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!
Cold Weather Impacts Your Hot Glue
Most facilities are located in parts of the US impacted by the cold weather months. As the weather gets colder, so does the interior of the factories where most packaging lines operate. It seems like common sense that as the environment around your hot melt system gets colder, so will your hot glue unless you increase the temperature. Below are a few key factors to realizing you need to up your temperature.
Hot Melt Consistency
Hot melt consistency is the number one problem in most high-speed packaging lines during the winter months. This includes not only the consistency of the glue within the heated reservoir, but also the consistency of the glue to stay at temperature as it travels down that line. Just because your glue looks viscous inside the pot, doesn’t mean it is holding the same viscosity throughout the travel process. If your glue looks stringy or your guns are not firing consistently, then you most likely have a glue temperature problem. Try increasing the temperature of the tank, hoses and guns by 15 degrees. Please note that your hoses and guns should already be set 15 degrees higher than your tank. A minor adjustment like this will not char your glue, but should help keep it consistently viscous throughout the travel process.
Locate Cold Joints
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 you cannot eliminate cold joints, increasing the temperature settings of the tank, hoses and guns will be helpful.
Location of your Line
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. Since you cannot move the line, increasing the set temperature of your tank, hoses and guns will help eliminate glue inconsistency during the winter months.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
How to Determine Heated Hose Length for Your Packaging Line
One of the most important things to consider when setting up your packaging line is the best length hose that you should use for both the top and bottom applications. While most maintenance managers think the longer the better, that is not always the case. Heated hoses should be treated with care to ensure durability and run time. At Universal Systems SE we recommend that you map out where the tank will be situated and then where the guns will be mounted. When setting up the top applicator line, make sure to account for hose mounting brackets and try not to make too many turns. The hose line should run as direct as possible to the applicators. We recommend that the hose mounts be hanging mounts for top applications. This will cause no kinks or damage to the exterior hose casing and ensure the long run life of the hose.
When setting up the bottom line, the hose should be mounted down the side of the packaging machine itself. You can use hanging mounts here as well. Make sure not to lay or run the hose on the floor. Also, do not coil the hose under the tank. If you have any leftover hose that you need to coil…your hose is too long. Running the hose on the ground and coiling the heated hose could cause a plethora of issues such as power shortages, heating issues or tripping hazards, all dangerous to your employees. Make sure to keep the area around the tank and hoses clean and hazard free.
The most common hose lengths sold are 6’, 8’, 10’ and 12’. However, Universal Systems does manufacture 2’, 4’, 16’, 20’ and 24’ hoses that we stock. Our biggest piece of advice is to take your time measuring and setting up the mounting brackets. This will ensure that your hoses will last longer and your packaging line will be as efficient as possible.
For more information on our USSE heated hoses, call a sales rep today at (561) 272-5442 or email email@example.com.
Spring Cleaning for Your Hot Melt Systems
It’s that time of year again, when the days are longer and everyone is motivated to do some Spring Cleaning. That should also apply to your hot melt equipment. Like most machinery, your hot melt tanks, hoses, guns, filters and nozzles need regular preventative maintenance and cleaning. Below is the maintenance recommendation schedule that Universal Systems SE provides to all of its customers regarding our ProBilt line of products.
- Replace tank filter every 500 hours or 3 months, whichever comes first
- Clean tank with Purge Plus every 1,000 hours or 3 months, whichever comes first
*stock 2 – 3 tank filters per tank and 1 Purge Plus cleaner
- Clean and Flush Pump every 2,500 hours utilizing Pump Service Kit B100-900
- Replace Pump every 5,000 hours or until Pump stops pumping
*stock at least 1 pump to reduce any potential down time
- Flush out hoses when cleaning tank with Purge Plus every 1,000 hours
*make sure to disconnect hoses from guns when flushing with Purge Plus
*stock at least 1 hose per length needed to reduce any potential down time
- Replace every 150 hours
*stock 5 spare filters for each filter body
- Only replace when it stops functioning –either the heater or RTD
*stock 1 spare gun applicator per line
- Replace module every 1,000 hours or every 6 months, whichever comes first
*stock 2 – 6 modules depending on how many modules are on each gun being used
- Replace nozzles every 120 hours or when they clog
*stock a minimum of 6 nozzles per line
*If you clean nozzles, we recommend cleaning them with kit # 1658 every 100 hours or when they clog
To keep your stock up to date please give us a call at (561) 272-5442. A USSE sales rep will quote you pricing and lead time on anything you need.