Case & Carton Packaging for Pharmaceuticals
The pharmaceutical industry is no stranger to growth, but over the last few years, it has seen an unprecedented increase. Because of rising healthcare spending, the launch of new treatments, and rising frequency of chronic diseases, the pharmaceuticals market is expanding. This will allow low-cost generic alternatives to enter the market, which will spur demand for pharmaceutical packaging equipment.
When you think about pharmaceuticals, packaging isn’t top of mind, but it is a key factor in distribution and cost effectiveness. At Universal Systems, we realize that pharmaceutical companies need precise, accurate, reliable packaging equipment in order to get the latest medications out into the world. We have been working on perfecting specific precision hot melt application equipment for over 35 years when we initially launched our ProBilt® Zero Cavity Modules.
Zero cavity modules apply a thin line of hot melt along medication boxes, effectively sealing each box for mass distribution. Zero cavity modules have a very specific look, with a matched needle and nozzle assembly which eliminates minute material pockets that can cause nozzle clogging or dripping. They also come with an E-Z Micro Adjust option to that allows the operator to “dial in” on an exact adhesive extrusion and precise bead placement. This unique technology allows for line operators to place a small amount of glue on a small, predetermined location without creating any stringing. Typically, because of the precision requirements, most zero cavity modules are made with either a .008 or a .012 diameter orifice, so that there can never be too much glue applied.
Not many hot melt application manufacturers offer zero-cavity modules. At Universal Systems, we believe in innovating for the pharmaceutical industry rather than trying to use case and carton machines for such precision application.
If you are sealing pharmaceuticals, call or email us today for a quote!
What Empty Grocery Shelves Mean for the Hot Melt Industry
If you are like me, you walk down the aisles of the grocery store searching for your favorite staple items and can’t find them. The space for the product is still there, but it is empty. With budgets tight and good help hard to find, the struggle to keep grocery shelves stocked is a difficult one. In addition, inflation is demolishing the grocery market with the average consumer spending 60% more for items that actually contain less food.
How does that transfer over to packaging? Easy, with less product demand, the storage facilities start to fill with products that have been packaged but not ordered by grocery stores. This causes CPGs to shut down front end packaging lines and look to see where they can cut costs on equipment.
If this scenario sounds familiar, there is a long-term solution. Universal Systems provides high-quality, cost-effective packaging machinery options that can fit into your budget all year long. And as an OEM, we manufacture everything in the US and stock all items for same day shipping. With packaging needs changing day to day, and many suppliers out of stock on standard maintenance items, CPGs can find it difficult to stay in production. Here at USSE, we focus on helping you stay up and running with the most cost-effective options. We also offer full time tech support to walk you through any line issues that arise and help with the glue tanks and components.
One way that Universal Systems adds value is that we also offer Nordson® compatible parts. So, if you are finding it difficult to get Nordson® parts or if you are currently running a Nordson® discontinued system, we manufacture all of the parts that you will need to stay up and running. Our products work with case packing lines, tray formers and folding cartons in all industries including food and beverage, pharma and healthcare, electronics, cosmetics and many more.
Hopefully we start to see grocery shelves get back to normal supply and demand. USSE can work with you and your packaging needs through both the good times and bad. We will get you up and running when needed, and keep you there, so that when grocery stores are ready, we can fill up the shelves once more.
For more information on our ProBilt® line of hot melt products that are all compatible with Nordson® please call or email us today.
Are you running a Nordson® ProBlue®?
If you are running a Nordson® ProBlue®, then you might be worried about how long it’s been taking you to get parts for your tank. You should be. Recent reports from industry insiders are calling out the 3-month lead time on Nordson® ProBlue® tanks and parts. The same industry insiders are confirming that Nordson® has decided to discontinue their most popular line of hot melt tanks.
What does that mean for you?
Currently, the only facilities who are running into an issue are the ones who need new hot melt tanks. Without the ProBlue® as an option, your next best Nordson® tank is the Flex®, which can run you upwards of $20K. That is where we come in. Universal Systems SE has a line of high quality, low maintenance, affordable, reliable hot melt tanks called ProBilt®. Our ProBilt® line of hot melt tanks are designed to be an easy to use, plug and play style machine, with interchangeable parts no matter what capacity size pot you order. We offer 8 lb. – 20 lb. tank capacities, but they all use the same control board, pump and tank filters. That means, you can streamline your inventory, not having to worry about which part goes with which tank. All our ProBilt® tanks start under $8K, are made in the USA and are in stock. You won’t need to wait 3 months to be up and sealing, only a few days for shipping.
But is USSE as good?
We always get the question; how do you compare to Nordson®? The proof is in our story. We have been in business for over 40 years and have always manufactured in the US. We have real time tech support and answer any and all questions quickly. But will our ProBilt® tanks last? The simple answer is yes, but if you don’t believe us, they all come with a 10-year heater warranty. In addition, they are built using 316 stainless steel which will stand the test of time.
So, don’t feel like you are being forced to bust your budget and buy plastic hot melt tanks that require so much technology your facility can’t support it and your operators can’t run it. Keep it simple and reliable with Universal Systems ProBilt® stainless steel tanks. We also manufacture ALL of the components that will pair up with your existing Nordson® tanks and our ProBilt® tanks. Hoses, guns, modules, nozzles and so much more!
Interested in a USSE ProBilt® melter? Call or email us today and find out how to get one in only a few days!
Inflate Your Inventory, Not Your Budget
As we head into 2023, all Americans are impacted by the largest increase in inflation that we have seen in decades. With inflation comes several other economic impacts on society, including companies lowering budgets, changes in workforce, families not being able to afford bare essentials and many other challenges. With that said, companies still need to find ways to stay fully operational while staying within their newly defined restrictions.
Here at Universal Systems SE, we pride ourselves on producing high quality products at economical prices and have since 1981. All of our products are made in the USA and we keep almost every item in stock at all times. If you are having issues getting Nordson® products, or feel like the recent price increases from Nordson® aren’t allowing you to stay up and running at all times, please reach out to us. We will send you a quote within 24 hours.
The importance of “in stock” has never been more valuable. We realize that and are dedicated to continue to invest in stocking products so that our customers can get their most vital items in a timely and cost-effective manner.
For pricing on our most popular products, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Universal Systems Plug & Play Machinery
With what some industry professionals are calling “The Great Resignation” driving the packaging industry, it is so important to have equipment that is easy to use and operate. Recent studies report that the labor shortages in the packaging industry are due to employees not returning to work after Covid-induced shutdowns, as well as the increase in quit rates with most new employees not lasting longer than a month. Food industry production lines are reportedly standing idle because of lack of staffing where processors specifically pinpointed high retirement rates. This is a hard reality for many CPGs, and consumers are seeing this direct result in our local grocery and retail stores.
With over 40 years of experience in the hot melt packaging industry, Universal Systems is here to help. We have worked with hundreds of new maintenance managers and plant managers to help them learn about the equipment they are running. Whether they are running a competitor tank with our USSE components or our ProBilt system, we have the skills and knowledge of both old and new equipment to help relieve some of the stress that many companies may be feeling due to the loss of their most experienced workers.
Many CPGs also cite a lack of skilled labor capable of operating and troubleshooting complex packaging machinery. This is why Universal Systems’ line of ProBilt equipment is the perfect match for these end users. Our ProBilt equipment is in fact plug and play, with the easiest controls in the industry and the most flexibility by offering up to a 4-hose capability on all tanks. While many of our overseas manufactured competitors spent the last five years releasing “upgraded” equipment, they have lacked the foresight to see that they have ultimately overcomplicated the machinery for end user operators. Universal Systems’ ProBilt tanks have not changed much in the last 20 years. We have continued to manufacture our easy to program Accuscan control board and standardized components that we have prided ourselves on. Here at Universal Systems, we believe in quality, longevity and sustainability. Our products have proved time and time again that they work hard, for a long time, and without much training needed.
In addition, CPGs have been requesting more online videos and tutorials to help them train their new workforce on the machinery in their packaging lines. Universal Systems has listened to this call and we offer videos online on how to set melter temperature, as well as how the setback functionality on our tanks work.
We are here to support all of our customers, both old and new, as they navigate through their workforce troubles. By stocking over 10,000 items, we also help keep our customers up and running so you don’t have to wait out long lead times for standard operating equipment.
For more information about Universal Systems and our line of ProBilt products, please reach out to email@example.com or call (561) 272-5442.
ProBilt Glue Systems Meet the Demands & Needs of Packaging Lines
The trend in packaging for many CPGs has been to move away from in-house packaging solutions and more towards co-packers and contract packagers. Rather than dedicating complete in-house lines, CPGs and processors can be more flexible with their budgets by putting the responsibility of capital investments for machinery in the hands of the contract packagers. In addition, the CPGs no longer have to worry about hiring line operators for the packaging machines. In the last few years, it has become clear that hiring, retaining and training employees is a challenge for every company. CPGs are finding that if they move the responsibility of packaging to contract companies, they no longer have to deal with that potential issue.
The move to contract packaging is not a bad thing for glue equipment OEMs, like Universal Systems SE. We enjoy working with contract packagers because they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to focus on packaging lines and, in most cases, know what they want and need from a hot glue machine, more than a CPG will.
Below is a list of requirements we are hearing about from Contract Packagers for their packaging equipment, and an explanation as to why Universal Systems ProBilt systems will work best to fulfill these needs.
- Quick changeovers to limit downtime – USSE’s ProBilt systems are plug and play. They are easy to set up and disable for cleaning, preventative maintenance, component replacement, etc.
- Preventative maintenance schedules – USSE believes that preventative maintenance is key to maintain the efficiency and longevity of any piece of machinery. A hot glue tank is no different. Universal Systems offers up a preventative maintenance schedule upon request, along with recommendations on what parts to keep on the shelf and how many of each part is needed to keep your operation up and running at all times.
- Streamlined equipment so that system components are interchangeable – Universal Systems prides ourselves in being the most streamlined OEM of hot melt machines in the market. Not only do all of our tanks take the same pumps, filters, valves, etc., all of our components are interchangeable with our top competitors including hoses, guns, modules and nozzles.
- Versatility for different packaging setups – Universal Systems manufactures over 100 different types of applications options, as well as the option to custom CNC any configuration needed.
- Easy-to-operate machines – Our ProBilt tanks are by far the easiest in the industry to operate. We focus on longevity and simplicity so that anyone can set up and operate our tanks with ease. We also offer online videos on how to set temperature and utilize our setback feature.
For more information on Universal Systems and our ProBilt line of products please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (561) 272-5442.
Best Practices to Ease Supply Chain Burdens
It is no secret that everyone is experience supply chain issues this year. While there may be no end in sight, Universal Systems can only try and help ease the burdens on our end users. Below are a few of the best practices that we have implemented that we can recommend for our customers.
Keep an Open Line of Communication
With several of our competitors experiencing supply chain issues due to their overseas manufacturing and shipping issues in the current cultural climate, Universal Systems, being a USA manufacturer has received a lot of new business from large end users of hot melt equipment who would normally be buying from the big-name brand manufacturers. With the new influx of business, we have been open and honest with customers as to what we stock and what we make custom. If a new customer who is used to buying from Nordson calls and asks us lead time on standard stock items, we are happy to communicate that we can ship same day. However, if they have a custom gun or hose, we are honest regarding lead time and ship dates, normally 3-5 business days.
It is so important for companies to try and plan ahead with their inventory. While we realize this may be hard for many buyers due to lack of budget or their inability to get “out of the weeds” from being so far behind during Covid lockdowns, it is the only way to ensure there is no downtime on your packaging lines. Universal Systems offers all of our customers a preventative maintenance schedule and inventory recommendation list, so that you know what to keep on the shelf based on the equipment you are running.
Try New Products
Many of us get stuck in our ways and don’t realize there are other options out there that might improve our operations or way of doing business. Now that some large brand name companies, who have spent years manufacturing overseas, are feeling the crunch of no inventory due to low supply chain, many packagers should see this as an opportunity to work with Universal Systems. We have been manufacturing hot melt equipment in the USA for over 40 years and are well versed in packaging line needs and set ups. We manufacture most of the same products as our largest competitors and stock over 10,000 items at all times.
Think Outside the Box
With over 40 years of experience in packaging equipment, Universal Systems’ technicians are most skilled in thinking outside of the box. Whether it is troubleshooting an issue with an old machine that has been around since the dawn of day, or setting up a new line configuration, sometimes the most common answers don’t always work. We urge our customers to keep an open mind and work with us to figure out the best solutions to your packaging needs.
For more information about Universal Systems’ ProBilt line or products please reach out to email@example.com or call (561) 272-5442.
Mini Modules and Gun Applicators
Several Years ago, Nordson® introduced the MBII gun applicators and modules. Initially, the small module and applicator manifold was made for packaging lines that were designed with little room for glue application. Then, they started offering them in a low-profile design for case sealers. Over time, Nordson® started using MBII guns and modules as standard equipment on all of their packaging line set ups. Why? Even though it is not clear the need for the MBII in most standard application setups that have room for an H200, the price surely made it a much more profitable product in Nordson’s® arsenal. The MBII is more than double the price of a standard H200 module and gun applicator.
The key question to ask is, when do you need to use a MBII applicator versus a standard H200 applicator? Like we mentioned earlier, a MBII applicator is essential on packaging lines that have about half the space to fit an applicator than typical lines. Not only is the manifold about half the length and height of a standard H200 gun, the modules measure a mere 1” x 2” in size. Additionally, MBII applicators have the filter built into the manifold. This is a space saver because it eliminates the need for the in-line filter assembly off of the back of a standard gun into a hose. This allows for the MBII gun to attach directly to the hose and still be able to filter out all of the char and debris travelling through the hose and into the manifold. MBII guns also are air open, air close systems, so you can only run them if you have your line set up with two air lines running to the gun. MBII modules do still fit all of the standard H200 nozzle tips. So, even though you cannot use your standard H200 module on the MBII manifold, you can use all of your current stock nozzles.
If your new packaging line comes in with a MBII system installed, our recommendation is to measure the space where the applicator is mounted. If you have room for a standard H200 applicator and in-line filter assembly, you can always switch to a standard H200 set up. The only thing you will need to change out is the gun, filter assembly and solenoid. This will save you thousands of dollars in the future…but only if it fits.
For more information about the mini modules and applicators manufactured by Universal Systems SE, please visit https://www.ussefl.com/products/applicator-gun-heads/h201t-guns/#1544128561143-eeff57c6-9818.
Glue Gun vs. Module vs. Nozzle
One of the largest misconceptions of hot melt packaging machinery is that maintenance on a glue applicator gun means replacing the entire assembly. That is not always the case. While sometimes, glue guns do need to be replaced, there are other times when a module or nozzle could be a cheaper solution to your problem.
What’s the difference?
It is pretty simple. The glue gun is the entire assembly (minus the nozzle). This includes the cordset, heating element, RTD, manifold and module. Essentially, if you order a glue gun, once you receive it the only thing you need to do is plug it in, attach the in-line filter assembly though the back fitting, screw on a nozzle and you are good to go. The reason to replace the entire gun would be if you get an error code on your melter main board that the gun zone is either not heating or not reading the RTD. If you get the gun zone heater error, that means that the heating element has stopped working and the gun needs to be replaced. If you get the gun zone RTD error, that means that the temperature can no longer be regulated and the gun needs to be replaced.
However, if you get no main board error code, but your gun is dripping or not dispensing glue at all, that could be a module or nozzle issue.
Modules are the mechanisms that attach to the front of the glue gun manifold to dispense the glue. These modules are operated by air and springs within the module body that control the piston to dispense the glue for easy release and clean cut off. If you are experiencing dripping, or no clean glue cut off, then most likely there is char in the spring that is holding the piston up and leaving the module open. Or, in some cases, the seals within the module could be stiff from usage and wear, and no longer creating the tight seal required for precision dispensing. In either of these instances, the module would need to be replaced.
If you are getting no glue at all to come out of the module, most likely your nozzle is clogged. The nozzle, or tip, is typically attached to the module and can easily be changed by screwing it off and on. In some cases, such as zero cavity or reduced cavity modules, the nozzle is fixed and can only be replaced by rebuilding the entire module, replacing the tip, piston and seals.
If you have any questions about which part of your glue gun you need to replace, please give us a call at 561-272-5442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cold Weather Impacts to Your Hot Glue Melter
As we move into the holiday season, we also experience a change in the weather. In most places in the US, the winter months mean that the climate inside most packaging plants change. With that, line operators need to take that temperature change into consideration when working with hot glue machines on their packaging lines.
Hot melt consistency, heated hose and gun temperature consistency and glue stringing are all potential problems that maintenance managers can deal with during the winter months. One of the most important things to look at is where your packaging line is located within your facility. Most melters are located at the end of the line, which leaves them close to an exterior wall, door or window. The cold temperature outside could be impacting, not only the viscosity of your glue, but the heating time of your glue and its adhesion ability. Every time your line operator opens the fill door on the hot melt tank, the external air hits the existing glue and cools it off. Even if the lid on your tank is only open for a few minutes, that could impact not only the current glue in the tank reservoir, but the glue you are adding to the tank. If your glue pellets are colder than normal, it will take a longer amount of time to heat them.
Another important task would be to inspect your system setup for any cold joints. A cold joint would be any unnecessary extensions that you have added throughout the adhesive application process. Most cold joints are found on older machines that use larger sized extensions and filter housings. The more cold joints on the system, the more inconsistent the glue will heat and stay heated throughout the entire application process.
If your main problem is glue stringing in the colder months, an easy solution would be to shorten the distance from the nozzle tip to the top of the box. Limiting the amount of time the glue has to travel in the air will help to lessen the problem of stringing, which can cause a weakened seal on the box.
If you have any questions about how to reduce the impact of winter weather on your hot melt system, please reach out to a technical rep at email@example.com.