|Drytac VersaCoater XL UV liquid roller coater and the different kinds of laminating equipment that are available|
First you have normal traditional film lamination, which can be hot or cold lamination. In recent years, more companies are going to liquid lamination, also called roll coating or roll to roll flood coating.
Liquid lamination today can be water-based (aqueous) or UV-cured. Aqueous liquid lamination tends to beIR (infrared) cured. In the past solvent-based liquid lamination was available. This was the most vile-smelling material I have ever experienced in a printhshop. Not many companies in Western Europe and not many in North America would dare install a solvent-based liquid lamination system today. But in the 1990's many large signage shops and giclee/décor companies used nauseous solvent-based liquid lamination for top coating signage, vehicle wrap, or artists canvas.
Now that so many printshops have UV-cured flatbed or roll-to-roll printers, their clients seek more glossy or at least a satin appearance. This you can achieve by running your prints through a Drytac VersaCoater liquid coater. A coater is similar to a laminator, but is for coating, not lamination.
Site-visit case study inspection of the Drytac VersaCoater XL60, XL80
At FLAAR, when possible, we try to do our evaluations inside a printshop. Then we ask for access to the main demo room of the equipment manufacturer distributor. It helps when we can meet and learn from the key people. First, in Toronto years ago, we met the owner and his son. Then we met the presidentMarc Oosterhuis. Plus we learn from speaking with the inventor or main engineer (in this case Jim Tatum). So for this liquid laminator we began asking questions at the Dubai trade show 2009, then at ISA trade show '09, then at FESPA Digital Europe 09.
Then we learned that a reader of the FLAAR Reports had recently installed a Drytac VersaCoater XL60 or XL80. So in June 2009 FLAAR spent two days in Indiana, inspecting the Drytac VersaCoater XL. We found out that he had decommissioned his Neschen AquaSeal 60 or 80UV Pro because it did not function adequately (he had probably the first model in 2007, so it might have improved since then). He had replaced the Neschen AquaSeal with the Drytac, and found the Drytac had so many improved features that the differences in performance and ease of use were noticeable.
The FLAAR Reports is now prepared, based on the notes we took. The next stage is to visit the main demo room of Drytac. We would also like to learn more about the Neschen AquaSeal 60 or 80UV Pro to see which of the litany of deficiencies has been replaced by better components.
Applications for UV-curable liquid lamination with the Drytac VersaCoater XL60, XL80
For giclee ateliers and photo labs you can coat artist's canvas, wallpaper, and photo substrates including resin coated photo paper.
For signage you can coat PVC, Sintra, Trovocel, foam board, coated papers, corrugated materials, and specified other signage substrates.
Drytac buys Advanced Finishing Systems, AFS to obtain new UV-curing technology
By Spring 2008 Drytac cleverly bought Advanced Finishing Systems, AFS. So now Drytac owns the technology itself, and experienced engineer Jim Tatum is at Drytac too.
Drytac also now offers their Drytac DES 4-Foam, edge finishing adhesive system for Foamcore.
Drytac VersaCoater Multipro XL Recent Updates
During ISA 2011 and FESPA Hamburg 2011 we had the opportunity to review the VersaCoater Multipro XL and see the new updates made to this coater.
Since the VersaCoater XL came to the market, Drytac has made several updates to it, between we can found an acrylic window at the front hood to avoid having to lift the cover to see the rolling process, to avoid dust particles enter and ruin the coating and to prevent the operator breath the fumes.
One of the more notable updates is the application of white coating for acrylic prints.
Another update was the dual UV lamps, which can be turned on individually depending on the size job requirement and providing economy electricity consumption.
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