Hot Melt Equipment Compatibility

Most all packaging lines come with an already installed hot melt adhesive system. This is the entire system that melts the adhesive pellets and transfers that adhesive to the boxes before they are sealed.

It is important to know that just because your packaging line comes with a hot melt system, that does not mean you need to buy the exact brand name replacement parts. Universal Systems SE manufactures an array of hot melt components and equipment at economical prices, that are most likely compatible with your current system.

The key term to focus on is compatibility. The devices and parts used to construct an applicator system are in depth, and we know they can get confusing. Not only do you need the melter itself, but you also need applicator gun heads, modules, nozzles, hoses and pumps.

Choosing the right part, or replacement part, to best fit your company’s needs may be difficult. Universal Systems SE has tried to make this process easier by building our technology to be compatible with all of our largest competitors. We also offer online search capabilities and list all cross-reference part numbers on our website, so that you can match your current part with our Universal Systems part number. This helps to eliminate confusion when ordering replacement components.

Example Cross-Reference Compatibility Comparisons:

ProBilt™ 20 Melter – Compatible to Nordson® P10, 3500 Series, 2300 Series

ClearFlow™ Hoses 4100 Series – Compatible to Nordson® 107286, 107287, 107288, 107289, 107310, 104008, 223838, 100832

ProBilt™ H200 Module #29219 – Compatible to Nordson® 1052925, 1048115

In addition to compatibility, Universal Systems offers one of the longest product warranties in the market. So not only will you be purchasing a component that is more economical for your budget, it will last you longer than your current parts.

With a combined experience of over 40+ years in the hot melt industry, Universal Systems offers the highest level of technical support. If you have a question on a part or if your machine is no longer running at its maximum capacity, just call in and speak with a technician.

If you need more information on how you can get the best pricing on hot melt applicator units, call USSE today at 1-800-848-5018 or visit our website at www.ussefl.com. When you click on a product of interest on the site, USSE will show you all of the cross-referenced product numbers from our competitors that this part is compatible with.

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How Cartridge Heaters are Made and Why They Fail

There are two methods of manufacturing cartridge heaters to ensure a useful life and not have them fail prematurely. The first is a standard cartridge heater and the second is a swaged cartridge heater. Even though both cartridge heaters might look identical on the outside, they are constructed very differently. Standard cartridge heaters are the most commonly used, but if you need to operate at higher temperatures and vibration applications, then you will need a swagged cartridge heater.

A standard cartridge heater has nichrome wire heater coils that are weaved through holes in the ceramic tubing. Pure magnesium oxide filler is vibrated into the holes, heating the coils to allow maximum heat transfer to the stainless-steel sheath.

A swaged cartridge heater’s nichrome wire is wound tightly around a ceramic core, to situate it in close proximity to the heater sheath. Pure magnesium oxide is vibrated in and the heater is swaged to a specific diameter.  This compresses the magnesium oxide so it becomes an improved conductor of heat from the wire while maintaining its dielectric properties. This is why it works so well with high temperatures.

The useful life of a cartridge heating element is determined by how quickly the heat generated in the resistance wire can be dissipated to the outside sheath. So why do cartridge heaters fail and sometimes prematurely? The reasons include improper fit, moisture, watt density is too high or if you are using the incorrect voltage.

Improper fit is the most common cause of cartridge heater failure. If the cartridge does not fit into the hole it is inserted, then the heater cannot dissipate the heat being generated by contact with the sheath. So, in effect, the temperature inside the heater will continue to rise until the magnesium oxide or resistance wire breaks down and the heater fails.

If moisture or impurities are present they can be drawn into the heater. Because magnesium oxide is hydroscopic, every time power to electric heaters is eliminated, an internal vacuum occurs which draws in air from the surrounding area. This vacuum can cause a short circuit.

Finally, make sure that the wattage density isn’t too high and that you are using the correct voltage. Either of these issues can a cartridge heater to fail.

If you have any other questions about your cartridge heaters, please call us at (561) 272-5442 and one of our technicians can help you diagnose any cartridge heater problems.

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Why Should You Clean Your Melter Filter

First and foremost, your melter adhesive filter should be flushed once a day. Cleaning your melter filter can be dangerous so always remember to wear safety glasses and heavy duty gloves. This will help to prevent any injuries that might be caused by splashing hot melt adhesive during the flushing process.

The first thing you must do is heat your system to its operating temperature. This is very important to prevent damage to the filter screen. Next, you will need to reduce your pump air pressure to zero at the air regulator. Then, you must relieve the system pressure by triggering any and all guns. This will now relieve trapped hydraulic pressure. After all system pressure is released, you can open the manifold drain valve. Using a screwdriver, open the valve over an open container. You then want to slightly increase pump pressure until a steady flow of adhesive comes from the drain. Continue to allow material to flow until it appears clean and free from any foreign matter. Once the adhesive appears to be clear, shut off the air pressure to the pump and close the manifold drain valve. You now have successfully cleaned your melter filter.

The importance of a clean filter when operating your melter system is imperative to running a high-quality machine. Many people wonder if they should clean their filters or if they should buy new. The easiest way to tell if your filter should be replaced is if you have used it for longer than 200 hours. Every high-quality filter, even when cleaned daily, will only last up to 200 hours of operating time.

If you do need to replace your filter please follow the below steps.

  1. Heat the system to operating temperature.
  2. Reduce your pump air pressure to zero and trigger all guns to relieve trapped hydraulic pressure.
  3. Loosen the filter with a socket type wrench.
  4. Wearing Kevlar gloves, carefully pull the filter assembly out of the manifold.
  5. Remove the screw in the back of the filter assembly and discard the filter screen.
  6. Replace the filter screen and reinstall screw.
  7. Inspect o-rings for damage and replace if necessary.
  8. Slide the filter assembly back into the manifold and tighten until it seats.

Make sure that you purge the manifold by opening the drain valve and increasing the pump air pressure slightly until a steady flow of hot melt is released from the drain. Close the drain valve and your machine is ready to operate with your new filter.

To order replacement tank filters please reach out to Universal Systems SE at sales@ussefl.com or call us at (561) 272-5442.

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From Leaves and Baskets to Hot Melt and High Speed Packaging

People have been packaging products for thousands of years. From the time the earliest humans stepped out to go on a long hunt, it was necessary to wrap food for the journey in something – be it leaves or grass – in order to keep the food from spoiling. As time progressed, new innovations allowed new foods to be packaged for transportation. And innovations were made to package non-food items, as well. Packaging allows for the easy transport of anything and everything that people produce.

But fast-forward a few thousand years. People no longer produce things on a small scale. Even when an entire year’s worth of a harvest was required to be packaged for transport across the country, it did not compare to the production capacity of the twentieth century. New manufacturing technology has made it possible to produce thousands of pieces of a product in a single day. Anyone who has walked into a big-box store or supermarket has experienced firsthand the overwhelming mass production that is possible with modern techniques.

With high-speed production comes the need for high-speed packaging. This is not something that can be accomplished by hand, and requires specialized machines and technology for the process. An important part of high-speed packaging is hot melt equipment. Since hot melt is literally what holds the packaging in an industrial world together.

Hot melt glue has the ability to rapidly cool and bond materials, which allows manufacturers to quickly seal and secure products. Companies across all industries know if items are not properly packaged and available to ship immediately after production, they will lose money. Humans continue to build on the idea of wrapping things in leaves and putting items in a containers for transport. The key to continued progress is incorporating new technologies as well as adapting to the needs of an ever changing global market.

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Hot Melt Glue is Not Just for DIY Projects

Hot melt glue is a thermoplastic adhesive that melts and flows when heated and solidifies when cooled. Most of the time, when someone mentions hot melt glue we think of do-it-yourself craft projects. However, hot melt is actually used in many different industrial applications because of its drying time, shelf life, and bond strength.

The drying time for most hot melt products is nearly instant. As soon as the adhesive product is dispensed from the applicator the temperature rapidly falls and begins to turn back to a solid state. A great example of the final result is the dots of glue that hold together the top of cereal boxes. Hot melt can adhere to nearly any kind of material and creates an immensely strong weather resistant bond. Most products held together with hot melt will stay for years, which is another reason why hot melt is used instead of other water based adhesives.

Companies across the globe take advantage of these traits and use hot melt for bookbinding, lamination, automotive assembly, appliance manufacturing, even the creation of diapers and air filters. Not to mention, it is the most convenient and widely used method for sealing boxes. We often encounter hot melt on primary packaging like the boxes that protect products like frozen food, cosmetics and toys. These boxes are actually shipped in layers of secondary packaging like inside corrugated cardboard cases or palletized, both of which use hot melt.

The technology used to heat and apply hot melt continues to change, but the overall need and use of hot melt remains the same. If you would like to increase efficiency and add hot melt equipment to your packaging application, please give us a call or send us an email.

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Know Your Equipment, Not Just the Part Numbers

The hot melt equipment industry has evolved over the last 40 years. Each manufacturer has made design and material modifications to their product line, which has had a significant impact on the creation and assignment of part numbers. Unfortunately for our particular niche industry there have also been an abundance of variations created solely for clerical purposes. These superfluous numbers make it extremely difficult to place orders and keep inventory organized.

Let’s say you are looking for a single orifice right angle nozzle with a .014 inch diameter hole. The correct manufacturer number can be 244519, 244-519, 244 519, 24-4519US, 320014, 320-014, 320 014, 32-0014US, 1011014, 1011014US, or SR19014. These are all correct manufacturer parts numbers and as you can see the variations are sometimes nothing more than a space or dash. This has already created a very high level of confusion, but wait, it gets even worse.

If you are not purchasing directly from the manufacturer you add a whole other coded level of alpha numeric characters, dashes and mystery spaces. Each buying house has their own system, each aftermarket dealer makes up their own numbers, and even legitimate distributes from time to time will add a character to a part number purely for tracking purposes.

It is important for anyone using hot melt systems to understand the function of each piece of equipment so that there is not a complete dependency on just a part number. We at Universal Systems SE work with our customers to identify parts through a combination of part numbers, descriptions, and photographs. It is especially important to take the time to talk to one of our associates if you haven’t ordered a replacement part in several years or are order a new part for the first time. Our website has a part number search function for your convince; but know you can always call 1-800-848-5018 for personal assistance.

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Tips For Maintaining Your Hot Melt System

Hot melt systems are an important investment that will increase the efficiency of your business. Like with any important investment, you want to protect it and get the most out of it. A consistent preventative maintenance program is the key to ensuring efficient productivity and increasing the life of the system.

MAXIMIZE PRODUCTIVITY

As with any product used daily, normal wear and tear can cause reduced efficiency. Over time hot melt systems naturally see decreased bead accuracy and restricted adhesive flow. By checking the system and cleaning regularly, you are more likely to maximize productivity.

INCREASED MACHINE LIFE

The more comprehensive your maintenance plan, the longer your system will last. You will get the most for your money by responding immediately to slowed pump strokes, pneumatic gun misfires, and clogged nozzles.

SAVE TIME AND MONEY

A rule of thumb is to replace any component $100 or less, instead of trying to troubleshoot the component and fix it. Studies continue to show that a company saves the most by focusing on troubleshooting and fixing the most costly equipment.

LIMIT DOWN TIME

Replace consumable parts on a regular schedule to avoid unplanned down time. Once a packaging line goes down the average cost/lost to a company is $10,000.00 per hour.

To help you, here are some standard maintenance tips to ensure you get the most out of your melter.

1. Clean and purge your hot melt unit every 500 hours and/or each time you change adhesives.

2. Check all fastenings and hose fittings to your machine and make sure they are secure and tight.

3. Clean attached components monthly.

 

For additional maintenance tips for your specific melter or other components, please call 1-800-848-5018 to speak with a technician or send an email to tech@ussefl.com.

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Combat Downtime

Downtime for an average production line can cost a company, at minimum, between $150 – $170 per minute. This makes it vital for companies to identify factors and equipment that impact production capacity.

Why are Hot Melt Adhesive Systems so important?

Hot melt adhesive systems are often overlooked as just a cog in the production packaging line. However the reality is that these small systems are vital to processes like primary paperboard packaging as well as the key to ensuring protective secondary packaging. Furthermore any disruption to the heating, transferring and adhesive application process results in the slowing if not complete shut down of a production line.

While literal monetary translation of the 1-10-100 principal is debatable, there is no question a proactive approach to maintenance that considers prevention cost, corrective cost and failure cost will reduce downtime and yield significant savings.

How to optimize Hot Melt Part Maintenance and Purchases

To ensure quality, longevity, and support for hot melt glue equipment one should purchase from a well-established manufacturer such as Universal Systems SE, Nordson, Graco, ITW Dynatec or Robatech. All these companies have engineers on staff to discuss equipment selection, technicians to address maintenance questions, and sales representatives who can assist with product procurement and replacement.

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The Growth of Hot Melt Adhesive Systems

Unlike water and solvent based adhesives, the adhesives used in a hot melt system do not require any dryer after being applied. This gives these machines a unique and efficient advantage over other types of adhesives being used. Also known as “hot glue,” hot melt is a thermoplastic adhesive that begins to bond as soon as it’s applied to the object due to it being able to cool down to its solidification point almost immediately.

Who Benefits With Hot Melt Adhesive Systems?

Hot melt adhesive is ideal for those who work throughout several industries. This type of adhesive equipment is ideal industrial applications that include, but are not limited to:

  • Bonding versatility.
  • High-speed manufacturing.
  • Minimal shrinkage.
  • Large gap filling.

Within the packaging industry, hot melt adhesive systems are extremely popular because they allow for major applications to be accomplished in a faster time while increasing production value. Whether you work in construction, woodworking, stock and tape manufacturing, bottle labeling, or any type of bonding industry, this adhesive system can only benefit your business.

Using a Hot Melt System

With a majority of hot melt glues being composed of polyolefin compounds, acrylics, polyamides, and urethane materials, there’s no need for any pre-surface treatment when you begin bonding. Hot melts are easy to apply systems because the only process is turning a solid into a liquid then it immediately turns back into a solid (remember: no dry time). Although durable and long lasting, this type of adhesive is easy to repair by reheating and re-separating.

If you think a hot melt adhesive system can benefit you and your business, contact us at Universal Systems and we can inform you of the equipment that has the best benefits in terms of what you’re attempting to achieve.

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How Advanced Adhesive Systems Benefit Your Business

Within production corporations, advanced adhesive systems are beginning to play a larger role in terms of joining agents, fasteners, and sealants because they’re proving to be stronger than the standard bolts and rivets. When you have severely strong bonds that were created by an adhesive formula, you’ll notice that your machine and tool construction has been enhanced. Plus, using adhesives allows for any tools or machinery to be lighter, stronger, and last longer.

If you’re using bolts and rivets, your product won’t be able to absorb shock from shipping like another bonding agent like a strong adhesive will be able to do. When you invest in adhesive machinery, or a hot melt system, you’re keeping your products above production value because adhesives allow you to create a stronger product that will survive any type of deformation or stress caused by:

  • Heavy Impact
  • Load Transfer
  • Thermal Expansion
  • Vibration

Adhesive hot melt equipment can be used to join together carbon steel, plastics, and other composites that will increase the value of your product and make production easier. With the machine industry being one of the least explored sectors in terms of technological potential, advanced adhesive systems are certainly making a name for themselves throughout today’s machine shops.

In the event that you want to add an adhesive system to your business, you want to make sure that you choose a retailer that can assist you with any issues you may run into. Whether there’s a problem with the machine and it needs a repair, or if you just need troubleshooting tips – find an adhesive system retailer that you can trust. Especially if you’re introducing your hot melt system into your business as soon as it’s received.

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