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Under the Hood

Komfi Amiga 52

Brian Sims looks at a laminator that seems to defy the laws of physics, and is able to produce high levels of productivity in a very small floorspace

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(Above & below) ‘User-friendly’ was the key target for Komfi when designing the Amiga series of machines, with the 52 being middle of the pack in terms of productivity

Bigger on the inside...

I think engineers and printers have a lot in common, we have a back wiring that makes us interested in resolving issues and inquisitive minds looking for solutions to problems. Go into any engineering workshop and you are likely to find devices and equipment that have been made to make the production or repair of something far easier than it would have been without it.

In my experience, printers are much the same; they are asked to do an increasingly varied amount of jobs in a ‘one-stop-shop’ mode that make up a majority of SME businesses. To get this right, most of them have pieces of equipment for specialist roles or processes.



 
This month we choose to look at one such piece of equipment; a laminator from Komfi called the Amiga 52, which is small by comparison, but is a bundle of standard and optional equipment that packs a punch well above its diminutive size.  Komfi claims it will fit through a 100cm door frame, but can still laminate a standard B2 sheet. The Amiga series of machines are described by Komfi as being driven by a “user-friendly” philosophy and the Amiga 52 is the mid-range family member.

Komfi claim it will fit through a 100cm door frame but can laminate a standard B2 sheet


When you look at the list of standard equipment on the Amiga 52 you can see the basic configuration has been well thought out, and has the scope for a range of laminating activities. On top of this standard specification, Komfi list up to 17 optional extras that can be added to the machine.

When you look at the list of standard equipment on the Amiga 52 you can see the basic configuration has been well thought out


The basic machine comes with a vacuum suction feeder, which will feed sheets for lamination at 20m/min. Should you have longer runs in mind, you can take the option of having a feeding head added, which will take the speed of sheet feeding up to 25m/min or 8,000sph.

The Komfi Amiga 52 features a double action feeding head


To control the sheets, the standard configuration has automatic sheet overlap to ensure a stream feed into the machine. Sheet separation at the pile is vital if the stream itself is to be consistent so if your substrates demand it, Komfi can pull off one of the options in a set of additional separation air blowers.  These go directly onto the feeding head and can help separate more troublesome substrates such as digitally printed materials. The air flow can be controlled in volume and intensity by throttle values whilst the timing of the air blast automatically controlled via electrical solenoids.

Should you have a problem with the stream itself, to protect the machine the Amiga 52 has a mis-feeding device that will detect the incorrect sheet and stop the machine avoiding damage to it.

Clever by nature

As to the heart of the machine, there is an infrared heated laminating cylinder which uses a NBR (rubber) coated pressure roller. Again, there are a number of options available from Komfi. You can upgrade to a Teflon coated bottom pressure roller, which has the non-adhering surface finish, making it particularly helpful when again laminating digital print. This is a factory specified option as it is installed at final assembly in place of the standard format rubber coated version.

To ensure there is good and reliable adhesion of the laminate, there is a temperature drop sensor system that allows the Amiga 52 to be left alone running away to its heart’s content. Any issues with production and the machine stops, thus avoiding spoilt work and wasted time.

The Komfi Amiga 52 is ideal for short-run production of high-value print products that require speciality finishes such as tactile coatings 


To give cast iron guarantees that the lamination process will be accomplished, for the most difficult of materials Komfi can provide from their list of options an IR pre-heating system. Komfi claim that this IR heating system will work well with digital printed materials as the heating unit warms the toner-based colourants, which will then improve the efficiency of the adhesion.

For higher weights of paper and for longer run lengths, another option from the list would be the installation of a Polyurethane coated pressure roller. The type of roller has a higher surface (Shore) hardness and it is this wear resistance that extends the lifespan of this component.

Bells and whistles aplenty

In the action area of the machine, in standard format there is a sheet separator that utilizes an inbuilt perforator. Again, returning to the option list, the Amiga 52 can be supplied with a flying knife that is useful for the proven separation of thicker materials.

The flying knife uses an ultrasound detection system that picks up the point where the product needs splitting and then deploys the knife across the sheet. This cleanly severs the finished sheet from the next, and there after the knife returns to the housing ready for the next sheet.

As the Amiga 52 can laminate a wide range of clear substrates, which include OPP, PET or nylon, it can also apply pressure sensitive materials. This is a secondary reason the flying knife is a useful add on.

Once laminated the sheet progresses onto the delivery stack, helped along by an adjustable separating roller. For peace of mind, a sheet separation detection system also ensures no mishaps are left unattended. To ensure laminated sheets are flat there is a standard decurler and as an option, an anti-static bar to remove the build-up of this annoying process by product.

“Clearly you can see that this little machine can sit in your workspace as one of those handy labour saving gadgets,” says Brian Sims


The finished sheets are set to a fixed delivery table with the options of both a jogging system to ensure tidy stacks and a stacker for larger levels of output. This automatic stacker comes only on the Amiga 52 and is supplied with three patented pallets. This allows for longer runs on the machine to be accomplished with one pallet in the feeder, one in the delivery, and the third being prepared ready for the change-over.

As with every modern-day machine, the Amiga 52 comes with the standard GUI control panel that allows for the standard or optional equipment to be controlled and adjusted. Added to the machine controls, due to the nature of the process, the GUI panel also gives machine data such as feeding, temperature, air pressure, and sheet separation.

Should the long list of options still not satisfy your needs, Komfi are open to discussion on the modification of the Amiga 52 to allow for embossing. This will be a custom build so if it is a consideration, be sure to open up discussion on your ideas early.

If the choices explained are not enough for you, the designers at Komfi can also provide its ‘Over Toner Foiling’ system specifically designed to foil over digital sheets, and even an inline unit that can be added to any previously installed machine.

Clearly you can see that this little machine can sit in your workspace as one of those handy labour-saving gadgets I discussed in my preamble.  In addition, it can help you win some higher margin work around speciality finished short runs for everything from luxury corporate calendars through to event invitations and direct mail marketing pieces.


Brian Sims, principal consultant, Metis Print Consultancy, www.metis-uk.eu


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