Tag Archives: dispensing equipment
One of the biggest threats to the efficiency and profitability of any production line is unscheduled machine downtime. It can be a sudden production halt, or an intentional machine stop by an operator who has detected defective functioning on the line.
Not only does this cause time loss, but also results in increased over-time to meet production goals, as well as replacing a small part that might be currently out of stock. Such unscheduled machine downtime forces operators to leave their tasks and try to fix the problem, which sometimes requires specific knowledge and can only be fixed by the technical service of your packaging machinery supplier (who, to make matters worse, is located miles away and unable to provide immediate assistance). Simply put: it costs you time and money. Sometimes lots of money.
As a leading manufacturer of adhesive dispensing systems for the packaging industry, we are aware of how distressing this situation can be for our customers. For that reason, we have decided to focus on exactly why a hot melt glue system could cause a packaging line to stop.
We found that the main reason for failure on a hot melt glue gun was typically compressed air. Luckily, we also identified a solution to fix this problem: electric hot melt glue guns. To dive deeper, in this post, we examine how all-electric hot-melt systems save more time and money than pneumatic hot-melt dispensing machinery by looking closely at long-term issues reported on air quality, solenoid performance, spare parts replacement and adhesive usage.
How can compressed air have such a big impact on the life and performance of a hot melt applicator? To start off, manufacturing compressed air is expensive, and due to the age of most systems, the quality of the air starts diminishing shortly after installation. This in turn affects the efficiency of the applicator, the accuracy of the pattern and the potential lifespan of the hot melt system. On the other hand, an all-electric valve has a consistent performance throughout its entire life, which can reach up to 300 million cycles.
Pneumatic hot melt glue guns require air solenoids to activate the module. The combination of heat, debris, oil and air moisture quickly weakens the solenoid performance, resulting in sloppy or inconsistent glue patterns, spitting, or no glue firing at all. While you might think replacing the solenoid would correct the issue, more often than not, it’s hard to tell whether the origin of the problem is the air-activated solenoid valve alone. Therefore, the nozzle, module and the solenoid are all replaced to ensure the problem is resolved, which necessitates an important investment in spare parts, inventory, storage and technical training. Since electric valves don’t require solenoid valves, these associated issues are of no concern.
Spare Parts Replacement:
Seals and moving parts in the valve are subject to wearing out and require regular maintenance and replacement to maintain the valve in good condition. By reducing the number of seals, not only can you diminish the maintenance requirements, but also dramatically reduce chances of failure. Such is the case with an electric valve, which uses a small number of seals and other moving parts, guaranteeing longer life with less maintenance. To help illustrate this point further, we’ve created this infographic comparing the number of seals in both hot-melt systems.
Last but not least, electric valves reduce adhesive usage up to 75% while continuing to provide perfect bonding and sealing.
Compared to pneumatic hot melt glue guns, an electric valve can be set to work on stitch mode, producing any desired pattern larger than 1/8” (3 mm). The size of the bead and the distance between beads can easily be set and controlled from a Pattern Controller, which is usually provided as an integrated feature of the hot melt unit. All of this translates to great savings, while still allowing you to deliver a more eco-conscious product.
Why take our word for it? Our customer results speak for themselves: Click here to access the adhesive usage comparison at a well-known global beverage manufacturer, before and after they switched to Valco Melton’s EcoStitch™ Electric Valves.
To contact a hot-melt system specialist today, click here.
Inserting and product attachment are a vital part of Print Finishing. Every day we see mailers with gift cards, credit cards, gas cards, and more. Whether your company is sending out a promotional flyer or attaching a card, coupon or mailer, using an efficient, cost-effective adhesive applicator is an important condition. Obligations to produce excellent print quality, complex folds, special perforations, and the need for speed are growing. It is critical to your brand reputation that this product maintains its integrity even after reaching the end-user. Furthermore, with today’s competitive landscape, producing these materials with a consciousness for sustainability is a requirement. In our line of business, that means using less adhesive and producing less waste. Here are five ways one hot melt gun can start lowering your adhesive usage today.
1.“Opt-In” on Options. One of the most critical aspects of adhesive application on a mailer or graphic is the ability to customize the adhesive pattern, so that the system can maintain the flexibility it needs for each customer’s specific requests. Because accuracy and precision are a necessity, it is critical to administer an adhesive application that meets these standards. In a market that is constantly reinventing itself, whether you need micro beads, large beads, are folding or perforating the mailer, or need 30 beads versus 15 beads, the electric valve that provides you with the ability to select an option from a limitless number of bead sizes and pattern lengths is the way to go. Valco Melton’s Ecostitch™ Valve is one of the only valves to provide these options to its customers.
2. Eliminate Stringing. Another critical aspect to applying a perfect and efficient adhesive pattern on mailers and graphics is the ability to eliminate stringing and provide a clean cut-off. In other words, when the mailer arrives at the end user, it is important that they can open the seal without tearing, ripping, or damaging the mailer. If the end-user tears or damages the mailer that is associated with your company name, it can affect what they think about the quality of your brand.
3. Ensure the Dispensing Valve is Multi-Use. Many mailers are glued with permanent, fugitive, and pressure sensitive adhesive. It is important to have an adhesive applicator that can work with nearly any adhesive to provide the clean finish and quality application you are looking for.
4. Utilize the “Zipper Stitch.” Valco Melton’s Ecostitch™ adhesive applicator applies adhesive in what they have started to call a “Zipper Stitch™.” This adhesive pattern type is truly unique and far superior to the traditional adhesive application method used on mailers. Traditionally, manufacturers would apply a long line or series of lines of adhesive to seal the end piece. More specifically, a large bead of glue is applied to the surface and spread out across the sealing area, which causes the end user to bend, fold, and tear the mailer when opening the seal. The Zipper Stitch is a superior pattern because it provides a perfect, uniform seal across the sealing area. Instead of a thick bead of adhesive stretched across the surface, there is a series of micro beads applied across the surface to provide a seal that can withstand any quality control test. Simultaneously, this allows the “at home” user to open and re-seal the mailer without tearing it. The Zipper Stitch provides a clean opening, while eliminating any tearing or other damage. This increases the integrity of the mailer, which in turn gives the end user a more positive experience.
5. Long Lives the Clean Valve! With speed and ceramic materials, electric valves are able to produce a tight closure that pushes out and pulverizes any char or debris that comes through the valve. Essentially, the valve cleans itself. By using a top-down adhesive path and electromagnetic coil, low pressure and large orifice size, the valve is able to virtually eliminate nozzle plugging. Additional features support easy change-outs and variable valve configurations with options like a “quick-connect” coil.
As an example of how powerful a little adhesive valve of this kind can really be, Valco Melton’s Ecostitch™ adhesive applicator is built with a ceramic seat and carbide-tipped plunger. It easily reaches 3000 cycles per minute continuous duty with a lifetime of up to 300,000,000 cycles. This solution has produced every case I’ve seen with instant ROI– Payback has occured in as little as four months.
By selecting a Hot Melt Adhesive Applicator that can achieve these 5 things, your adhesive can be reduced by up to 75%. Don’t believe me? Check out this case study.
If you’d like to see how an electric valve of this kind works, you can watch that here. To learn more about how this electric valve can start generating savings specific to your requirements today, let us know here.
Assembling sheets and layers during the diaper manufacturing process involves several steps. The bond between each part must be flawless and any interference to the adhesive on the product kept to a minimum.
A common myth amongst manufacturers is that a strong, long-lasting bond means that it is necessary to use higher amounts of adhesive. This is false. By using specific patterns engineered to have higher adherence and locating the pattern in certain key spots, the use of adhesive can be decreased, while the strength of the bond increases. In other words, it’s not the amount of hot melt you use, but how you apply it.
Tests at diaper manufacturer facilities have proven that a 50% reduction of adhesive usage is possible by switching from standard spray hot melt dispensing applications to multi-spray adhesive patterns. During spray applications, the surface is covered from side to side with a swirl pattern. With the multi-spray option, the same surface is instead covered by 3 parallel mini-swirls. This application creates a pattern with a high number of adhesive swirl intersections to give additional strength using lower amounts of adhesive.
Aside from adhesive usage reduction, further savings can be attained by using hot melt modules with removable “insert nozzle” technology. This innovative concept permits easier cleaning and pattern configuration processes. The tip of the nozzle features 3 small inserts that provide a highly accurate mini-swirl pattern. A special air output design avoids nozzle clogging, while reducing costly downtime.
Additionally, inserts like Valco Melton’s NWV BAT22 Inserts can be easily extracted and replaced, facilitating and reducing the time spent on cleaning and maintenance operations. Inserts can be combined with blanks for additional pattern configurations with minimal spare parts investment and work-change times.
Spare parts inventory can also be reduced as an effect of this hot melt technology. If any malfunction occurs, there is no need to replace the whole nozzle, just the defective insert. By only replacing the inserts, some of the users of our multi-pattern modules with insert-nozzle technology have experienced proven savings of up to 40-60% in their spare parts expenditure.
If you are interested in a deeper technical analysis, here is a white paper detailing the savings a customer achieved at their facility by replacing their swirl spray hot melt systems with multi-spray hot melt technologies. Click here to download it now, or contact one of our experts for additional information.
If you are in the market of clear-to-clear applications, master roll transparent labeling, or flexible packaging applications, you are well aware of how vital uniform and streak-free coating is to producing quality product. If you work with coating equipment, you also know that contaminants commonly trapped between the die and the substrate will cause damage to the coating surface.
Fortunately, rotating bar technology has been developed to specifically address this issue. By preventing even the smallest of contaminates from becoming trapped between the die and substrate, it virtually eliminates the risk of scratches to the coating surface. Coating equipment that integrates motorized bar technology is able to perform completely uniform, streak-free applications, no matter how small the adhesive grammage may be.
The coating industry today, requires unique and customized adhesive application. As a manufacturer, it is vital to have the coating machinery necessary to meet your specific needs. Each project requires a different width. Whether you require a narrow web or wide web adhesive application, it is important that you have the option to provide various coating widths. This not only gives you ultimate control over your application, but also gives you the convenience to customize your coating application to your specific needs.
Valco Melton’s ProClear™ Coating Station can be configured to meet each user’s specific requirements and gives you a choice of three standard configurations. Even more, depending on each user’s specific needs, it can be constructed as a permanent fixture on an existing coating station or as a fully mobile cart to allow the existing line to be upgraded to include hot melt capabilities. With an extensive range of optional upgrade accessories, this type of Coating Station is adaptable to any project.
To learn more about how a coating station like the ProClear™ can help you achieve a streak-free, uniform coating today, or to learn more about which type of applicator configuration will best meet your specific requirements, click here.
Although the dispensing equipment you select is of the utmost importance to ensure a quality adhesive pattern is applied precisely and without error, box makers often overlook the importance of preventative maintenance. Let’s be honest, it’s usually an afterthought. We have seen time and time again, problems relating to adhesive dispensing equipment that could have been avoided if the box maker would have just followed a few simple steps, every so often, to make sure their glue machinery was running at 100% efficiency. To help you avoid this unwanted downtime and make sure your glue patterns are always at their best, here are seven preventative maintenance procedures for better box manufacturing.
1 – Overtime, particles and coagulated glue can build up on filter screens causing restricted adhesive flow and excessive stress on the adhesive. Cold glue filters should be checked once per week after installation or after a change in the type or brand of adhesive. Depending on the amount of build up, adjust the frequency to accommodate your dispensing equipment.Remember, opening the filter housing allows air into the system, so make sure you have the proper purge valve setup before you begin.
2 – Make sure glue pressure follows machine speeds. For box makers, the glue regulator is the most important adhesive delivery component in determining how much glue volume is applied at a given machine speed. If you experience too much glue on the joint when the machine slows down, or there is not enough glue when the machine speeds up, it could be the regulator. To test fluid regulators without an electronic pressure control, use the T-handle on old style regulators and the Auto/Manual switch on the new style regulators to manually check the function. If pressure does not increase or decrease, a simple repair is in order. Valco Melton regulator repair kits for corrugated box manufacturers provide a quick and inexpensive solution.
3 – Applicator heads and nozzles must be kept clean. Buildup over long periods of time and a lack of cleaning after the machine is down can cause added downtime. Likewise, worn applicator heads can cause poor pattern quality (ticking at the end of the pattern, buildup on the leading edge or even missing glue lines). Applicator heads are wear items, subject to the abrasiveness of paper and are susceptible to some chemical corrosion after prolonged exposure. Quick-disconnect fittings are another critical component to achieving quality adhesive patterns. Loose applicator heads are prone to leaking. To avoid issues, inspect the fittings to verify that the applicator head is properly secured to the valve. Replace quick-disconnect fittings as required.
4 – Check to see if the Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) speed-tracking curve is accurately setup. Doing so will help you to achieve optimum pattern volume at all machine speeds. If the EPC is not working properly, you are relying 100% on operator skill to monitor adhesive output. This requires constant adjustments in order to maintain proper adhesive volume. Without a functioning EPC, the amount of wasted adhesive can quickly become a costly problem.
5 – A slipping encoder can cause intermittent pattern length variations, which can mean a troubleshooting nightmare for maintenance departments. Encoders should be regularly inspected for smooth rotation, good wheel or timing belt condition and secure mounting. Box makers should also pay close attention to common problem areas such as incorrect belt tension, damaged encoder cables or loose cable connections. By adding simple encoder maintenance to your schedule you can prevent extended downtime and hassle.
6 – Glue hose lines back to the regulator should be inspected for kinks and flushed periodically to check for clogged sections. An inexpensive section of tubing can become a costly problem for corrugated box manufacturers if it causes a flow restriction, as this results in poor glue volume at high machine speeds. Don’t overlook the pump suction line. A damaged suction line could cause air pockets to get into the glue line. This results in skips in the glue pattern or no glue pattern at all. Signs of leakage are not always obvious; plan now to avoid problems later.
7 – Ensure there are no false triggers from tab scrap. Corrugated box manufacturers operating with tab-side installations are often plagued by flying tabs from the slotter. False triggers from tab scrap can be the result of broken or dull knives. Replacing worn out knives along with routine maintenance is recommended to combat false triggers from tab scrap. Additionally, a dual scanner setup using two photo eyes, along with control settings can help block false triggers.
We have been selling and manufacturing adhesive dispensing equipment and cold glue or hot melt systems of all kinds since 1952. Through careful testing and repeated implementation around the world, we have experienced firsthand, why various systems outperform others. In our lastest post, we concluded that up to 75% of adhesive can be saved by implementing an all-electric hot melt glue system. Just to get the point across, this week we have uncovered 7 additional ways that an all electric hot melt glue system is reshaping the packaging machinery, folding carton, and print finishing industries.
#1 – Fewer Plugged Nozzles:
Did you know that by using an all electric system, you can use lower pressures to administer the adhesive from the hot melt glue gun? Well you can! This means that the nozzle diameter can be increased. The larger the nozzle, the lower there is a chance for clogging. Maintenance requirements and any risk of downtime are virtually eliminated.
#2 – Safer Operation:
As you probably know, the high pressure required to operate a pneumatic system along with the high temperatures of the hot melt adhesive, is a potential safety hazard. Fortunately, there is a better way… Because an all-electric system utilizes a gear pump, they are able to provide operators with a safer dispensing application and work environment.
#3 – Less Chances of Failure:
Electric gear pumps and electric valves utilize almost 90% less seals and additional parts required to run pneumatic pumps and valves. This practically eliminates the chance of failure caused by worn out or imperfect seals.
#4 – Any Pattern Configuration:
Electric hot melt glue systems can be easily configured to work on stitch mode through a pattern control to produce any pattern larger than 1/8” in length (3mm), with exact start and stop placement and virtually without stringing. Pattern size is not affected by pumping rate limitations as often occurs with pneumatic systems.
#5 – Longer Valve Life:
By using electric hot melt glue guns, the lifespan of a valve module can reach up to 300 million cycles with slight variations, depending on the type of adhesive used. What that means for the user is easy savings and less hassle.
#6 – Reduced Maintenance:
The most frequent downtime on packaging machinery involves changing failed pneumatic glue modules, plugged nozzles and solenoids. Switching to electric guns eliminates the need for gun solenoids and modules that can be soiled and worn with a dirty, wet, and sometimes inconsistent air supply. In result, maintenance requirements are reduced to a minimum level.
With fewer moving parts virtually eliminating the chances of failure, the spare parts stock is reduced to a minimum, resulting in lower investment, storage costs and downtime associated with the replacement of parts.
To better understand how these 7 aspects affect your overall revenue and other key factors, we have put together a visual example with an intuitive diagram. You can get this complimentary download instantly here.
As an alternative, learn more by speaking with a packaging expert today here.
If you are a packing list envelope maker, you know that adding envelopes to corrugated boxes can use a lot of adhesive, consequently costing your company a great deal of money. If you could only decrease adhesive usage, you could not only decrease your production costs, but also significantly improve your company’s efforts to work a little more eco-consciously. By adding an immediate competitive advantage, not to mention giving your brand something positive to talk about, this little “leg-up” can mean big stuff for your marketing and sales group and add big value to your brand. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to decrease their adhesive usage. Being that this is what we have been doing for the last 61 years, we have some information that can really help you out.
Generally speaking, the usual choice for adhesive dispensing onto the back of an envelope is to cover the entire surface. Naturally, it seems fail proof; so what more could you ask for? A lot actually. What most printing machinery, envelope makers, and coating manufacturers don’t know is that although this may seem like the right thing to do, it is unnecessary. Of course, this approach works and produces a reliable bond, but there is a better way; an approach that provides a bond equal in strength, but that uses a fraction of the amount of adhesive. This approach is called window-frame pattern application.
By eliminating the need to cover the entire surface of the envelope with hot melt adhesive, and instead applying the adhesive in window-frame patterns, you save up to 70% of your adhesive instantly. Coating equipment like Valco Melton’s FlexCoat™ applies adhesive intermittently using independent dosage from two separate channels. This ensures a constant and homogeneous grammage or coat-weight across the entire frame’s pattern. channel 1 dispenses a continuous and longitudinal application, while channel 2 dispenses an intermittent and perpendicular application.
Valco Melton’s FlexCoat coating equipment is the best option for high-speed intermittent coating. The integrated against-roll mount assembly ensures that the coating head is accurately and consistently presented against its chromed back-up roller. After the backside of the envelope has been coated, the packing list envelope is sealed using a second system that applies a layer of adhesive onto the folded tab that will close and secure the envelope.
If you are looking to decrease adhesive usage and achieve instant adhesive savings of up to 70%, finding a coating station that can apply window-frame patterns is a great next step. If you would like to learn more about our coating equipment in particular, you can read more here.
Manufacturers have been using compressed air systems for many years. In fact, most adhesive dispensing systems today use pneumatics simply because air has always been available and this was the original design criteria in the development of hot melt system gun technology. Although pneumatic systems will get the job done, there are several known, long-term issues associated with compressed air:
1. Constant and costly replacement of parts gone bad.
2. Diminishing solenoid performance.
3. Pneumatic guns plus solenoid have eleven dynamic seals per set compared to electric guns that have no dynamic seals.
It’s a fact; Pneumatic valve performance starts diminishing shortly after installation. Most modules are replaced because they won’t fire glue, not because they are leaking from the glue seal. This is because the pneumatic portion of the valve module has failed, not because the fluid seal failed. Compressed air is the cause. Many nozzles are replaced because there is no glue coming from the module. Although nozzles do sometimes get plugged, there are just as many issues with the module or air solenoid not performing at full capacity that give the impression that the nozzle is the cause. The nozzles, module and air activation solenoid are all replaced to be sure the problem is resolved.
Air activation solenoids, like valve modules, are constantly pushing air through them. The combination of heat, debris, oil, and moisture in the air will cause the solenoid performance to start diminishing very quickly. A solenoid can still open and close, but it might only be working at 40% of its full capability. This means the volume of air going through the air solenoid is most likely much less than what is shown on the regulator. The symptoms of this issue are sloppy glue patterns, spitting, inconsistent glue patterns and in some cases, no glue at all.
Manufacturing compressed air is expensive and because of the age of most systems, the quality of the air diminishes each year. Compressed air contains debris that enters the piston pump, air solenoids, and glue module with each activation. This problem can be completely avoided by using an all-electric hot melt system. The all-electric hot melt system removes this contamination, resulting in a higher quality and much cleaner product. An all-electric system does not have dynamic seals in the valves, contains a built-in troubleshooting guide, built-in gun filter, and there are no solenoids required. All of these prevent the constant replacement of system parts and diminishing performance; two issues that are common in pneumatic systems.
All-electric systems not only provide a higher quality product, but also decrease downtime caused by diminishing system parts, which simultaneously increases production. Whether you are a folding carton, packaging, or print-finishing manufacturer, all-electric adhesive systems can improve your production rates and increase the quality of your product.
We tested our CHOICE all-electric system over a three-week period with one of our customers that was using a pneumatic valve and a traditional bead of adhesive for their card attaching applications. The customer provided us with sample product of card attachment that was completed with their pneumatic system. Our goal was to run this exact same card attaching application with our all-electric system for three weeks to show the customer the adhesive consumption savings and cost savings they would achieve by using our CHOICE system compared to their previous method.
First, we weighed ten of the products glued with the traditional, pneumatic valve as well as ten products glued with our all-electric system. After obtaining the weight of the glued cards, we subtracted the card weight (6.29 grams) to determine the weight of the adhesive applied to each card. The results determined that there is a 60% reduction in adhesive usage when using the all-electric system compared to the pneumatic system.
We went a step further to discover the financial savings they could attain if 8,000,000 pieces were produced. Now that we had determined the weight of the adhesive applied to each card for the two systems, we calculated how many pounds of adhesive would be used with 8,000,000 pieces of product by the pneumatic system (3,227.57 lbs) versus the all-electric system (1,287.50 lbs).
Using a hypothetical price of $3.00 per pound of adhesive we were able to determine the adhesive cost for the pneumatic system at $9,682.71 and the adhesive cost of the all-electric system at $3,862.50. Bottom line, the customer saves $5,820.21 using the all-electric system.
The test clearly showed the customer that the all-electric system lowers adhesive consumption by 75%, which in turn lowers the adhesive cost. The new systems paid for themselves in less than 4 months.
The great news is that Valco Melton’s CHOICE system can be implemented onto any existing line, but moreover the amount of investment you make today will be in direct correlation with the return you will see tomorrow. You can learn more on how this all-electric system can help your business today by speaking to one of Valco Melton’s specialists. You can contact them directly, here. Don’t forget to mention that you are interested in the CHOICE system you read about in this August blog post
- Adhesive Consumption
- Removal of Pneumatics
- Reduction in cost of plant air usage
- Less spare parts associated with electric system
- Less degradation to valves because no plant air
- Less moving seals
- Downtime associated with pneumatics
- Less stoppage to change out solenoids and seals
- Nozzle Plugging
- Larger nozzle orifice and lower operating pressures
- Also helps with machine safety
- Faster Production Speeds
- Gives you the ability to stitch at higher production rates with clean, crisp patterns
The corrugated box manufacturing industry has long been focused on reducing waste as one of the key drivers of efficiencies. Like most box makers, you are probably focused on reducing waste in your facility. However, most people fail to realize the complex interdependent relationships that exist between quality, waste, product price, cost and production volume. What if “increasing” waste built value for your customers or increased your revenue and “decreasing” waste actually increased the cost of the box or even lowered sales? With so much at stake, it pays to take some time to more closely examine the tipping point between quality and waste.
What is Waste Anyway?
There are actually two separate types of waste – internal and external. Internal waste is typically what the corrugated box industry refers to as “waste.” Internal waste represents any defective sheet or box that is produced and not shipped to the customer. However, if you don’t catch the defective product and it ends up in the hands of the customer, it is considered external waste. External waste is rarely, if ever, discussed unless brought up by the customer. The cost is only accounted for in the form of credits for defects returned. Some customers do not return many defective or problem products to the corrugated box maker, resulting in an inefficient and distorted feedback loop.
Through our investigations, we have found that the costs tracked for external waste are more often larger than the internal waste figures. Furthermore, customer complaints, credits and feedback are a minority of the actual rate of defective product that customers are receiving. What this means is that some customers are bearing much of the direct costs (downtime, lost productivity, wasted products) associated with external scrap rates, while box makers are bearing much of the direct costs associated with internal scrap rates.
If customer complaints were, in fact, true indicators of the external scrap rates, this model would be useful for making operational decisions. However, discussions with end-users have shown that customers are not complaining about the vast majority of problems. Similarly, many box plants don’t complain about every hiccup in their machines or every minor issue with their paper – that’s the norm and they are used to it. Because this feedback loop is broken, many corrugated box makers have a warped view (literally) of how much scrap they’re actually sending their customers.
Two clear options are available to box makers for handling waste. First, do a better job of finding all defects before shipment and remove them from the production stream, increasing internal scrap rate and improving quality. Alternatively, send defects to customers in an effort to reduce internal waste, but increasing external scrap rates and decreasing quality. What are box makers expected to do? Is sacrificing quality worth the savings of reducing internal waste? What impact will this have on your business?
The secret to improving both internal and external waste is not only to identify the defective products and remove them from the production stream, but also to identify the root causes of the scrap production and address them. Investment in quality assurance systems for box inspection, operator training, as well as PM discipline and keeping equipment current can both identify scrap and reduce its root causes. If management is committed to solving problems on the floor that are causing waste, not only will less defective product be produced internally (internal waste) but also less defective product will be shipped to customers (external waste). In addition, profits will improve and customer retention will increase, which directly improves the bottom line. Finding the problem quickly through quality assurance devices and not having them occur from the other improvement measures will decrease internal and external scrap rates and improve the ROI performance of the business.
If investment in quality assurance systems, operator training, improvement in preventative maintenance programs and an upgrade program for production machinery can reduce the internal scrap rate, then the external scrap rate will be significantly reduced. Box makers will improve profits and keep happy customers who shouldn’t need to complain about the products they receive.
Why pay the price of the traditional corrugated box manufacturing industry’s approach for quality, counting pennies and losing dollars.
Having worked in supplying adhesive dispensing equipment and packaging machinery to people all over the world since 1952, we have heard quite a few horror stories from customers using hot melt glue systems. They mostly stem from the same common mistakes. Unfortunately for them, if they had known what we are about to tell you, these issues could have been easily avoided and the risk of downtime dramatically reduced. In an effort to make sure you don’t become another one of the characters in these legendary stories, we suggest following these 5 easy tips:
- Never start the unit before it has reached working temperature. We know time is money and waiting for the system to reach working temperature everyday can feel
like you are wasting valuable minutes that should be spent doing other things. However, it is necessary for the unit to reach working temperature to ensure that the adhesive has the required viscosity. Failing to do this can create problems with the pump and other internal parts that will result in unstable working conditions and downtime. So, count this daily ritual in as an important one.
- Stop “overfilling”. When the hot melt glue system runs out of adhesive, it can make the entire packaging line come to a screeching halt, resulting in expensive downtime. Although overfilling the melter to ensure the adhesive supply will last longer seems like it could be a brilliant idea, once the adhesive is actually melted, it can result in unwanted spillages. This can create serious safety hazards for yourself or other operators, as well as damage your packaging equipment.
- Get rid of risky maintenance practices. Regular maintenance processes should always include cleaning your hot melt glue systems. Rushing through this task can sometimes lead operators into manipulating the melter without getting rid of the high pressure first. Given the risk that the combination of hot adhesive and high pressure involves, eliminating the pressure from the system is a necessity to ensure a safe cleaning process.
- There is no universal configuration. Although it would be ideal, unfortunately, one configuration does not work for all applications. It is important to know the exact parameters, such as line speed, pattern type or applicator cycle speed that each application requires to avoid defective bonding or stringing caused by either an excess or a lack of hot melt adhesive.
Always use the adequate type of adhesive. It is important to be aware of the type of adhesive your application needs. Take into account the product that is being sealed and the hot melt glue system being used. Using the wrong type of hot melt for your products may create defective bonding or even damage the material. If the adhesive is not suitable for the hot melt glue system, common problems can include an unstable pumping rate due to incorrect viscosity, clogged nozzles due to debris formed by burnt adhesive, or a complete stop of the system if the melting requirements are higher than the system’s melting rate. If you are not sure, ask! There is nothing more glorious than a perfectly glued product.
Start seeing instant improvement in your production processes today by implementing these simple changes into your day-to-day operations. Reach out to our Packaging Machinery Experts anytime by emailing us here. They will be happy to assist you with any additional questions you may have.
Learn how our hot melt glue systems can help you avoid these and many other common mistakes, by instantly downloading this informative literature series on Hot Melt Glue Systems for Packaging Lines today.