Three Strikes? Graco’s InvisiPac Mistake

Why does Graco continue to make mistakes regarding hot melt machinery used in the packaging industry?

Their latest mistake is the InvisiPac hot melt system. Graco looked at technology offered with the InvisiPac, thought it was “disruptive” and ran with it thinking that their machinery would be embraced by all in the packaging industry.

They could not have been more wrong.

This InvisiPac hot melt machine was designed with the extruder concept in mind using a very small hot melt tank to minimize the temperature exposure of hot melt adhesive. Graco called this technology “tankless,” which is untrue as it has a small high-powered reservoir.

While their concept was good, Graco did not see the coming of higher quality, low-cost hot melt adhesives that resist degradation in conventional hot melt reservoirs.

Please note that Nordson tried the same concept simultaneously with the Freedom Tankless system and backed away from it quickly when they saw that the market was not embracing the product.

Hot melt systems with tanks or reservoirs are the machines of choice in the industry. They will continue to be as they are simple, reliable and economical.

Turning back to Graco and its attempts to make inroads into the hot melt machinery industry, the company has a history of failed attempts. For instance, Graco partnered with Viking, a company with an off-brand hot melt machinery  10 years ago to offer the Titan hot melt machines. These Titan machines had severe limitations and were of low quality. Graco would go onto to abandon the Viking/Titan partnership and product line, leaving many of their customers completely unsupported.

An additional example is when over 30 years ago Graco purchased a quality manufacturer of hot melt machinery called LTI. They quickly updated the product lines offered and made an attempt at taking away market share from Nordson. Even with reasonably good products, they realized that they could not quickly overtake the hot melt machinery industry and sold the company to ITW in 1992.

With their latest offering, InvisiPac, we wonder what Graco’s next foray into the hot melt machinery business will be?

All we have to say is, “Buyer beware” when it comes to smaller hot melt machines from Graco.


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