This case study uncovers how an international Tape Manufacturer achieved a 51% pump rate improvement using the Uniflow Model 4230, plus realized huge savings from reduced material waste.

A major manufacturer of adhesive tapes, wires & cables, and cable assemblies inquired last year about a Uniflow Hot Melt Drum Unloader.  We will call the manufacturer “TapeCO”. TapeCO has adhesive tape manufacturing facilities throughout the world and they employ dozens of drum unloaders in their manufacturing operations worldwide, so they know something about melting and pumping viscous materials.

Pursuing Higher Pump Rates With Uniflow Model 4230 

In October 2018, a Production Engineer in TapeCO’s U.S. plant contacted IMMCO to get information on the new Uniflow Model 4230 Hot Melt Drum Unloader.  

The engineer had heard about the higher pump rates this machine could achieve, and he wanted to know if a Uniflow 4230 could increase their output from their current level of 330 pounds per hour (PPH) to a target level of 396 PPH on their pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA).  

IMMCO engineering suggested running a free test at our facility in Richmond, VA to determine the maximum pump rate. The TapeCo engineer liked the idea, arranged for PSA to be sent to IMMCO’s plant, and set a test date in January 2019

Hearing that IMMCO guarantees a 40% higher pump rate than any competing machine, the customer asked if we could target 475 PPH rather than the original goal of 396 PPH. This would be a 44% rate improvement.

Delivering Adhesive Savings & Drastic Pump Rate Improvements

The day of the test arrived, and TapeCO sent a Coating Team Leader and a Production Engineer to observe the trial.  

Both men were happy to see the Uniflow consistently deliver a pump rate over 500 PPH, but then they received more good news. When the Uniflow platen was pulled out of the empty drum, they were surprised to see that there was almost no adhesive left in the drum. That was far from their experience with their existing drum unloaders. 

TapeCO calculated that a Uniflow could save them 12 Kg of adhesive in every drum. At the rates they would be running, they determined that the new Uniflow would pay for itself in only three months on material savings alone!  Plus, they would realize new production efficiencies with the 51% increase in pump rate.

Unique Equipment Properties Drive Productivity Improvements

How does a Uniflow deliver a higher pump rate and leave less material in the drum than any other drum unloader? The secret is in the platen. 

Our machined platen has 4,663 square inches of heat transfer surface or about double that of any competitor. That enables the Uniflow to melt faster than anyone else at the same temperatures. Moreover, the unique fin pattern on the Uniflow platen reduces the amount of material left in the drum.

Future Success Propelled By Fleet Of Uniflow 4230 Hot Melt Drum Unloaders

TapeCO ordered their first Uniflow Model 4230 and it was installed in March 2019. It has performed as it did in the trial. TapeCO has since ordered a second Uniflow, with plans for more machine orders in the future.