Glue Dispenser Machine Applications
Here’s a fun fact: It’s almost certain that the device you’re reading this article on was assembled using some degree of adhesive bonding. Nearly all handheld and personal electronics utilize an applied glue, sealant, pot fill or coating, as do countless other manufactured goods found in every industry. No wonder glue dispenser machines are in great demand.
Glue dispensing and applicating is a common, traditional manufacturing technique currently undergoing a bit of a revolution. It’s making its way into more widespread, automated, unique applications. For good reason: Modern adhesives are able to provide bond strengths that challenge smaller metallic fasteners, with the flexibility to be run along continuous, evenly distributed seal paths.
With today’s wide range of technical options, glue media formats and accelerated curing methods, industrial glue dispensing is the increasingly preferred choice for bonding nonstructural, lightweight materials.
The opportunities to glue so many varying products today are largely thanks to the ever-expanding number of glue media available:
- Hot melt systems utilize adhesive beads, sticks or blocks that are melted down at the point of application into fluid glue.
- Cold glue systems dispense fluid adhesives from bottles, tubes or bulk containers onto their substrates without the need for heating.
- Aerosol or spraying systems are common for coating and large contact area applications.
- Pressure sensitive adhesive systems rely on simple physical pressure to apply and activate their bond.
- Hybrid or multipart systems are available that can mix, blend and proportion different bonding agents together while applying them (such as with two-part or powder-activated epoxies).
Even with all of the options around glue media, we’re not done yet. Next, curing and setting methods come into play.
- UV curing is an increasingly popular method today which utilizes UV light waves to activate a special UV-sensitive adhesive, providing a very strong, penetrating bond that can reach full strength very rapidly.
- Thermal curing is another, more traditional method in which radiant heat or directed hot air is applied right after gluing.
- Moisture-assisted or oxygen-assisted curing can be used with special adhesives that react to a catalyst.
- Simple time-based curing is available as well, where a part is held for a preset amount of time before further processing.
Choosing from all of these above options requires a careful look at your application’s technical requirements, material types, end-use, and functional expectations. While we can’t point out one single method that is ideal for every possible use case, our goal here is instead to share insight into just how useful glue dispensing is in industrial manufacturing today, and to promote its benefits when properly automated. With that, let’s move on to application examples.
Glue Dispenser Applications
We can find adhesive bonding applications across nearly all manufacturing sectors, from the most rugged industrial equipment all the way down to your favorite footwear. Examples include:
- Automotive parts such as instrument cluster bezels, light fixtures, ornamental badges, trim pieces, rubber and fiber padding, sun visors and moldings.
- Medical devices and components including diagnostic tools, test kits, syringes and applicators, medical gas tube and fittings, surgical instruments, supportive care equipment, wearables and implants.
- Consumer goods such as appliances, personal electronics, recreational goods, home entertainment systems, toys, homewares, furnishings and decorations.
- Electronic components of all types that utilize adhesives for thermal isolation, circuit potting, hermetic sealing, battery bonding and surface coating.
- Building and construction materials including bonded wood panels, tool housings, tool handles and wear pads, millwork assemblies, cabinet frames, nail and screw gun cassettes, glass assemblies, plumbing and electrical fixtures and HVAC components.
- Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) goods such as filters, gaskets, wear padding, electrical harnesses, instrument housings, safety guards, PPE (eg. hardhats, safety glasses) and consumable replacement parts of all types.
- Textile materials including safety apparel, harsh-weather apparel, PPE (eg. safety vest reflectors and ear plug cords), architectural fabrics, technical fabrics, mats, footwear, pads and emergency response fabrics.
- General manufacturing applications that appear anywhere that gasketing, bonding, sealing, packaging, wrap binding, temporary position gluing, coating, potting and void filling can be utilized.
Advantages and Application Considerations
Glue dispensing can be tough. Poorly designed applicators, especially when used in a more manual fashion, can lead to all sorts of issues that are responsible for the bad rap that glue dispensing often gets. Most commonly we hear about issues such as inconsistent dispensing, nozzle fouling, incorrect positioning, uneven application and lots of wasted time and materials.
Still, while the downsides can be frustrating and common, the upsides are more than worth the effort and easily obtainable with a properly designed glue dispenser system.
Adhesive bonding is preferable over mechanical attachment for specific applications in which a structural joint is not needed and where low weight, lower cost and varying bond profiles are called for. In such applications, adding a layer of automation to the bonding process can all but entirely eliminate the common issues experienced by manual bonding mentioned above. Even better, automated glue bonding systems can incorporate additional benefits to the overall production process, making the jump away from manual gluing all the more valuable.
As a perfect example of such a system, we can turn to AMS’ own GC-401, a semi-standard glue dispensing and curing platform that can be dynamically adapted to nearly any modern application. Features of automated glue dispensing using the GC-401 include:
- Highly accurate dispensing and extruding nozzles.
- Equally accurate positioning system for precise glue placement.
- Real-time visual quality control using onboard cameras.
- Automatic curing via multiple available methods such as UV, thermal, time-based and forced air.
- Spot, profile, continuous bead or custom shape dispensing patterns.
- Onboard PLC and HMI controls with part recipes and fully customizable settings.
- Semi-automatic or fully automatic operation.
- Consistent glue temperature.
- Varying adhesive reservoir sizes to support long production runs without refilling.
- Integrated safety light curtains, E-Stops, UV shields and magnetic door locks.
- Compatibility with all major glue, adhesive, sealant and coating products.
- Interchangeable tooling and coloring/dying options.
- Automatic quality control documentation and tracking.
- Custom tooling for nonbonding applications such as with thread sealants, anti-seize pastes, corrosion inhibitors and more
All of the above benefits and features lead to higher productivity, fewer rejects and lower operating costs.
Automatic Glue Dispenser Solutions
AMS has experience building automated glue dispensing solutions for medical, plastic processing, consumer goods and transportation industry manufacturers.
With 99.5 percent on-time delivery, 97 percent customer satisfaction, 24×7 service and over 20 years of earning our customers’ trust, AMS is your partner for industrial automation.
To chat about your next project, book an appointment with one of our automation and glue dispenser experts.
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