HANDS-ON: The Upgrade Saving Box Manufacturers 75% on Glue

June 21, 2018





Would you consider an easy & quick upgrade to your car's engine that would increase your fuel economy from 18 mpg to 32 mpg? 



Of course you would.


Quick Take

Valco Melton's all-electric EcoStitch hot melt glue delivery system offers control, efficiency, repeatability, and reliability over traditional pneumatic systems. Implementation of the EcoStitch has been responsible for 40%-75% in glue savings when compared to pneumatic systems at manufacturers who produce corrugated and folding carton containers. In this article, we'll take a closer look into the operating principles of the EcoStitch, how it can benefit your production lines, and some of the challenges Valco Melton has faced with educating companies about this technology.



Valco Melton may not be a household name, but I guarantee that somewhere in your pantry you've got a box that's glued closed using one of their technologies. These guys know glue. Through my conversations with their team, I quickly realized they are the type of people that you just feel comfortable trusting with your product. It's no wonder this Cincinnati-based company has been an industry leader for 66 years. Let's be honest, glue doesn't stand out as a topic that many of us think about. But when it comes to cost savings, efficiency, and environmental impact, Valco Melton is making a difference with their all-electric EcoStitch glue delivery system in an area of the industry that often goes unnoticed.


Why EcoStitch?

The electric vs. pneumatic glue delivery discussion is most analogous to the comparison of carburetor and fuel injector use in cars. Fuel injectors offer control and efficiencies that carburetors simply cannot produce. EcoStitch offers these same benefits to the box manufacturing world. How?






The Difference



Pneumatic: Variable pump pressures, Multiple nozzle sizes

EcoStitch: One Pressure, One nozzle size.








With a fixed system pressure and output nozzle, the EcoStitch dispenses glue via a solenoid-operated valve that's programmed and calibrated to deliver glue only where and when you need it. The valve is always either completely open or completely closed. This means virtually no more glue stringing between applications or material build-up on equipment. As a result, the user can methodically place glue only where and when it's needed. This is ultimately how the EcoStitch is able to deliver on its glue savings promise.



"The "if it's not broken, don't fix it" mentality is one of the biggest challenges we face with the EcoStitch. Many manufacturers don't realize they have a problem in the first place. When a production plant is used to how their line operates, the thought of an upgrade to something as seemingly trivial as their machine's glue delivery system doesn't occur and this area of potential cost savings becomes overlooked."

Aljosha Arndt

Valco Melton, Sales Manager, Northern Germany

Because most of today's box-making machinery comes standard with pneumatic glue systems, Valco Melton is faced with the challenge of communicating the concept and benefits of all-electric glue delivery systems to companies that otherwise feel their equipment is meeting their expectations. This means that they have grown accustomed to dealing with things like glue stringing, high frequencies of machine downtime, and a relatively high consumption of glue.



In this slowed-down video, the EcoStitch can be seen dispensing 10 small dots of hot melt glue in place of a traditional bead. With this approach, a manufacturer can meet or exceed the bond strength of their original pneumatic process. Due to the considerable reduction in glue usage, the Ecostitch provides an immediate savings on every box produced.




Will it work with my glue?

Packaging glue viscosity comes in at around 800-2000 centipoises (cP). Valco Melton suggests that the benefits of electric valves shine in this range and all the way up to about 7000cP. Through their research, glues beyond 7000cP tend to prematurely wear their electric valves. As long as you're in the business of gluing boxes, the EcoStitch will work with your glue.


Does it fit my machine?

Valco Melton's EcoStitch was designed specifically for retrofit applications to the most common and widely used box making machinery.


What's this gonna cost me?

ROI is most always less than 1 year. In a recent case, the total investment cost for a plant transition was just 10% of the total yearly glue savings. Savings vary by application and typically come in at around 40%-75% reduction in glue alone.


But how long does it take?

Most conversions take place during scheduled machine downtime and often take anywhere from ½ day to 2 days to install, test, and ramp-up to production rates.


Talk To The Pros

Reach out to the knowledgeable team at Valco Melton.


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Heevit is a full-service packaging design and supply company based in Ventura, California.