Adhesive Dispensing Systems

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Nordson Visits JM Schmitt in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler

03 Mar 2017

Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany

*Note: This article originally appeared in "Verpackungswirtschaft" in December 2016. To read the original, click here.

 

Precise inside gluing of round cans

As a well-known manufacturer of combination cans and diaphragm capsules of all different types and dimensions, plus mailing tubes and cardboard cores, J.M. Schmitt GmbH & Co. KG (JMS) must continually adapt to a myriad of customer requirements. Part of ensuring the necessary flexibility is specially designed hot melt applicators from Nordson, used for example to hold shaker inserts in place.

Founded in 1927, the family-owned and operated company with headquarters in the Heimersheim part of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany produces an annual volume of about 35 to 40 million units, the majority of which are round cans made of solid board with aluminium lining. The company currently has about 50 employees. Three systems are available for wrapping, cutting and labelling the cans. For the one-sided sealing with lids or diaphragms, during final processing, ten lines are available.

Round containers generally have a wall thickness of 1 mm. Thicknesses of 0.8 mm or 1.5 mm are requested very rarely. The internal diameter normally varies between 40 and 117 mm. Heights range from 65 to 230 mm. After delivery, the cans, which are usually still open on the bottom, are filled by clients from various industries with contents ranging from spices and salt to soups, sauces or even tobacco.

Exports account for a considerable amount, about 40 percent. International sales regions include the Benelux countries, Switzerland, Austria, France and the Czech Republic, as well as Asia. The packaging producer considers it very much a competitive advantage to also be able to produce small series of 5,000 units or more.

Specially designed dispensing applicators

The range of products is correspondingly diversified, the more so as the cans designed to be filled with granulated material such as spices or salt are also fitted with shakers. Special dispensing applicators were developed in collaboration with Nordson Corporation to ensure proper fastening of the dispensing aids (made of plastic) by means of hot melt.

JMS had already been using hot melt systems from the US adhesive technology specialist with European headquarters in Erkrath, Germany for a long time. Recently it became necessary to replace the applicators, most of which had become outdated by then. After a short planning phase they proceeded with the modernization this past August.

It was clear that standard applicators would not be adequate for applying a hot melt adhesive bead all around the inside on the top of cans without complications. Because of this they chose MiniBlue II series pneumatic applicators equipped with a ball-and-seat module and a SP solenoid valve. The applicators have a body individually designed to take into account the diameter of the can. A horizontal version with the nozzle at a 90-degree angle is now being used for smaller diameters, while a vertical model with a straight nozzle is used for larger diameters.

Faster and more durable The new applicators are also greatly superior to the old heads in terms of working speed. While the old heads did reach a switching time of just 18 milliseconds, the MiniBlue II series, introduced a few years ago, the winner of the German Packaging Prize and often referred to as the "non-stop sprinter", achieves a minimum switching time of only 2 ms. Depending on the type of hot melt, the service life is more than 100 million cycles. The two types now in use at J.M. Schmitt for round packaging apply a narrow, continuous adhesive bead.

The hot melt is prepared and supplied by reliable ProBlue systems in sizes 4 and 7. With an eye to flexibility in production, the JMS engineers devised a design that is at once simple and clever. The melters are not permanently installed at the respective machines. Instead they are mounted on a movable frame. They can be brought to the relevant system as needed, where they are quickly and easily connected with the hoses.

Numerous advantages

Rainer Schmitt, technical director of the Heimersheim plant, is extremely pleased with the conversion and summarizes the advantages of the new dispensing applicators as follows: "Above and beyond the low cost of procurement compared to previous applicators, other key positive aspects are the shorter switching times and longer service lives. The reduced energy requirement, due in no small measure to faster heating times, should also be highlighted. The heads make it possible to reduce the preheating temperature from 190° C to 150° C."

He also had praise for the good support and competent consulting by Nordson's field service as represented by Area Sales Manager René Bartsch and Service Engineer Bernd Cichowski, who drew on over 30 years of experience to offer crucial ideas to help implement the special design of the dispensing gun practically. By the end of this year all dispensing guns will be completely converted to the special design of the MiniBlue II models.

 

Image captions:

Responsible for planning and implementing the innovative inside gluing for round cans: Rainer Schmitt (center), technical director of J.M. Schmitt GmbH & Co. KG, with René Bartsch (right), area sales manager of Nordson Deutschland GmbH and Bernd Cichowski, service engineer at Nordson

One of the stations for applying shaker inserts

A MiniBlue II series hot melt dispensing gun specially designed for J.M. Schmitt round packaging

The shaker is fastened onto the top of the can with a bead of hot melt around the entire inside diameter