Online training technology can simplify specialty packaging systems for end users.

Specialty packaging for epoxies and adhesives has been available for over 30 years. The immense popularity of specialty packages is testimony to the complete acceptance of their use.

Gone are the days of pints, quarts, gallons and drums as the only methods for receiving your materials. Measuring out precise amounts of catalyst to add to your carefully weighed-out base to ensure a proper mix ratio is no longer necessary. Today, most epoxy applications in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, industrial, and medical fields depend on specialty packaging.

No matter the style of specialty packaging you choose for your material, the value added is unsurpassed; you can control cost, ensure a proper mix ratio, eliminate safety issues, and maximize material shelf life by protecting material from moisture and ultraviolet (UV) exposure.

A New Training Technology

Training in the use of all styles of specialty packaging is now just a mouse click away. As users of epoxy systems retire and/or new hires come on board to accommodate new business, the need to effectively train each new generation of workers becomes more demanding than ever. Even people with years of experience in chemistry and/or chemical applications must start over again when encountering the complexities of specialty packaging. To meet and support this constantly changing environment, technology is again coming to the aid of the industry.

In this world of online video conferencing, monthly online meetings between users and suppliers have now become a reality and are a vital part of the training matrix. Video conferencing technology, such as webcams on computers or laptops (and now even on smartphones), allows employees to hold online face-to-face meetings without leaving their offices. All aspects of specialty packaging use—from dual cartridges and frozen syringes to flexible divider pouches—can be visually demonstrated at the convenience of both parties.

Identifying Solutions

Even the best-trained crew may evolve over time, changing procedures ever so slightly and creating unintentional quality issues that need to be addressed in order to avoid more serious problems in the future. Video interfacing can capture the application at the time of execution, thereby exposing the problem in real time before it escalates to more serious downtime or a complete production shutdown.

For example, a frequent user of Adhesive Packaging Specialties’ A-Pak® system was finding inconsistencies with their mixed material. Using their laptop with its web camera, a video conference was set up. Our technical expert was able to watch their mixing procedure on the production line only moments after the inconsistencies were found. After only a few minutes of watching the process, it was determined that the mixing time had been reduced to below the minimum recommended level of strokes in order to speed up production time. The lack of mixing compromised the bond and the cure. Our technical expert was able to recommend that the mixing time be increased by 15 seconds, which instantly eliminated the problem.

In another instance, an urgent call was received from an international client because their frozen syringes were not keeping their pot life after thawing. The temperature control indicator that was received with the package indicated that the temperature was maintained at -40°C during shipment. Using a smartphone, the client was able to provide technical experts with a virtual tour of their lab and freezer equipment. When they showed the instruments reading the freezer temperature it was determined that the freezer was not maintaining the required temperature of -40°C. Our experts explained that the stability of the product can change if the -40°C rule is broken. The customer had their freezer repaired, which eliminated the pot life problem with future orders.

One final example of successful video training took place when a new customer was having trouble loading a barrier-style cartridge onto a mixing machine. After spending an entire day trying to figure it out on their own, they finally sent an email to a customer service representative asking for assistance. Within moments, a brief video showing how to load the cartridge and operate the machine correctly was recorded and emailed to the customer.

A Useful Sales Tool

In our personal lives, technology such as smartphones, laptops and iPads allow for constant visual communication with the party of our choice. As a sales tool, these technologies enable a more rapid expansion of an effective sales force that was previously limited to salespeople with a minimum of one to two years of experience in custom packaging. From custom quotes to detailed analysis of the application, the answer is always available at a salesperson’s fingertips with today’s technology. Clients have complimented the speed of response to their questions, and, in turn, the packager is rewarded by achieving a closer relationship to multiple companies on an ongoing basis.

The dynamics of the specialty packaging field are always a challenge. Conquering the communication bridge through video interfacing will help propel the success of this industry into the future.

About APS

Adhesive Packaging Specialties, Inc. (APS) custom packages one- and two-component adhesives, sealants and resins, including acrylic, anaerobic materials, conductives, epoxy, polysulfides, polyurethanes, UV-curable, and other polymers. Since 1977, APS has remained dedicated to the highest quality and customer satisfaction in packaging. Customers include both formulators and end users in a variety of industries. APS’ packaged products are used in diverse applications, including aerospace, automotive, construction, electronics, medical, micro-electronics, military and telecommunications. In 1995, APS became the first company in its industry registered to the ISO 9002 standard. Since then, the company successfully upgraded to ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 9001:2008 registrations. In addition, the AS9100C Standard has been added to the quality system to better serve the aerospace community.

For more information, contact Adhesive Packaging Specialties, Inc. at 103 Foster St., Peabody, MA 01960; call (800) 222-1117; fax (978) 532-8901; email; or visit