The Adhesive Process
Our hotmelt adhesives are applied with application equipment from companies such as Nordson and Robatech, which is installed as part of the machine process. These systems consist of a hotmelt tank where the adhesive is melted then transferred via heated hose to the applicator gun/module to be applied to the product.
It is very important to apply the right adhesive settings to your application as if one of these settings is wrong it can knock the whole application off centre and cause unnecessary downtime or pop opens.
To help to maintain the adhesive application equipment and keep your application running the best it can there are the key settings to be aware of.
Air Pressure – Affects the amount of adhesive pushed through the gun modules. Typical setting is between 1-2 BAR but a higher setting may be needed for applications where the substrate is further away from the applicator or the adhesive is being applied at an odd angle.
Temperature – The rule is the higher the temperature the less viscus the adhesive is. If the temperature is too high, then more adhesive will be applied.
Compression – This is where the bond is formed, and the adhesive starts to set and form the bond. High speed machines will have a longer compression area.
Gun Module Placement – It is important for the module to fire the adhesive onto the correct part of the case. If the adhesive is applied in the wrong place, flaps could pop open or may not bond at all.
Amount of Adhesive – It is a common misconception that if there is an issue where pop opens are occurring, is to up the amount of adhesive applied. This is not the solution in most cases as if more adhesive is added then more time is needed at the compression stage to for a bond. If no extra time is allowed, then the bond will continue to fail and potentially get worse.
Just like any other machinery it is important to make sure you service and maintain regularly. This typically comes in two parts – the machinery supplier (CMC, Sitma, lantech etc) and adhesive application equipment such as Nordson or Robatech. Servicing regularly is a must to keep the machine performing at peak capacity and avoiding issues that result in loss in production.
Day to day upkeep is also vital and being aware of where the filters are and how to change a nozzle helps to overcome small equipment issues. Often application equipment suppliers will offer training for engineers which is very useful.
Regular cleaning is strongly advised as a preventative measure. Over prolonged use adhesive can build up in places it shouldn’t, this can also be exacerbated by incorrect settings. A common result of this is packaging catching on the adhesive covered areas and causing blockages in the machine and even damaging product.
As part of your shutdown process, we advise having some of our specialist adhesive cleaner on hand to remove tough deposits. This is a safe and easy way to remove unwanted adhesive as all that is need is to simply spray and the scrap or wipe off.
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