When a major Global Tape/Label Company (referred to as TLC in the rest of this article) realized the need to expand their existing hot melt systems capabilities, they also identified an opportunity to streamline their process.
To do that, though, they’d need a partner with 44 years of hot melt experience and the ability to brainstorm and develop customized solutions.
What TLC needed
- Precise melting and pump of PSA at 390 PPH with flow accuracy within 10%
- A compact but reliable system with easy operation
- Competitive pricing
- A system to handle temperatures from 280° F to 300° F
- Accommodation of multiple adhesive brands & characteristics
- A system to handle speeds of 250 mpm with add-ons of 20 gpsm
- A custom-built system that fit into a small space and increased process efficiency
- A bleed boost and precision metering system with a standard pump
- Digital controls for easy operation
- Integration of the pump output with the coating line using a flowmeter
How We Arrived At That Solution
TLC wanted a system that could precisely melt and pump a PSA at a rate of 390 PPH while also ensuring the flow was accurate within +/- 10%. At the same time, they wanted to have a reliable system that was compact, easy to operate, and had an attractive price.
Luckily, IMMCO’s team had experience with the equipment TLC uses. This made it much easier for them to explain and describe what, exactly, they needed to accomplish with their new precision metering system.
Identifying Hot Melt System Requirements
TLC had very specific goals in mind for the system update from the beginning of the process.
Their current system was an ITW tank system with a 45cc Zenith pump mounted. Their existing volume spec was a demand of 6.5 PPM to feed the die (390 PPH).
Moving forward, they knew they would need the following:
- Add UV curable PSA capabilities to the pilot line and feed the same precision die just as they already did with the existing ITW system, which is capable of 400 PPH (per its spec, pending viscosity)
- Handle material temperatures ranging from 280° F to 300° F on average
- Accommodate different adhesive brands and characteristics, which vary based on customer’s preferences
- Be able to work with speeds that reach 250 meters per minute with add-ons that are typically 20 grams per square meter (<0.001” thickness)
IMMCO received the information from TLC and got to work creating a proposal for a drum unloader, plus a precision metering station that would accurately feed the 26” precision slot extrusion die.
Developing Customized Solutions for Optimal Performance
Here are some of the specific concerns and challenges TLC presented, which IMMCO helped solve for:
Adding a robust system into a limited amount of space
With the way the existing system was configured, TLC and IMMCO would need to think of ways to streamline the process for a smaller space. Working together, the two companies were able to develop a solution that involved a unique approach to the custom precision metering system. It not only saved space in the facility but also improved the actual process and accuracies.
Managing existing hot melt equipment
While TLC had an existing hot melt system in place, there were some potential downsides with simply updating that system. Instead, TLC took IMMCO’s advice to install a new system and they were able to use the old drum unloader for other standard hot melt applications.
The folks within this operation were pleased, saying “We could have copied what we had with the existing system but, in light of what was offered from IMMCO, it was wise to explore another option.”
Incorporating Custom Components to Ensure Optimal Performance
IMMCO was also able to identify enhanced or added components that would be valuable for TLC.
Among them, a bleed boost and precision metering system were added to improve how they were operating. The precision metering system allowed them to take up less space by removing the need for a tank or vessel. The metering system also works digitally, in unison with the drum unloader, as a complete system.
Russ Martin of IMMCO had this to say about the metering system:
“We used our standard pump, and we fed the output through a flowmeter. We had PID control, using the flowmeter data to control the speed of our pump for the precise, metered flow they needed.
Part of the reason we could do this is TLC needed control, but not to the level of a precision pump. A precision pump controls output to +/- 1%. They only needed +/- 10%. We delivered +/- 5%.”
What “TLC” Achieved
At the end of the day, they were able to leverage IMMCO’s manufacturing experience, equipment knowledge, and the ability to create customized solutions to achieve what they wanted (and more). They have now:
- Successfully integrated the pump output with the coating line
- Successfully established a metering pump and drum unloader that work as a system to remove the need for a holding tank (saving space and improving the process)
After working together, TLC had this to say about their experience:
“We are very pleased with this system. If we replace our old unit, we would definitely go with an IMMCO unit. What is important to us is the technical support as we continue to grow and learn more about the system. IMMCO has been outstanding in this area. We have also found their staff to be very responsive and easy to work with on all levels.”
Contact Industrial Machine Manufacturing (IMMCO)
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