The heart of a fully automated production line for formulating, dispensing and applying adhesives
A major chemical and consumer goods company in Germany has commissioned Füll Lab Automation GmbH to design and build a system that will fully automatic dose, mix and apply to produce new adhesive formulations for a wide range of applications.
Füll Lab Automation GmbH is a German company known for its innovative automation solutions for high-throughput research and development and quality control of liquid, powder and viscous materials. In addition to standard modules, the company also develops customized solutions. The systems are suitable for a wide range of applications and industries, including paints and coatings, cosmetics, chemicals, adhesives and sealants, and crop protection.
When those automation systems also involve mixing difficult materials such as adhesives and sealants, Füll Lab Automation works with Hauschild Engineering. The family-run company has been the global industry leader in laboratory mixing equipment with centrifugal technology for nearly five decades. Developed in-house by Hauschild and manufactured in Germany, the "Hauschild SpeedMixer" is used in laboratories in research and development work, as well as in companies that require small batch mixes in quality assurance or for short production runs. Within minutes and without the use of stirring tools, it mixes different liquids with pastes/powders, pastes with powders, powders with powders even of different chemical and physical properties without bubbles. The weight and volume of the mixing results range from a few grams or milliliters to ten kilograms or ten liters.
Symbiosis of experts in handling adhesives
Hauschild, like Füll Lab Automation, is a proven expert in handling difficult materials such as adhesives. In 2021, Füll Lab Automation was assigned by a multinational chemical and consumer goods company to develop a fully automated adhesive dosing-mixing-and-filling system for an adhesive research laboratory with a staff of 500 people. Both partners agreed that the four DAC (dual asymmetric centrifugal) mixers required for the system had to be Hauschild SpeedMixer. Together, the two companies optimized the interaction of their inventions: The Hauschild SpeedMixer work with the "BLS syringe" patented by Füll. With this technology, a direct application of the mixed formulation is possible without decanting and cleaning. When mixing adhesives, this is a significant step in process simplification and acceleration.
Mechanical accuracy allows access with a robotic arm
Three of the devices integrated into the automation system are Hauschild SpeedMixer of the new SMART generation with vacuum option and robotics capability. Thanks to their extremely precise control and mechanics, these mixers can stop the mixing cup with centimeter accuracy, thus ensuring access by means of a robotic arm.
The system includes 21 active stations over a length of ten meters and a width of four meters. In this system, a wide variety of adhesives are formulated fully automatically in various containers and applied loss-free to sample carriers so that coated substrates or manufactured adhesive test specimens can be scientifically investigated further. The system relieves chemists from manual sample handling and being able to carry many samples, the research laboratory gets a solid basis for statistical evaluations. In this way, new and also customized adhesives are always being developed for a wide range of industries."
"The core competencies of Füll Lab Automation and Hauschild Engineering complement each other perfectly," says Fabio Boccola, Managing Director of Hauschild Engineering. "In automation projects, handling adhesives and raw materials for adhesive production requires a high level of know-how and experience. Raw materials and their consistencies range from powdery, solid, paste-like or highly viscous to liquid. You need to find a handling process that allows as many different formulations as possible from these raw materials. We know how to mix them bubble-free and homogeneously, Füll Lab Automation knows how to dose and fully automate the individual process steps. Together, we have created the perfect solution for automated adhesive development."