Tony Mertlik, Owner of TM Design & Engineering, is a Mechanical Engineer with experience in development, design, and building new series, high-speed, film laminating machines. He developed new generations of machines for General Binding Corporation by incorporating new ideas and new technologies that advanced machine capabilities.


  • Conceptualized and developed in 1996 the Orbit 2000 laminator, utilizing new concept and technologies for integrating feeder, laminator and separator to one unit and combine for first time the lamination of Digital/Offset outputs to one machine.
  • Developed new generation of 8500 Series of laminating machines designed for high volume lamination.
  • Vision System for in-line Inspection of Laminated Sheets
  • Slitting Device for Film Slitting With High Speed Lamination
  • Designed 8500 Cyclone laminating machine awarded by Guinness book of records as “The Fastest Laminator in the World” at Drupa 2008 with speed 500 ft/min exciding current industry standard by 50%.  The full press release is also located below.

8500 Cyclone Laminating Machine

Tony Mertlik, GBC Engineering Manager and leader of the team that developed the GBC 8500HS Cyclone, has been with the company for over 12 years and in the printing and finishing industry for over 20 years. A native of the Czech Republic, Tony is regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on laminating systems.

GBC team sets Guinness World Record with the new GBC 8500HS Cyclone laminator during Drupa 2008
From Graphic Arts Online Drupa 2008, Dusseldorf, Germany, June 2, 2008

Düsseldorf (GERMANY) –GBC, an ACCO Brands (NYSE: ABD) business and market leader in the manufacturing and distribution of laminating equipment and supplies, successfully achieved a new Guinness World Record at Drupa 2008 by establishing the fastest time to laminate 100 square meters of paper. The GBC team was able to laminate 102.2 square meters of paper in just 40.53 seconds. The new GBC 8500HS Cyclone Laminating System and GBC High Bonding Strength (HBS) film – both debuted at Drupa – were put to the test in this first-ever laminating challenge. The well-attended event took place on June 2nd at GBC’s stand D05 in Hall 11. Gareth Deaves, an adjudicator from the Guinness Book of World Records, confirmed the time of the lamination run and presented an award to the jubilant GBC team.

This extraordinary technical endeavour began with the “go” signal when the first sheet entered the laminator. Only the portion of the paper surface actually covered by the laminating film was measured. The clock was stopped when the last sheet to complete the 100 square meters exited the laminator. Witnesses and the adjudicator from the Guinness Book of World Records verified that the sheets were properly laminated, without creases or air pockets, and that the total laminated surface was at least 100 square metres.

Ron Butterman, GBC Director of Marketing, comments: “We are extremely proud of Tony Mertlik, Mark Elman, Glenn Koepke, and all the talented engineers on the team for their efforts to develop this world-class laminator. Thanks to their skills, we have attained this new Guinness Book of World Records milestone – and also provided a convincing demonstration of how printers can finish their own output in record time.”

Mertick, Elman, and Koepke now hold the Guinness World Record in their names.The GBC 8500HS Cyclone is a commercial laminator designed for single-sided lamination of high-volume print runs. Running at speeds up to 500 ft (150 m) per minute, this system can cut production time by one-half or more without sacrificing accuracy, control, and quality.

Its generous 44 in (112 cm) width offers versatility and also lets users run prints landscape-wise, further increasing productivity.A high-precision MABEG® feeder, known worldwide for its powerful and reliable accuracy, controls the feeding and transport of printed sheets. A unique suction cup configuration allows the MABEG® feeder to consistently feed up to 18,000 sheets per hour.

Built for speed

The key to the GBC 8500HS Cyclone’s high-speed, high-quality output is innovative new technology that improves adhesion at ultra-high speeds, and then separates each sheet accurately without tearing or slowing the process.

With precise controls and strong adhesion at extremely high speeds, the GBC 8500HS Cyclone also delivers maximum efficiency. Operator friendly, it is easy to quickly configure job settings from feeding through stacking, including paper movement, sheet overlap, speed, film tension and separation. Job parameters can also be retained in memory for recurring jobs. A touch-screen control monitor reports productivity by shift, day and job, including film used and time remaining on the job.

Consistent adhesion

During the Guinness World Record event, the GBC 8500HS Cyclone impressed the visitors with its innovative new technology that ensures consistent adhesion when running at ultra-high speeds. An efficient closed-loop water heating system enables the laminator to maintain a stable operating temperature, even on long runs. After leaving the laminator, an electronically controlled, motorized decurling bar removes excess curl in the laminated sheets for consistently flat output.

At the system’s separator, a track-mounted snapping assembly remains stationary while running and maintaining its grip over the entire sheet. The result is clean, accurate separation and optimal reliability.