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Foil-Pro Machine Trouble Shooting.

If you are experiencing any problems with our FoilPro Foiler/ Laminator Machine, this guide should help you

No Foil Transfer:

Foil applied to copy wrong way around – always SHINY SIDE UP

Poor Foil Transfer:

  • Temperature too low - increase temperature.
  • Toner level low - for best results toner image must be pitch black
  • Top cover sheet too thick - this can act as an insulator, use thin paper or remove cover sheet altogether and stick foil down with tape, this will ensure maximum heat transfer onto foil.
  • Inferior Toner Quality – Not all Toners are equal, make another copy on a different machine, now foil and compare results.

Photocopy Creases:

Thin paper may crease under pressure when passing between two heated rollers, use a thicker cardboard sheet as a base under the
thin paper 160-200 grams, this will support the thin paper under pressure.

Foil Creases:

Because foil is very thin this may also crease under pressure even when covered with a top cover sheet, it may be necessary to tape the foil down in the corners to keep it perfectly flat when running through the heated rollers.

Using Tape:

Using pieces of tape to secure the foil onto the copy can be a bit of a problem because the adhesive on the tape can transfer onto your printed after foiling due to heat and pressure from the rollers,  try to use a low-tack tape which is easier to remove because the adhesive used for this tape is not as tacky.

Paper and Board

It is important to only use paper and board that has a smooth surface, paper and board that is textured or grained has a tendency to produce patchy foiling results as all the toner is not transferred onto the surface with the result the rollers cannot make contact with the toner lying slightly below the surface resulting in patchy foiled images.

Board  Thickness:

Desktop lazer printers are generally very reliable and can copy a variety of thicknesses of paper and board, however they may have difficulty copying thick sheets of cardboard as this does not bend around the rollers inside the copier, it is our experience that a 160 gram cardboard sheet is generally thick enough for Greeting cards and Certificates.

If you require a thicker board ask your local photocopy shop what maximum thickness they can copy, they may have a manual feed facility on their copier that allows the sheet to be fed directly into the copier thereby by-passing the rollers, in this case they may be able to copy thicker sheets.

Exceeding  max’  thickness:

The Foil-pro machine has a maximum thickness restriction of 300 microns which equates to a board thickness of around 240 grams {around 0.05mm} which is a medium thickness board good for Greeting cards, we have however found that a 160 gram board is also firm enough for card making, add to this your foil sheet and cover sheet {80 gsm} then you are getting to the maximum thickness range of the machine, if you find your machine is struggling to feed your copy through the rollers then chances are you have exceeded the max’ thickness which may damage your machine.

Ink copies don’t work:

Copies printed with ink cartridges won’t  work the foil is specifically designed to adhere to Toner images printed on a Lazer  Printer.

Foil adheres to colour toner:

Toner foils do not differentiate between Colour or Black copied images,  if your image has been printed using a Toner then the foil will stick to the image whether it is full colour or plain black on white.

Colour Copies & Foiling:

If you would like to do a combination of  foiling onto a colour printed image {example a colour picture with a gold foiled border} you would first need print the colour image using an ink jet / ink cartridge printer thereafter you would overprint the border in register {in position} with a Lazer printer, the foil will then only stick to the border to finish the combination print.

Wasting Foil:

Foil can be re-used,  for example if you printed a thin border around an A4 page there would still be plenty of un-used foil left inside the border lines, the fact that the foil has gone through the machine does not mean it can’t be re-used you can re-use areas of  foil that have not been removed from the foil carrier by a toner image,  save all your scraps to maximise usage and save costs.

Foils lose their lustre:

If  foils are applied at an excessively high heat they will lose their lustre {shine} and become a little “misty” appearing to be slightly matt, reduce temperature until the foiled image is bright and shiny.

The same result will occur if you run a foiled image through the machine a second time {to apply a second  colour} the difference is
however very slight so most  people probably wouldn’t even notice the difference, the same would apply when laminating over a foiled

Not a Perfect Science.

While Toner foiling is a magnificent and convenient system for short run foiling applications it is not a perfect science, there are variables that can influence the final result such as paper quality, toner quality, toner density, temperature control, application speed etc, so don’t be too hard on yourself when it comes to quality control {QC}  learn to live with the small imperfections that will happen from time to time this is a reality of  toner foiling, most people will be so impressed with the end result that they would probably not even notice the small imperfections that may be so glaringly obvious to you.

However if you insist on nothing less than perfection then consider this…with Foil-Pro you can produce a stunning A4 gold foiled Award Certificate for around R7.50 which you could sell for R20 – R30.00 each which is very reasonable for the discerning client looking for something special to give his staff rather than the same old “dime a dozen” cheap looking colour copy certificates that are so common today.

However because you insist on nothing less than perfection you would need to go to a commercial printer that offers conventional foil printing as a finishing service.

If you are lucky enough to find a printer that is prepared to run just 20 certificates the first thing they would require is a foiling block or foiling die……it’s like a rubber stamp except it is made out of metal {Magnesium, Copper or Brass} which is used to stamp the design onto the certificate under heat and pressure.

However because your client wants A4 size gold foiled certificates you are going to need and A4 die which is going to cost you well in excess of R1000.00 before you even start {depending on the type metal used to make the die}.

Then they will work out a quote that will include a make-ready charge…this means you pay them to set up the machine in preparation to print your job then of course there is the foil charge for which you will pay for a whole roll even though you only use 3 meters of a standard 120m roll and they haven’t charged you to run the job yet….by the time the printer presents you his quote and you add your mark-up and then present the final quote for 20 perfect certificates to your client… it is almost certain you will never hear from him again.

Perfection comes at a price which unfortunately most people are not prepared to or can’t afford to pay.

All things considered. I think your client would be quite happy to live with small imperfections which he probably wouldn’t even have noticed if you didn’t point it out, he leaves feeling happy that he paid a good price for something special and you make a nice profit.

Maybe those tiny imperfections that bothered you so much are not really all that bad after all.