Reduce Hot-Melt Adhesive Consumption in Manual Gluing Applications

Champ 10S LCD hot-melt handgun.

In manual assembly and packaging applications, actual hot-melt adhesive usage is often double what is required. Precise manual application of hot-melt can be difficult; therefore, operators apply additional adhesive to ensure a sufficient bond. Packaging and/or product failures are more expensive than extra adhesive, so managers simply accept increased adhesive consumption as a cost of doing business.

With skyrocketing raw material and shipping expenses pushing the average cost of hot-melt to more than $2/lb, it makes sense to take another look at hot-melt consumption.

Demonstration of an ergonomic gun.

Controlling Hot-Melt Adhesive Consumption

There are several ways to control the amount of hot-melt adhesive used.
  • Training. Operators have the ultimate control over adhesive usage; thorough documentation and training on approved assembly procedures will help them to gauge the correct amount to use.
  • Evaluation. Perform regular quality-control checks to ensure that the appropriate amount of adhesive is being applied. If not, additional communication and training with operators might be necessary.
  • Equipment. There are many adhesive application equipment options. Melting, pumping and applying capabilities should match assembly requirements. In addition, under-specified hot-melt equipment may require operators to overheat the system in order to maintain sufficient melt rates. This overheating can degrade adhesive and affect subsequent bonds. It can also lead to increased system maintenance requirements.
  • Adhesive. The adhesive must have the appropriate open time, set time and bond strength for the application, which can be accomplished by testing. If any of the adhesive’s characteristics do not match the application, consumption will be affected. Be advised that more adhesive does not necessarily mean a better bond; the amount of adhesive will affect set times and subsequent bonds.
  • Ergonomics. Make it easy for operators to manipulate their tools - ease of operation enables operators to apply consistent patterns.
  • Assembly times.  Operators need sufficient time to focus on the application. This will allow for correct and standardized adhesive patterning on each package.
  • Automation. Consider ways to go “hands-free.” Bench-top units and XY tables can provide more consistent and controlled adhesive application.
With proper training, monitoring, supplies and tools, operators can produce better products, in less time with less adhesive.

About the Company

Glue Machinery Corp. (formerly Covert Co. Inc.) builds, customizes, integrates and services industrial-grade hot-melt glue dispensing and adhesive application systems.

For more information, visit


Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Adhesives & Sealants Industry Magazine.

Recent Articles by Pierce Covert

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

ASI April 2014 Photo Gallery

Our April 2014 issue is now available!


ExxonMobil Tackifier Expansion

Dwight Tozer, vice president of ExxonMobil’s Adhesion Industry business, discusses the company’s latest tackifier expansion project with Editor-in-Chief Susan Sutton.

More Podcasts

Adhesives & Sealants Industry Magazine

ASI march 2015 cover

2015 March

Welcome to our annual Raw Materials, Chemicals, Polymers and Additives Handbook!
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Paid Leave

President Obama recently announced he wants U.S. businesses and the federal government to provide paid sick leave and paid parental leave to all workers. Do you think this is a good idea?
View Results Poll Archive


Handbook of Sealant Technology

The Handbook of Sealant Technology provides an in-depth examination of sealants, reviewing their historical developments and fundamentals, adhesion theories and properties, and today’s wide range of applications.

More Products

ASI 2014 Buyers GuideASI's Buyers' Guide

Annual purchasing resource for equipment used in the manufacture/formulation of adhesives, sealants, pressure sensitives, tapes and labels and for application of finished adhesives. 


facebook_40px twitter_40  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40 google+ icon ASI 30px

Clear Seas Research

With access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.