Melt Rate vs. Pump Rate

When purchasing a hot melt adhesive system, it is important to know your desired melt rate and pump rate. It is also important to understand the difference.

All Universal Systems SE ProBilt™ tanks are equipped with a 14:1 ratio pneumatic pump assembly. Pneumatic pumps are most common and have a maximum pump rate of 75 lbs. per hour. No matter what the tank capacity is, whether it is 12 lb., 15 ob., or 20 lb., the pump will max out at 75 lbs. If you need to pump more adhesive then that per hour, you will need to transition to a gear pump system with a larger tank capacity.

The melt rate is the rate at which the tank will melt the adhesive you put into the reservoir. This is where the tank capacity comes into play. Before moving forward with any hot melt adhesive system, first you need to understand how many pounds you need to melt per hour. The melt rate is dependent on how many hoses and gun applicators you are running and how many boxes are sealed per minute on your packaging line. The most common tank capacity is the 20 lb. (10 Liter) ProBilt™ 20, with a melt rate of 23 lbs. per hour. If you are only running one line with one hose and gun applicator, then you may only need the 15 lb. (7 Liter) Probilt™ 15 which melts 18 lbs. per hour.

A common misconception is that the on-demand autofill system, the ProBilt™ Phoenix, will have a larger melt rate and pump rate. That is incorrect. The tank capacity on any auto fill system is the same as a regular tank such as the ProBilt™ 20. However, the advantage to the auto fill is that the line operators will not have to watch the adhesive level in the tank as closely. The vacuum system connected to the tank will sense when the adhesive level is low and automatically fill the tank. This helps eliminate dry running and pumps will last longer. However, the pump rate on this system will still max out at 75 lbs. per hour.

For additional information about melt rate and pump rate on all of our ProBilt™ tanks, please call (561) 272-5442 or email sales@ussefl.com.

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The Importance of Utilizing Cross-Referencing

The packaging industry is entering the time of year when budgets are getting tight, but replacement parts are still needed. Universal Systems SE will cross-reference any of our competitor item numbers and get you high quality replacements. Cross-referencing Nordson item numbers to Universal Systems SE item numbers will help to lower your cost and keep your packaging lines running longer!

You will also notice that our competitors change their part number often. This is why we offer the search bar on our website for any cross-reference numbers you might have. Some of the most common cross references are listed below. If you purchase any of the parts listed on a regular basis, please feel free to call us today! We guarantee that all of our products are quality control tested before leaving our facility and we stand by all of our products with strong warranties.

Adhesive Systems:

P10, 1022234, 1022235, 276881, 276882, 276883, 276884, 276885, 276886, 276033, 276034, 238310, 243666, 168204, 166535 à ALL of these item numbers match USSE # D100-644

Heated Hoses:

4 Ft. Hose:

107288, 129556, 100120, 274791, 276151 –> 4104

6 Ft. Hose:

107286, 129557, 100121, 274792, 276152 –> 4106

8 Ft. Hose:

107287, 129559, 100122, 274793, 276153 –> 4108

10 Ft. Hose:

107289, 129561, 100123, 274794, 276154 –> 4110

12 Ft. Hose:

107310, 129562, 100124, 274795, 276155  –> 4112

16 Ft. Hose:

104008, 129564, 100125, 274796, 276156 –> 4116

20 Ft. Hose:

223838, 223836 –> 4120

24 Ft. Hose:

129565, 100832, 100126, 274797 –> 4124

Applicator Guns:

H200 1 Module AO/AC

8503717, 8505756, 8505768 –> 39105

H200 1 Module (AO/SC)

274596, 224939, 8503591, 8503686 –> 39107

Modules:

H200 (AO/AC)

1052927 –> 29215

H200 (AO/SC)

272282, 276119, 326583, 331979, 1048115, 2210, 2219, 2400, 2410 –> 29219

 

For any other questions on cross-referencing, please call (561) 272-5442 or email sales@ussefl.com.

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What is Old is New Again

Every year, some hot new product comes out and promises you the world. Then, when you get it, you realize that the “latest technology” is more frustrating and causes more trouble than it’s worth. Not only does it cost you more money initially, the maintenance and unreliability seem to also increase. The same thing has happened with some of the largest hot melt manufacturers. Their latest technology that has been implemented in all of their new systems to make your line operator’s life easier, can potentially make it harder and more expensive.

Which is why Universal Systems SE is dedicated to keeping our current high standard of precision engineering, but with our existing look and ease-of-use technology. Universal Systems SE is standing behind our current key attributes: reliability, long life span, economical pricing and simple but effective operation. Why add more bells and whistles when the current tried and true works just fine.

Tried and True ProBilt® Product Features:

10-year tank warranty.

User-friendly design for easy installation, simplistic operation, and minimal maintenance.

AccuScan Control System with on board microprocessor and keypad controls for melter, heated hoses and adhesive applicators.

“One touch” setback key for standby mode.

Parent machine interfacing.

External fault alarm interfacing.

Under temperature and over temperature protection on all zones.

Faults trigger both visual indicators as well as an audible alarm.

RTD temperature control with self-diagnostic digital temperature readings within +/- 1 degree.

LCD display for both temperature and system status.

Teflon® coated tank.

Stainless steel and high strength aluminum construction allows easy cleaning and unequaled durability.

14:1 ratio balanced pneumatic piston pump.

Self-sealing, full opening lids for easy loading and maintenance.

For more information on Universal Systems SE’s line of ProBilt® products, please call (800) 848-5018 or email sales@ussefl.com.

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Pattern Controller Options

Pattern controllers are used mostly in packaging lines that require a unique set of glue application guidelines. A hot melt adhesive controller regulates the temperature and volume of glue that is dispensed and also the pattern that is delivered. The pattern of glue is important to ensure consistency, precision and quality. How it works is the pattern controller activates solenoids for the applicator heads in order to create individual adhesive patterns. Universal Systems SE offers two types of pattern controllers for our ProBilt® hot melt systems: Constant Speed and Variable Speed.

Constant Speed

Constant speed pattern controllers are also known as time based. This means that the glue is dispensed consistently between .001 – 9.999 seconds, depending on the time that you set. They are designed to trigger a 24VDC Solenoid Valve and have on the fly program adjustments, so nothing is set in stone. Universal Systems’ constant speed pattern controllers have up to 4 programmable glue pattern events available and up to 9 programs can be stored in memory and remain in memory even after the system is shut down.

Variable Speed

Variable speed pattern controllers come with an encoder and is also known as distance based. This means that the glue can be dispensed in set distances apart from the last application. Universal Systems’ variable speed pattern controllers measure in tenths of inches, trigger a 24VDC Solenoid Valve and the encoder offers 1200 pulses per revolution. There is a low speed cut off and easy to use program adjustments. Like the constant speed controller, the variable speed controller has 4 programmable glue pattern events and 9 programs can be stored in memory and remain in memory even after the system is shut down.

To learn more about pattern controllers, their benefits and which one is right for you, please call (800) 848-5018 or reach out to a Sales Representative at sales@ussefl.com.

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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.

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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.

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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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