How to Prevent Your Glue from Stringing

One of the most common issues that many packaging line operators experience with their adhesive melter is stringing. Stringing is when the adhesive is applied to the box, but before the flaps are closed on the cartoner, the glue starts to dry and string like cotton candy floating through the air.

There are a couple of fixes for this issue. Whether you are using a straight, right angle or swirl pattern nozzle, try moving the applicator gun closer to the box flap where you are applying the adhesive. The stringing could be caused because it is travelling too far of a distance from the applicator gun to the box. The shock from hitting the cooler factory air could be causing it to lose viscosity and start drying before it even hits the box. Not only will that cause stringing, that might also compromise the integrity of the glue hold on your product packaging.

Another cause of stringing glue could be temperature. Every adhesive is different and each one might require a different melt temperature. In order to keep the adhesive a consistent viscosity, make sure that the temperature on your glue tank and applicator guns are set correctly per the adhesive requirements. If the adhesive is too viscous then you might need to increase the tank temperature or change to an adhesive with a lower viscosity. If your tank temperature is correct, but your guns are not hot enough, then the glue could start to cool while travelling from the tank to the applicator gun. In this scenario, you would see that the thickness of the glue as it leaves the nozzle. Some line operators might try fixing the issue by putting a larger diameter nozzle on the module, which could be a temporary fix, but the real issue could be the temperature setting on the gun. Simply increase the gun temperature as needed to ensure a smooth, consistent adhesive flow.

There could also be an issue with the adhesive you are using on your packaging line. Like many products, if the adhesive is too old, has been sitting for too long, or has been heated and cooled too many times, this could cause stringing. We recommend that you drain all old adhesive from your tank, clean the tank with a cleaner such as Purge Plus™, and refill with fresh adhesive.

Universal Systems SE recommends trying to correct stringing if it is happening to your packaging line. Some line operators may think it is not that big of an issue, or they might blame the adhesive manufacturers, when in fact it could be a simple and important fix.

For more information or technical support to help you better understand how to fix your stringing glue, please call Universal Systems SE at (561) 272-5442 or email sales@ussefl.com.

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Low Profile Glue Guns

Low profile guns are one of the most commonly used gun on cartoners. They come in two module and four module versions to allow for easy glue distribution on small to large box sizes. Their name comes from their unique gun body design which is angled on each side. The angled design sides allow for the box flaps to flawlessly close while the gun is applying the adhesive on to the boxes.

Even though the low profile guns look different than a standard gun applicator, they use standard H200 modules. This allows you to use the same modules and nozzles that you run on all of your other types of glue gun applicators. With both our two module and four module low profile gun, the modules are set with .88 inch centers and are a air-open, spring-close. The most commonly used nozzles for low profile guns are one or two orifice, right angle nozzles.

A few of our customers have asked over the years if Universal Systems SE manufactures a one module low profile gun. The answer would be no, however we can insert a custom module blank to the two module low profile gun, effectively turning it into a one module applicator. An advantage to this is that our custom module blank is removable, in case you ever change up your packaging line and need a two module low profile gun.

The item numbers for our Universal Systems SE ProBilt™ low profile gun heads are item # 3281 for the two module version and item # 3471 for the four module version. If you are interested in learning if your packaging line runs low profile guns compared to standard glue applicators, or the advantages to switching to a low profile gun, please call (561) 272-5442 or email sales@ussefl.com.

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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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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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