Graco’s pioneering technology in updated proportioner systems such as the Graco ExactaBlend AGP offers many benefits to the insulating glass and curtain wall production industry.
New proportioner technology addresses many drawbacks of existing systems, such as adhesive dispense accuracy, operational difficulty, material waste, frequent maintenance and repair, high initial capital costs, and lengthy equipment lead times.
This new technology offers improved real-time ratio assurance, reduced material usage and enhanced tracking of key information, meaning an improvement in final product quality and a decrease in both material cost and production time.
New systems are feature-rich and designed to provide more accurate dispensing, proper mixing, and streamlined user experiences. Intuitive user interfaces allow operators to set up systems and make ratio changes with the touch of a button. Operators can make ratio changes during production, allowing production to continue even when material requirements vary. In addition, new proportioners can be programmed so that only operators with proper authorization can make ratio changes. New, digital systems change the way operators interact with the proportioner, and vastly improve control over the system. With a few touches of a button, the operator can change the system’s mixing ratio, verify the proper calibration and review material consumption information.
Real-time ratio monitoring can be incorporated into the proportioner system with failsafe measures that automatically shut down the system if off-ratio conditions exist. This technology, pioneered by Graco in its ExactaBlend™ AGP product, prevents off-ratio material from being dispensed onto the curtain wall or insulating glass product. When material is correctly mixed and dispensed on-ratio as intended by the material manufacturers, the end results are not compromised, and glass manufacturers are more confident in the end quality of their products.
Ratio monitoring technology can be paired with other data tracking, allowing operators to monitor material usage, view error reports, and analyze other key data. Collectively, these technologies allow operators to dramatically reduce waste.
New proportioner technology also affords waste reduction benefits due to a reduced amount of material lost in base purges. Existing proportioners require base purges as often as twice a day. The material lost in these base purges can add up to more than 3,500 pounds (1600 kg) annually. New proportioning systems significantly reduce the amount of material lost during base purges, leading to savings of up to $6,000 a year.
Improved mixing technology has also been incorporated. The Graco MD2 Valve and tri-Core mixer, for example, offer high pressure, high-flow mixing and dispensing of multiple component materials. While the proportioner systems provide variable ratios between 6:1 and 14:1, the applicators can perform at flow rates up to 4,000 grams per minute.
To avoid system downtime when running out of adhesive, new proportioners offer advanced notification to operators, allowing them to prepare to replace the adhesive supply ahead of time, increasing production throughput and maximizing productivity.
Proven pump technology, specialized hoses and other improvements have increased the reliability of the newest proportioner systems. Standardized components have been incorporated in some systems, such as in the Graco ExactaBlend AGP, leading to shorter repair times and reduced expenses.
Even with all of these advancements, proportioners like the Graco ExactaBlend AGP often cost far less in initial capital investment than those of previous generations. New proportioners cost less to operate and maintain, and they may also have shorter lead times for initial delivery than previous products, allowing more flexibility for operators who need new or additional systems in a short time frame.
Graco, a world leader in fluid handling products and systems, is committed to improving quality and efficiency when using adhesives in the glass industry