Savings — on time, money and even energy — are absolutely vital for businesses who want to make it in today’s competitive climate. One of the best ways to increase these savings without cutting corners on safety or quality is by improving your efficiency.
For decades, we at hot melt have been a source for helping everyone, from the individual carpenter to the production line foreman, not just hone their craft, but to also make a great living from it. Today, that’s why we’re presenting four real-life tactics you can implement to improve the efficiency of your bulk hot melt dispensing system and get a leg up on your competition —all without breaking the bank or your ethics.
Make the Switch to Stitch
What if we told you there was a simple way to cut the amount of bulk hot melt you use — and the amount you spend on it — in half? If your bulk hot melt dispensing machine uses pattern controls that are under ten years old, we’ve got great news for you.
With just a little reprogramming, you can reconfigure your output from continuous beads to a series of smaller beads that look a lot like the stiches a sewing machine makes. This practice, known as “stitching,” cuts the amount of adhesive you need in half, while still providing the same strong bond you need.
Not only does this practice save time and materials, but it even saves you (and the environment) the extra energy of heating and applying twice as much adhesive. Not to mention, the weight can really add up once you start shipping on a large scale.
Adhesives are relatively affordable right now because the supplies to make them are easy to come by. However, it’s unlikely the surplus of supplies will keep up with the demand for much longer. Make sure you improve the efficiency of your bulk hot melt dispensing system as soon as possible so you’re ready when it comes time to trim the fat from your business.
Use an Adhesive With a Longer Pot Life
Tired of wasting all that hot melt adhesive that gets charred or stuck in your equipment? It doesn’t have to be that way. Metallocene hot melt adhesives (or metallocene blends) are especially clean hot melt adhesives that can really improve the efficiency of your bulk hot melt dispensing system.
The extreme thermal stability of Metallocene means it can stay at the desired temperature significantly longer than other EVA products, without ever burning or charring in the pot. Less blockage means less cleanup, which in turns means more up time on your projects or production lines. With adhesive that stays at the desired temperature for a long time, you’ll also find yourself wasting a lot less time and energy controlling its heat while you’re just trying to get the job done.
Keep Your Equipment Clean
Even if you choose to invest in low-char hot melt, it’s inevitable that your bulk hot melt dispensing system will need to be powered down and cleaned up from time to time. But did you know that keeping your equipment clean can actually improve not only its efficiency but yours, as well?
Switching to a new adhesive, taking a break between hot melt applications and just regular maintenance all call for a thorough cleaning of your bulk hot melt dispensing system. Keeping your equipment running smoothly matters for its longevity, as well as your bottom line.
Over time, wear and tear will degrade your bulk hot melt dispensing equipment, but you do have some control over just how long it will take before it’s time to replace your machinery. Regular cleaning and maintenance will increase its lifespan and protect it from the degradation that results from char, dust, hair and other clogs.
And the longer your bulk hot melt dispensing system lasts, the longer it can put money in your pocket. Faulty machines don’t just cause downtime — they cost a pretty penny when it comes time to repairing or replacing them. Purchasing cleaner and spending a few minutes maintaining your machines every once in a while is a lot more affordable than purchasing a brand-new, top-of-the-line hot melt unit.
Here’s how to preserve its longevity and stretch your dollar:
Make sure you’ve powered down your machine and purged as much adhesive as possible. This will help you cut down on the amount of cleaner you need to use.
Add the cleaner and bring your equipment to heat. Turn the pressure pump on to move the cleaner through the system. Repeat until you’ve removed any adhesive remnants.
Make sure to drain all the used cleaner before refilling your tank with fresh adhesive. Leftover cleaning agents can contaminate the next adhesive you use and keep it from curing properly. Looking to choose the right cleaner for your bulk hot melt dispensing system? Check out our guide on Henkel TECHNOMELT cleaners.
Though reviews are mixed and loyalties run deep, it’s hard to deny that tankless bulk hot melt dispensing systems are a new and intriguing product in the hot melt world. According to Processing Magazine, tankless bulk hot melt equipment uses a vacuum feed to draw adhesive pellets into heating chambers. The pellets are melted on demand and dispensed quickly.
Tankless systems only draw a small amount of hot melt at a time, so heating is efficient (10 minutes versus the 30 a tank system can take), and charred adhesive is eliminated. You waste less product and your workers spend less time in maintenance mode. In some cases, material and production expenses have reportedly decreased as much as 50 to 75 percent.
In a vacuum-fed tankless system, contaminates are eliminated so hot melt adhesive can be applied with greater consistency. It may also increase the longevity of bulk hot melt equipment, as it creates fewer instances for char to clog nozzles and cause fluid seal failures.
But perhaps the best way going tankless can improve the efficiency of your bulk hot melt dispensing system is with advanced technology. Adhesive tracking data allows operators and managers to monitor the efficiency and true cost of their machinery over a single shift or product run.
If tankless is new to you, we’re happy to recommend the Graco InvisiPac HM50 Tankless Bulk Hot Melt System for its wide temperature range, up to six hose connections and an impressive 15-minute start-up time.
Need help implementing these four tactics to improve the efficiency of your bulk hot melt dispensing system? Our knowledgeable staff is happy to help. Get in touch online or call us at (877) 933-3343.