Advancements in Hot Melt Adhesive Solutions
As mentioned previously, traditional hot melt tank systems lack intelligence in terms of adhesive usage monitoring. This information is vital to tracking expenses related to the packaging process. With adhesive costs at the forefront of the manufacturing industry’s mind, hot melt adhesive monitoring solutions are becoming increasingly important.
Emerging hot melt technology offers the detailed adhesive usage information many manufacturers desire. For example, one system incorporates an intuitive user interface and downloadable operating data, making it possible to clearly track material usage throughout a given period of time. This allows packaging managers to examine the amount of hot melt adhesive used over a single shift. The increased tracking information leads to improved record keeping, better understanding of adhesive consumption and needs, and better control over costs in the packaging process.
In addition to adhesive consumption, operators have the ability to track a number of other important factors, including fluctuations in adhesive temperatures, system errors and key event history. These information are invaluable, as running routine reports can pinpoint inconsistencies in the process, optimize the packaging line and identify cost saving opportunities.
The process control and reporting data that the customers of many packaging companies are demanding is now available with this monitoring technology. Add in remote monitoring, plant managers and operators can have access to all of these operational data.
Some packaging companies find themselves transitioning to more expensive, temperature-stable adhesives in an attempt to negate some of the drawbacks of hot melt tank equipment. While these adhesives have value to offer in their own right, adhesive choice should not be dictated by the capability of the processing equipment. Some new tank-free hot melt systems have been designed around the broad spectrum of adhesives traditionally used in the packaging market.
In addition, adhesive materials once viewed as incompatible with traditional heated tank systems due to their brief pot life stability or tendency to char have now become viable options for use with tank-free systems. The viability, and often increased affordability, of these materials further expands the number of adhesive options accessible to the manufacturer.
The expansion of viable adhesive options and more efficient adhesive use may lead to reduced adhesive costs. By exploring additional adhesive options, packaging managers may find savings in both the cost per pound of inventory ordered and the actual amount consumed per unit produced.
Traditional hot melt adhesive dispensing systems, while playing a large role in the packaging process, suffer from inefficiencies and weaknesses that can impact the effectiveness of the line. Emerging tank-free technologies eliminate many of the drawbacks of traditional heated tank systems and vastly improve the efficiency of the packaging process. The advancements in hot melt dispensing technology offer many potential benefits for manufacturers and packaging managers, including reduced downtime, lower adhesive costs, improved operator experiences, and improved information management.
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