9 (which is one of their newest models) is the most compact and affordable of all of their thermal binding systems. In this post, we learn more about Lx-Strips, which are specifically designed to work with the Fastback 9 thermal binder.
Like standard Super Strips, Fastback Lx-Strips are paper-based spines that are lined with thermally-activated adhesive. Lx-Strips are made with the same thermoplastic adhesives as Powis Parker's other binding strips, which are made with three separate formulations used in distinct areas of the strips to improve overall adhesion. They are 11" in length, available in two widths - narrow (3-125 pages; up to 1/2") and medium (126-250 pages; 1/2"-1") - and come in an attractive array of standard colors. Lx-Strips are lightly scored, which allows them to be creased into an "L" shape by hand before they are inserted into the Fastback 9 binding machine.
Binding with Lx-Strips
To bind a document with Lx-Strips, begin by turning on your Fastback 9 binding machine and setting it to Lx mode. Select the appropriate strip size for your document, and gently crease it into an "L" shape using your fingers (ensuring that the adhesive faces inward). If you are unsure as to what size spine to use, inserting your document into the binding recess and pushing the "Bind" button will display the correct spine size on the LCD screen. Place the Lx-Strip into the binding recess with the adhesive facing up and the short side of the "L" pressed against the back of the channel, and slide it all the way to the right. Jog the pages of your document as well as the covers so that they are aligned along the edge (where they will be bound) and place them into the binding recess. Align them with the Lx-Strip so that the top and bottom edges of the document are flush with the top and bottom edges of the strip. To create a uniform strip width on the front of your document regardless of size, place the front cover against the back of the binding channel. After you have ensured that your document is flush against the back of the binding recess, press the "Bind" button to start the binding process. When the binding process is complete, the LCD screen will read "Remove Book." Gently pull the finished book out of the binding recess and place it into the cooling rack. After the book has cooled for approximately five minutes, it is ready for distribution.
The Fastback binding machine series from Powis Parker uses specially-engineered binding strips to create thermally-bound documents that are attractive and surprisingly strong. The Fastback 9 binding machine, which is the smallest and most affordable model in the series, uses a distinct variety of binding strip called an Lx-Strip. This paper-based strip is made with three types of adhesive to help ensure a durable bind. If you are looking for a thermal binding machine that is compact enough to fit on a desktop but robust enough to handle your binding needs, then take a closer look at the Fastback 9 binding system. Binding with Lx-Strips is very easy and effective, and their intelligent design makes the process practically error-proof.
Single-sided lamination has a variety of applications, ranging from book covers and posters to photographic prints and maps. While many people think that single-sided lamination can be achieved by simply loading only one roll of film onto a standard, two-sided laminator, the fact is that one-sided lamination is a unique process that requires specially-designed film and equipment. In this post, we take a closer look at single-sided lamination to learn what separates it from double-sided thermal lamination.
When you use a laminator for two-sided lamination, each of the sides is applying tension to the laminated document. Since the two sides apply tension in opposing directions, your document will lay flat. Because documents laminated on only one side aren't able to rely on the opposing tensions in order to keep the document from curling, specialized laminating film must be used in conjunction with a single-sided laminator in order to counteract the curl. Single-sided laminating machines feature decurling bars (also called "anti-curling bars"), which the laminated documents feed through before they exit the machine. These bars help to flatten out any minor curls that occur during lamination, and are found exclusively on single-sided laminating machines.
Nylon "Lay-Flat" Laminating Film
Also called "lay-flat" laminating film, nylon laminating film is specifically designed for single-sided applications. The adhesive used on lay-flat laminating film has a lower melting temperature than the adhesive used on standard laminating film (210-230 degrees F compared to 290 degrees F), which helps to reduce curling. Nylon also shrinks less during cooling than polyester, which is yet another feature designed to reduce curls in your laminated documents. Nylon laminating film is water-, oil-, acid-, and alkali-resistant, can be foil-stamped, printed, or glued, and can even be die cut. It is most commonly sold in a 1.2 mil thickness and on a 3" core, with widths varying between 12.5" and 19.5".
Problems with Using Your Two-Sided Laminator for Single-Sided Lamination
Aside from the curling issues mentioned earlier in this post, there are a number of problems that can occur when a two-sided laminator is used for single-sided lamination. If you load only one roll of film onto your laminator, any excess film that extends past the width of your document will leave adhesive residue behind on the other roller (which can even cause the film to wrap around the roller entirely - a messy and time-consuming clean-up). When you have film loaded onto both sides, the film on the bottom protects the bottom roller from the excess film on the top roller, and vice versa. Furthermore, nylon laminating film is sold on a 3" core, while most non-commercial laminators use 1" core film. As a result, most double-sided thermal laminators aren't capable of using the lay-flat film required for single-sided lamination.
Single-sided lamination is popular in a number of industries, because it protects one side of a document while leaving the other side bare for additional processes (such as book-binding or mounting). Contrary to popular belief, single-sided lamination is actually a distinct and separate process from two-sided lamination, and requires the use of specialized nylon laminating film and a single-sided laminator. If you have a need to perform single-sided lamination on a regular basis, then investing in the proper equipment and supplies is a must, because using a double-sided laminator will not give you the results that you are looking for (and can ultimately cause damage to your machine).
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