Valco Cincinnati, established in 1952 and based in Cincinnati, Ohio, began by manufacturing and distributing hot and cold adhesive application systems for the packaging and paper converting industry. But when they acquired the Spanish company Melton in 2006, they expanded their hot melt business. On the hot melt side however, Valco wanted to make sure the end users were not only pleased with equipment performance and reliability, but customers were able to maintain their melters and applicators in “like new condition” by cleaning the buildup from glue residue and reducing maintenance. Andy Karel, Valco Melton’s Northern territory hot-melt product specialist, was often asked by customers how to properly maintain hot-melt equipment and effectively clean the residue. And it’s a question Karel frequently asked himself, too, as he hadn’t yet found a cleaner that was up to the task.
While working for an adhesives manufacturer, Frank Cavallo, founder of Canadian adhesive cleaner company GlueGuard, Inc., also noticed an impetus for an adhesive cleaner that could effectively remove residue without using harmful solvents. Cavallo took the feedback he heard from end users and other OEMs, like Valco Melton, and created GlueGuard, a brand that offers non-citrus- and non-solvent-based adhesive cleaning products for hot-melt, water-based, solvent-based and PUR adhesive applications. Karel and Cavallo had previously established a relationship during Cavallo’s tenure at the adhesives manufacturing company. As a result, when Karel first heard about Cavallo’s new company, GlueGuard, he decided to see how the adhesive cleaners worked on Valco Melton’s hot-melt equipment.
“Before GlueGuard, we offered a purge product to clean out the hot-melt unit and that was it”, Karel says. “But when you use heavy solvents on equipment, it can eat away at the metal or the paint on the machines. When Frank started to talk to me about his product being a non-solvent, non-citrus-based adhesive cleaner, we knew it would benefit our equipment and our customers.”
Valco Melton has been recommending the GlueGuard EV60, Green HMP and Guardex products to all of its current and new hot-melt adhesive application customers.
These products work as a system. The EV 60 cleans the outside of the equipment to remove any stringy glue residue while the Green HMP cleans the inside of the system. Lastly, the Guardex product is used to coat the equipment to prevent buildup from occurring.
“Equipment OEE is improved with this cleaner, and the overall TCO for adhesive application equipment is lower when its properly maintained and cleaned,” Karel says.
One of Valco Melton’s West Coast customers uses a polyurethane (PUR) material in some of its applications, which is known to be almost impossible to clean and remove. Cavallo says that end users either throw away and replace components that become coated in the material, or they try to chisel or blowtorch the material off. However, Valco Melton now recommends GlueGuard’s PUR60 cleaner with all of its PUR application equipment, which completely removes the material from the machine and its components.