Sure Tack Systems Helps Companies Provide Critical PPE During COVID Crisis

As the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping across the country back in February and March of this year, it soon became apparent that America’s medical community was facing a potentially serious shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Thankfully, certain factories across the U.S. — including some clients of Sure Tack Systems — began rising to the challenge early to accelerate the production of this critical equipment.

As a result, Sure Tack hot melt systems have been deployed on one of the most important fronts of the war against a deadly illness that has already claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Americans to date.

Outside Their Comfort Zone

In many cases, the companies that are now producing emergency PPE have had to completely convert their production lines and adapt to making products they were not accustomed to producing.

One such company, Mohawk Flooring in Calhoun, GA, revamped two of their facilities from making bathroom rugs to fabricating medical gowns over the course of a 10-day period. Since then, the company has utilized its Sure Tack hot melt systems to turn out hundreds of thousands of PPE products, including both medical gowns and plastic face shields.

Bart Hill, Senior Vice President of Product Development and Operations for Mohawk, tells Atlanta-based news organization 11Alive (WXIA) that making the transition to PPE was not in their wheelhouse, but that they felt compelled to do so.

“We had a fabric supplier with nothing to do with it,” he said. “I had a cut and sew facility with sewing expertise and the know-how to get these gowns together, and probably the third thing is the heart and want from all of our employees to say ‘let’s just figure out how to do it’…This is not something we had ever done before. We just tried to pivot into something that could help.”

The fabric supplier, Fabric Sources International (FSI), expresses a similar conviction that something needed to be done to address the need for PPE. Even before President Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act on a highly limited basis, FSI’s President Chris Simuro and CEO Matt Williams were contemplating how their company could help meet the growing demand.

“This is 25 times bigger than what we would have thought in the first few days because the need is that bad,” Simuro told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in early April.

Simuro and Williams surmised that one of their laminates would be ideal in the production of medical isolation gowns, and they even produced some viable prototypes — but they knew they needed to team up with another company in order to scale production. They partnered with Mohawk Flooring to do the cutting and sewing.

The first day of production, Mohawk produced 300 gowns. Once the process was in place, they quickly ramped up production ten-fold to produce at least 3000 garments per day.

How Hot Melt Systems Help with PPE Production

To provide health professionals and their patients the maximum amount of protection against microbes and pathogens like the Coronavirus, their protective wear needs to be moisture resistant, tear-resistant, and disposable.

Woven fabrics like cotton and cloth are porous and afford relatively little protection against viral transmission, although cloth masks can at least reduce the spread of contaminated droplets.

For the best protection, non-woven fabrics are the material of choice for medical-grade applications — and that’s where hot melt adhesives prove useful.

Hot melt adhesive has been a key ingredient for years in the production of many types of non-woven fabrics, including disposable diapers, household wipes, carpeting/upholstery, and medical products. Thus, when the need for emergency supplies of PPE came into view, it naturally followed that a company like Mohawk, which already utilizes hot melt in their normal manufacturing processes, would be tapped to meet the need.

About Sure Tack Systems

Sure Tack Systems takes the expediency of hot melt adhesives to the next level by offering a wide array of user-friendly application systems designed to make the product assembly process faster and easier for facilities.

From automatic extrusion and spray applicators to manual extrusion and inline spray handguns, from easy-to-use supply units to a wide range of hoses and accessories, Sure Tack has the industrial hot melt tools and components that facilities need to expedite production and assembly, whether you’re in the business of making mattresses, furniture, diapers or PPE.

We are pleased and honored to have been part of the solution for filling the demand for emergency PPE during these troubling times.

To learn more about the benefits of using hot melt gluer systems and how our team can help you configure a system that is perfect for your manufacturing and product assembly needs, contact us today.

7 Industrial Hot Melt Adhesive Applications

Within the manufacturing sector as a whole, thermoplastic hot melt adhesive (HMA) systems are revolutionizing numerous industries, offering a faster-drying, safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to water and solvent-based adhesives. Manufacturers large and small have discovered that using hot melt adhesive applicators — whether automatic or manual glue guns — can streamline their production lines, reduce their overhead and even improve their products overall. There is a wide range of applications that are frankly too staggering and numerous to count. From woodworking and bookbinding to food packaging and manufacturing of non-woven fabrics, let’s look at seven of the most common industrial hot melt adhesive applications as they pertain to product assembly.

1. Furniture Assembly and Woodworking

From quick-bonding joint connections to large surface lamination, from cabinet assembly to living room furnishings, hot melt adhesive systems allow furniture to be assembled quickly and safely without the need for extended times for clamping or setting.

2. Mattress Product Assembly

Not only does the use of fast-setting hot melt adhesive greatly speed up the mattress assembly process by reducing drying times — it also has improved the overall quality and safety of mattresses today. In particular, hot melt adhesives offer mold and heat resistance — both highly valuable features for mattresses.

3. Automotive Product Assembly

HMA systems are now used at many points along product assembly lines for vehicles, including mounting the trim and interior panels, dashboard assembly, upholstered seats and more — all while reducing production costs. In addition, high-temperature HMA is a lightweight substance that reduces the overall weight of the vehicles and therefore improving their fuel efficiency.

4. Electronic Product Assembly

Nearly every electronic device in use today contains some type of HMA, including smartphones, televisions, computers, remotes, etc. Not only does it used in the casings of these devices — it also connects many of the intricate components and circuits. HMA is also flexible enough to withstand movement and jostling while keeping these sensitive components in place.

5. Book Binding

Thankfully, the days of hand-sewn leather binding are well behind us. Hot melt adhesives are used extensively to attach a book’s pages to its spine, drying quickly to speed production as well as keeping costs lower, both for the book publishers and the consumers.

6. Packaging Assembly

Not only do hot melt adhesives help improve the manufacturing process of many items — they also play a major role in the packaging industry for the items we use every day. Carton sealing is crucial for food packaging as well as other consumer packaged goods. Shipping boxes are another packaging application that often relies on HMA due to its temperature resistance and ability to endure jostling and “abuse” during transit.

7. Non-woven Fabric Product Assembly

From disposable diapers and hygiene products to carpeting and insulation, non-woven fabrics make our lives easier in a multitude of ways. HMA plays a key role in the creation of all-sorts of non-wovens because it’s able to bond the fibers without affecting their character. HMA systems also keep non-woven fabrics production costs low and output high.

Learn More About Hot Melt Adhesive Systems

These are just a few examples of the many types of industrial hot melt adhesive applications. Whatever type of products you are manufacturing or assembling, there’s a good chance that a hot melt adhesive system can make your process faster, safer and more cost-effective. The experts at Sure Tack Systems can assist you in customizing and configuring a high-performance hot melt adhesive system perfect for your needs — and we’ll even provide expert training for you and your team. To learn more about our HMA equipment, call us today at 770-926-3419.

Choosing an Industrial Hot Melt Gluer

In the manufacturing and product assembly sector, a high-speed hot melt adhesive system can help you meet large quotas at modest costs while maintaining quality control. However, hot melt systems can be configured in many different ways for a range of applications, and there are many components from which to choose. How do you determine which hot melt application system is right for your gluing needs? We’ve assembled a helpful guide to hot melt adhesive products which is worth your consideration. For now, though, here are some key factors to consider when choosing a heavy duty, industrial hot melt gluer.

Hot Melt Glue Applicators: Automatic vs Manual

One of the primary considerations with selecting hot melt equipment is whether you need automatic or manual applicators, or a combination of the two. For product assembly applications where bead and lines must be placed at precise measurements and quantities, an automatic applicator will likely be best. However, for more detailed or hand-crafted products, you may want the additional control of a manual applicator in your hand, which is similar to a hot melt glue gun. Depending on your products and assembly workflow, you may opt to use automatic applicators at certain stages and manual applicators for finishing work.

Hot Melt Adhesive Application Options: Extrusion, Spray or Slot Coating

Another factor to consider is the method of application of the hot melt for manufacturing your product — by extrusion, spray, slot coating or a combination of these. Multi-module applications are available that can switch between these, or you have separate nozzles/applicators for each method. Extrusion and spray can be applied by either automatic or manual applicators. Manual applicators are like industrial hot melt glue guns, but for the precision required with slot coating, you’ll likely need an automatic system.

Hot Melt Adhesive Supply Units

Once you’ve determined the applicators and application methods you’ll be using for gluing, you need to decide on a supply unit for your hot melt glue system. This is the melt tank that warms the glue at high temperatures and dispenses the hot melt adhesive for application. Supply units come in a variety of storage capacities with digital controls that regulate temperature and output flow. Some supply units can also accommodate multiple hoses and applicators.

Hot Melt Adhesive Hoses and Accessories

Finally, you’ll need to make decisions regarding hoses and add-ons for your industrial hot melt gluer. Hoses generally offer numerous temperature control options and come in lengths ranging between 3 and 20 feet—and depending on the size of your operation, you’ll probably need to select a variety. At this point, you can also decide on accessories like operator panel lockouts (so supervisors can regulate temperature and output); bracketry options for mounting and suspending hoses and applicators; and even foot pedals so operators can control the flow of adhesive more easily.

Sure Tack Systems provides a wide range of options for industrial hot melt gluer systems, and we can help you customize a configuration ideal for your manufacturing and assembly needs. To learn more about your options, call us today at 770-926-3419.

Hot Melt Equipment for Efficient Mattress Assembly

Among the many different ways hot melt adhesive systems can be utilized for product assembly, perhaps no industry benefits from hot melt adhesives more than the mattress industry. From laminating and joining multiple foam layers to affixing insulation, pillow tops, and non-woven fabrics, hot melt adhesives are used extensively throughout the assembly process. Even so, choosing the right hot melt equipment for efficient mattress assembly is key to making your investment dollars go as far as possible by keeping production costs down for the long term. Let’s walk through the needs that mattress manufacturers have when shopping for a high-performance, high-volume, and high-speed hot melt system.

Different Hot Melt Applicators for Different Stages of Assembly

Whether you’re bonding multiple layers of foam to each other, laminating foam and fluff or affixing the fabric finish, each stage of mattress assembly calls for a different hot melt application process. Depending on your own workflow, you may need a variety of applicators at various points along your line, along with a number of melt units and hot melt hoses. Your glue dispenser configuration may also use a combination of automatic and manual applicators.

  • Automatic hot melt adhesive applicators: automatic applicators are best suited for quick, precision applications across a larger scale. Your assembly process may require extrusion, spray or precise slot coat configurations to ensure the adhesive is applied in the right place at just the right amount.
  • Manual hot melt adhesive applicators: For smaller-scale uses (for example, for intricate handcrafted designs, or for spot application of adhesive during final inspection), you may want to have some manual application systems in place, as well. This type of hot glue dispensing equipment is most similar to the traditional hot melt glue gun style like you might see at a commercial craft store with the thermoplastic glue sticks.

How the 90-Degree Mattress Machine Uses Hot Melt Equipment

Because of the particular challenges faced by mattress makers — and because there is such a high demand for hot melt solutions in this industry — Sure Tack has designed a special 90-Degree Mattress Machine to help manufacturers streamline their production. This unique configuration consists of an “L”-shaped assembly line with automatic hot melt applicators and melt tanks along each leg, allowing the operator to apply hot glue both top-to-bottom and left-to-right without having to stop and rotate the mattress. Talk to one of our representatives to see if something like a 90-Degree Mattress Machine with an attached adhesive dispensing system would be useful to your production line.

Choosing the Right Hot Melt Equipment

Which types of hot melt equipment are best for efficient mattress assembly? That question is best answered individually, company to company. If you are a manufacturer, no doubt your process differs from that of your competitors as you have proprietary designs. For that reason, the best way to select the right hot melt adhesive equipment is by consulting with one of our team experts.

Sure Tack Systems can evaluate your workspace and your assembly process to help you determine the exact hot melt equipment you need for maximum output at each stage of assembly — from hot melt handguns and other adhesive applicators to melter supply units and hot melt hoses. To find out more about how a high-performance hot melt adhesive application system can revolutionize your workflow, give us a call today at 770-926-3419.

Hot Melt Roll Coater vs Hot Melt Spray Systems

When it comes to hot melt adhesives, technological advances have created a number of viable application methods. Two of the more prominent methods are roll coaters and wide web spray systems. Both methods have their advantages depending on the task at hand. Let’s take a closer look at each application method.

Roll Coater

Roll coaters are adept at the uniform application of an adhesive. They are designed to evenly coat a substance from edge to edge without regard to the shape of the object. This type of coating is usually able to adapt to meet precise specifications depending on the temperature of the adhesive, the speed at which the material is moving through the coater, and even the material itself. It’s most common to use a roll coater for applying an adhesive when working with paper, plastic, metal, and wood.

There is also a large selection of roll coaters to choose based on your specific needs. You may need to consider the type of adhesive you want to use, the thickness and width of the material you’re using, and the amount of adhesive you need to apply when selecting the right roll coater. In a way, this enables you to find the perfect machine. However, it also makes it difficult to move seamlessly back and forth between different projects if the width and thickness of the substrates changes.

Spray Systems

Wide web spray systems, whether fully or partially automated, are now common on assembly lines that require large amounts of adhesive to be applied to products. They are designed to spray a specific amount of adhesive over a given area. This helps to avoid wasting expensive adhesive while also saving time. On the other hand, a roll coater will always leave some of the adhesive on the surface of the roller. Spray systems are also helpful in keeping the line moving and improving overall productivity.

While spray systems can be compatible with just about any adhesive or product, they have caught on with the manufacturing, furniture, and automotive industries specifically because they ensure high levels of productivity even when large volumes of adhesive are needed. Even if it lacks the precision of roll coaters, there are great benefits of using wide web spray systems in the right setting.

As is usually the case with hot melt adhesives, choosing between roll coaters and a spray system depends on the specific task. Roll coaters can offer more versatility and precision than most spray systems. However, spray systems are easy to automate and customize for large-scale operations.

Contact us today for more information about our hot melt systems.

How to Automate a Product Assembly Line’s Adhesive System

If you are a company, big or small, that relies on the assembly line to keep your business running, making certain processes automated can be a great way to boost efficiency. While not everything can be automated, your hot melt adhesive system is one thing that can become either partially or fully automated. Here are a few of your options when it comes to making your adhesive system automated.

Spray Applicators

An automated wide web spray system can be quite useful on the assembly line when it comes to furniture, mattresses, carpet tiles, and other products that require a large amount of adhesive being applied to the product. Spray systems from Sure Tack Systems can be fully customized, holding between one and 14 modules so you can use the exact amount of adhesive that you need every time while also applying it quickly and efficiently. This type of automated system can significantly cut down on any wasted adhesive or wasted time. Sure Tack also uses inline filtration for its spray system, which prevents clogging and keeps the assembly line moving.

Extrusion Applicators

Extrusion applicators will typically use less adhesive compared to wide web spray systems, but they can still become automated. They are similar to the automated spray applicators in that they can hold up to 14 modules and have the same kind of inline filtration design that helps to prevent clogged nozzles that can hold up the assembly line. Sure Tack’s automated extrusion applicators are also capable of applying adhesive into tight spaces and can be just as effective as manual extrusion handguns. This makes automated extrusion applicators perfect for assembly lines that deal with packaging and smaller products.

Slot Coating Applicators

Slot coating applicators are always automated and have the benefit of being able to handle both a diverse range of volumes, speeds, and patterns. Sure Tack’s slot coating systems can handle anything from 1/8’’ up to 12’’ while also adapting to various speeds and customized designs. For assembly lines that operate at a high speed or have a specialized pattern for applying adhesives, an automated slot coating applicator will likely be the perfect fit and a huge help for improving the overall efficiency of the assembly line.

Contact us today for more information about our hot melt systems.

How to Increase Productivity on a Product Assembly Line

Running an assembly line is a lot like a game of solitaire. As a company, you’re competing against yourself to make the assembly line as productive as possible. A lot of times, it’s about working smarter rather than harder to increase productivity. Fortunately, there are a great many ways that companies attempt to boost productivity, regardless of the products they produce. Here are a few ways to improve productivity on the assembly line.

Review Current Workflow

Before you start thinking about making any changes, you have to know what changes need to be made. This requires an extensive review of your assembly line in which you ask a lot of questions. Do you have the right people in place and do those people have the right skillsets? When you map out your workflow, are there obvious bottlenecks holding up productivity? Do you have the right equipment or can some of your machines be updated?

Once you answer some of these questions, you’ll know if any changes need to be made. Just keep in mind that you don’t want change for the sake of change. However, if you spot problems that are a safety hazard, costing you money, or slowing down productivity, it’s worth looking into ways that you can make improvements.

Automate Hot Melt Adhesives

One area where new technology can mean drastic improvements on the assembly line is the use of hot melt adhesives. Most product assembly lines require some kind of adhesive at some point and technology has advanced to the point that skilled labor is not always required. Companies like Sure Tack Systems offer spray applicators, slot coating applicators, and extrusion applicators that are either partially or fully automated and compatible with a wide variety of industries. These systems can be relied upon to apply the right volume and pattern of adhesive every time, helping keep the assembly line moving seamlessly.

Keep Up with Maintenance

When you invest in modern equipment, it’s crucial that you also keep up with regular maintenance on those machines. You want to keep up with the recommended maintenance schedules for your expensive machines and not wait if repairs are needed. In order to maximize productivity, these machines need to be working at optimal levels all the time. If a piece of equipment breaks down or needs to be replaced, you could be looking at an extended period of downtime, which will hurt your productivity a lot more than if you just took a small amount of time to take care of routine maintenance on your equipment.

Invest in Employee Education and Training

If you start investing in new equipment, you have to make sure your employees are properly trained to use that new equipment. After all, with new technology, workers need to develop new skills. This is why it’s wise to encourage your employees to explore new education and participate in training programs. You can also hold in-house workshops to help train employees on new equipment. Even if you have fewer workers on your assembly line than you used to, it’s still smart to invest in their training so that they can develop the skill sets they need to keep the line moving at a good pace. It’s also vital that your employees can troubleshoot any problems that pop up with the new equipment so that the high-tech machines you invested in are running properly.

Set Goals, Offer Incentives

The final way to boost productivity on the assembly line is to set goals and let your workers know that they are responsible for reaching them. Obviously, these goals should be reasonable so you don’t set up your workers for failure. These goals should also be accompanied by incentives for employees who work on the assembly line for meeting and exceeding your production goals. This keeps employees accountable for their work while also motivating them to always work to the best of their abilities. Remember, happy and motivated employees will always keep the assembly line flowing.

Contact us today for more information about our hot melt systems.

Wide Web Spray Hot Melt Adhesive Systems VS Water Based

When it comes to using adhesives, there are always options. For many years, water-based adhesives were commonly used for a number of applications. However, advances in technology have helped to make wide web spray hot melt adhesive systems more prevalent. Both have their advantages and their drawbacks, so what option is best for you? Let’s take a closer look at each option.

Wide Web Spray Hot Melt Adhesive System

Hot melt adhesive spray systems have quickly gained popularity because of how efficient they are when working with a large amount of adhesive. On large-scale assembly lines, they can apply a large volume of adhesive on a particular area quite quickly, helping to keep the line moving. These systems can also be automated to help improve both the efficiency and the consistency of the adhesive application.

A number of industries have adopted the wide web spray system with great success. The automotive and woodworking industries use a spray system almost exclusively. However, manufacturing and packaging companies also use it because of how strong and quick the adhesive bonds, not to mention the overall efficiency along the assembly line.

Water-Based Adhesives

Water-based Adhesives are not quite as popular as they used to be, but they can still be reliable in certain situations. For instance, this type of adhesive is solvent free, making it safe to use in places that may not be well ventilated. Water adhesives can also be applied in a number of ways, including roller coating, immersion, and spraying. Perhaps equally important, water-based adhesives are typically more cost effective than other types of adhesives. They can also be easier to clean.

Industries that work with paper, foam, plastic, fabrics, and wood may find it beneficial to work with water-based adhesives. This type of adhesive usually forms a strong bond and has proven to be quite flexible. Water adhesives have also been shown to be resistant to both heat and chemicals, which has its advantages depending on the specific application.

Ultimately, choosing between a spray hot melt adhesive system and a water-based adhesive will come down to the specific need. Most packaging, automotive, and manufacturing operations will likely be best served using a wide web spray system. However, companies that work exclusively with fabric, plastic, or paper may be better off using water-based adhesives to get the job done.

Contact us today for more information about our hot melt systems.

Do I Need a Manual or Automated Adhesive Spray System?

Businesses in a variety of industries require hot melt adhesive spray systems for their product assembly. Often times, the biggest question is whether to utilize a manual or automated spray system. If you’re using one kind of system when you should really be using the other, it could be hurting your bottom line. Here are a few things to consider when deciding if your business will be better off with a manual or automated spray system.

How Big Is My Operation?

When choosing between manual and automatic systems, size matters. Most of the time, manual applicators are utilized by smaller companies that eventually work their way up to an automated system as they grow. When you find your business has a lot of workers and is spending a small fortune on labor costs, it may be time to graduate to an automated system.

How Tight Is My Budget?

If you’re operating on a shoestring budget, you may have no choice but to go with manual applicators. An automated system is usually a serious investment for companies. With manual applicators, you typically use less adhesive and less labor, which helps you keep your costs manageable.

How Much Precision Is Required?

Not all product assembly lines are created equal. Some require pinpoint precision when it comes to applying hot melt adhesive, and in such cases, manual spray systems are usually the best way to go. In fairness, automated systems are advanced enough to also have great accuracy and precision. However, there are times when there is no substitute for the human touch, which likely means you’ll have to stick with manual applicators.

What Are My Productivity Demands?

The debate between manual and automated often comes down to quantity. If you have high productivity demands, odds are you’ll need an automated system in order to keep up. Even with the ergonomic design of Sure Tack’s manual spray applicators, it can sometimes be difficult for workers to keep up the pace necessary to meet demand. This will be less of an issue with an automated system, which will usually provide a boost in overall productivity compared to a manual system.

Does My Product Require Frequent Changes or Complex Designs?

This will vary based on the industry and the specific product, but automated systems are usually better if you apply adhesives with complex designs or find that your needs frequently change. Automated spray systems from Sure Tack Systems can hold up to 14 modules and utilize inline technology. This makes it easy to both clean and change the applicator filters and keep things running with little downtime. If you have these kinds of needs on your assembly line, an automated system will be far more efficient than a manual one.

Contact us today for more information about our manual and automated hot melt systems.

How to Improve Hot Melt Adhesive Efficiency

For years, companies in a wide variety of industries have relied on hot melt adhesives to help manufacture their products. As the years have gone by, companies find ways to fine-tune their systems to make them as efficient as possible. Here are a few ways that you can either maintain or improve the efficiency of your hot melt adhesive system.

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative care and maintenance is always a wise choice. Yes, you will have to shut things down while you perform regular maintenance, but it’s also the best way to avoid repairs that will cost both time and money down the line. Roughly every three months, or each time you change your adhesive, you should clean your system and all of your equipment. Doing this helps you stay on top of any wear and tear to your equipment, which helps to optimize the efficiency of your system.

Use the Right Amount of Adhesive

This may sound obvious, but it bears repeating. It’s important to know how much adhesive is required for each application and then track usage so you know that you’re using the exact right amount. If you use too much adhesive for an application, you’re throwing money away and hurting the quality of your products. If you’re using less than the right amount, you’ll end up having to fix the problem later, which hurts your overall efficiency by wasting time.

Check the Temperature

Make sure you’re remaining vigilant with regard to the temperature of the adhesive you’re using. Obviously, adhesives need to be warmed to a certain temperature to be effective, but you don’t want to go any hotter than you have to. Temperatures that are too hot can lead to charring, just like low temperatures can lead to the stringing of adhesives. Either one can damage your equipment, leading to additional costs and hurting your efficiency on the assembly line.

Switch to Automated System

If you’re serious about improving your hot melt adhesive efficiency, the best thing you can do is switch to automated applicators. Sure Tack Systems offer extrusion applicators, spray applicators, and slot coating applicators that are all either partially or fully automated, helping to drastically reduce both the cost of labor and productivity losses due to human error. While automation may not work for every product, as some still need a human touch, for most product assembly lines, an automated hot melt adhesive system will be the best thing for your bottom line.

Contact us today for more information about our hot melt systems.