Seven Ways to Reduce Adhesive Costs

November 15th, 2011 by DWM Magazine

As manufacturers, you understand the economics: The rising costs of raw materials continue to drive up the price to produce adhesives. Sooner or later, adhesives manufacturers have no choice but to pass on at least some of the increased costs to you.

Under these circumstances, you likely are more compelled than ever to minimize gluing costs in your production line. Fortunately, you can take some relatively simple steps to reduce the amount of adhesive you need for bonding.

Let me begin with this caveat: While I of course encourage you to consider costs when selecting the right adhesive for the job, you don’t want to be “penny-wise and pound-foolish.” Focus on quality as well as price. You could end up spending more for a cheaper adhesive that doesn’t perform as well – and that costs you more down the road in damage control. Talk to knowledgeable adhesives representatives who understand which adhesives characteristics best suit your needs. Their expertise can help you get the glue that works for you – without compromising quality or paying more for performance characteristics you don’t need.

Beyond careful adhesives selection, you can take simple steps to reduce your gluing costs.

1) Don’t use more glue than you need. Sometimes, manufacturers apply more glue than is necessary for ideal bonding. In addition to wasting adhesive, this can actually reduce bonding effectiveness. Consult with your adhesive representative or the glue manufacturer’s technical team for recommended adhesive amounts.

2) Lower refill point on application equipment. If you frequently have to discard leftover glue at the end of the day’s production, try lowering the refill point on your application equipment to meet actual need.

3) Extend adhesive shelf life. If not using all the glue in opened drums or other containers, reseal the packaging to prevent product evaporation or clumping.

4) Check equipment pressure. Too much pressure can cause adhesive waste and ultimately reduce the life of the equipment’s hydraulic pump. Adjust settings to your specific application, and train your crew to use those settings.

5) Check and properly maintain your equipment. Recommended routine maintenance of your equipment can have a significant impact on its performance. Follow maintenance protocols to achieve top operation and reduce repair costs.

6) Water-based adhesives can offer a cost advantage. Where applicable, consider using water-based adhesives. They are easy to clean up with water and don’t require harsh – and even costly – chemicals, which can take an expensive toll on equipment over time.

7) Reuse rinse and clean-up water. Look into a system to capture and reuse equipment rinse water a couple of time times before discarding. Filtered water can be reused more frequently.

Any other recommendations for reducing gluing costs? Share your ideas here – and let’s work together to help keep the costs of high-quality doors and windows as affordable as possible.

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