Laminating Equipment

Basic descriptions of laminating equipment. November 11, 2008

Reprinted with permission from MLS Machinery, Inc.

Laminating Equipment Complete Lines/Trimmers/Slitters
Laminating Equipment - Pinch Rollers/Panel Cleaners
Laminating Equipment - Wrap/Foil/Roll

Laminating Equipment Complete Lines/Trimmers/Slitters
This category covers a whole range of machines of which some have been covered in other categories, as an example, laminating uses panel cleaners, glue spreaders, high frequency presses, and standard presses which will be discussed in a separate category. Laminating equipment does multi-functions as opposed to say a conventional press that presses high pressure laminates or veneers after having gone through various separate stages such as a panel cleaner, glue spreader and a pinch roller. A pinch roller is another machine that falls under laminating equipment. It pinches the laminate to the panel after the glue spreader has applied glue to the board, forming a common bond while removing any air bubbles or air pockets.

A complete laminating line is where the whole application as just described above is found in one continuous machine line. Machines that fall into this category are continuous roll laminating lines where rolls of vinyl or paper in various widths are applied to full sheets of plywood or particle board that have been pre-glued by a glue spreader (in some cases the vinyl or paper might have been pre-glued). The vinyl is attached to the board under heat which reactivates the glue and the two are pinched together and are pressed in a continuous form by a sequence of rollers, one sheet after another being 4'x8', 4'x9', 5'x10', etc. These sheets are fed by conveyor through this continuous line after being panel cleaned, glue applied and the two parts, that is the vinyl/paper and the board come together. The rolls or paper/vinyl being continuous, that is, they are on rolls and get cut once the full sheet is laminated. They are now stacked and are sent to other operations where they will be cut, drilled and edged for furniture parts or other products.

Lip Trimmer Machines - a trimming device that cuts off excess high pressure laminates from a panel either vertically or horizontally.

Slitters are machines that will take full rolls of vinyl or veneer and slit them to size for further operations such as making edgebanding or material for profile wrappers. These machines have a set of knives or rotary knives that are located in positions where the material is to be cut (slit). Once the full rolls are unwound (unwinders) they go through the knives to be slit and the rewinders under tension rewind the new slit rolls.

Laminating Equipment - Pinch Rollers/Panel Cleaners
A pinch roller is part of laminating equipment, it pinches the laminate to the panel after the glue spreader has applied glue to the board, forming a common bond while removing any air bubbles or air pockets.

The panel cleaner would be before the glue spreader in this case. This machine looks like a pinch roller or glue spreader but has cleaning brushes from the top and bottom instead of rubber or steel rollers. These machines come in various widths and some might have 3 or 4 rollers, some also had an anti static rod to remove any static electricity.

Laminating Equipment - Wrap/Foil/Roll

Profile Wrappers and certain Foilers wrap material around a moulded part. The Foiler will use a foil material or a hot stamped material that uncoils from a roll and lays exactly what is required onto the part just like a heat transfer press. The foiler will use this same application of transfer for flat panel laminating, edge laminating (as in edgebanding) or to wrap profiles using variations of this type of machine.

In profile wrapping there is no transfer of material, there is an actual laminating process of one material using cold glue, hot glue, PUR of pre glued material to another.
The material being applied or laminated can be veneer, vinyl, paper, laminate to a preformed substrate, be it solid wood moulding, an MDF moulding or extruded plastic or aluminum.

The process would be similar to what is discussed below. The substrate would be fed through this long narrow machine, the material that will be laminated will go through a process of getting glue applied, be it hot, cold or whatever similar to a glue spreader. The glued laminate and the substrate will come together and through a process of numerous rollers all set at different angles to conform to the contour of the substrate will apply the laminate onto the substrate similar to a pinch roller.

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