By Cassandra Balentine
Part 2 of 2
Sleeking is a method of finishing that incorporates a special foil or film and lamination machine. Ideal for short-run applications, the process involves applying a special foil film with a thermal laminator. Through the use of heat, the foil bonds to the printed areas and is stripped away, leaving the printed areas foiled.
To perform sleeking effects, print providers need the right foils and lamination. Here we highlight laminators that tout the ability to handle foil films.
GMP offers a range of sleeking equipment and foils, including the entry-level Exceltopic-380, commercial Q-Topic, and industrial Protopic Range of laminators.
The GMP Exceltopic-380 is an entry-level lamination machine that handles sleeking. According to the company, the semi-automatic desktop laminator is ideal for short-run, on demand lamination. The device is equipped with an electric cam for automatic paper gap control; a super polished metal roller, ideal for gloss lamination; hot roller to avoid silvering or microbubbles; a sensor in the metal roller for fast and precise temperature control; a special de-curling device to eliminate damage on both side prints; top and inline perforator for the best bursting results; and a rewind unit.
The GMP Qtopic-380 print on demand laminator is designed to offer an in-house laminating solution for short-run, on demand digital applications as well as the more traditional lithographic outputs. The Qtopic-380 series also has the ability to create sleeking effects direct from the box. The built-in rewinder enables holographic images and foils to be applied to a sheet without any special skills or tools.
Special features of the Qtopic-380 include the fact that it uses a household power supply equivalent to 220-240V; an environmentally friendly Thermalami system; and supports a range of lamination base films including BOPP, nylon, and PET. The device includes a sleeking solution and Micronex lamination with a rewinder unit for gloss, matte, hologram, and metallic film.
The GMP Protopic series is designed to deliver quick and professional results. The machines are ideal for copy and print shops, providing lamination without bubbling. This collection of machines are easy to use, provide speedy results, and are well suited for embossing or laminating digital print media. The laminator is ideal for print media specialists dealing with book covers, file covers, postcards, and pamphlets.
Released in the Fall of 2019, Konica Minolta offers the AccurioShine 101 sleeking device. The desktop machine offers specialized embellishment finishing effects in combination with Konica Minolta production printers, as well as a small footprint, affordable price point, and several multi-coating functions. This desktop solution, with its simple, quick job setup process makes embellishment available in house at a printer’s fingertips.
According to the company, benefits include high value-added printing and high-quality, CMYK overprint on foil. Special effects include toner foiling, metallic color foil, lamination films, and spot gloss highlights. Easy operation enables short lead times for in-house added-value print services and the affordable price allows users to bring special “bling” to projects.
Nobelus was the first integrator of sleeking solutions in the U.S. Since 2013, the company has experience overcoming customer’s challenges and helping them achieve success. Its technical knowledge and expertise are the company’s main differentiators, according to Dragan Nikolic, business development manager, Nobelus. “We educate our client’s prepress departments to think in layers and have tools to help them with the design process that they may use to educate their clients. We find our multi-step, multi-department training program is very helpful to ensure the know-how and high level of confidence when producing a sleeking project,” he comments.
Further, Nobelus is committed to developing and introducing new films and foils to the market every year. “We partner with press manufacturers to understand the nuances of each digital press to identify proper settings that lead to successful projects. When combining the LuxeFilms range of specialty film with Nobelus Sleeking foils and its range of modern laminators, the experience is second to none,” adds Nikolic.
Skandacor offers a range of equipment for applying SLEEKpro. Most of its simplex laminators come with the ability to run SLEEKpro, however the company developed and improved specific models to work with the process. The entry-level DURApro PODTopic features an improved paper path for SLEEKpro and is designed to make changeovers as quick as possible. It handles 15-inch wide by up to 47-inch long prints, making it an ideal match for most digital print engines. It is also available in an automatic version with a deep pile feeder, which limits the sheet length to 19.7-inch length but handles most digital sheet sizes. Normal operation speed for SLEEKpro on the PODTopic is 15 to 20 feet per minute.
Moving into high-production units, Skandacor offers the Bagel Systems line of equipment, starting with the Minilam, which handles a 15×27-inch sheet size, then the DigiFav in the 20×28-inch format—an ideal companion for those with digital or conventional half sheet presses—and the Skandacor Falcon, which handles 29.5×41.30-inch sheets from pallet to pallet for ultimate productivity.
Jon Congdon, product consultant, Skandacor, points out that while all these machines are very capable, they are primarily used as laminators with the ability to effectively produce SLEEKpro.
“Unlike other finishing equipment that performs operations likely to happen anyway and are necessary, e.g. folding, SLEEKpro equipment adds new hard profit opportunities with new product offerings and increase the versatility of the shop,” shares Congdon. “Many print providers are currently outsourcing these processes and are turning away business with high prices. In short, they can open new revenue streams, bring processes in house, and acquire and retain new clients by meeting the print consumers’ needs quickly and economically,” he adds.
Vivid Laminator offers its Matrix range of single- and double-sided thermal laminating machines. The Matrix range is designed to provide customers with services previously outsourced. Matrix systems are designed to be truly modular, offering many different finishing options.
The Omni-Flow Deep Pile Auto Feeders can be retrofitted to all 370 and 530 Pneumatic and Duplex models, saving time and money by fully automating your workflow. Additionally, the Flatbook accessory enables perfect bound and PUR Bound book covers to be laminated on both sides and stay perfectly flat, while the four pneumatic systems in the range not only laminate, they can also add foil and spot UV-style effects to prints.
Printed output featuring value-added effects, like foil finishes, are in demand. For short-run applications, it is hard to justify the cost associated with traditional foil stamping technology. Sleeking and foil laminating techniques provide an option for these effects at a more affordable price point for on demand print environments.
Mar2020, DPS Magazine