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Common Laminator Problems and Solutions



It’s not unusual to have issues with laminating machines. People often complain about the presence of bubbles and non-sticky films, among many more. Like other appliances, a laminator also has its share of malfunctions. But while they last, there are equally counter remedies.

Laminators’ problems are annoying. Generally, they’re divided into three categories ranging from operator errors to incompatible parts and coating irregularities. When these happen, they slow you down and can lead to a waste of resources. However, sometimes, these issues arise from a poor understanding of how the equipment works. The subsequent paragraphs of this article contain these problems and how to get by them.

Common Laminator Problems and Solutions

Cloudy Film

The cloudy film is when there are bubbles under the film after lamination. A cloudy film can occur when you push the film through the laminator forcefully to make the entire job faster. Also, inadequate tension between the paper and the film will cause air to be trapped between the film and the paper. Usually, the thicker the film, the more tension is required. Wet ink can also cause a film to be cloudy after laminating.

  • Feed the film slowly into the laminating equipment.
  • Check the specifications on the pressure of the film and adjust the feed spool’s tension accordingly.
  • Use only dry ink.

Non-Sticky Film

This is peculiar to digital printing. It is caused by the interaction between the ink and the adhesive. The thicker the ink, the more difficult it is to get it to stick.


The film contains an adhesive that is sensitive to heat. Preheating the machine in advance before use will activate the adhesive and ensure smooth lamination. When you use incompatible ink and film, this may occur. So read your laminator’s specifications to know what is needed to make it work effectively. Laminating paper fresh out of the printer won’t work well. Experts advise that you wait for like an hour or two before laminating.

Orange Peel

Orange peel is when a laminated document looks wrinkled or dotted with lines. Orange peel is mainly caused either by high temperatures or slow laminating speeds or both.

  • Check the film’s specifications for the appropriate temperature. If not stated, reduce the temperature.
  • Increase the laminating speed, as a low speed will cause the film to heat up too much.
  • You may be required to change the film if you suspect it to have solvent residue.


Curling occurs when a laminated document curls. It is okay if there are little curls as they can be removed with gentle smoothing. However, this may become a problem when it becomes consistent.

  • Adjust the laminator’s tension for the top and bottom of the document.
  • Use the appropriate feel and let the film on both sides be uniform. A thin film and heavy won’t work well together.

Marks on Laminated Items

A mark on the print indicates that something is stuck on the roll.


Clean the roll and avoid infeed waves by feeding parallel to the roll.

A Problem with Static Electricity

Static electricity causes the film to wrap around the roll. Run the laminator in reverse to carefully remove the wrapped film.


Static electricity can be neutralized by grounding the laminating machine to get rid of partial conductors. Using tinsel with a metal core, stretched tight and placed at 0.25 inches from your machine, makes room for free airspace and air spaces.

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