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Mastering Tray Forming with Hot Melts: A Guide for Field Packers to Ace the Repacking Busy Season

In the fast-paced world of field packing, efficiency and reliability are paramount. As the busy season approaches, ensuring your packing operations run smoothly becomes even more critical. One key aspect of this process is tray forming, which plays a crucial role in the packaging and transportation of fresh produce. By mastering the use of hot melt adhesives for tray forming, field packers can enhance their efficiency, reduce downtime, and ensure product safety. This guide will provide valuable insights into optimizing your tray forming process with hot melts, helping you navigate the repacking busy season with ease.

The Importance of Tray Forming in Field Packing

Tray forming is a vital component of the field packing process, providing a secure and stable structure for transporting fresh produce. Well-formed trays not only protect the products from damage but also facilitate efficient stacking and storage. In a high-pressure environment where time and reliability are of the essence, mastering tray forming techniques can significantly impact overall productivity and product quality.

Understanding Hot Melt Adhesives

Hot melt adhesives are thermoplastic materials that become liquid when heated and solidify upon cooling. They are widely used in packaging due to their strong bonding properties, quick setting time, and versatility. For tray forming, hot melts offer several advantages over traditional adhesives, including:

  • Rapid Bonding: Hot melts set quickly, allowing for faster production speeds and reduced cycle times.

  • Strong Adhesion: They provide excellent bonding strength, ensuring trays remain intact during handling and transportation.

  • Versatility: Hot melts can bond a wide range of materials, making them suitable for various tray types and sizes.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Their efficient application reduces adhesive waste and lowers overall packaging costs.

Steps to Master Tray Forming with Hot Melts

To ace the repacking busy season, it’s essential to optimize your tray forming process using hot melts. Here are key steps and best practices to achieve this:

1. Select the Right Hot Melt Adhesive

Choosing the appropriate hot melt adhesive is crucial for successful tray forming. Consider factors such as:

  • Substrate Compatibility: Ensure the adhesive is suitable for the materials used in your trays, such as corrugated cardboard or plastic.

  • Temperature Resistance: Select a hot melt that can withstand the environmental conditions your trays will encounter, including varying temperatures and humidity levels.

  • Setting Time: Opt for an adhesive with a setting time that matches your production speed, balancing rapid bonding with sufficient open time for positioning the trays.

2. Optimize Equipment Settings

Proper equipment settings are essential for efficient tray forming. Calibrate your hot melt applicator to the recommended temperature range for the adhesive being used. Ensure the applicator provides a consistent and even application of adhesive to avoid weak spots or over-application, which can lead to waste and mess.

3. Maintain Equipment Regularly

Regular maintenance of your hot melt applicators and tray forming equipment is vital to prevent downtime and ensure consistent performance. Clean the applicators to remove any residual adhesive buildup, check for worn or damaged parts, and replace them as needed. Scheduled maintenance minimizes the risk of equipment failure during peak production periods.

4. Train Your Team

A well-trained team is essential for mastering tray forming with hot melts. Provide comprehensive training on the proper use of hot melt adhesives, equipment operation, and safety procedures. Ensure your team understands the importance of maintaining consistent adhesive application and how to troubleshoot common issues.

5. Monitor and Adjust

Continuously monitor the tray forming process to identify any potential issues or areas for improvement. Track adhesive usage, equipment performance, and tray quality. Use this data to make informed adjustments to your process, such as fine-tuning adhesive application settings or implementing additional training for your team.

6. Implement Quality Control

Quality control is crucial to ensure the reliability and integrity of your trays. Conduct regular inspections of formed trays to check for proper bonding, structural integrity, and alignment. Address any defects immediately to prevent compromised trays from entering the supply chain.

In conclusion, mastering tray forming with hot melts is essential for field packers looking to excel during the repacking busy season. By selecting the right adhesive, optimizing equipment settings, maintaining machinery, training your team, and implementing robust quality control measures, you can ensure your tray forming process is efficient, reliable, and cost-effective. This not only enhances your productivity but also ensures the safe and secure transport of your fresh produce.

Enhance Your Tray Forming Process Today

If you’re ready to take your tray forming process to the next level, contact Lanco Adhesives. Our expert team can help you choose the right hot melt adhesive solutions and provide support to optimize your operations. Don’t let the busy season catch you unprepared – reach out to Lanco Adhesives and ensure your field packing operations run smoothly and efficiently.


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