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OptiBond Solutions for Adhesive Optimization

Case Study: Frozen Foods Packager Realizes 48-percent Adhesive Savings

Nordson Corporation

Innovative Equipment and Dispensing Technology Delivers Cool Savings on Hot Melt Adhesive
Decreasing adhesive availability and increasing adhesive prices makes it more important than ever to minimize excess glue dispensed on primary and secondary packages.
Background A leading global supplier of frozen vegetables and appetizers to consumers and restaurants, on a mission of continuous improvement, sought to optimize their adhesive use in order to mitigate rising costs and predicted future adhesive shortages. Adhesive optimization would include the elimination of any excess adhesive applied to cases. However, any reduction in adhesive volume must not compromise package integrity or bonding security. The company has a total of three packaging lines and determined to employ a structured, step-by-step approach, learning and building on each success. 1. Begin with the smallest of the three lines, reduce adhesive applied per package. 2. Measure and document test results to determine the optimal amount of adhesive per package.
Simple EVA Standard EVA PAO

5 4,5 4 3,5


3 2,5 2 1,5 1 0,5 0 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

3. Calculate the total adhesive savings and return on equipment upgrade investment. 4. Build on knowledge and success of the first packaging line to determine potential adhesive savings on the two larger lines. Benchmarking In 2009, the company began documenting adhesive applied per package, to one-thousandth of a gram, on the smallest of its three production lines.
5 4,5

Correlation of Adhesive to Petroleum Prices



R2 = 0.9176

4 3,5

Adhesive Price Index




3 2,5 2 1,5


Simple EVA Standard EVA PAO


1 0,5

140 50 70 90 110 130 150 170 190 210

0 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Petroleum Price Index

However, simply or arbitrarily reducing the amount of glue applied to each package can result in inconsistent and inadequate bonding and pop-opens that are unacceptable in the highly competitive frozen foods business. Few packagers could achieve the precarious balance required to maintaining package integrity and reduce material costs without increasing downtime and replacement parts costs, until now.

Sixteen hot melt adhesive beads were applied to each carton as follows: Eight beads to the two top flaps (4 beads on each flap); eight beads on bottom flaps (again, four each to two flaps). Top flaps received up to 100 mm long beads, 15 to 18 mm in width. Bottom flaps received up to 105 mm long beads, 15 to 18 mm wide. Total amount of adhesive applied to each carton was 6.232 grams . With an EVA hot melt adhesive cost of $ 6.16 per Kg / $2.79 per lb, the hot melt adhesive cost for each 1000 cartons sealed totaled $38.39. Adhesive was applied with circa 1980 Slautterback adhesive melters and guns.

The adhesive dispensing guns were replaced with Nordson SureBead reduced cavity, self-cleaning pneumatic guns. The service life of SureBead guns, compared to older pneumatic hot melt adhesive guns, easily mitigated the increased on/off cycling of the guns -- resulting from dispensing shorter intermittent beads. The self-cleaning guns also reduced downtime and parts costs typically associated with gun maintenance and module replacement. Results Glue weight per carton after was reduced from 6.232 grams/carton to 3.30 grams/carton, significantly better than the original target of 4 grams.

Evaluating for Improvement Nordson representatives studied the cartoning operation, assessing adhesive bead diameter, bead height, length and total volume. On-site tests were conducted to determine the precise amount and placement of adhesive required to securely seal the cartons without excess adhesive or waste. Adhesive penetration, fiber tear and overall bonding integrity were inspected to assure the elimination of popopens and partially or insecurely closed cartons. Nordson recommended that total adhesive per carton could be reduced from 6.232 grams to between 3 and 4 grams. Implementing Change With the criteria for success set for attaining the same bond quality and a reduction of over 2 gm per carton, the long, continuous adhesive beads were replaced with shorter, modulated, intermittent beads. With multiple, equidistant spaces between the intermittent beads, the total length of adhesive bead(s) was reduced from 100mm to 85mm on the top flaps and from 105mm to 90 mm on the bottom flaps.

Adhesive cost per 1000 cartons was reduced from $38.39 to $20.33, a savings of $18.00 per 1000 cartons/$108.00 per day and $26,000 per year, a savings of nearly 48 percent. Detailed results appear in the table below.
Line 1 Before Adhesive cost Line volume Adhesive per carton Adhesive savings per carton Adhesive cost per 1000 cartons Adhesive savings per 1000 cartons Cost per day $230.34 $108.36 $4,606.80 $2,167.20 $55,272.00 $29,275.20 $26,006.40 48% $2,439.60 $38.39 18.06 121.98 $6.16/Kg ($2.79/lb) 6,000 cartons/day 6.232 g 2.932 g $20.33 3.30 g After

A Nordson EPC-15 pattern control was added to the line, providing the ability to modulate the adhesive beads.

Savings per day Cost per month (20 days) Savings per month Cost per Year Savings per year Percent savings realized

Leveraging Success Following first packaging lines success and savings, Nordson was asked to benchmark and evaluate the companys two larger lines. With the assurance that similar savings is easily attainable, the packager readily invested in the same equipment upgrades needed to apply optimized intermittent beads in place of conventional continuous beads. Equipment installation was completed in late 2011. Projected savings of 44 percent and 46 percent are detailed in the table below.
Line 2 Before Adhesive cost Line volume Adhesive per carton Adhesive savings per carton Adhesive cost per 1000 cartons Adhesive savings per 1000 cartons Cost per day Savings per day Cost per month (20 days) Savings per month Cost per year Savings per year Percent savings realized $32.73 After (Projected) Before Line 3 After (Projected)

$6.16/Kg ($2.79/lb) 14,000 cartons/day 5.314 g 2.314g 3.0 g

$6.16/Kg ($2.79/lb) 14,000 cartons/day 5.548 g 2.014g 3.0 g




$14.25 $458.22 $258.72

$15.70 $478.52 $258.72

Optimizing adhesive bead diameter, height and volume and replacing long adhesives beads with shorter, intermittent beads is a strategy that can help packagers face the challenges of rising adhesive costs and decreasing availability. To learn more about OptiBond Solutions and how you can get more out of your adhesive, please click here or contact Nordson at 1-800-683-2314.

$195.50 $9,164.40 $5,174.40

$219.80 $9,570.40 $5,174.40

$3,990.00 $109,972.80 $62,092.80 $47,880.00 44%

$4,396.00 $114,844.80 $62,092.80 $52,752.00 46%

Nordson Corporation 11475 Lakefield Drive Duluth, GA 30097 (800) 683-2314 nordson.com

PKL-12-5732 2012 Nordson Corporation All Rights Reserved Nordson reserves the right to make changes without prior notice

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