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Gluing Systems--Finding Sticky Situations

September 2000

Is it possible for a gluing system to be all things to all printers and finishers? The answer to that question is a wholehearted yes.

Let's be honest, the days of "Type A personality" gluing systems are long gone. Competition on the manufacturer level has prevented one-dimensional systems from becoming prevalent. Gluing systems must play nice with the presses, or they'll find themselves taking an extended time out on a dusty shelf in a second-hand shop. Not only must they be easy to use, setup and maintain, but application must be uniform.

By the same token, not every system will be a perfect fit for a user's application, thus it helps to have an idea of what features are most critical to various applications.

"Is the system flexible, capable of operating at speeds the printer wants them to run at?" wonders Louie Hollmeyer, director of marketing for Valco Cincinnati. "Is it capable of what they want it to do today—and is it capable of what they might want it to do in the future?

"For manufacturers, it's a matter of taking all the requirements of a customer and coming up with one piece of equipment that can do it all. Develop a system that's flexible enough to meet many needs rather than just one particular, specific application."

Valco Cincinnati offers a number of adhesive systems that can all be tailored to the requirements of the customer, including the RoBond fluid application system for high-speed presses. The system includes an MCP-25 microprocessor pattern control system and DD-1 air-driven diaphragm pump adhesive delivery. It also features motorized sled bars, bridge controls and dispensing valves for fine-line gluing and fold softening.

Valco now also boasts the OT-100 terminal with CPU and glue supply unit for fast, accurate gluing and quality assurance management. The OT-100 can accept and integrate up to 16 different glue valves and sensors for multiple and specific applications.

Glue types and substrates are the first considerations for choosing a system, notes Steve Wendell, regional sales manager for GMS. A number of glues fall into either the cold or hotmelt category; cold glues are generally more user-friendly and relatively inexpensive while certain applications tend to favor using hotmelt, such as remoistenable glue.

Substrate material and how quickly the glue needs to set are also primary considerations, according to Wendell. He recommends consulting a supplier for the ideal choice for a given application.


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