Bonding process analyses
Hardly any other industry is faced with such high dynamics like the food and consumer goods industry. Bonding applications are marked by frequent changes of the substrates, formats, and the surface finishing of the packaging. Nevertheless, the adhesives used have to facilitate a reliable bonding. That’s why Jowat’s adhesive changing process with a deep understanding of the specific application. The focus is on a detailed analysis of the already implemented or planned future bonding processes, the substrates used, and the system. The processor’s key requirements are determined in preliminary discussions, and later qualification tests of the adhesives are then aligned at those requirements. This is followed by an extensive advisory on the entire process cycle of an adhesive change or introduction. For that purpose, more than 30 adhesive specialists are working for Jowat in the packaging industry in Germany alone. An indication of the great value that the adhesives specialist from Detmold gives to a close customer relationship and high service quality.
Once the processes and key requirements of the processor have been analysed, individual qualification tests are developed. For that purpose, Jowat usually determines and compares the technical data of several products from its own portfolio to choose the adhesive optimally matched to the requirements of the processor. Comparative bonding tests with currently used adhesives, sample bonds and substrates, as well as other Jowat adhesive products are carried out in state-of-the-art laboratories and on equipment of the adhesives manufacturer to identify optimisation potential. A classic qualification test involves an adhesion test to ensure that the new adhesive has a good or even better adhesion than the product previously used. Depending on the situation, further evaluation can include the setting time, heat resistance, adhesion in low temperatures, or potential savings in adhesive application amount. Jowat is strongly committed to food safety. Therefore, Jowat also provides results from MOSH/MOAH testing (mineral oil migration) and NIAS analyses (non-intentionally added substances) for its products to help processors comply with food safety regulations. The adhesives manufacturer from Detmold has a specialist department, which also provides reliable responses to individual questions. Jowat has several decades of experience and the necessary know-how to facilitate a straightforward adhesive change within a short period of time.
If none of the wide range of adhesives in the Jowat portfolio meets the individual requirements, an adhesive can be developed in cooperation with processors and partner companies. To ensure optimal assistance throughout the adhesive change, the SPS (Solution Partner Support) department at Jowat cooperate closely with different manufacturers of application equipment, machines and substrates, and supports trials and process developments with adhesives as well as with know-how and processor training.
After the tests have shown that a Jowat product offers the desired optimisation potential, tests can then be started in the processor’s production environment. Here, the adhesives manufacturer has the opportunity to carry out these test runs quickly and without major production interruptions. For instance, when changing adhesives from different systems, e.g. from an EVA-based hot melt to a PO adhesive, Jowat provides pre-melters to minimise machine downtime and to make the changing process more efficient. If the test run is working optimally, the machine can continue to run with the adhesive and the change can be carried out gradually on all units. In addition to application advisory, Jowat also provides a free-of-charge technical on-site service. Experienced application engineers help to optimally set up the chosen adhesive on the machines and units and therefore to achieve excellent results.
The frequent changes of substrates and formats typical for the food industry in particular can quickly lead to an inconsistent bonding quality. To identify and correct the actual causes of insufficient or flawed bonding it is therefore essential to re-examine the bonding process and conditions, from the equipment to the adhesive. Jowat provides assistance for this as well, through production process checks and detailed error analyses, with a focus on customer-specific questions. Often, the cause is quickly found because the material of a new substrate has different bonding properties compared to the previous one. However, the adhesives used are also analysed again to rule out a possible source of error. Jowat keeps a retention sample of every product for that purpose, to facilitate comparative bonding and testing at any time. The adhesives specialist’s objective is to support processors throughout the entire process chain, to develop tailor-made solutions, and to provide a perfect bonding performance.
The article is published in the magazine 'neue verpackung 12/2018' in German language. You can download the original article down below.