Gluing Systems — Finding Sticky Situations
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.
Need to Consider
"Continuous line or pattern gluing can often be done with simple contact systems where the applicator device is in direct contact with the material to which glue is being applied," Wendell states. "If, however, the intent is to use an array of dots, lines, stitches or glues—singularly or in combination—a non-contact system is almost a necessity. By definition, non-contact systems also require that the glue being fed is pressurized."
He notes that real-time data collection may become a greater consideration; while the CIP3 protocol has not been integrated into glue application systems, that may well change in the foreseeable future.
GMS offers two- and eight-channel controllers, with several applicator valve designs available for each. Controllers feature multi-lingual prompting using a highly visible VF display. The eight-channel controller features provisions for networking and data collection, with downloading to a PC or to a hand-held printer via the unit's built-in IR port.
According to Frank Hughes, vice president of sales and marketing at Robatech USA, the cost of maintaining some adhesive systems over a five-year period can end up matching the initial cost of the system. Find a warranty that works for you.
"Many companies are so convinced that they are manufacturing a high-quality, low-maintenance unit that they are now giving a longer warranty," Hughes notes. "Look for companies that offer two years on the complete unit and electronics, and a lifetime warranty on the tank heaters."