Nordson Supplies Izico with Freedom Tankless Adhesive System
06 Dec 2016
*Note: This interview originally appeared in "Verpakkings Management" in November 2016. To read the original, click here.
Text by Harry van Deursen
Optimum gluing of spring roll boxes
The spring roll producer Izico, in Katwijk, changed over at the beginning of this year to the tankless adhesive systems from Nordson Benelux. The new Freedom hot melt system reduces their adhesive consumption by around sixty percent. Furthermore, it requires less maintenance and is less susceptible to faults.
The packaging process at the Izico snack factory appears to be stable, clean and well organized. The spring rolls come in a continuous flow from the production line into the packaging department and are directed to one of the four packaging lines. The relatively simple folding and gluing machines from Schut Systems form a blank into a click-lock box in which, depending on the product, two large or six small spring rolls are packed. Before the box flaps are closed, glue applicators apply adhesive to three sides of each box. Until recently, that had been a relatively wide stripe of adhesive; now, only three narrow stripes of adhesive are required. Result: A reduction of around sixty percent in adhesive consumption.
But the changeover to a more efficient adhesive system can by no means be taken for granted, says Arno de Hond, packaging area manager at Nordson Benelux. “Companies often don’t dare to make the changeover to more economical adhesive systems because they are afraid that the packaging will not stay closed properly.
“We then offer them a test installation without obligation. They are often quickly convinced that it works.”
“That’s right,” says Jim Duivenvoorden, head of packaging and logistics at Izico. “After four weeks of tests, we were convinced. I must admit that I had my reservations at the beginning. At my last company, problems were encountered with the intake of the pellets. These have now been solved.”
In March, Izico decided to buy four systems that were installed in record time by Nordson technician, Pim Driessen.
With the changeover to Freedom, Izico replaced its four old Nordson 3000 adhesive systems. That was urgently necessary, because after about twenty years’ loyal service, the end-of-life date of some of the adhesive units had long since passed. The snack producer for Beckers and various private brand labels started to look for replacements. Nordson presented the Freedom tankless system in which the external adhesive tank, a sort of giant deep fryer with a capacity of ten liters, has been replaced with a compact heating unit that heats a small amount of adhesive (500 ml) to the right temperature extremely quickly. The system draws in the required adhesive pellets from a large adhesive container with a capacity of 120 liters of adhesive pellets. The benefits of this solution include the fact that the adhesive does not have to be kept continuously at a high temperature in the tank and therefore does not age or burn. Furthermore, less energy is required as the heating temperature is reduced from 165°C to 130°C. Heating up is much quicker during starting. Standard systems take around 45 minutes to heat up, the Freedom system is operational within twenty minutes. An operator can therefore switch off the system earlier because he knows that it will be quickly ready for operation again. Thus, energy can be saved.
In addition, the operator no longer has to fill the melter tank with pellets manually. At Izico, topping up the adhesive was reduced from throwing one scoop of adhesive into the tank ten times per production shift to filling the blue adhesive storage container with 20 kilogram sacks once a week. “That also ensures minimum debris from the outside and less chance of spilling the pellets onto the floor. We need to be at the machine so little that we have filled the walking space with pallets,” says Jan Schoneveld, head of technical service.
Another major advancement is the new Nordson adhesive applicators. These self-cleaning MiniBlue II SureBead guns are, according to Geert Broos (sales manager for Benelux at Nordson) one of the fastest and most accurate adhesive applicators in the industry. “The old adhesive guns had a dispensing speed of 12 milliseconds, the MiniBlue achieves 2 milliseconds.
“It is thus possible to apply, very accurately, small quantities of hot melt to the packaging. Instead of a long stripe, you can also apply a number of small stripes or beads. Furthermore, the adhesive application pattern has become finer thanks to a nozzle with a smaller diameter [from 0.31 to 0.20 mm]. Last, but not least, a needle in the nozzle that moves at every application ensures that the gun does not become clogged.”
Beads and Stripes
Izico was just on the lookout for the ideal adhesive application pattern, says Jim Duivenvoorden. "The system has dozens of adhesive application patterns. You can choose between bead and stripe patterns or combinations of the two. It is a question of testing and finding the limits of each pattern. We finally decided on a pattern with three stripes with a fairly large gap in between." Thanks to the Nordson Spectra control system, the adhesive application system is easy to set. Every adhesive gun and every adhesive hose has a microchip that signals the status of the component to the system and with which each part can be set separately via the touch panel of the control system. “Users can draw a great deal of information from the system and can set it exactly to their needs. Now, for example, you can quite easily set the system so that the adhesive applicator starts to apply the adhesive pattern after detection using a photoelectric cell,” says Arno de Hond.
Intercol Kleefstoffen supplies the adhesive for the hot melt system. That is the same type that Izico used previously, but the company has had the form changed due to delivery problems in the feed hose. As a standard, the hot melt pellets have a pastille form, but they sometimes stuck together and then jammed in the feed hose. The adhesive supplier, Intercol, solved this problem by supplying the pellets as prills, a type of spherical beads. “The four adhesive systems now operate extremely smoothly,” says Jan Schoneveld. “The last fault dates back to the summer holidays. You almost even forget that you have an adhesive system in there.”
Group: From left to right: Arno de Hond, packaging area manager Nordson, Geert Broos, sales manager packaging for Nordson Benelux, Jan Schoneveld, head of technical service at Izico and Jim Duivenvoorden, head of packaging and logistics at Izico.