This case study demonstrates the significant advantages of the Uniflow model 4230, specifically at Worthen Industries, a major pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) manufacturer.

Hot Melt Drum Unloading Equipment Manufacturing

The platen on Uniflow drum unloaders has a heat transfer surface area of 4,663 square inches, which is about twice the area of the platens used in competing models. A larger heat transfer surface increases the melt rate, resulting in higher pump rates.

In addition to pump rate, customers buying a hot melt drum unloader also consider the following factors:

  • Reliability
  • Ease-of-use
  • Maintenance
  • Worker safety

Current Drum Unloaders Failed to Meet Production Requirements

Worthen had recently installed two new hot melt drum unloaders built by a competitor, each of which was expected to pump 600 lbs of pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) per hour. However, the actual achieved pump rate was only 325-350 lbs per hour, preventing Worthen from meeting its production goals.

Steve Hutter, Chief Manufacturing Officer at Worthen Industries, needed to move quickly to obtain a hot melt drum unloader that could keep up with production requirements, but he didn’t want to get burned again.

Uniflow Model 4230 Test Run

The sales cycle for capital equipment in this industry is typically between six months and two years, but this sale via IMMCO was completed very quickly.

IMMCO received the initial call from Steve Hutter on February 20, 2018. Steve was interested in buying the next Model 4230 that came out of production, but he wanted to ensure it could actually pump no less than 500 lbs per hour.

The Test Run

An IMMCO representative offered to schedule a test run at IMMCO’s plant using Worthen’s PSA with the stipulation that Worthen could cancel the purchase order (PO) for any reason within one week after the test.

This may sound like a bold move, but our IMMCO rep was confident that Steve would buy the Uniflow once he saw its performance. A Worthen rep arrived at the IMMCO plant on March 15. The Model 4230 pumped the PSA at 600 lbs per hour, meeting the expectation set by IMMCO.

The Purchase Order

The purchase order was completed the following week, and a new Model 4230 Uniflow was shipped to Worthen on March 30, 2018, just 38 days after their initial call, and less than two weeks after finalizing their order.op

Features and Options

This unit was a standard Uniflow model that uses a programmable logic controller (PLC). All of its electrical components were off-the-shelf and can be ordered directly from the manufacturer, usually with next day delivery. IMMCO also keeps an extensive inventory of components on hand, with most parts available for same-day or next-day shipment.

The original purchase didn’t include any options, but Worthen added a semi-automatic bleed/boost valve to their system after realizing its value. This feature increases the productivity and safety of drum unloading operations, a feature that was not available on the competitor’s models.

A bleed/boost valve set allows the operator to bleed air from under the platen on a new drum and apply boost air under the platen in an empty drum, all from a touchscreen.  This eliminates the need for the operator to reach into a hot drum after each drum change.

Ongoing Maintenance & Care

Worthen maintains its equipment with its own maintenance staff, as is the case with most of IMMCO’s customers. IMMCO trained Worthen’s personnel in the safe and proper use of the new Uniflow machine.  Moreover, the IMMCO team reviewed the operation of an older, hydraulic-style Uniflow.  They made suggestions that enabled Worthen to increase the output of their older machine.  This increase in production capacity was valued as much as the prompt delivery on the new Model 4230.   

Unloading the Results

Everyone at Worthen loved the performance of the Uniflow Model 4230, although the results were routine for IMMCO.

Here’s what Worthen Industries had to say about the results:

“We paid a reasonable price premium for the new Uniflow Model 4230 that we purchased from IMMCO, and it was worth it.  Our output was nearly two times that of the competitive product we were using.”

Steve Hutter
Chief Manufacturing Officer
Worthen Industries

Furthermore, the Worthen reps liked the simplicity of the 4230’s design, its ease of operation, and the short lead time, which was six weeks from the first call to the unit’s delivery, and less than two weeks after the order was placed.

In comparison, the standard lead time for the delivery of capital equipment in this industry is 12 to 14 weeks. IMMCO has continued to work on reducing their lead times for orders, and can now ship most Uniflow Model 4230 units within one to four weeks from the time of order.

Here’s what Worthen Industries had to say about working with IMMCO:

“Worthen would recommend that you contact IMMCO to discuss their Uniflow product line when you are considering buying a hot melt drum unloader.”

Steve Hutter
Chief Manufacturing Officer
Worthen Industries

Summary & Findings

IMMCO’s customers have historically chosen Uniflow products for difficult HMA applications, but the price point has caused IMMCO to miss out on more routine applications.

The Model 4230 is proving to be a game changer in this regard. The 4230 has a highly competitive price point but still outperforms every other hot melt drum unloader on the market.

Our Machines Outperform the Competition, Guaranteed

Customers who previously needed to choose between price and performance can now get both with a Uniflow Model 4230. IMMCO guarantees that Uniflow Model 4230 machines will outperform competitors’ machines by at least 40%.

If the machine doesn’t, you can return the equipment within 30 days and get a full refund. In many cases, the Uniflow model 4230 can be shipped within two weeks from the time your order is placed. Click here to learn more about our hot melt adhesive drum unloading equipment.