Laminating Equipment Terms

Glossary Of Terms

Laminating Equipment
& Systems Terms

Air-shaft mandrel

A pneumatically activated mandrel used to fix or lock film rolls in place during the laminating process.

Anti-Static Unit

A device used on a laminating system to reduce or eliminate static electricity, which often causes feeding or stacking problems in the laminating process.

Bottom Mandrel

A bar or rod which typically mounts below the feed table of a two-sided laminator and holds the laminating film roll.

Bottom-Fed Laminator

A feeder used on laminators that feeds from the bottom of a short stack of prints or book covers; typically used in the on-demand production environment.

Chiller System

A forced chilled water system used to cool a laminating web after the laminating process. This is usually only typical on larger one-sided laminating systems.

Cooling Fans

Located between the nip and pull rollers on most two-sided laminators, cooling fans provide forced air to cool film quickly and prevent curling issues.

Dancer Bar

A feeding technology used on high-output automatic trimmers, which “dances” up and down to allow the free flow of the film web into the automatic trimmer.

De-Curling Bar

A bar used in the one-sided laminating process; the print is typically run around this bar to counteract the natural curl which comes from applying film to only one-side of a sheet. This is sometimes used to “break” the fibers in the sheet for better flattening of sheets.

De-Curling Roller

A roller used in a one-sided laminator to counter-effect the natural tendency of sheets to curl when having one-sided laminate applied.

Deep Pile Feeder

A top-running feeder which allows a deep stack, or “pile” of sheets to be fed from, reducing loading frequency and production interruptions.

Dual Temperature Control

Common on smaller laminators, dual temp control controls temperature settings on top and bottom rollers/heat shoes simultaneously.

Electric Reverse

An option on some laminators that allows a laminating machine to run in reverse, often used for fixing a film wraparound or jamming issue.

Feed Guide

A small edge guide located on the feed tray of a two-sided laminator, allowing the accurate and square feeding of prints into the machine.

Feed Table

The infeed table used on most one and two-sided laminators, just prior to the nip rollers.

Heat Shield

A guard that protects fingers from a hot heat shoe or heated roller while feeding prints into a laminator.

Heat Shoe

A Teflon® or non-stick coated metal shoe which allows the flow and heat-up of laminate film prior to entering the nip rollers.

Heated Roller

A laminating roller that contains a heating element inside, typically a chrome or silicon roller, and which allows the source of heat to be more directly applied to the laminate and piece being laminated. Most heated roller applications achieve 15-20% better bond than a heat-shoe machine, often important in digital print applications.

Idler Bar

A small bar or roller which the film web passes over or under after feeding off the mandrel. The idler bar typically helps with the even and wrinkle-free flow of film into the rollers for laminating.

Jogging Table

A vibrating stacker or catch unit used on the back of laminating system to keep sheets jogged and flowing freely.

Laminating Pressure Adjustment

Typically found on most laminators, this adjustment is a lever or pneumatic adjustment which allows higher or lower pressure settings for the nip and pull rollers during the laminating process.

One-Sided Film Slitting Unit

A small but sharp cutting wheel that is attached to the film feed mandrel on a one-sided film laminator. It allows the in-line slitting of one-sided laminate films to any desired width prior to web going into the machine.


A special wheel used in one-sided laminators to punch a tiny hole all along the edge of the laminate film, allowing film to be skewed and burst (or separated) as part of the one-sided laminating process.

Photo Embossing Roller

A specially textured roller used to produce the matte texture into specialty SHR™ laminated photo prints, simulating the feel of standard matte photo paper.

Quatro-Slit™ Hinge Laminator

A specialty laminator that die-cuts a hinge slit on printed sheets prior to two-sided laminating, and which allows the production of hinged lay-flat photobooks, brochures, and folded maps.


Also called a bursting unit, this device is fitted to most one-sided laminators and acts to “burst” or “pull” the sheets apart prior to exiting the laminator.

SHR™ Laminator

A specialty laminator that allows the production of SHR™ (Silver Halide Replacement), photo prints, using a combination of film and print technology that is lower cost and more environmentally friendly. SHR™ prints are indistinguishable from standard chemical-processed prints, but still retains the look, feel, and weight of regular photo paper. The SHR™ process is typically 20-40% cheaper than standard silver halide production, and is chemical-free.

Silicon Rollers

Rubberized rollers which are used in most laminators, and offer good pressure and bond strength when applying thermal laminating films.

Skewing Wheel

A small wheel used to twist the sheet slight during the bursting process in one-sided laminating.

Sleeking™ Laminator

A specialized laminator which permits the application of a finish, such as gloss or matte, a metallic foil, or a holographic impression, in spot locations or full coverage on a printed sheet. These films are manufactured to bond with HP® Indigo® inks or sometimes other types of digital toners.

Slitter Knives

Cutting devices that are positioned between the nip and pull rollers on a two-sided laminator, and which pre-slit the sides of the laminate film automatically prior to exiting the machine.


An outfeed device used on large laminating systems for stacking finish laminated pieces.

Take-Up Mandrel

An additional mandrel, typically mounted on top of a laminator, that allows the roll-up of a release liner or Sleeking film after application of foil or a pressure-sensitive film.

Threading Card or Board

A thicker piece of board or card stock used to thread laminating film through the nip and pull rollers without safety issues.

Top-Fed Laminator

A feeder used on laminators that feeds from the top of the stack, similar to most printing presses. It is typically used in a high-production / fast workflow environment.

Upper Mandrel

A bar or rod which typically mounts above the feed table of a two-sided laminator and holds the laminating film roll.


Pouch Laminator Terms

Back Rollers

Also, called the pull rollers, these provide the power to pull the finished pouches out of the pouch laminator.


A thick, silicon-coated paper pouch which is folded on one side, and allows pouches to be fed through a laminator without fear of wrap-arounds or excessive glue-ooze onto the rollers.


An effect sometimes called “ghosting”, which is typically caused by the heat setting being too low, and the film adhesive not having enough heat to effectively activate and bond.

Cooling Tray

A flat plate or surface at the rear of a pouch laminator which allows pouches to remain flat and cool down without thermo-warping, while exiting the laminating process.

Front Rollers

Sometimes called the Feed or Nip rollers, these are the first two rollers in a pouch laminator. They are positioned in front of the platen heat source.


Large metal plates which are heated, and provide the heat source.


A manufactured pocket of laminating film, typically sealed on one edge and activated by laminating in a platen-style pouch laminator.

Spring-Hinged Rollers

Spring-hinged rollers in a pouch laminator allow for variability in thickness, and often are used for machines that do laminating and mounting on board simultaneously.