Adhesives Magazine

Packaging EndUser: Start Moving the Glues

August 1, 2005
A new hot-melt glue conveying system improves material-handling efficiency by reducing maintenance costs and downtime.

The ALL-CON World Systems Inc. hot-melt glue conveying system is an automated, stand-alone materials-handling system designed for production-line packaging applications. It can effectively convey a consistent flow of thermoplastic adhesives to hot-melt glue melters. Compared to other hot-melt adhesive conveying systems, it can substantially improve material-handling efficiency and lower maintenance costs and downtime.

The patented, custom-engineered system can transport solid hot-melt glue in either pellet (BBs) or chiclet-sized chipform a distance of more than 100 feet from a bulk source to a melter unit. It feeds either one or multiple glue stations, all of which receive material from the same container of adhesives.

This proprietary system meets an industry need for a reliable, self-cleaning process that automatically transports hot-melt adhesives a much greater distance from a bulk source to a melter unit than is currently possible with other systems. The stand-alone design requires no direct mechanical tie-ins or direct electric circuitry connections to production line equipment.

How It Works

The system has two basic operating cycles: conveying and storing adhesive material, and discharging and routing the material to the melter. It is designed to batch-convey an uninterrupted flow of hot-melt adhesives while preventing the chips from being left in the conveying line after each cycle. This eliminates the possibility of product buildup in the conveying line.

The system automatically responds to a melter's need for hot-melt glue using electronic instrumentation that senses, monitors and controls the process. When the quantity of glue in the system reaches a low level, a sensor signals a gaylord to convey stored adhesive to the melter unit. The adhesive is transported through a flexible hose and aluminum conveying line to a vacuum chamber assembly and filtered before being discharged to a convergence cone assembly.

Keeping the System Clean

The ALL-CON system filters material at various points in the conveying process to effectively screen the particle size of material flowing through the line and to minimize foreign particles from entering the melter unit. This minimizes the risk of clogging melter nozzles-a common problem experienced by most adhesive melting systems currently used for packaging applications-thus reducing cleaning and replacement costs.

At the end of each cycle, the system is automatically purged to ensure that no material buildup remains in the conveying line. A filter screens unwanted particles before being discharged into the receiving hopper, which then directs the clean material to the melter.

Undersized chips and fines are separated by a stainless-steel filter and isolated from the material being processed. These chips and fines are directed to an inline secondary filter, which is located on the vacuum power unit at floor level for easy servicing.

In addition to the system's ability to continually clean itself, it is also designed to restrict moisture entering the system due to heat transfer from the melter. This allows the chips to remain dry and prevents bonding before the glue begins to change to a molten state upon entering the melter.

Packaging Application

In the mid 1990s, ALL-CON began developing a vacuum-conveying system to transport hot-melt glue chips for a packaging application at a major U.S. brewing company. A prototype was designed and installed in 1996, and subsequent refinements were made to further improve the system's operating efficiencies. Since then, ALL-CON has patented the system, and has multiple systems operating at a number of the brewery's facilities. The hot-melt glue- conveying system can benefit others who are using or planning to use thermoplastic adhesive material in their packaging operation.

Benefits

The system is equipped with a state-of-the-art control panel that integrates sophisticated electronic controls and displays readings from various sensors in the system. It can be used with most production line operating systems for packaging applications and is extremely user friendly.

In addition, users of the hot-melt conveying system can expect to realize substantial savings in their packaging operations. These savings are a direct result of the system's ability to keep maintenance at a minimum, and to reduce downtime.

About the Company

ALL-CON World Systems is a premier systems integrator and manufacturer of automated, integrated bulk materials-handling systems, including major-, minor-, and micro-ingredient feeding, weighing, and conveying of dry-powdered ingredients. Systems are specially designed for the chemical, plastic, food and packaging industries. ALL-CON specializes in designing, fabricating and installing customized systems, including single- to multi-point vacuum-conveying systems. Its conveying systems include both dense- and dilute-phase designs.

For more information, contact ALL-CON World Systems Inc., P.O. Box 647, Seaford, DE 19973; phone (302) 628-3380; fax (302) 628-3390; e-mail: sales@all-con.com; or visit http://www.ALL-CON.com.