Tech Watch: The Matrix from Vivid Laminating

by Lara Copeland, assistant editor, PostPress
The Matrix series is from Vivid Laminating Technologies Ltd., Coalville, England.

Specialty effects is a popular trend in short- to medium-run digital printing. The Matrix series from Vivid Laminating Technologies Ltd., Coalville, England, features multifunctionality to do foiling, holographic effects and spot UV effects that are easy to apply without costly dies or setups.

“For many years, luxury packaging with special-effect foils and finishes was only available to the biggest and most successful companies,” explained Jon Gasperini, vice president North American sales. “However, today these effects are within reach for even the smallest boutique business.” The same holds true for many other special and unique effects such as labels with glitter holographic lettering, foiled wedding invitations, variable data mailers and rainbow holographic security print for event ticketing. Printers of all sizes can offer their customers these products and produce them in house with quick turn time.

The Matrix can be used for short-run variable data foil fusing using DataBind FuseEffects® thermal transfer foils. Thermal transfer foiling can be applied to any digitally printed stock using the Matrix. Foiling can be done direct on coated stock, on specially treated soft-touch matte laminate or on printable glossy laminate, allowing low-cost creative designs for business cards, invitations, direct mail, brochures and more.

Vivid’s Matrix also brings lamination in house, giving a company control over timing and quality of output when finishing a job. With an easy-to-use multilingual digital control panel, the user can quickly set up for small runs or accommodate large runs. The Matrix can conservatively run 750 (12×18″) single-sided cover sheets per hour and with all types of laminating film. Average cost to run a 12×18″ sheet can be as low as 2.5 cents for single-sided gloss, or the popular silky or soft-touch mattes will average about 11 cents a sheet. “Bringing lamination and foiling in house saves time and money, while also creating the opportunity to deliver additional custom products,” Scott Diamond, manager lamination sales and service, commented.

The Matrix also has a self-registering gate that ensures proper and consistent spacing of sheets, maintaining underlap for single-sided laminating or a consistent gap if doing a two-sided sheet. In conjunction with the automated burster, the laminator delivers a consistent output for the next step of production – be it creasing, folding or cutting.

Several options are available when doing smaller singled-sided sheets. A film trimmer allows the user to slit down a roll if only working with a wider roll, and a take-up mandrel is available for doing variable spot foiling using DataBind FuseEffects® thermal transfer foil. An auto feeder also is available, mounting directly on the feed table, as is a rotary blade cutter for cutting thicker materials that won’t burst inline.

“We have seen our customers achieve new levels of success when they realize not only are they saving time and money by laminating in house but also are increasing profits by offering these new specialty effect products to customers directly,” said Gasperini.

Technical Details

The Vivid Matrix is available in two sizes: the MX-370, which can accommodate 1″ film and a 17″ sheet width; and the MX-530, which can accommodate 20″ film and a 22″ sheet width. All the MX series machines are manufactured with a large, chromed-steel heated roller offering a quick warm-up time of 10 minutes. The metal roller solves difficult output issues when running hard-to-laminate digital prints by applying direct heat and pressure simultaneously, allowing laminating at a lower temperature in conjunction with the pressure of the pneumatic roller to run faster. Both systems are available with manual or pneumatic roller pressure, single-sided or double-sided, and with a heated bottom roller and lower supply mandrel.