Pierce Covert

July 29, 2014

2 Min Read
What the makers of tankless hot melt systems won't tell you: Part 2

I agree with Nick Long of Graco that innovation can be exciting—when it works. The problem is not with new technology; the problem is when new and improved cutting-edge technology just can’t deliver what it promises. It is for this reason that we, at Glue Machinery Corp., are proud to be called traditionalists. As “traditionalists” in the adhesive industry, we embrace, build and promote time-tested equipment, to include “Melt on Demand” reservoir tank systems, that has proven its reliability. 

With this in mind, here are a few more thoughts about the innovation of tankless hot-melt systems currently offered in Graco’s InvisiPac and Nordson’s Freedom systems:

Tankless hot melt systems can indeed demand regular refilling

Anytime the automatic refill system that conveys pellets or chips of hot melt malfunctions, users are left to refill the funnel manually. This requires that adhesive be fed into the hot melt unit by hand every few minutes, causing a significant disruption to efficiency and subsequent productivity. The InvisiPac manual specifically includes a section on “Manual Refilling”. It states to: “use Manual Refill if the automatic refill is not functioning properly and cannot be filled in a timely manner.” Contrast this with traditional hot-melt systems, which typically have enough molten adhesive in the reservoir to last from an one to eight hours.  Refilling is easily scheduled at regular intervals, never minute by minute.

The idea of automatic filling is nothing new

Automatic refill systems have been used successfully with traditional reservoired hot-melt systems for more than twenty years. Glue Machinery was intimately involved in the original design and sales of this hot melt filling machinery, and found that this technology was useful in minimizing the necessity of repeated manual filling. This technology provides the convenience of automatic filling without the inherent risks of tankless hot melt systems.

Tankless hot melt systems limit your adhesive selection

Adhesives for use in tankless systems have very specific characteristics that facilitate the movement of the adhesive through the refill system. These specifications limit the types of adhesives that can be used in a tankless system. As such, manufacturers of tankless systems provide a narrow list of approved hot melt adhesives for use in the tankless system. Traditional reservoir systems, on the other hand, are not limited to narrow specifications and can utilize a wide range of adhesives.

For the present, I will continue to wear the title of “traditionalist” proudly, because when it comes to hot melt, it is traditional quality machinery that continues to serve long after the technological fads have faded away.    

Pierce Covert is the president of Glue Machinery Corp., a company that builds, sells and services industrial hot-melt and cold-glue systems used worldwide by a range of manufacturers.

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