Adhesive Pattern Controllers 101

If you’re looking for ways to speed up your manual packaging process and are considering automated packaging solutions, you may have heard about glue pattern controllers. Yet what exactly is a glue pattern controller, and how do you know if an adhesive pattern controller would be a good investment for your business? Let’s take a closer look.

What Is a Pattern Controller and How Does It Work?

In manual packaging lines, an operator using a glue gun or other equipment may apply roughly the same pattern on every package. However, in automated packaging lines, a pattern controller essentially takes the place of the manual operator.

A pattern controller automatically tells the adhesive system to apply the same adhesive in the same pattern without needing manual intervention. Triggered by an electronic signal, the pattern controller can be used with hot melt or water-based adhesive equipment to actuate automatic glue guns.

Pattern controllers can be set to apply adhesive based on a number of variables, including:

  • Distance: The sensor senses the product and tracks line speed with an encoder, applying adhesive at a specific programmed distance interval.
  • Time: The sensor senses the product and counts between actuation intervals.

How Do I Know if My Business Needs Pattern Controllers on Its Packaging Line?

If your automated packaging process uses limit switched in series and doesn’t currently make use of adhesive pattern controllers, there’s a good chance your business would benefit from their installation. Also, compared to manually applied adhesives, pattern controllers offer consistent operation, leading to faster production times and fewer errors. Additionally, because pattern controllers provide more consistent, repeatable results, you can anticipate less adhesive consumption and waste. In fact, many businesses find that they can cut their adhesive usage between 30-50 percent!

Although they may seem complicated, setting up and maintaining pattern controllers is actually a user-friendly process that allows operators to easily tweak settings on the fly. Also, because you can save multiple patterns in a single pattern controller, you can count on one pattern controller for multiple different packaging needs.

Pattern Controllers Offer Better Results

If you’re currently applying adhesives manually or with limit switches in series, a pattern controller may offer you easier operation and more consistent results — and increase your productivity while decreasing your adhesive consumption. Contact Glue Machinery Corporation at 888-202-2468 or our contact page to learn more about pattern controllers and find out if a pattern controller would be a good fit for your business.


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