What Hot Melt System is Best for Your Company

Hot melt adhesive can be used as a sealant solution for several different types of businesses. The most common use is with case packer systems, but it can also be used on product containers such as protein shake cartons, frozen pizza boxes, and so much more. There are several key elements that you need to take into consideration when choosing the perfect hot melt system such as efficiency, glue distribution, glue usage, and limiting downtime.

The first step in identifying what type of hot melt system is best for your company is to evaluate how much adhesive your packaging lines use in a day. If you are running a continuous packaging line with a large diameter glue nozzle, then you should research fill on-demand systems. A fill on-demand system, like Universal Systems’ ProBilt™ Phoenix, has a vacuum hose that continuously fills the melter tank with adhesive pellets from an adhesive storage container. Your line operators will only have to worry about filling up the adhesive storage container, which holds up to 6107 cui, allowing them to free up their time to tend to other tasks on the floor. If you are only running your packaging line for certain products, then you might want to look into limiting your tank capacity to either a 12 lb., 15 lb. or 20 lb. tank. The most commonly utilized tank size on today’s packaging lines is the 20 lb. tank, such as Universal Systems’ ProBilt 20.

Another topic to consider when choosing a melter system is how you will be distributing the adhesive onto the packages. Will you be laying down a line, spraying on the glue, or laying dots? This will be determined by the type of nozzle you are running on your modules. If you have a spray or swirl nozzle, then you will be using more glue than if you are using a straight small diameter nozzle. This knowledge will also help you choose the correct tank capacity melter needed.

To learn more about the different types of melters Universal Systems manufactures and which is right for you, please call us at (561) 272-5442 or email us at sales@ussefl.com.

Read More

ClearFlow Hot Melt Heated Hoses

Heated hoses are an important component for your production line and have several uses. Universal Systems SE manufactures our ClearFlow line of heated hoses that can transfer most any heated material needed for different applications. ClearFlow hoses offer the latest technology in heating and insulation to lengthen the life of your hose. Our newly designed insulated jacket will keep a steady, consistent temperature, improving molten flow and reduce charring and curing. Given that char is the biggest cause of gun misfires and nozzle clogs, the reduction in char will lengthen not only the life of the hose, but your entire system.

The key benefits of using a ClearFlow hose over any other hose manufactured today includes the upgraded insulation and nylon fiberglass cuffs that improve the durability of the hose connection. Those factors, coupled with our heat flow technology that keeps your materials heated at a consistent temperature throughout your production process, will reduce downtime, maintenance costs and increase overall efficiency.

In some cases, your lines may require waterproof hoses, which we also manufacture. All of the above benefits are the same, but come with a secure waterwash connection between the hose and glue head. All ClearFlow waterwash hoses are encased with state of the art, high temperature, extremely durable waterproof jacketing.

Whether you are transferring hot melt adhesive or other materials such as cosmetics, it is important to understand the materials being used to manufacture the correct hose needed for your business.

Below is a list of the key factors needed when ordering a heated hose:

Diameter of Core:

Hose Size Options: 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20
Inside Diameter (Actual): 0.125, 0.187, 0.25, 0.312, 0.405, 0.50, 0.625, 0.875, 1.125
Type of Sensor: 100 ohm Platinum, 120ohm Nickel, Type J Thermocouple or Type K Thermocouple
Type of Connection: Harwire or Pin (need to know type of pin connector and pin configuration)
Length of Hose (in feet)
Length of Wire Leads (in inches)
Fittings: JIC or Flanges (size), Brass or Stainless
Volatge: 110, 120 or 240
Maximinum Operation Temperature (in Fahrenheit)
Outer Jacket: Braided or Washdown
To find out more information on Universal Systems SE’s ClearFlow hoses or our custom hose capabilities, please call us at (800) 848-5018 or email sales@ussefl.com
Read More

Why Tape Doesn’t Hold Up

There are two main options in the market available for sealing your packages: Adhesive vs. Tape. Much like Batman vs. Superman, this is a largely debated topic in the packaging industry. Many carton packaging line manufacturers have been changing their machines from hot glue to tape. They claim that this will cut costs and reduce downtime. Here is why that is the WRONG move!

The largest complaint among manufacturers is downtime. Downtime leads to higher product costs, higher labor overhead and material waste, especially when it comes to tape. Cartoner machines that seal packages with tape commonly run into the following issues:

  • Changeover Downtime – tape roll capacities are not as abundant as hot melt adhesive. Adhesive pellets are not only cheaper than tape, but with the new on-demand adhesive application systems, the adhesive flow process is seamless with fewer interruptions.
  • Poor Tape Adhesion – One of the things you will never hear a complaint about when it comes to hot melt adhesive is that it does not stick. However, that is the top complaint of packaging line operators when it comes to tape machines.
  • Uncut Tape – when the line fails to cut the tape at proper lengths, all of the cartons are held together. That results in the line being shut down and operators are forced to manually cut the tape. With hot melt adhesive, this is never a problem.
  • Broken Tape – this is a result from poor tension control which causes the tape to stretch and break. Another issue you will never experience from running an adhesive system.

Hot melt adhesive equipment, when maintained properly will last you decades and reduce your downtime overall.

To find out what the best hot melt adhesive application system is best for your packaging line, please call (561) 272-5442 or email sales@ussefl.com.

Read More

A Personal Touch

Are you tired of listening to an automated phone system prompting you through a series of directories just to get someone on the phone? Then, after 20 minutes you still get sent to an operator and have to leave a message. At Universal Systems SE, that definitely will not happen. We pride ourselves in the personal relationships that we build with our customers. You will always have a direct sales representative that can help you with quotes and orders, or that will put you in touch with a technician or engineer that can help with any operation related inquiries.

Easy Online Quotes

If you would rather get a formal quote than speak to a sales representative, our website offers easy online quote forms for all of our products. Simply search for the product that you need, or the cross-reference number you may have, in the search box at the top right of our website. Then fill out the custom online quote form. An email will be sent directly to a sales representative who will get back to you within a couple of hours with a formal price quote. It’s quick and hassle free.

Instructional Videos

Universal Systems SE also offers several instructional videos on our YouTube channel. You can watch Meredith and Chris explain how an adhesive melter works, how to set your melter temperature, and even an introduction to the newly launched ProBilt® Phoenix on-demand melter system.

Order Confirmations

At Universal Systems we always want to make sure that you know when your order ships with an estimated time of delivery. At the end of each day, all of our order shipment confirmations get emailed out with your UPS or FedEx tracking numbers. This way you are never left wondering when you are going to get your products.

These amenities add value and a personal touch that not every company in the packaging industry offers. To create your own personal working relationship with Universal Systems, call us today at (561) 272-5442 or email sales@ussefl.com.

Read More

Modules: The Glue That Holds Your Adhesive Melter Together

Modules, they are the most used product on your packaging line, yet so many operators don’t understand how they are constructed or when to replace them. Like an oil filter on your car, a hot melt module’s main job is to be the conduit for applying adhesive on your packages and should be replaced every 1,000 hours. Replacing a module is simple, and the part itself is fairly inexpensive, but not changing them out could lead to extremely expensive repercussions.

There are two different ways that hot melt can be pumped through the module. First, there is an air on, spring off module (AO/SC). This type of module is the most common in the packaging industry, and the easiest module type to replace. It works by the gun pumping air into the module, to open the flood gates and pump the adhesive through the nozzle, on to the packaging material. When the airflow stops, a spring inside the module closes the opening and stops the adhesive from flowing. The other type of module is an air open, air close (AO/AC). This is a less common type of module and patented by Nordson®. If your machine operates with an air open, air close module then the replacements will be more costly and harder to find. Essentially, this module operates with air pumping through the gun to open the flow of adhesive, and then uses an air intake from the side of the module to stop the flow of adhesive. Keep in mind, that if you operate using an air open, air close module, you can replace it with an air open, spring close module by bypassing the air intake line. However, you cannot run an air open, air close module on an air open, spring close gun.

O-rings are an important component on any module. These tiny ring-shaped seals keep your module from clogging up, increases the efficiency of your system and limits the downtime of your lines. When replacing modules on your guns, make sure that the o-rings are placed securely on the module. If they get clogged with glue, then your module will clog and become defective.

Another important point to note when learning about your module, is the type of nozzle it takes. Not all nozzles and modules are the same. For example, zero cavity modules come with an integrated nozzle seat which allows for a no drip, positive cut off of adhesive. Each zero cavity module needs to be ordered by diameter size. A standard H200 module, however, does not come with any nozzle. You need to order nozzle separately and they come in multiple orifice sizes.

For more information on modules and how they can help improve your packaging line efficiency, reach out to Universal Systems SE at (561) 272-5442 or sales@ussefl.com. You can also view all of our ProBilt® series modules by visiting the Hot Melt Modules section of our website.

Read More

A Class Above the Rest

There are five main components that should go into your search for the right hot melt equipment manufacturer: Innovation, Knowledge, Quality, Price & Compatibility. Universal Systems SE has made it our top priority, over the last four decades, to ensure our customers get all of these. We do not compromise price for service and we stand behind all of our equipment with the strongest warranty program in the industry.

Innovation

Universal Systems SE has just launched our latest product in the ProBilt Series: The ProBilt Phoneix. This on-demand melter system allows packagers to melt and use adhesive only when they need it. The adhesive storage container eliminates the need to manually fill the melter tank, reducing adhesive spillage and waste, while improving safety. Our state of the art adhesive sensor and innovative vacuum technology will automatically fill your tank with adhesive to your desired level.

Universal Systems SE also manufactures 8 lb., 12 lb., 15 lb., 20 lb. and 40 lb. tanks that are the same footprint as most Nordson melters on the market. Our ProBilt systems continue to lead the industry with minimal down-time, easy to operate components and consumer flexibility.

Knowledge

When researching manufacturers to partner with, knowledge and availability are key. Our technicians have over 40 years’ experience in the hot melt industry and can help solve almost every issue you might run in to, because we have seen it all! Universal Systems SE’s facility is located in the United States and we are available for service calls, even if it’s a video conference to walk through any issues you might be experiencing.

Warranty, Price, Compatibility

We stand behind all of our products 100%, which is why we offer the longest warranty in the industry on our ProBilt tanks, 10 years! Also, if you find a cheaper rate from another direct manufacturer, which we are confident you won’t, we will match that price! Whether the pricing is from Nordson, Graco, ITW Dynatec or Robatech. We also ensure that almost all of our equipment is Nordson compatible. This means that even if you bought your main hot melt machine from Nordson you don’t have to stay with them forever. Even if your Nordson melter has been discontinued, such as the 2300 or 300 Series, you can still buy all of your replacement parts from USSE. We will warranty all parts that you buy from us, even if they are being paired with a competitor part.

For more information on Universal Systems SE or the ProBilt Series, please contact us at (561) 272-5442 or email us at sales@ussefl.com.

Read More

The Purpose of Cartridge Heaters

The purpose of a cartridge heater is the heat metal parts by inserting them into predetermined spaces of the parts. The most common use of cartridge heaters in the hot melt industry, is for heating all automatic applicators, all hand guns, and sometimes even melters. They are very easy to install as the heaters are made slightly undersized relative to their nominal diameter.

It is recommended that the watt density of a cartridge heater only be as high as needed. Under normal applications maximum watt density is not required. Safety margins usually are rated by using less than the maximum allowed. Rather than having the highest possible wattage per heater, heaters should be selected that give a more even heat pattern.

In the hot melt equipment industry, watt densities are usually high rather than medium. In machining the applicators that receive the heaters, holes are drilled and reamed to exact tolerances. In a high watt density application, a very close fit is important. This style cartridge heater should have a hole tolerance of plus or minus .003. After holes have been properly drilled and reamed they should be cleaned and degreased to remove any remaining cutting debris.

Watt density is the heat flow rate or surface loading of a cartridge heater. It is the number of watts per square inch of a heated surface area. Watt density calculation would be as follows.

Watt Density = wattage / (pi x diameter x heated length)

The heater cartridges in hot melt systems and their components are normally controlled by a master temperature controller on the hot melt units themselves. The temperature controllers on the hot melt units read RTD sensors to control the temperature of the heaters. RTD sensors are found in all components of a hot melt system including the tank, the heated hoses, and all heated applicators.

To find out more about our cartridge heaters please visit our website at www.universalsystemsse.com or call us at (561) 272-5442 or email us at sales@ussefl.com.

Read More

The Difference Between a Glue Gun Head and Module

By far, the most commonly asked question we receive is – what is the difference between a glue gun and a module? A misconception that many packaging line buyers make is that when a module fails, you need to replace the entire gun. That is not true. In most cases, the modules attach to the gun and can be easily removed and replaced.

Below is a breakdown of the components that comprise a hot melt adhesive gun application system:

  1. Gun Head – this is the gun body that attaches to the packaging line and initiates the application of melted adhesive into the module. There are a variety of different style gun heads, ranging from 1 module to multi module capacities.
  2. Module – the module attaches to the gun head via two screws. Each gun applicator will come with modules, but these can be replaced regularly once they get clogged. The module is the conduit that applies the adhesive to the package.
  3. Nozzles (not always included when you purchase a gun) – at the end of every module is a nozzle. Most standard nozzles will screw on to the end of the module. The diameter of the nozzle will determine how much hot melt is applied to each package. Some modules, such as reduced cavity, zero cavity and ProBead’s, will come with an integrated nozzle seat attached. Replacement kits for these integrated nozzles are sold separately, instead of buying a brand-new module.

If you only need to replace the module, and not the entire gun applicator, make sure you check which type of module you need. Below is a list of the most common modules in use today.

If you have any questions on which items you may need, please reach out to a sales representative by either calling (561) 272-5442 or emailing sales@ussefl.com. We manufacture all products in the United States and are here to offer the best price possible to get your packaging line up and running as quickly as possible.

Read More

Important Notes for Hot Melt Purchasing Agents

The packaging industry is unique, and can be a tough industry to buy for. It is important for purchasing agents to understand how their hot melt systems operate in order to ensure they are buying the correct parts. Hot melt manufacturers are full of highly educated engineers that have honed their skills over time. At Universal Systems SE, we combine our experience of over 40+ years to keep our products ever evolving and ensure we are still at the top of the industry, while offering our expertise to help our customer purchasing agents make the right choices.

Keeping up to date on the latest trends is not only important for us as manufacturers, but it is also important for buyers. Below are 5 important facts that every hot melt equipment buyer needs to keep in mind before making a purchase.

  1. Durability – at USSE, we stand behind the durability and craftsmanship of our products. That means that we offer a solid warranty, longer than all of our competitors.
  2. In Stock Products & Compatibility – whenever you call to inquire about the pricing on a melter or replacement part, make sure you remember to ask if the part is in stock. There are several choices that you have when ordering both main and replacement parts. Most all companies make their parts compatible with industry standards.
  3. Tank Capacity – make sure your melter’s tank capacity matches your packaging line output. This will ensure that you have the correct tank needed for the job.
  4. Match Your Adhesive and Your Pump – the pump needs to match the viscosity of your chosen hot melt adhesive. This is key to making sure that you are ordering the correct style pump to dispense the adhesive on your packaging materials.
  5. Usability – the best melters will be easy to operate, easy to change out replacement parts, and easy to clean and maintain. They will also come with smart features like USSE offers on all of our ProBilt adhesive melters.

At Universal Systems SE we are dedicated to the education of both our customers and the next generation of hot melt engineers.

If you are interested in learning more about hot melt equipment tips and facts, please call one of our customer service specialists today at 1-800-848-5018 or email sales at sales@ussefl.com. You can also view these facts and several other key features of our ProBilt™ Melters by visiting us on YouTube.

Read More

Top 10 Tips for Maintaining Your Hot Melt Machine

Hot melt machines are an important investment into the efficiency of your packaging line. Just like any important investment, you want to make sure that you are maintaining your hot melt machines to limit downtime and minimize expenses.

Below are the top 10 maintenance recommendations to ensure you get the most out of your Universal Systems machine.

1)      Replace Melter Filter after 500 Hours

2)      Clean Melter Tank with Purge Plus after 1,000 Hours

3)      Clean and Flush Pump after 2,500 Hours

4)      Replace Pump after 5,000 Hours

5)      Replace Hose only when it stops heating

6)      Replace In-Line Filters after 150 Hours

7)      Replace Gun Head only when it stops heating

8)      Change Module Every 1,000 Hours

9)      Replace Nozzle Every 120 Hours

10)   Depending on how many lines you are running, make sure you keep enough spares of each in stock.

Universal Systems SE stocks all of the above and can ship almost anything same day. For more information on how to operate your hot melt systems or perform maintenance on your system, please check out our YouTube channel.

For pricing on any items, please reach out to one of our sales representatives at sales@ussefl.com or feel free to call our corporate office at 1-800-848-5018.

Read More