At Hotmelt.com, it’s our mission to make sure our customers are using the best adhesives for each and every project. So, today, we want to join in a popular debate: hot melt or tape for packaging?
Personally, we believe that while tape is a perfectly fine adhesive for specific applications, there are several distinct advantages that hot melt provides when it comes to packaging—but you don’t have to take our word for it. With applicators in hand and safety glasses donned, we held our own little competition!
Hot Melt or Tape: The Ultimate Showdown
In one corner, we had industrial tape and a dispenser. In the other, hot melt and an applicator. What’s the hot melt versus tape challenge? To close three,14-inch cardboard boxes in the fastest time with the best results. The winner? For most cases, hot melt!
In our test, the packager using the tape used about $1.50 worth of product while the packager with hot melt only used about $0.12 of product. The savings go even further when you realize how much less product and time were used due to the ease of application.
Shaving a few seconds off of constructing three boxes might not seem like a lot but—for those companies that need to assemble thousands of packages every single day—it adds up! The hot melt user was also able to close all three of his boxes well before the tape user was finished securing her last box.
Don’t believe us? Watch our YouTube video to see it for yourself!
The Benefits of Using Hot Melt
Aside from the proven speed and cost benefits, hot melt is able to create a strong, continuous bond along every packaging seam to which it’s applied. That means packages sealed with hot melt will hold more weight and withstand more pressure than taped boxes. Plus, it just looks a lot more professional than all that messily applied, wrinkly packing tape!
Not only does hot melt create a stronger and more attractive bond on packaging, it leaves a trace if someone tampers with a package. In typical fast-paced assembly lines, hot melt makes more sense, as it can run continuously. The line will have to be stopped to refill empty tape rolls. If you’re able to shift your business to use hot melt for case sealing and constructing packaging, we believe you’ll be able to save time and money, all while producing more professional-looking packaging.
When Tape Is the Right Adhesive
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t specific situations in which tape might be more appropriate. Hot melt must be heated to temps of several hundred degrees or more in order to be applied properly. Improper use could seriously injure an operator. If you’re in a situation where you must be extra conscious of safety, tape machines are simpler to use and pose less threat to operators. Hot melt systems also require regular maintenance if you wish to keep them in tip-top and safe shape.
Tape seals packaging flaps from the outside and tends to be made of a tough plastic or plastic-like material, so it offers a strong protection for packaging that might experience extreme environments including wet, cold, and heat.
Great Hot Melt Options
If, like us, you’re impressed by the distinct advantages hot melt has over tape in case-sealing and constructing packaging, we’ve got some great packaging hot melt products for you to try out.
InfinityPack is a low-odor, high-quality, and high-performance packaging glue stick. The fast-setting hot melt offers an instant tack and can be used in adjustable temperature guns. It’s great for applications on standard cardboard, corrugated packaging, most coated stocks, end of line repacking, and cardboard to wood.
InfinityPack is a premium EVA bulk packaging hot melt with excellent heat stability and a low viscosity. It offers a strong, fast set and will bond both standard and coated corrugated and cardboard stock. InfinityPACK has great pot stability, doesn’t string, and emits a very low odor.
Our most cost economical glue stick, EconoPack is perfect for light-duty packaging applications. It offers a fast grab and good hold when applied to standard cardboard and corrugated surfaces.
Low on cost but not on quality, EconoPACK It is a made-in-the-USA hot melt adhesive that is perfect for standard case and carton closing applications.
Infinity FreezerPack is the only glue stick on the market formulated for case and carton closing for boxes that will be refrigerated or frozen. It’s an aggressive, fast-setting packaging hot melt that’s perfect for food applications.
Infinity FreezerPack freezer grade packaging bulk hot melt stands up to even the most frigid environments. It’s great for food packaging applications that require a fast set and the ability to withstand cold environments for extended periods of time.
Infinity Melt CleanPack hot melt glue sticks are a metallocene-based hot melt. This differs from traditional EVA in that it melts extremely clean and with almost no odor. It offers a fast set time, strong initial tack, and works great with cardboard, corrugated, coated stocks, and difficult-to-bond packaging substrates.
Infinity CleanPack bulk hot melt has little to no odor, is extremely clean burning, has minimal char, and offers exceptional pot stability. It’s recommended for applications where hot melt will be sitting in pots for extended periods of time or where char and stringing have been a problem. Infinity CleanPack also allows for less downtime and increases equipment longevity because it does not need to be cleaned or purged as often.
At Hotmelt.com, we can help you choose the adhesive that makes the most sense for your bottom line. If you need help upgrading from tape or just want to learn more about our awesome hot melts and equipment, contact our expert team of glue nerds today online or by calling (877) 933-3343.