Hot Melt Adhesive versus Tape for Case Erecting and Sealing

The debate regarding the use of tape versus hot melt adhesive continues to this day. Both products offer advantages over each other.

Following are the features that should be taken into account when choosing between the two:

– Hot melt adhesive typically is 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of packaging tape.
– Hot melt systems are more expensive than tape machines to purchase and operate.

Production Speeds
– Hot melt is used extensively for high speed case and carton assembly.
– Hot melt systems can run continuously
– Tape is used for slower intermittent case erecting and sealing.
– Many tape systems stop the line for roll changes.

Typical Packages
– Hot melt offers structural strength to a box and is important for heavy packages or long term bonds that will be taxed in shipping.
– Tape does not offer structural benefits to the box and is used for the packaging of low weight products.

Consumer benefits
– Hot melt requires that major flaps are pulled away from minor flaps.
– Tape requires removal of tape or cutting with a knife.
– Tape can seal cases better from the environment as flap seams are completely closed.

Package Aesthetics
– Cases erected and sealed with hot melt have a better appearance than taped packages

Operator Safety
– Hot melt systems process this adhesive at 300 to 350 F and, if improperly operated, adhesive can burn the operator.
– Tape machines are simple and there is minimal risk to the operator


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