Many of today’s roll laminators share the same type of electronic technology and the basic concept of laminating is the same but unfortunately that is where the similarities end.
Although most laminators share the same types of problems, the replacement parts are not interchangeable, even within the same manufacturer family.
One of the most commonly replaced parts is the power switch. There are so many versions to this one single part I could write an entire article on just power switches. There are lighted and non lighted, snap in, screw in type, single throw, double throw and so many more. Why is this part so prone to failure. From my experience here in our repair shop we feel that the switches are under rated for the amount of amps they pull. This causes the switches to fail early and frequently.
Rollers are the second most commonly replaced item on our list of common failures. In order to have smooth even laminations your rollers must be free of debris and any imperfections. Rollers will dry out and become brittle over time due to the constant heat they are subjected to, but in many cases roller failure is due to negligence by the end user. When the laminating film is loaded incorrectly on to the laminator and the film ends up rolling and glueing itself to the rollers, most end users run for the utility knife to remove the film. In most cases when a knife of any type is used to remove the film the roller is also cut or nicked. Once this occurs there is no fix other than to replace the rollers.
Control Boards are the next on our list of commonly replaced parts. The Control Boards are the brains of today’s Roll Laminators. They control almost every function of the machine from warm up time, to temperature settings. What makes this type of failure so expensive to repair is that there is no way to repair these boards from a component level. Information on components is not shared by the manufacturers, which makes it virtually impossible to repair these boards. Schematics that are provided for laminators only provide wiring diagrams they show no schematics for circuit design or function. Heat is by far the worst enemy of the control boards and because there is no proper ventilation to these vital components over a period of time they fail.
So which laminator is the most reliable. I can’t really say for sure as there are too many variables involved. But from a prospective of repair costs, GBC Roll Laminators are by far the most expensive to repair, where the USI models are much more economical to repair.
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