Listed below are the answers to our most commonly asked questions. We hope this is a helpful resource for you to get the answers you need.
If you do not find the answer you are looking for or need additional assistance, please feel free to email us at email@example.com . Our team of industry experts will be happy to help.
|General||back to top|
- How can I get a copy of an invoice for my credit card order?
- How do I go about getting an open account / credit with you to place my orders?
- How do I request a catalog?
- I need an order form to process my order. How can I get a printable version?
- What does “wide format” mean?
- What is your 100% Satisfaction Guarantee?
- When will my order ship?
- Why should I register on www.usi-laminate.com?
|Film Questions||back to top|
- Can fluorescent lighting fade my laminated images?
- Can I use laminating film that is narrower than my laminator?
- How do I find the right pouch to fit the size of my custom cards?
- How do I load the laminating film onto my CSL or ARL roll laminator?
- How should I store my roll film?
- I have heard 5mil film being referred to as having a 3/2 or 1/4 ratio. What does this mean?
- I have maps and charts I want to laminate. What type of film should I use?
- I have read UVA, UVB, and UVI in your film descriptions. What do these mean?
- I have to make a sign that will stick to a wall or display board. What do you suggest I use?
- I know that laminating film comes in different finishes. What are they, and what is the difference between them?
- If I am using 3mil film to laminate my document, why is my document now considered 10mil thick?
- Is your film wound “Poly In” or “Poly Out”?
- Some times I have scratch marks/streaks on my lamination. What is causing this and how do I stop it?
- What is a butterfly pouch? How is it different than a regular pouch?
- What is a film splice and what do I do if I find a splice in my roll film?
- What is the difference between a low-density adhesive and a co-polymer adhesive?
- What is the difference between polyester, polypropylene, and vinyl film bases?
- What is the USI Color Code System?
- Why does my laminating film smell when I use it?
- Why is there a visible grease or greasy residue on my laminating film after I have left the laminator on for a while?
|Laminating Machines||back to top|
- How can I decide which pouch laminator best fits my application?
- How can I reset the automatic shut off timer on my ARL/CSL machine?
- I left my laminator on to heat up, but when I came back the machine was off. I tried turning the power switch off and on, but the laminator still is not working. What is the problem?
- What are the key differences between the roll laminators you offer?
- What is the automatic shut off timer default setting?
- What is the difference between a cold roll laminating machine and a tape laminator?
- What is the difference between cold lamination and tape lamination?
- When should I use a cold roll laminator?
- Where can I get an operation manual for a USI roll or pouch laminating machine?
|Lamination Results||back to top|
- I have a pouch laminator that keeps leaving a band of cloudiness toward the top of the film, but below this band everything is clear. Why is this happening?
- My finished product is curling. How do I prevent this from happening?
- Sometimes when I laminate, I end up with bubbles in the clear margin areas. Why does this happen?
- What is causing my laminated pieces to wrinkle? How do I stop this?
- Whenever I use my pouch laminator, my laminated pieces come out cloudy. Is the film bad?
|Trimmer||back to top|
- I just bought a Mastercut II, and I can only cut in one direction. Is there a way to cut in both directions?
|Photo ID||back to top|
- A yellow area is appearing on my photo id images. What is causing this?
- How do I clean the rollers in my photo ID or passport camera?
- How do I know if photo ID or passport film is expired or outdated?
- I use Avery Badges and badge inserts to create my photo ids. How do I tell which laminating pouch film is the correct size for my Avery badges and labels?
- I want to create plastic photo ids with a barcode. What is the best system for doing this?
- My photo id images have a reddish and mottled appearance. Why is this?
- My photo id pictures have white specks on them. Why?
- My photo id pictures look foggy (hazy). Why is this happening?
- My photos have a rectangular pattern across the picture. What is causing this?
- My picture is totally white/ totally black. What happened?
- My pictures have a greenish color and appear faded or mottled?
- The pictures are blue (blue/green) and too dark. Why did this happen?
- There is a dark band with triangle notch in my picture. Why?
- There is a missing corner to one of my photo id pictures. What happened?
- There is a U-shaped pattern in photo id pictures. What happened?
- What are the correct storage and handling procedures for my photo id or passport instant film?
- What are the differences between using a photo id camera and a digital photo id system?
- What is causing the streaks and marks on my photo id pictures?
- What is the difference between a passport camera and a photo id camera? Can one camera take pictures for both passports and ids?
- Why are my photo id pictures too light/too dark?
- Why are there evenly spaced marks on my pictures?
|Overhead Projectors & Transparencies||back to top|
- How do I decide which overhead projector is best for my needs?
- I have to purchase an overhead projector for a conference room. Which type of lens should I use?
- What is the difference between an open-head and a closed-head design?
- Which transparency film is best for my brand of computer printer or copy machine?
|Binding Machines||back to top|
- How is thermal binding different than comb or coil binding methods?
- What is the difference between plastic and wire comb, plastic coil, double loop wire, thermal binding and VeloBind binding styles?
- What type of binding machine is best if I am binding 10-20 books per day?
|Signs, Banners, & Display||back to top|
- I have a solvent based or water based inkjet printer. What banner material is best for my model printer?
- I have an inkjet printer and need to print a banner (sign, poster) that will be laminated when finished. Which inkjet printer paper do you recommend?
|General||back to top|
Q: How can I get a copy of an invoice for my credit card order?
A: To request a copy of an invoice, please have your order number readily available and call 1-800-282-9890 extension 7603. To find your order number, please refer to your order confirmation and/or order status email updates or you can login to your account and view your order history. NOTE: If you are a customer on open account, your invoice will automatically be mailed 3-5 days after order shipment. Depending upon USPS delivery, your invoice should be received within 7-10 business days from date of order shipment.
Q: How do I go about getting an open account / credit with you to place my orders?
A: In order for us to process your order on open account, you must first complete and submit a credit application. Please download a download a credit application and fax to: 203-245-8695 Attn: Credit Department (NOTE: Form is a PDF file format. If you don’t have Acrobat Reader, please Click Here.)
Q: How do I request a catalog?
A: You can request a catalog at any time by clicking the catalog request button located on the far right of the top navigation bar. Click here to go directly to the catalog request form.
Q: I need an order form to process my order. How can I get a printable version?
A: Although the website offers you the ability to order at any time – day or night, we understand that some purchasing processes require a paper order form. You can print a paper order formwhenever you need it. (NOTE: Form is a PDF file format. If you don’t have Acrobat Reader, please Click Here.)
Q: What does “wide format” mean?
A: Wide format means any roll film or laminating machine that is 40” or more wide. We offer a complete line of wide format roll films and laminating equipment to meet all your wide-format mounting and laminating needs.
Q: What is your 100% Satisfaction Guarantee?
A: It´s simple – if, for any reason, you are not completely satisfied with any product within 30 days of purchase, simply return it for a replacement or a full refund. Just call Customer Service for complete details and directions.
Q: When will my order ship?
A: We have 2 fully stocked distribution centers located in Connecticut and Arizona. Place your order before 1:00 p.m. (ET), and in-stock items will ship that same day from the distribution center closest to you*. Orders placed after 1:00 p.m. (ET) will ship the following business day. *pending credit approval
Q: Why should I register on www.usi-laminate.com?
A: By registering you get:
~ Secure account information with a unique username and password
~ 24/7/365 Access to account details and web order history
~ Ability to place orders any time, from any where
~ Speedier checkout with saved billing and shipping addresses
~ Setup and store multiple ship-to accounts under one billing account
~ Easy, one-click reorders – just click the “Reorder” button
~ Check web order status, receive order updates and track your shipments
~ Special pricing and special offers only available to registered web users With all these great benefits, why not register now? It’s easy.
|Film Questions||back to top|
Q: Can fluorescent lighting fade my laminated images?
A: Yes, it can. In order to prevent this from happening, use any of USI’s UV films, which will block out some of the harmful rays caused by the fluorescent lighting.
Q: Can I use laminating film that is narrower than my laminator?
A: While it is obvious you cannot use laminating film that is wider than your roll or pouch laminating machine, you can use any film that is equal to or narrower than your laminating machine mandrel or pouch machine opening width. If you have a 27” roll laminator, you can use roll lamination film from 4” to 27” wide. A pouch machine that is 12” wide can accept pouch film from id size to 12”x18”. The key to using narrower roll films is to make sure the top and bottom film rolls are aligned exactly over one another. Misalignment will lead to adhesive sticking to the heat shoes or heated rollers.
Q: How do I find the right pouch to fit the size of my custom cards?
A: You will find pouch templates located on our website. They show the actual sizes. Simply match your card to the lines to find the right pouch.
Q: How do I load the laminating film onto my CSL or ARL roll laminator?
A: Loading the laminating film is very simple. Just click here to view step-by-step instructions to help you load the film onto your laminating machine. Also, check out our quick 5 minute video on how to load your laminator.
Q: How should I store my roll film?
A: The optimal way to store roll film is in the upright position. Keep film at room temperature and away from excessive moisture, direct light, or heat.
Q: I have heard 5mil film being referred to as having a 3/2 or 1/4 ratio. What does this mean?
A: Laminating film is defined by a ratio of polyester content and adhesive content. For example, 5mil film with a composition of 3/2 will feel stiffer than the 1/4 because it has a higher polyester content. The 1/4 film with its extra adhesive will provide stonger bonding capabilities and eliminate gapping when laminating thicker items such as oak tag. Click Here for a quick reference chart outlining the ratios for USI films.
Q: I have maps and charts I want to laminate. What type of film should I use?
A: We recommend a 3mil polyester film, which offers more protection than lower mils while still allowing you to fold the maps and charts. Our OptiClear Film is perfect for this application.
Q: I have read UVA, UVB, and UVI in your film descriptions. What do these mean?
A: These are all ultra-violet treatments to the film that protect images from fading due to ultra-violet light. "A" stands for additives, "B" for blockers, and "I" for inhibitors.
Q: I have to make a sign that will stick to a wall or display board. What do you suggest I use?
A: Try a pressure-sensitive decal film like our OptiClear Decal Film. This dual-adhesive film has one side that permanently adheres to your document while the other features a pressure-sensitive adhesive with a release liner. Remove the release liner, then simply stick your sign to the desired surface.
Q: I know that laminating film comes in different finishes. What are they, and what is the difference between them?
A: Laminating films are available in several finishes: glossy, matte, satin and scratch-resistant. Glossy provides a glass-like appearance to finished documents. Matte has a slightly granular texture, which is frosted to reduce glare. Because of the rougher surface, matte films accept pencil, pen and marker, and reduce smudging. Satin is delustered and also reduces glare. It is not as frosted as the matte finish, but will accept some pencil, pen or marker. Scratch-resistant finishes consist of a super-hard polyester base formulated to virtually eliminate incidental contact scratches and marks on laminated documents.
Q: If I am using 3mil film to laminate my document, why is my document now considered 10mil thick?
A: The mil weight is calculated separately for each side. Therefore, the total weight of the film has to be doubled. Using your example: a document laminated with 3mil film has a total thickness of 10mil because each laminating film side is 3mil (3mil x 2 sides = 6mil) plus your document is 4mil (assuming it is regular bond paper).
Q: Is your film wound “Poly In” or “Poly Out”?
A: The term “Poly” is a reference to the adhesive side of the laminate film. For 1” core and 3” core roll films, the film is wound Poly In. For 2-1/4” core roll laminating films, the film is wound Poly Out.
Q: Some times I have scratch marks/streaks on my lamination. What is causing this and how do I stop it?
A: Scratch marks are a typical occurrence when using a heat shoe laminator. Scratches occur when the lamination film passes over the hard heat shoe surface. In order to completely eliminate this, a heated roller type laminator should be used. In lieu of purchasing a new machine, you can try cleaning the heat shoes with a roll laminator cleaning kit or roll laminator cleaning block. Dirty shoes may cause film scratching as well.
Q: What is a butterfly pouch? How is it different than a regular pouch?
A: Butterfly pouches are formed by folding a piece of film in half. While there is a fold, there are no sealed edges, resulting in a border-free document. This type of pouch is intended for laser-ready plastic (teslins) and other non-paper inserts. Regular pouches are different because they are two sheets of film held together by 1/8" seal on the leading edge. This seal makes it easy to align the insert. Regular pouches are always larger than the items being laminated to ensure there are sealed edges on all four sides. This creates a moisture-proof border.
Q: What is a film splice and what do I do if I find a splice in my roll film?
A: Film splices are the point where two pieces of laminating film are joined together. Splices are not common, but do occasionally appear. If you find a splice, place that roll on the top mandrel of the laminating machine so it can be monitored closely. When the splice is ready to come through the laminator, turn off the drive and heat switches, allow the laminator to cool completely and manually rotate the roll of film so the film tension is very loose. Turn the drive switch on again (leaving heat off if possible) and allow the splice to run through the machine. If necessary, continue to manually turn the roll of film to maintain slack until the splice has passed through. For USI ARL or CSL laminators, click here for step-by-step instructions on how to load these laminating machines. For other models, please refer to the product manual for your brand machine.
Q: What is the difference between a low-density adhesive and a co-polymer adhesive?
A: A low-density adhesive (also referred to as homopolymer or monopolymer adhesive) is an adhesive requiring a higher laminating temperature in order to melt and bond. It is used to laminate uncoated paper products such as newspaper or construction paper. Co-polymer adhesive requires a lower bonding temperature, thereby speeding up the lamination process and reducing cooling requirements. These films adhere to the most difficult items including photographs, color-copier papers, and clay-coated surfaces. Co-polymer adhesives are so aggressive they even stick to some plastics, vinyls, and metals.
Q: What is the difference between polyester, polypropylene, and vinyl film bases?
A: Polyester films, like USI OptiClear, are clearer and a higher quality than lower grade films, which tend to be foggy. Premium films also endure extreme environments and severe stress conditions more favorably. Films with higher polyester content are more rigid and feel thicker than films with more adhesive content.
Polypropylene film is softer than polyester, but still has excellent clarity. These films have strong chemical resistence, good color stability over printed sheets, and good elasticity which allows the film to lay extremely flat. Due to its softness and flatness, polypropylene films are most often used in single-sided laminating.
Vinyl films have greater elasticity than polyester films. The softer, more flexible vinyl laminates extremely well to flexible surfaces such as vinyls. This extra ability to stretch makes them favorites for documents that need to be continually rolled like nautical maps and blueprints.
Q: What is the USI Color Code System?
A: This trouble-free film-loading system makes loading your roll laminating film easier than ever. The USI Color Code System completely removes the possibility of placing the adhesive side of the film on the heat shoe. All USI roll laminators and 1¨ and 2-1/4¨ USI laminating film have color coding. Simply match the red core of the film to the red end of the mandrel and side housing. For the bottom mandrel, match the blue core of the film to the blue end of the mandrel and side housing. Thread the laminating film and laminate with confidence! Just another benefit of pairing USI equipment and USI film.
Q: Why does my laminating film smell when I use it?
A: Lower grade films lack the adhesive to bond at reasonable tempertures. The "smell" you are experiencing is caused by the high heat (>300 degrees) necessary to adhere (melt) the laminating film to your project. USI machines and films are designed with your health and safety in mind. We´ve manufactured our films to activate at our machine temperatures below 280 degrees. This significantly reduces the emission of noxious fumes, minimizes the potential safety hazard, and extends the life of your USI laminator.
Q: Why is there a visible grease or greasy residue on my laminating film after I have left the laminator on for a while?
A: The grease you are seeing is actually melted adhesive from your laminating film caused by excessive heat radiating from your laminator. The temperature of your laminator is set too high for the type of film you are using. When your machine sits idle at this high temperature, the film adhesive is melting and then dripping down between the machine’s rollers causing this grease-like appearance. We recommend checking with your film’s manufacturer/supplier as to the correct bonding temperature for the film you are using.
|Laminating Machines||back to top|
Q: How can I decide which pouch laminator best fits my application?
A: Deciding which pouch laminator best fits your needs depends on several factors including, but not limited to, the average number of pieces per day, width of lamination needed, mounting capabilities and max film weight. Click here to see a quick view comparison of our pouch laminator machines.
Q: How can I reset the automatic shut off timer on my ARL/CSL machine?
A: If your USI ARL or CSL roll laminator has shut off the heat shoe, simply hit the drive switch (forward/reverse) and the laminator “On” light should relight. Be sure to check the actual temperature of the machine (Press “ACT” button) before attempting to laminate. If the temperature is below the recommended level for your film, please allow the machine to heat back up for optimal lamination results.
Q: I left my laminator on to heat up, but when I came back the machine was off. I tried turning the power switch off and on, but the laminator still is not working. What is the problem?
A: There are a few things that could be causing this to happen: 1) If you have a USI ARL or CSL roll laminator and did not engage the drive switch for 60 minutes, the automatic shut off timer may have turned off the heat shoe. See resetting automatic shut off timer above. 2) There could be a technical problem with the machine. Please contact Technical Support for trouble shooting at 800-752-9131.
Q: What are the key differences between the roll laminators you offer?
A: Some of the key differences between laminators include maximum film width, maximum mil thickness, temperature control, and warranty length just to name a few. Click here for a quick reference chart outlining the key attributes of each machine.
Q: What is the automatic shut off timer default setting?
A: USI ARL and CSL roll laminators are equipped with an automatic shutoff timer set to turn off the heating element after 60 minutes of non-use. Non-use is defined as not running the drive switch.
Q: What is the difference between a cold roll laminating machine and a tape laminator?
A: While cold lamination and tape lamination are terms used interchangeably, there is a difference between the features of a true cold roll laminator and a tape laminator. Cold roll laminators offer you the flexibility to use a variety of overlaminates and mounting adhesives to encapsulate, mount and/or laminate a broad range of materials (i.e. foam or mounting board, Sintra, wood, metal). Cold roll laminators are versatile enough to offer mounting capabilities up to and sometimes greater than 1” thick along with single-sided lamination. Tape laminators, however, do not offer these benefits and are usually limited to encapsulation only of materials less than 1/16” thick. We have developed a cold roll laminator chart to help you compare the models we offer.
Q: What is the difference between cold lamination and tape lamination?
A: In many cases these terms are interchangeable. Tape laminating is also known as cold laminating and vice versa. Regardless of which term you prefer, the lamination process does not require heat to activate the bonding adhesive. Tape or cold lamination uses a pressure-sensitive adhesive to bind the film to the material being laminated.
Q: When should I use a cold roll laminator?
A: You can use a cold roll laminator when the material you are laminating is sensitive to heat such as thermal poster paper. Cold roll laminators are also ideal for outdoor applications and are suitable for laminating vinyl banners. Not sure which cold roll laminator is right for you? We’ve created a cold roll laminating machine comparison chart to help you decide.
Q: Where can I get an operation manual for a USI roll or pouch laminating machine?
A: Product manuals can be downloaded from our website product manuals page. Simply click here to be redirected to that page now.
|Lamination Results||back to top|
Q: I have a pouch laminator that keeps leaving a band of cloudiness toward the top of the film, but below this band everything is clear. Why is this happening?
A: You must have a 2-roller system where the rollers are located toward the back of the unit with heat plates in front of them. The band occurs when film is being fed into the machine moves through the heat plates too quickly. Try pushing the carrier through more slowly. You can also try using a stitched carrier so the unit has enough time to melt the laminate thoroughly.
Q: My finished product is curling. How do I prevent this from happening?
A: For a roll laminator, a curl upward or downward is the result of too much tension on that particular mandrel. Just slowly ease off the tension until the curl disappears. When top and bottom tension is balanced, your items will lay flat. If you are using a pouch laminator, curling is the result of inadequate cooling time on a flat surface. Keep your laminated piece in the carrier and rub it on a flat surface until it cools.
Q: Sometimes when I laminate, I end up with bubbles in the clear margin areas. Why does this happen?
A: Any open areas not containing paper may produce this result because there is nothing to absorb the two adhesives. While not favorable, it is acceptable since margin areas are typically trimmed down to less than 1".
Q: What is causing my laminated pieces to wrinkle? How do I stop this?
A: Wrinkling is typically a sign of too much heat. Try adjusting the temperature control to a lower setting and then work slowly up to the correct setting. Remember, you can always run a laminate that did not get enough heat through again, but you cannot fix a piece that has been "cooked" from too much heat. Also, check your carrier because a warped or creased carrier will transfer those imperfections into the lamination.
Q: Whenever I use my pouch laminator, my laminated pieces come out cloudy. Is the film bad?
A: No, there is nothing wrong with your film. The laminator´s heat is simply not high enough, or it is not warmed up enough to thoroughly melt the adhesive. Thicker mil films or papers need hotter temperatures. If your laminator does not have an adjustable temperature control, simply run pieces through the laminator again. You might also consider using a thinner laminating film.
|Trimmer||back to top|
Q: I just bought a Mastercut II, and I can only cut in one direction. Is there a way to cut in both directions?
A: In order to cut in both directions, you must remove the direction bar from the rear of the trimmer. Please call Technical Support at 1-800-752-9131 for questions regarding removal.
|Photo ID||back to top|
Q: A yellow area is appearing on my photo id images. What is causing this?
A: The appearance of a yellow area on photo id images is due to the misalignment of the positive and negative and by insufficient developer coverage. This is caused, in most cases, by the film leader being pulled crookedly. To prevent this from happening, avoid pulling the film leader to the right or left or toward the front or back of the camera. Grasp film leader between thumb and forefinger and pull the film straigh
Q: How do I clean the rollers in my photo ID or passport camera?
A: Use a soft, non-abrasive cloth or cotton swab moistened with water, turn rollers to clean all “sides”. Never use alcohol or cleaning fluid and never scrape rollers with a hard object. Dry rollers thoroughly before use.
Q: How do I know if photo ID or passport film is expired or outdated?
A: Film may be outdated if the resulting pictures are green and dark. Outdated film will cause the same results as film stored at high temperatures for an extended period of time. Check the film’s expiration date before use. Expiration date is printed on the outside of the film box. Do not use film that has exceeded this date.
Q: I use Avery Badges and badge inserts to create my photo ids. How do I tell which laminating pouch film is the correct size for my Avery badges and labels?
A: We offer a full range of lamination pouches specifically designed for photo id badges and other identification tags in a variety of sizes. Measure the finished badge insert size then match it to the pouch laminating film that best fits. View our pouch film templates to easily match up your badge size to the best fit pouch film. To help you match up the corresponding USI product with the appropriate Avery product number, check out our USI/Avery Badge Conversion Chart.
Q: I want to create plastic photo ids with a barcode. What is the best system for doing this?
A: The Zebra ID-110i PVC Card System is our recommendation for creating plastic or PVC id cards with barcodes. The system is compact and flexible accommodating a variety of id templates including logos, photos, graphics, text and barcodes. To help you decide between this and other digital photo id systems (Avery or Fuji), our Photo ID System Comparison Chart outlines the major differences between available systems.
Q: My photo id images have a reddish and mottled appearance. Why is this?
A: Pictures with a reddish and mottled appearance have been underdeveloped and were developed for a shorter time than needed. Be sure to develop pictures for the recommended amount of time as indicated on the film boxes, camera back, or when the camera indicates the image is developed sufficiently.
Q: My photo id pictures have white specks on them. Why?
A: White specks are caused when air is mixed with the developer causing voids (white specks) in the image. This is caused by (a) the film being pulled too rapidly from the photo id or passport camera or (b) the film being pulled too slowly from the photo id or passport camera. Film should be transported from the camera using a smooth, moderate pull speed.
Q: My photo id pictures look foggy (hazy). Why is this happening?
A: The hazy or white fogginess of the images indicates that the film was pre-exposed to light before the picture was taken. This can be caused by a light leak in the photo id or passport camera when the camera back is not properly mounted. To prevent this from happening, avoid opening the back of the camera. If it is necessary to open the camera for any reason i.e. cleaning the rollers, be careful not to dislodge the f
Q: My photos have a rectangular pattern across the picture. What is causing this?
A: The white tab pull from the photo id film was incompletely removed and was pulled through the rollers with the film. Pull white tab straight and all the way out of the camera after taking photo. Discard tab.
Q: My picture is totally white/ totally black. What happened?
A: The film has either been exposed to too much light (totally white image) or not exposed to enough (if any) light (black image). For totally white image, a partially used film pack may have been inserted causing the first image to be white or the shutter stayed open too long or did not close. Opening the camera and accidentally dislodging film pack can also cause the totally white image. In the case of a totally blac
Q: My pictures have a greenish color and appear faded or mottled?
A: Heat and humidity are the major causes of this problem. The film was either stored at a temperature above 105 degrees (40 degrees Celsius) for an extended period of time or the film was exposed to high heat before taking the picture. In order to avoid this problem, check that the film is being stored in a cool, dry (not humid) location away from radiation and direct sunlight.
Q: The pictures are blue (blue/green) and too dark. Why did this happen?
A: Pictures that are too dark and have a blue (blue/green) coloring are caused when the picture is taken with a film temperature below 55 degrees F. This can occur if the film was stored in a cold area and not allowed to return to room temperature prior to use or if the film was kept at room temperature but pictures were taken and developed in cold surroundings. Freezing or chilling film does not preserve the film for l
Q: There is a dark band with triangle notch in my picture. Why?
A: The white tab was pulled out of sequence. If the white tab is pulled before taking the photo, the first print will be totally black (unexposed). When normal tab-pulling sequence is resumed, the picture will have a double-image area with darker band and triangle notch at one end. Please take photo, pull white tab then pull black tab (film leader).
Q: There is a missing corner to one of my photo id pictures. What happened?
A: There are two reasons this could have occurred. The first, and most frequent, cause is that the film leader was pulled at an angle causing the developer to spread unevenly – usually missing one corner. Or if this is an isolated occurrence, the film cartridge has a broken front seal and is defective. To prevent this from happening, avoid pulling the film leader to the right or left or toward the front or back of the c
Q: There is a U-shaped pattern in photo id pictures. What happened?
A: This U-shaped pattern is caused when the film is loaded incorrectly and a white film tab gets tucked under the film pack during loading. To load correctly, hold white tabs flat between thumb and forefinger of one hand while inserting the film pack into the film cavity of the camera with other hand.
Q: What are the correct storage and handling procedures for my photo id or passport instant film?
A: Photo ID or passport film should not be exposed to radiation and should be kept out of direct sunlight. It should be kept dry and out of high humidity areas. Film should also be kept in a cool location away from high temperatures. If the film is kept in cold storage, allow it to warm up for at least 24 hours before taking pictures.
Q: What are the differences between using a photo id camera and a digital photo id system?
A: A photo ID camera (MX-4 or M500 models) uses Polaroid or Fuji instant film that provides 4 photos per sheet. Film has 10 sheets per pack usually sold as a twin pack. In total, you can create 40 pictures. With the digital photo id system, you use a web camera and print on a template. Digital printing allows for an unlimited number of ids to be created. A digital photo id system also allows you to store photos for reprint and track and report on the activities of employee, students, vendors or other individuals within your facility. To help you choose between photo id cameras and digital photo id systems, we have created two charts for quick reference: Photo ID System Comparison Chart and Photo ID Camera Comparison Chart
Q: What is causing the streaks and marks on my photo id pictures?
A: In most instances, this is caused when the film leader is pulled crookedly or at an angle causing the positive to separate from the negative immediately after the film exits the camera. Otherwise, the film may have curled while in storage if the pack was stored in heat/humidity.
Q: What is the difference between a passport camera and a photo id camera? Can one camera take pictures for both passports and ids?
A: The difference between a passport camera and a photo id camera is the size and number of photos that are printed per sheet of instant film. Passport photos are taken two-up 2”x2” while photo id shots come 4-up per sheet in 1”x1-1/4” size. Check out our easy reference Passport & Photo ID Camera Comparison Chart to see other differences between cameras. One camera cannot take both types of photos.
Q: Why are my photo id pictures too light/too dark?
A: Photos that are too light are caused by an overexposure to light. Conversely, images that are too dark are underexposed to light. An incorrect aperture setting, shutter speed or strobe (flash) output can cause either of these two results. Check each of these items and adjust the lighten/darken control accordingly.
Q: Why are there evenly spaced marks on my pictures?
A: Dirty rollers cause this problem when dust, plastic particles or dried developer stick to the rollers. Clean camera rollers. Cleaning rollers regularly as preventive maintenance is help prevent this from happening.
|Overhead Projectors & Transparencies||back to top|
Q: How do I decide which overhead projector is best for my needs?
A: When choosing an overhead projector, there are many factors to be considered such as the size of the presentation room, type of material being presented such as charts and graphs versus text, color or black and white, or transportability. To help you decide which overhead projector will best meet your needs, click here for an overhead projector reference chart.
Q: I have to purchase an overhead projector for a conference room. Which type of lens should I use?
A: The type of lens is determined by the image size you will be projecting, the image uniformity from side to side, and the overall image quality. A singlet lens projects a 50"x50" image at 5-1/2 feet and provides a good center image quality. There may be some edge distortion, but for images without a lot of definition, this is more than adequate. A doublet lens projects the same 50"x50" image at 6-1/2 feet and because the image is projected through two lenses, it is more defined and uniform. A triplet lens provides the very best clarity as the image is refocused as it passes through three different lenses. If your images are small or very detailed, the triplet lens provides the best clarity and resolution.
Q: What is the difference between an open-head and a closed-head design?
A: Open heads are easier to fold down for storage and to adjust to the screen size. Closed heads keep dust and fingerprints from the lens and mirror. Businesses prefer the open-head design while the closed-head design is particularly popular with educators.
Q: Which transparency film is best for my brand of computer printer or copy machine?
A: The transparency film that best meets your needs will depend on the make and model of your computer printer or copier. We have created some quick reference tables to match your machine with the best film choice available. Choose from Black & White Laser Printers, Color Laser Printers, Inkjet Printers, Black & White Copy Machines, or Color Copy Machines.
|Binding Machines||back to top|
Q: How is thermal binding different than comb or coil binding methods?
A: Thermal binding uses pre-glued spines instead of plastic or wire combs or coils and requires no paper punching. As the name suggests, thermal binding also uses heat as part of the binding process. Paper is placed neatly into the pre-glued spine which is then placed into the pre-heated heating tray of the thermal binding machine. The heat melts the glue adhering the spine to the pages of the document. Once the glue cools and hardens, the newly bound “book” has an immaculate, professional finish.
Q: What is the difference between plastic and wire comb, plastic coil, double loop wire, thermal binding and VeloBind binding styles?
A: Different applications require different binding styles. Whether you are in need of something less expensive, more professional, re-usable, or something that will lay flat or that is easy to store, there is a style that is right for you. How your document is used will impact what type of binding style you choose and consequently, what machine you purchase. We’ve created a simple binding comparison page to help you sort out the differences between styles.
Q: What type of binding machine is best if I am binding 10-20 books per day?
A: Select the binding machine that works best with the volume of work you need to bind. If you only bind a few books per day, a lower volume machine (812 sheet punch capacity) should work well. If you bind dozens of books per day, you should consider something with a higher punch capacity (15-20 sheets). Choose a machine with a punch capacity of 20+ sheets and an electric punch if you bind hundreds of books per day. Here is a binding machine comparison chart to help you select the machine that best fits your needs.
|Signs, Banners, & Display||back to top|
Q: I have a solvent based or water based inkjet printer. What banner material is best for my model printer?
A: Which banner materials are compatible for your printer does depend upon what model printer you are using. Solvent based printers must use solvent based materials, while water based (also known as aqueous) printers must use aqueous based materials and films. Here is a quick reference chart to help you determine which banner material is right for your inkjet printer.
Q: I have an inkjet printer and need to print a banner (sign, poster) that will be laminated when finished. Which inkjet printer paper do you recommend?
A: Our line of inkjet papers is designed for aqueous (water based) model printers. Since you are looking to laminate your inkjet print, we suggest ProMount Econo-Bond and Opti-Bond inkjet papers. For plain inkjet prints (no lamination), our ProMount Ultra Pearl and Ultra Gloass , Gloss , or Semi-Matte papers are your perfect solution.