So you're looking into a change in hot melt adhesive supplier or have a new application that needs a trial of hot melt. You've been sent a sample of glue from an adhesive supplier with no instructions on how to set the trial up. What do you do?
In this blog post, we'll go through 7 easy steps to walk you through your hot melt trial so you can successfully run the trial yourself to see if the glue works with your application. We've created the video below which will take you through each step, and detailed each step in the blog that follows.
1️⃣ TAKE COAT WEIGHTS
If you are not taking coat weights of your incumbent adhesive, skip straight to step 2. If you are, apply coloured masking tape to one of your products in the same places where the adhesive is applied. Then add that product to production and remove it after the glue is applied but before compression. This should allow you to remove the glue on its own in order to weigh it.
2️⃣ DRAIN THE TANK
The nextstep is to make sure that all of your current glue is drained from the system. Find the drain point of the tank, the picture below shows where this is on a Nordson tank. Then drain the glue out of the tank until around 2cm remain.
3️⃣ ADD TRACEMELT AND TOP-UP WITH TRIAL GLUE
If you have some Tracemelt, take a handful of them and add them into the tank, on top of the remaining glue. Tracemelt is blue in colour, so when it comes time to run the glue through to make sure the trial glue is all that is in the system, having Tracemelt in between will make it clear when this point occurs.
If you don't have any Tracemelt, don't worry, you can just keep a close eye on the glue as it runs through to note when the change occurs. However, there may be some overlap between the two adhesives, so we would recommend to run the glue for a bit longer to make sure all the old glue is out of the system.
Once the tracemelt is added, top the tank up with the glue that you are trialling.
4️⃣ MELT DOWN THE GLUE
Close the lid and wait until the glue is fully molten in the tank.
5️⃣ DRAIN TRACEMELT
Open the valve until the Tracemelt emerges, then close the valve. If you didn't have Tracemelt, watch until the glue changes to the new glue in the system before closing the valve.
Remove the nozzles and drain into a bucket of water until the Tracemelt and all the old adhesive is gone and the glue has completely changed colour to the trial glue.
6️⃣ SET YOUR TEMPERATURES
Make sure the temperature of the tank, hose and nozzle is set to the temperatures that have been recommended. If you are reducing temperatures by a significant amount, it may be worth reducing the temperatures in stages to make sure that all the old glue is out of the system as this can lead to blockages if it isn't.
7️⃣ OPTIMISE YOUR VISUAL FACTORY
Run your line as you normally would, with the new adhesive in the tank. Make sure that during the trial, if you have an operator card, that it is placed on the tank so that everyone is aware of the trial and the glue that is being trialled. The operator card will show the glue that is in the tank, as well as the recommended operating temperatures.
Hopefully this step-by-step guide has helped you in completing your hot melt glue trial. If you require any further assistance or there is anything else you'd like to discuss, why not book a quick chat with us now using the link below: