Re: Falambi/Pavo HD 320 laminator
I've just bought a very similar machine, second-hand but claimed to be unused.
This machine is one of a broad family, very varying in pricing and with features. I live in Europe/Poland, and it actually is not often seen here, probably most in Germany. Here's a link to a supplier from Poland that presents few of them:
Please note that there's no PAVO marking here and no Falabi either. At the time of writing, in that supplier's store it costs 330 PLN ~= 79 EUR. My one has PAVO logo on its side. On that site you can find a "little brother" of this machine, which has very similar temperature and gap-height ratings, the HD32020 which stands 250 PLN ~= 60 EUR - which is about 30EUR less than typical new HD320 that I've found at German eBay.
FYI: I'm not associated with this company and I have not bought the device from them, but as for now, their pricing is the lowest amongst various internet catalogues.
I've searched German sites, and very often it seems to be called "PAVO PHOTO PRO HD320 A3 Laminator" or any loose combination of there keywords. There's label on mine telling "PAVO LAMINATING FILM MACHINE".
There's some general information, in short:
- "full metal" (except gears..)
- temp up to 180-190-200'C depending on model and information source
- 4 rollers, but some site claims only 2 - strange, as the machine is BIG and WIDE, so I'm sure it was a typo and all have 4 rollers
- full standard working modes, I think all of them support hot/cold, forward/reverse and some kind of temperature adjustement
- takes A3
- takes 1.0 or 1.2mm safely plus foil
On the photos from Polish supplier there's no PAVO mark. That's because those machines is not made by PAVO! As you may guess, it isthe famous "far east" again:)
From my searches over the internet, it seems that the actual manufacturer is HUANDA. That could be that HD in the name of the machine (or maybe HD = HeavyDuty).
Here's its official site on Alibaba: http://huanda.en.alibaba.com/ and very nice photos:
- internals of the machine included!
You can easily see that there are literally myriads of models. Unfortunaltelly, most probably that site is for bulk orders and you'd have to send RFQ to know the price, but I think you can often contact the producer and ask for small quantities like one too. Maybe they have some spares lying forgotten in the warehouse :)
Some early observations:
- I bought it today, seems perfect, seems to work, but I've not made any PCB yet. I have little time and I've not done it very often, so it may take me a while..
- the temperature display is .. fake. I mean, it works, it reacts, it shows .. but not the actual temperature of the rollers. It is tightly bound to the TemperatureKnob and it simply displays what temperature you have set by turning the knob :)))) I laughed really hard when I noticed that. I doubt that this is connection error, that just a very smart "Temperature Display". It displays the temperature right? The one you have set:) But it works, it is a real meter so it can be probably easily rewired to show actual temperature if you add some parts
- there are two LEDs, POWER and READY, and the latter fades only when the mode is set to HOT and the heating relay clicks on - it is simple and usable.
- the machine is actually quite quiet. I have really expected it to be, well, could and creaky or buzzing, and it only gives some humming more or less intensive (less- in my opinion), but still it is far quiter than average hairdryer or printer I know.
- this is true, there is no grounding (!). Well, the "far east" has a different view on safety. Even the cable is 2-pin not 2+1 pin. But that's so easy to fix..
- you can mount two fans to cool the machine faster. The casing has two holes prepared for that. You can see it here:
While it is a different model, the photos show it closely and description is very close. This is not that stupid idea with the fans. After few minutes of heating up to ~170'C, the machine took LONG time before the temperature of rollers went down back to 50'C. I don't know what is the bottom temperature threshold when it is safe to turn off the motor and stop rolling. No mention in the user guide.
Heh, I've just noticed there is no RATING PLATE on the whole device. Absolutely none. And it was not ripped off, no dirt no damage on the metal case.
With the varying models as seen on manufacturer's site, and from what I see, it seems that (for ME, I'm not an expert) that machine's design is adaptable for some customization, if needed at all. However, this also means that every one instance of the machine may be a little different. I'd be not suprised if one had sensor, other had not, next had valid display, while mine had fake display. So many models were produced, that buying one, especially over internet, is almost a lottery. Some models have "temperature display", other not. Some have knob, others some kind of digital controller, some have more or less LEDs and switches.
But, all of them seem to be 4 rollers, metal casing (and chassis too!), up to nominal 180'C + safety margin, and take at least 1mm of piece.
I've now opened the machine and found that all cables are attached via connectors. Of course the PCB's connector for PWR is 2-pin, no ground, so I can just split the new cable and screw the ground to the metal case of device. On PCB there's a "www.huanda.com" :). Also, on PCB there are three potentiometers, but I don't know their purpose yet. One has label "temperature trimming", so that's obvious, and is accessible via hole in the metal case.
Temperature sensor is a small glass-cased diode placed very near the rollers. It is gently pressed to the middle of bottom roller by two tiny springs. The glass casing of the diode is rounded and flat, and does not seem to scratch the roller in any way.
Heating system is composed of two glass tubes placed between two roller pairs, glowing bright orange when on, and a reflector that ensures that only front set of rollers is heatted ("input" rollers). The second ("output") set of rollers is not heated. I do not see any filaments inside the glass tubes. I didn't inspect it too much though, I didn't want to dirty them. Indeed seems "grill-like".
I've sent an old 1.5mm PCB through, and it went smoothly through. Repeated with the same PCB + 2 sheets of paper - again, smooth, no problems, no creaking, nothing stuck. I've sent two sheets of paper with no PCB and they went out slightly creased, two almost straight marks seen along almost whole sheet's lenght. That surprised me. I've inspected the rollers and I don't see any bumps. Most probably the total thickness of the material was too small and the rollers did not press it enough. I've read that some of the larger machines have "minimum document+foil thickness of 0.5mm". Paper+PCB never had any creasings on the area of PCB.
As for the thickness, the device has four thick springs that allow the top roller of each pair to move aside when piece is inserted. The springs have about 10mm movement space, so I suspect that the machine can take far more than 1.5mm. It also seems that the pressure can be adjusted with those springs, as all of them are mounted on long screws that are easily accessible from the bottom side of the metal case. Just turn the head of the screw, and that one spring gets compressed a bit more.
As to the temperature, it is a little off. I don't know if my thermistor was scaled very well, but it measured -20'C with respect to what was set by knob, i.e. I've set 170'C, it shown 150'C. But it seemed rather linear. This should however be easily adjustable with "temerature trimming" adjustement.
The 'control circuit' seems very simple. Some typical-size passive elements, one relay and a single DIP-8 chip HA17741: http://phys.thu.edu.tw/~mengwen/exp-electronics/datasheet/HA17741.pdf so nothing special.
Please note that while I speak in mostly positive terms, I cannot "just recommend it": I cannot do that, because I've never made any PCB with it, and, to be perfectly clear, I've never done any PCB with any laminator. Before I bought the machine, I had almost no idea about them. I don't know what you could want to know more about the machine, I probably already wrote too much :) Thanks if you read that far instead of tl;dr+pagedown :) I hope someone finds these information useful when considering purchase.
regards & bests,