It might not have occurred to you how critically important packaging adhesives are to the success of your product.

Adhesives are the unsung heroes that play a key role in helping products to arrive at their destination safely, securely and in their intended condition.

Unfortunately, they are often considered as a packaging commodity, rather than a key component that underpins the quality of the product being shipped.

Adhesives are not one size fits all and treating them as such can have far reaching consequences.

The cost of using the wrong adhesive

Use the wrong adhesive and the results can be devastating; imagine an entire shipment being rejected simply because the adhesive failed and put the load’s quality and safety in question.

In today’s competitive and uncertain environment, most businesses are always looking for ways to cut costs, but scrimping on adhesives shouldn’t be one of them.

While the cost of the typical adhesive may come in around one cent per carton, the cost of using the wrong adhesive could cost the manufacturer millions if something goes wrong.  The whole pack that could be worth hundreds could be wasted.  The cost recalls and litigation can be catastrophic.

There are a number of rules to remember when using adhesives that can ensure the quality of your product isn’t jeopardised.

Get expert advice about adhesives

When selecting an adhesive seek advice from an expert who can help you match the adhesive to the outcome you want to achieve. At Stephen Miller Ltd our team has more than 50 years’ experience in end-of-line packaging solutions and can provide advice about the right adhesive for your needs.

Double check you have the right adhesive

Always double check adhesive deliveries against the certificate of consignment and batch numbers before it is put to use on the production line. Mistakes do happen and cross checking at delivery and before use will help to reduce these common errors.

Match the adhesive to the temperatures it will be exposed to

When selecting adhesives, think about what temperatures and humidity levels the adhesive will be exposed to, not only when it is used for the packaging, but also during shipping and storage.

An adhesive will react to different temperatures depending on its polymer ingredients. That means that when the wrong adhesive is exposed to, for example, high temperatures, packaging can pop open. Similarly, the right adhesive must be chosen to work in cold temperatures and low humidity, else products could be exposed to serious quality issues.

Don’t make packaging changes without considering adhesives

Packaging changes can occur for a variety of reasons from product re-brandings to cost efficiencies. Whatever the impetus, serious consideration must be given to matching the adhesive to the packaging to ensure it is a fit.

For example, changes in board require robust lab testing to determine the density of the proposed board. Without it, you may not be aware of subtle differences between the original and new board, which may require a different adhesive to ensure the integrity of the bond.

Similarly, changing lacquers and printing inks can have an affect the penetration of the adhesive. Swapping packaging and/or suppliers without proper consideration for your adhesives can have far-reaching consequences not only for your product, but for your bottom line.

Treat adhesives with the respect they deserve

It is fundamentally important that adhesives are treated with the respect they deserve, and not purely as a commodity.

Understanding their vital role in quality control puts their value in perspective, and can save your business a costly mistake.

Talking to an expert can help; the team at Stephen Miller Ltd has extensive experience in helping select the right adhesive to match the intended outcome.

We can provide advice about matching adhesives to specific temperatures and humidity levels, and can also help you select the right adhesive to match your new packaging.

For expert advice about packaging adhesives, get in touch with our team today on 01 685 2096.