This case study shows how a large flooring manufacturer took advantage of a Uniflow Model 4230 to extend its roll-coating operations to a sister plant.
THE UNIFLOW ADVANTAGE
Companies prefer Uniflow drum unloaders for many reasons. Our machines are reliable, cost-effective, and pump viscous hot melts, such as PUR, significantly faster than competing units.
Benefits of using a Uniflow include:
- Less material waste
- Faster drum changeovers
- Low maintenance costs
- Safe operation
FLOORING MANUFACTURER SEEKS THE RIGHT DRUM UNLOADER FOR A NEW PRODUCTION LINE
In 2017, a large, industry-leading manufacturer of hardwood laminate flooring decided to take steps to protect its three-decade-old business from downtime. The company’s production output depended on a single roll coating line, which wasn’t acceptable.
The manufacturer wanted a fallback system to maintain production if its only roll coater went down.
The solution was to expand its capabilities to a sister plant in a different state. It would be the first roll coating line at this location. By investing in a redundant system, the company could increase its output while ensuring production resiliency.
The new application needed a drum unloader that could pump PUR (polyurethane reactive) adhesive to a 12-inch, single-side roll coater at a rate of 100 PPH (pounds per hour).
The manufacturer’s Plant Engineer wanted a reliable, rock-solid system that wouldn’t fail. Knowing the reputation of Uniflow drum unloaders (which can reach pump rates over 600 PPH), he contacted IMMCO.
MODEL 4230 PROVIDES QUALITY & RELIABILITY
The drum unloaders at the original plant ran on fussy piston pumps. The Plant Engineer wanted low-maintenance equipment, so he opted for a Uniflow, because of its reliable, heavy-duty gear pump.
IMMCO, the makers of Uniflow, recommended the Model 4230, a very affordable package. Key features include:
- Positive displacement gear pump for high and stable flow
- 6,000 square-inch platen
- Up to 5 tons of ram force
Gear pumps deliver a consistent, non-pulsing flow and require little maintenance. These pumps last longer than the competitors’ piston pumps; plus, they don’t need any oil.
The Model 4230 features a pneumatic ram that comes in at one-third the cost of IMMCO’s more powerful Model 230 hydraulic unloader. But don’t let that distinction fool you. While the 4230 is affordable, it still pumps 40% faster than any competing drum unloader in the market.
In addition to the Model 4230 unloader, the Plant Engineer requested a dispensing head upgrade with a solenoid-operated valve at the end of the heated hose. This “gun” sits above the rollers on the coater and provides a clean cut-off when the coater does not need more adhesive.
However, adding a gun to his order wasn’t the only upgrade he’d make.
UPGRADING FOR A BETTER FUTURE
The Uniflow Model 4230 was so successful that the laminate flooring manufacturer made three noteworthy changes to enhance their system.
The 1st upgrade was obvious. They added a Teflon coating to the unit’s heating platen for easy cleaning. Customers that use PUR adhesives love the easy cleaning they get with this non-stick coating on the platen.
The 2nd upgrade was site-specific. In 2022, it was discovered that the laminating line was exposed to the cold and occasional winds, causing erratic pump temperatures. IMMCO engineers, working together with the manufacturer, designed an insulated pump cover to shield the unit from the wind to help it heat faster at startup.
The 3rd upgrade was inevitable. After testing the Model 4230 at its sister plant, the company ordered an additional Uniflow. This time the machine would be at the primary production plant, which goes to show that there’s nothing better once you’ve had the best.
The flooring manufacturer has also taken advantage of IMMCO’s hose cleaning service. Cleaning hoses clogged with PUR adhesive saves customers a lot of money on replacements. The cleaning restores a hose to its original condition at one-fourth to one-third the purchase price of a new hose.
SAVING MONEY ON EVERY DRUM
Uniflow drum unloaders are undisputedly a superior machine for pumping PUR. This statement may seem bold, but it’s proven; the flooring manufacturer of this case study now saves around $100/drum, just on reduced adhesive waste.
Customers get an advantage they rarely anticipate when buying a melter from us—glue savings. How? A Uniflow drum unloader leaves two pounds (or less) of adhesive in each drum, whereas competing machines waste 25 to 40 pounds of material.
Right now, PUR costs about $5 per pound. Having a Uniflow reduce waste by 25 lbs for every drum adds up to a savings of $125 per drum; at two drums per day, five days a week for a year, that’s $62,500 in savings!
A REVIEW OF THIS CASE STUDY
This case study shows how a large flooring manufacturer increased production reliability by using a Uniflow Model 4230 at their sister plant.
The Model 4230 was a wise choice for the flooring manufacturer. The new drum unloader outperforms competing machines. And the quality craftsmanship of a Uniflow pays off through reliability, affordability, and savings from reduced material waste.
Contact us if you’d like a Uniflow for your hot melt application.