ILC's Question Page serves to answer all the general questions
new and returning customers might have about ILC, concerning 
products and services rendered. However customer's should feel 
free to give ILC a call with any question not answered below or 
for elaboration on questions listed.

Use the navigation to the right to quickly navigate to any 
specific questions on this page.
Improved Appearance
 Lamination enhances images.
Resistance To Damage
 Lamination prevents fraying, fading, and other forms of 
  common document distress.
Cost Effective
 Increased longevity of laminated documents decreases 
  costs of reproducing said materials
Reference documents which are re-handled
 Maps, Charts And Newspaper Clippings
Outdoor documents
 Yard And Window Signage
Large Format Presentation Material
 Signs, Banners And Posters
Documents which are retained for long time
 Membership Passes, Library Cards, etc.
Documents needing protection from alteration
 Security IDs
A carrier is a ledger paper stock coated on the inside with 
a silicone surface (the shiny side). Laminated pouches are 
inserted and then fed through a laminator using these 
carriers. Carriers provide the following benefits:

 They apply uniform heat to thinner film (such as 3 mil) as
  it goes through the laminator, to keep it from adhering to the 
  laminator's rollers.
 Allows operator to handle hot laminates as soon as they 
  come through the laminator.
 Carriers are only used on pouch laminators 
  (not roll laminators). as it goes through the laminator, to 
  keep it from adhering to the laminator's rollers.
"Mil" is the industry term for thickness of laminating film. 
Typical sizes in the industry are 1.5, 3, 5, 7, and 10 mil. 1.5 mil 
is the thinnest film with 10-mil being the thickest film. 
Laminated pouches are identified as 3, 5, 7, or 10-mil product, 
which means you have the same thickness of film on both sides.

Example: A 5-mil pouch has the overall thickness of 10 mil 
when laminated.
Polyester is the substance in laminating film which provides 
strength, gloss, and durability. When ordering laminating film, 
it is important to know the make-up of the film: the more poly-
ester you have in the film the clearer the laminating will be. 
The overall thickness  can be further defined by the film make-
up. Example: A 10-mil film can  be 7/3 or a 4/6. Both numbers 
add up to 10, which is the overall  thickness mil of the film. 
The first number represents the polyester  in the film. In this 
case, a 7/3 has 70% polyester compared to a 4/6, which has 
40%. The more polyester in the film the more expensive the  
laminating pouch or roll will cost. However, your laminating 
will be  clearer using a 7/3 rather than a 4/6.
Resin (Polyethylene)
Along with polyester, resin is the other substance that gives 
laminating film its bonding properties. In the mil description, 
the second number in the film indicates the amount of resin 
in film. Example: A 10 mil (7/3) film has 70% polyester and 
30% resins for bonding.For items that are going to receive 
heavy handling you may need a high resin film such as a 4/6 
versus a 7/3.
Laminated Pouch
A laminated pouch is a laminated product that has a front 
and a back where an insert may be placed for laminating. 
A seal is what holds the film together, allowing an insert to 
be placed between the film parts prior to laminating. 
The seal is 1/8" wide and may be on the longest or shortest 
side of the pouch. On a letter size pouch (9" x 11-1/2") the 
seal is on the  9" side. This would be considered a short 
sealed pouch.
Note: The seal of a laminated pouch is important in judging 
the quality of the pouch. The seal must be straight, not 
irregular because the seal helps align the inserted document 
easily in the pouch.
Custom And Special Size Pouches
Any pouch which is not listed in our standard sizes. A special 
pouch also may be defined as any pouch on which a seal, 
slotting, printing, or other special features are required.
Security Film
This is a tamper resistant film. If there is an attempt to peel the 
laminates open to alter its contents, the film will tear up the 
insert material and photo alerting the viewer that an alteration
was attempted.
Clear Pouch Laminate
Where laminated document will appear clear and glossy. 
This film is available in:

 3mil - (2/1)
 5mil - (3/2)
 7mil - (5/2)
 10mil - (4/6)
 10mil - (7/3)
 (For roll laminators a 1.5 mil is available)
Butterfly Pouch
A pouch that is formed by cutting the pouch size from a single 
sheet of laminating film. Unlike a laminated pouch a butterfly 
pouch doesn't have a seal but a score to fold the front 
and back over insert.
Writable Matte Film
Laminating film that can be written on. This film will also reduce 
the glare of light to enhance scanning of bar codes or reduce 
glare from a photo.
Laminated Card
Made up of laminating film (Pet) which can manufacture closed 
or with an open format to add additional items like photos, 
names, etc.
PVC Card
Hard plastic card used with video imaging systems. Can be 
made up of 100% PVC material or a composite material which 
allows card to bend without breaking.
Core Sizes
The cardboard core that laminating film is rolled on. The normal 
industry size cores used in roll laminators are 1", 2-1/4" and 3".
Pressure Sensitive Back Pouches
An aggressive pressure sensitive backed film with a release liner, 
when removed the laminated insert may be applied to a surface.
Bar Mask
A rectangular area which covers up a bar code on insert from 
being read or duplicated. Bar masks are printed in two colors - 
red or black. A black bar mask prevents the barcode to be read 
with the human eye but, will allow scanning equipment to read 
the bar code. Bar Code Masks add security to your card.
DD Film
(Die Diffusion Film) This is specific film created for certain 
types of I.D. Printers. This film prevents chemicals on the 
photo-graphic material coming from these printers from 
interacting with laminated film resin. This prevents a brown-
out of the insert.
Magnetic Stripe
Stripes that can be encoded with specific information that can 
not be read with the human eye. This is a security feature where 
cards have to be scanned for time and attendance or access to 
secure areas. There are two types of stripes-;"low-coercity" or 
"high coercity" These stripes are available in 3/8" or 1/2" wide. 
Contact your equipment supplier to determine what is best for 
your magnetic stripe needs.
Quality Laminated Pouch
Laminating pouch quality is judged by:

 Round corners: Consistency in the four corners on pouch
  (not clipped off.)

 Clarity of lamination

 Consistence in size of the pouch: Every pouch should be the 
  same size (some suppliers bag their pouches in small quantities 
  to cover up inconsistency in pouch sizes.)
All Photo Well
This is a die cut area which appears in insert which is 1-3/4" 
x 2-3/4". This allows a photo to be inserted into this 
area allowing the surface of the pouch to laminate flat.
Standard Photo Well
Is 1" x 1-1/4" in size allowing for I.D. Picture to be inserted.
Die Cutter
Equipment needed to die cut photos to specific size.
Pouch Laminator
Used for laminating standard size pouches. 
Pouch Laminators can be divided into two classifications-two 
or four roller machines.
Roll Laminator
Uses wide rolls of film to laminate items.
Four Roller Laminator
Rollers in laminator are used for the following reasons:

 Removes air in laminated pouches to reduce air pockets

 Uniformly spreads the resin, (the bonding material) to properly 
  seal a laminated pouch.

  (Generally a four roll laminator provides a better finished 
  product than a two roll laminator.)
Smart Card
Has an embedded computer chip on the front side of card and 
needs to be inserted into a smart card reader. When the card is 
inserted, contact is made with electrical connectors which 
transfer data to and from the chip. One application for a smart 
card is a telephone card that is pre-loaded with a certain value. 
As the card is used, the value is deducted.
 Multi-Dimensional image which when applied to the inside 
  of a laminate film provides added protection from abrasion, 
  ultraviolet light, dye migration. The major benefit results 
  in protection from counterfeiting and alteration of the 
  documents. Holograms may be classified into two categories:

 Opaque (non-see through)-this is the type of hologram you 
  would find on bank credit cards.

 Translucent (see-through) so text or information on document 
  is not covered up. In translucent holograms there are two 
  types available Embossed or Photopolymer. The photo-
  polymer provides the highest security with a bright, viewable, 
  real 3D image.
Raised seal increases security and can not be duplicated. 
Does not flatten after lamination. Can be customized to 
specific customer account.
Term used for item inserted into laminating pouch. Inserts may 
be on paper stock, but require a minimum size of 1/8" smaller 
than out side dimensions of laminating pouch. ILC has insert 
material called Super-Lam that looks like paper but is a film 
material. An 1/8" is not required around insert which can be the 
same size as pouch.
UV Printing
Printing on inside of laminating film so it can not be altered from 
the outside once product is laminated closed. This printing can 
not be seen, however when document is placed under UV Light 
the printing is immediately visible. This allows for verification 
of card.
Prismatic Printing
 Various shades of printed colors across face of insert making 
  duplication or copying of insert difficult.
Contactless Card/Combi Card
Looks like an ordinary plastic card. The inside of the card 
contains a computer chip and an antenna coil. This card 
allows communication with a Remote Receiver / Transmitter. 
A typical application is for transit systems where a value 
may be loaded and as the card travels past a location the 
card value is reduced. Since tickets don't have to be 
stamped, this saves a significant amount of time for a 
transit system.
Multi Media Card
This is a postage stamp size card that has seven gold con-
tacts on front. This card contains 2-8 MB Chip. This card is 
used for Digital Database systems. The card offers a high 
capacity and rapid access system for access control.
Plastic Buckle Strap
Single or double lock molded plastic strap used with 
luggage tags.
Leather Strap
Works like a belt buckle. May vary in color due to natural incon-
sistency of leather (used with luggage tags).
Works like belt buckle. The back is fabric reinforced for added 
durability and strength (used with luggage tags).
Plastic Loops
Continuous loop also called spaghetti straps, worm straps or 
lug loops. To use-insert one end in slot and back through loop 
and pull tight.
Mylar Badge Straps And Clips
Thin, rigid plastic strap sometimes has a color.
Vinyl Badge Strap And Clips
Thin, flexible plastic strap, clear in color.
Adhesive Pins And Clips
Square metal pad with adhesive on. Has paper peel off to 
reveal adhesive.
Pin/Clip Combo
Rectangular plastic or metal base with alligator teeth with 
safety pin mounted crosswise on clip. Has adhesive back 
with release liner.
Bead Chain
Nickel-plated stainless steel chains used to hold ID Badges 
around neck.
Cloth ropes which hold ID Badges around neck.
Vinyl Badge Holders
Product made with heavy vinyl clear film sealed on three sides. 
Made to hold insert vertically or horizontally.
ILC utilizes a Mac based graphics department, which primarily 
uses Adobe® CS2/CS3 and Microsoft Office® applications.

Application and filetypes we prefer are listed in the table below. 
While ILC will do everything within our power to work with all 
other files sent to us for print, we cannot guarantee satisfactory 
results. If documents must be re-created,  production cost will 
increase. For the best possible outcome of all printed media 
please utilize the applications and filetypes listed below.
Adobe Acrobat *PDF PDFs are the de facto
standard for
printable documents.
PDFs are the best
way to compress files
and ensure usibility.
Adobe Photoshop
.psd .jpg or
.jpeg .tif .pdf
A one of a kind
program used for
image manipulation
in *raster form.
Adobe Illustrator
.ai .eps .tif
A program specialized
for single page
layouts and *vector
art editing.
Adobe inDesign
.indd InDesign is useful
for multi-piece
MS Word .doc Word documents
may be used for
printing, but this
limits editing
MS Excel .xls Tabular data such as
lists of names,
numbers, etc. may be
sent as an excel doc.
General Recommendations
 Please send any images included in 
  the document.
 If a document contains any non system/standard font/s, 
  please include the font file/s.
 Send any logos/company marks in these formats, as 
  vector art if possible.
 For best quality please save images at atleast 300dpi at 
  the desired print size.Please send any images included 
  in the document.
 If a PDF document is meant to be edited please save 
  with editing capabilities preserved.
Vector Art*
 Vector Art is made from a series of mathematical points 
  it will print very crisp no matter how much the art is resized.
Raster Art*
 Raster graphics cannot be scaled to a higher resolution 
  without loss of apparent quality.
There Are Two Main Benefits
 It Can't be pulled apart after lamination.
 It can be cut flush to create a professional appearance
ILC has the capabilities to print most industry bar codes. 
PMS printed inks is a widely accepted method of communicating 
color requirements between a customer and printer. All printers 
have a PMS book or color to match customer requirements.
38" is the magic number. Any size less than 38" on one side we 
can print.
With the exception of Social Security number and date or birth 
most other information is widely used.
Most common information includes:
 Employee Number
 Date Of Hire
 Hair Color
 Eye Color
ILC provides laminating products in range of thicknesses. 
The most common film thicknesses are:
Light 1.5 mil
3.0 mil
37 Microns
75 Microns
Medium 5.0 mil
7.0 mil
125 Microns
175 Microns
Heavy 10.0 mil 250 Microns
Factors For Selecting Thickness:
 Length of document use.
 Handling of item.
 Size of document
 Feel or image
 Length of document use - A restaurant menu is 
  laminated to protect the menu's appearance from water, 
  handling etc. but the prices change every three months in 
  this case a 1.5 or 3.0 mil film is recommended

 Length of document use - An employee card is 
  handled everyday. A 10-mil film on both sides of inserts 
  is recommended.
 Size of document - A 36" x 40" poster needs to 
  be displayed standing up. To make the poster more rigid, 
  10 mil both sides would be recommended.
 Feel or image - A membership or Loyalty card compete 
  with other cards in a person's wallet since most cards are 
  30 mil, 10 mil on both sides of the insert is recommended. 
The seal acts as a ruler, which allows an insert to quickly line 
up when inserting into a pouch.If a 3"x 9" pouch 
was ordered the seal should be located on the long side (9").
This would give you the benefit of keeping your insert straight 
in the pouch.
Yes ILC carries writable film - you need to order a matte 
writable film which you can order in 3, 5, 7 and 10 mil.
Yes ILC carries fade resistant film. Order a UV film designed 
to protect printed images of ink jet and laser printer from 
fading in direct sunlight.
Sheet sizes for magnetic film range from  
8 1/2" x 11" - 11" x 17"
On our standard laminated pouches you can order a stock 
hologram in quantities of 500.
To best select a laminator for your requirements, 
answer the following questions.
 What size document will you be laminating? 
  (Keep in mind, a pouch laminator is less expensive 
  than a roll laminator don't let the exception 
  size determine your needs)
Film Thickness
 If your laminating requirement calls for heavier film 
  such as 5, 7 or 10 mil make sure you check to determine
  what thicknesses work with your laminator.
 Some laminators do not require carriers this can 
  be a time saver.
Cutting To Size
 When using a pouch laminator - once laminated
  the item is finished. There is no cutting to size step as
  there is with a roll laminator.
Laminator Speed
 Is not as important as how well the item is laminated. The time 
  required to finish the item with trimming, punching and 
  round corners is more time consuming.
 If you intend to use foil in your laminating process, 
  order only those models which allow you this capability.
 If the majority of your laminating will be photos, then only 
  order photo quality type laminators for the best results.
Depending on film thickness, your laminator should be 
adjusted to the temperatures in the table below. 

If the material clouds while processing, the temperature 
is too low.  If the materials bubbles or waves, the 
temperature is too high.  In either case, adjust the heat 
setting and wait a few minutes for the equipment 
to reach the new temperature.

Be sure that photos are completely dry before laminating.
1.5 mil
3.0 mil
5.0 mil
7.0 mil
10.0 mil
160 - 165
105 - 110
108 - 115
115 - 120
120 - 125
320 - 329
221 - 230
226 - 239
239 - 248
248 - 257
The temperature on your laminator is too low increase slowly 
until the hazy, cloudy effect goes away.
This is caused by excess temperature or not using cooling fans. 
Reduce the temperature slowly until the problem goes away.
Order stay flat film for both sides of inserts.
 This problem will occur if a non-co-polymer film is used, 
 check to make sure the film used is co-polymer and using 
 the recommended heat setting. For your information, there 
 are laminating film rolls sold that are not co-polymer 
 because they are less expensive. Most of these type 
 laminating films will easily de-laminate from paper stocks. 
 Co-polymer films have a stronger adhesive to bond 
 with paper.
There Are Two Recommended Solutions
 Use heavier film. Heavier film will not get caught 
  up on the back rollers like a thin film (1.5 or 1.7 mil).
 If thinner films are required use a cardboard piece 
  across the back of the unit, which blocks the film 
  from curling around the rollers.
Odor is common when co-polymer film is not used.
The safety recommendations in this section can be used for 
all laminators. Please read, understand and follow before 
operation any laminator. Failure to comply with any of the 
following safety procedures could result in personal injury.
 DO NOT immerse in water or permit liquid to spill 
  inside the laminator.
 DO NOT allow articles of clothing (neckties, 
  scarves, etc.) near front or rear of machine. Articles could get 
  caught in openings by rollers and be pulled inside unit causing 
  personal injury.
 DO NOT insert sharp objects into unit.
 DO NOT place anything into feed tray opening except 
  laminating material or pouches.
 DO NOT laminate items, which exceed the total 
  recommended material thickness.
 DO NOT operate laminator for any purpose other than
  its intended use.
 Inspect roller cord prior to each use. DO NOT operate 
  machine if power cord is damaged in any way.
 Turn off power when laminator is not in use.

 Unplug machine when moving.
 Laminators are intended for indoor use only.

 DO NOT alter or extend electrical plus.
 Most laminators have a polarized plug. These plugs can 
  fit one way into polarized outlets. If unit does not fit, call a 
  qualified electrician to install a proper outlet.
 DO NOT change unit plugs.
 DO NOT overload electrical outlets. This could lead to FIRE!
 Prior to moving any parts from unit, call a technician 
  for instructions.
The only user service normally required on laminators is 
occasional external cleaning. Be sure machine is turned 
off and power is disconnected cleaning outside of machine. 
Wipe machine with damp cloth to remove dust and other 
foreign material that could become attached to your docu-
ments or plastic laminating film. To remove dirt, fingerprints, 
etc., from housing, use a diluted solution of mild detergent. 
DO NOT use alcohol, petroleum-based cleaning solvents or 
harsh abrasives. DO NOT allow liquids to get inside laminator.
Caution: Parts Of Laminator May Be Hot!
 If laminator has been turned on recently, the components 
  inside may still be very HOT. To avoid potential burning of skin 
  or clothing, always shut off power and allow machine to cool 
  for 30 minutes before removing any cover.
Danger: High Voltage!
  Rotation of rollers requires reconnection of electrical power 
  supply cord while cover is removed in order to activate motor,
  high voltage electrical components and wires are exposed and 
  danger of serious or fatal electrical shock is present. 
  Only persons with proper electrical experience and training 
  should be permitted to work inside these units.

ILC is an industry leader specializing in manufacturing of printed and unprinted plastic products.
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