Effective Management Avoids Adhesive Waste
Selecting the Correct Pressure Setting
In the packaging industry, it is common to see tank pressures between 20 and 50 psi. If running too low, there may not be enough pressure to fire a clean bead onto the package. If running too high, the adhesive may fire too aggressively, hit the package and “splash” off. The hot melt adhesive tank pressure can impact the amount of adhesive applied. If not set to the proper level, the tank pressure can lead to further issues in packaging applications and impact production line efficiency. Typically, operators will increase pump pressure when:
- Adhesive beads are too small
- Adhesion issues arise or fiber tear is unsatisfactory
- Adhesive is not firing at all indicating a clogged nozzle
Although many operators may believe the easiest adjustment to solve these issues is to increase the hot melt tank pressure, there are some inherent downfalls associated with changing the pressure without completing a thorough diagnosis of the issue. Adjusting tank pressure increases the amount of adhesive being applied; however, pump pressure is not the only variable at play. Application temperature and nozzle size also work together with the pump pressure to influence application amount, which is one of the most critical components to package integrity. The following table shows an example of how an increase in pressure without any adjustments to the tank temperature or nozzle can impact the application amount.
|Initial Pressure||Final Pressure||% Adhesive Increase|
|30 PSI / 2.0 BAR||35 PSI / 2.4 BAR||11%|
|25 PSI / 1.7 BAR||30 PSI / 2.0 BAR||13%|
|20 PSI / 1.4 BAR||25 PSI / 1.7 BAR||15%|
An increase of 5 psi can potentially increase adhesive consumption by over 10 percent. While is it a small adjustment in pressure, increasing 5 psi can cost a manufacturer a significant sum over time. Beyond costs, there are some quality issues resulting from too high of an increase in tank pressure. If an adjustment to the tank pressure is needed, it should be adjusted in 3-5 psi increments.
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