Packaging and transporting your craft beer is critical, and we’ve found another tool that can help improve the efficiency of your packaging hall. Graco Advanced Fluid Dispense (AFD), a provider of fluid handling products and systems, makes the InvisiPac Tank-Free Hot Melt Delivery System, which boasts reducing adhesive costs and factory production in packaging applications. In this StarTribune article, the folks at Summit Brewing Co. endorse the InvisiPac to glue boxes of bottled beer, employing a Graco glue head that boxes pass underneath while going down the assembly line. What exactly are the benefits? We asked Graco.
“The value of InvisiPac to craft brewers is the same as the value to multi-national food/beverage companies — efficiency in manufacturing operations, less maintenance and potential glue savings,” explained Nick Long, senior global marketing manager of Advanced Fluid Dispense in the Applied Fluid Technologies division of Graco Inc. “Summit Brewing uses our systems and love them.”
With no tank char, no nozzle plugging, and warm up times of less than 10 minutes, the InvisiPac system is an alternative to traditional hot melt tanks in packaging applications, including both original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and end-user installations in the food and beverage industry.
The InvisiPac Tank-Free Hot Melt Delivery System is designed based on “a comprehensive system approach,” Graco said, which incorporates an integrated vacuum feed, tank-free melter, superior heated hoses, applicator and next-gen process control technology that provides remote system analytics. At the heart of the technology is the tank-free design, which reduces the amount of time adhesive spends at high temperatures, ultimately reducing char and degradation. Better adhesive quality leads to improved bead weight repeatability. Less char, combined with Graco’s no plug solution, means adhesive beads can be right-sized, resulting in less material waste and improved quality assurance.
With InvisiPac, operators have more choices — using less expensive adhesives when it makes sense or selecting high-grade adhesives for applications requiring premium performance. In either case, the InvisiPac System provides adhesive throughput equivalent to, or better than, many traditional hot melt tank systems, said Graco.
InvisiPac’s integrated vacuum feed system saves on labor costs by automatically pulling adhesive from a drum or bulk container based on the application’s real-time demand. Equipped with an ultrasonic sensor, the vacuum feed system continuously maintains optimum adhesive levels, keeps out paper dust and debris and improves operator safety by minimizing burn hazards and operator strain. The advanced feed system operates perfectly no matter what the form — reliably feeding chicklets, pellets, pastilles and more. Adhesive is both supplied and melted on-demand, only when needed, thus eliminating the traditional tank design than generates char and results in downtime.
An intuitive user interface tracks adhesive consumption — any operator can watch for trends and adjust accordingly to maintain the perfect amount of adhesive use for the application. The user interface also features graphics and text that make operations simple, with a single screen view of all heat zone temperatures. Straightforward troubleshooting makes it easy to get to the root of any operations issue, and the system provides USB-downloadable operating data, errors, and event history.