Correct Hose Length

Case packing and sealing in packaging lines depends on several components to run steadily and reliably. In order for a system to run continuously at all times, each piece of equipment needs to be concisely installed. The usual suspects of precision engineering on your case sealer adhesive systems are the pump, applicators and nozzles. Most line operators undervalue the importance of heated hose length in the overall operation and efficiency of the line.

Heated adhesive hoses get attached to the hot melt tank and run from the tank to the application gun, which is mounted on the packaging line itself. Heated hoses are typically attached to the tank with a straight connector, but can have both a 45 degree or 90 degree connection option, depending on where the tank is placed on the line. The applicator plug at the end of the hose is also sent out as a straight connection, but can be switched to a 90 degree plug if needed. There are typically two – four hoses used on each packaging line. With a two hose line, one hose will run up the line, across the top and down to the applicators. This hose transfers the adhesive that will seal the top of the carton and is mounted using straps. The second hose will typically run straight along the side of the packaging line to seal the bottom of the case.  No matter how many hoses you run or how you mount them, it is very important to have the correct length hose.

Our technicians visit several packaging facilities each year, and their biggest take away is that most purchasing agents are ordering the wrong length hose. Typically, the hoses that we see are too long. They are either running extra length on the ground, which is a safety hazard, or there is excess hanging before the applicator connection, which can cause heating inconsistency issues. It is important to measure from the tank through the entire hose travel process, including mounting straps, before ordering. Universal Systems SE manufactures our ClearFlow™ line of heated hoses in 2 ft increments. So, if you measure 6 ft, order a 6 ft hose and if you measure 7 ft, order an 8ft hose. Make sure that you measure precisely! If need a hose longer than 24 ft, we can custom make you any length up to 50 ft.

To speak with a USSE representative about our ClearFlow™ hoses or to consult with a technician about the hose length you need, please call (800) 848-5018 or email sales@ussefl.com.

 

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New Year, New Melter

A trend that we were seeing in 2019 in the packaging industry was repair, repurpose, repeat. No one seemed to want to spend the money on new equipment. It did not really come as much of a surprise since the political atmosphere of the United States was so polarizing. With inconsistency in government and leadership, comes inconsistency in the business world. Large CPGs were not interested in allocating budget to new equipment, but trying to repair old equipment.

What large CPGs fail to realize is that band-aiding an issue with a packaging system, only delays the inevitable. Having to invest in new equipment. This process can be a long and tedious one. Getting multiple quotes from different manufacturers and lead times. Also, needing to know availability and compatibility with your current packaging line. The new tank buying process could take months, and if your old equipment fails while in the middle of that process, your lines could be down and production at a standstill. That is a very big risk to take.

At Universal Systems SE, we offer six different hot melt tanks and application systems that could fit almost any packaging line. All of our ProBilt™ tanks are the same physical footprint as most Nordson® tanks and compatible with most Nordson® equipment, both old and new. Universal Systems SE also offers a Trade In Trade Up Program, where you can send us back your old melter, no matter who manufactured it, and we will give you a credit towards your new ProBilt™ tank.

All Universal Systems SE standard ProBilt™ systems are in stock and can ship within one business day of ordering. So, if you are ever in a bind, or your current systems goes down and is unrepairable, we can have you up and running with a brand-new system the next day. The only system that requires a lead time is the Phoenix Auto-fill System, which is usually customized per order.

Another unbeatable aspect of investing in a ProBilt™ systems is the 10-year heater warranty that Universal Systems SE offers. It is the longest warranty in the industry.

For more information on Universal Systems SE’s line of ProBilt™ equipment or how you can get a new melter in 2020, call us at (800) 848-5018 or email sales@ussefl.com.

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How Winter Weather Impacts Your Packaging Line

As we head into the New Year and the weather gets colder, you may be experiencing inconsistencies with the adhesives on your packaging lines. What most line operators and maintenance managers do not realize is that the location of your packaging line in the plant can play a large role in the dependability of your adhesive.

This time of year, we receive several troubleshooting calls regarding hot melt consistency, heated hose and gun temperature consistency and glue stringing. It is important to take the external environment into consideration when attempting the first step in troubleshooting some of these problems. One of the first questions to ask is: where is your packaging line located? For example, if it is at the end of the packaging process, which it most likely is, then it might be on the exterior wall of your plant. Or it might be near an external door or window. If it is on the outskirts of the plant facility, and you are located in a part of the United States that is cold in the winter, then the outside temperature 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. Especially if you are adding in cold glue. If your glue pellets are colder than normal, it will take a longer amount of time to heat them. A solution to this issue would be to invest in an auto-fill hot melt application system. Universal Systems SE manufactures the ProBilt™ Phoenix Auto-Fill Application System. Not only will this system help in the winter months, it helps all year long by drastically reducing the number of times your line operator needs to add glue pellets.

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 used larger sized extensions and filter housings. For example, the older gun filter assemblies had larger filter housings and longer extension joints, that are unnecessary and can inhibit the consistency of hot melt flow. 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.

For any further information on the ProBilt™ Phoenix Auto-Fill Application System, or to speak to a technician about any troubleshooting of your adhesive application system, please call Universal Systems SE at (800) 848-5018 or email sales@ussefl.com.

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How an Auto-fill System Can Increase Safety & Productivity

The most common type of hot melt system used on packaging lines is a manual fill system. With manual fill systems, there are several roadblocks that can occur with safety and productivity that many companies are experiencing. Universal Systems SE took those concerns into consideration when designing our ProBilt™ Phoenix auto-fill system.

It is first important to understand how a hot melt system works. Hot melt adhesive application systems house a Teflon® coated interior tank, where the glue pellets are added and melted. The glue is then pumped out, travelling through a heated hose, into an applicator gun, through a module and nozzle, finally landing the glue at its final destination.

Universal Systems SE has ProBilt™ tanks that range from an 8 lb (4L) capacity, up to a 20 lb (10 L) capacity. Depending on how many hours per day the packaging line is operated, and the size of the glue tank needed, line operators are in charge of making sure that there are always glue pellets in the melter. Running low on glue inside the melter tank can cause a plethora of issues with the system. One of the most common issues is running the pump dry. If a line operator lets the tank run dry and the pump “shotguns”, the pump or shifter can fail. Honestly, that is the most common cause for pump rebuilds that we see in our shop. The easy solution to this is making sure that the tank is always full with pellets.

However, consistent tank filling can increase the risk of other potential issues. The first, is that it increases the risk to employees. Since the tank runs anywhere between 200 – 400 degrees, it is HOT. If a line operator is in a rush or makes one careless move, they can easily be burned by the pot. Another issue is that when you open the tank lid to refill with pellets, cold air flows into the tank and cools down the internal temperature. If the glue is continuously getting hot and cold, it could negatively impact its bonding ability.

These potential issues prompted Universal Systems to develop and release our ProBilt™ Phoenix auto-fill system in 2018. Unlike with manual filling, the automatic filling process does not require the line operator to fill glue pellets directly into the hot tank. Operators fill the free-standing container, which is separate from the tank. The glue pellets are then deposited into the internal pot via the vacuum and wand system when the internal tank glue level is low. The Phoenix is available in two tank capacities, the 15 lb and 20 lb units. Each glue container has maximum and minimum fill lines so that line operators know how much or how little to fill the pellets. Since the containers can hold much more glue than a standard heated pot, line operators no longer need to worry about checking the melters as often as with a manual system. This will also ensure that line operators will not get burned and that the glue inside the pot will stay consistently heated, creating maximum bonding ability.

For more information about the ProBilt™ Phoenix auto-fill system, contact Universal Systems SE at (561) 272-5442 or email sales@ussefl.com.

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The Right Melter for Your Packaging Line

The scenario is usually the same, a packaging line melter goes out in the middle of the busiest time of year. Most commonly, maintenance directors and buyers simply replace the current OEM melter with the latest model. That is not always necessary. Universal Systems SE ProBilt™ melters have the same footprint as most all Nordson® systems and can easily fit into where the original tank is positioned. Just because your current packaging line has a Nordson® melter does not mean you have to replace it with another expensive Nordson®. Plus, all of our ProBilt™ melters are in stock and can ship same day!

There are several key points to take into consideration when choosing a hot melt system for your packaging line. The most important are: Melt Rate, Durability, & Cost-Effectiveness.

Melt Rate

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.

Durability

Depending on how many shifts you are running, you need a melter that will work consistently and effectively. All ProBilt™ melters come with a 10-year heater warranty, which is the highest in the industry. In addition, all melters come standard with 4 hose / 4 gun capability and a set-back functionality that allows for easy start up and shut down. ProBilt™ melters are constructed out of 316 stainless steel, not only for its sleek look that will seamlessly blend with your packaging line, but also for its durability and sustainability through the tough elements a packaging line ensures.

Cost-Effectiveness

The economy has become a roller-coaster in the last year. With that, large CPGs are cutting back not only in personnel but in spending budgets for packaging. These tighter budgets won’t always allow for a buyer to simply purchase the latest Nordson® melter. Here at Universal Systems SE, we have seen more and more companies trying to repair older melters and plug any current issues with band-aids to stretch their fixed budgets as far as they can. Since we manufacture parts that are compatible with old Nordson® tanks, we have been able to help a lot of companies cost effectively navigate the times. In addition to our parts business, all of our ProBilt™ series melters are cost effective replacements for any Nordson®.

To learn more about Universal Systems SE’s ProBilt™ series of melters and components, please reach out to a customer service representative at sales@ussefl.com or call (561) 272-5442.

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CPGs Wrestle with Workforce

If you follow the packaging industry, whether through news articles, industry periodicals or first hand through direct buyers at CPG companies, one of the largest drivers in packaging is the stress on workforce demands. This can include how difficult it is to find reliable workers that are dedicated to the success of the company. It can also be in the aspect that most of the line operators working the packaging line equipment are not trained properly on that piece of equipment and all of its capabilities.

As the packaging industry tries to modernize technology, not all of their workforce can keep up. As a hot melt equipment manufacturer, one of our core competencies is our knowledgeable technical support. If you have any Universal Systems SE equipment or ProBilt™ machines on your packaging lines, you can rest assured that you will get speedy, knowledgeable sales and technical support. However, in many instances, line operators do not have that type of experience or knowledge base. That can lead to “on the fly” fixes, which usually equates to weakened product and voided warranties. At Universal Systems SE we understand that knowledge is power, and we want to make line operators jobs easier, not harder. With that in mind, we have kept all of the ProBilt™ hot melt application systems uniform and easy to operate. We also try to make our clients smarter when they call with issues, asking questions to help them learn or giving them some simple troubleshooting tips to follow for the future.

In addition to being able to help line operators with questions and knowledge, we also make sure to include in every shipment all of the pertinent manuals and information guidelines needed. For example, if your company is ordering ClearFlow™ heated hoses (Universal Systems SE’s proprietary line of heated hot melt hoses), each shipment will include installation and care instructions. The same goes for our ProBilt™ applicator guns. With the purchase of any ProBilt™ application gun, we include a list of maintenance recommendations on the gun, modules and nozzles.

So, as CPGs continue to have concerns with their workforce, we here at Universal Systems SE  we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that we keep them knowledgeable on our equipment.

To learn more about our ClearFlow™ hoses or any other ProBilt™ products, please reach out to sales@ussefl.com or call (561) 272-5442.

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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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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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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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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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