Single Component Metering & Dispensing Systems Comparison

Precision Metering Systems: The Challenge of Choosing

Successfully dispensing a single-component sealant or adhesive hinges on choosing the correct system. Factors such as shot size and flow rate, material properties, and manufacturing style need to be considered in order to choose the best dispensing solution. Graco sealant and adhesive metering systems provide precision dispensing control of single-component materials. Each product provides a unique solution to fit a range of single-component dispensing challenges.
 

1K Comparison Chart

 


PGM


PCF


E-Flo iQ

Continuous Fluid Delivery
Intermitant Fluid Delivery
Low-viscosity or Pourable Materials
High-viscosity or Non-flow Materials
Minimum Flow Rate 30 cc/min. 6 cc/min. 10 cc/min.
End Effactor Weight 28-60 lbs (13-27 kg) 0.11 lbs (<0.5 kg) 0.11 lbs (<0.5 kg)
Fluid Temperature Range Ambient - 400˚F (204˚C) Ambient - 400˚F (204˚C) Ambient - 158˚F (70˚C)
Hot Melt Materials* * *
Glass Beads and Fillers
Closed Loop Flow Control
Metering Principle Gear Fluid Regulator & Flow Positive Displacement
Maximum Fluid Pressure 2500 psi 4500 psi 4000 psi
Feed System Common or Dedicated Common or Dedicated Dedicated
System features and performance can vary depending on the material and application. Contact our experts for a recommendation suited to your production process. *Hot Melt Materials would require Therm-O-Flow Hot Melt Supply Systems
       

Shot Size and Flow Rate

One of the first things to investigate is the dispense shot-size and flow rate. Some applications require small amounts of adhesive weighing only a gram while others may require a continuous flow of several gallons per minute.

Graco’s Precision Gear Metering System (PGM) is designed for pulse-free application of viscous fluids. The heart of the PGM is the Gear Meter, a style of pump that rotates two gears together to create pressurized cavities of fluid that move toward the outlet valve of the system. The PGM is a reliable and versatile solution to dispense small shot sizes all the way up to continuous flow.

Another to consider is the Graco Precision Continuous Flow System (PCF). This system is designed with closed-loop pressure and flow control and has advanced algorithms to quickly adjust flow rates on the fly. This fast-acting response allows the system to dispense very small shot sizes with certain fluids. Because of the automatic adjustments made by the algorithm, the PCF is a good solution for dispense applications that require a variety of shot sizes and flow rates.

The E-Flo iQ is Graco’s positive-displacement metering system that uses a precision servo-driven electric motor to drive a fixed volume piston pump. The advanced control of the electric motor allows the system to dispense accurate flow-rates from low to high. Smart pump changeover control eliminates pressure winks and leads to smooth and consistent pressure and flow at the outlet.
 

Material Properties

One of the most important factors to consider is which type of technology is most compatible with the fluid that will be pumped through the system.

The PGM is a great solution for thicker materials that do not have abrasive fillers. This system also has heat capabilities to help control viscosity and improve shot repeatability.

The PCF is a versatile solution for thicker materials, and has the benefit of being low-shear. PCF’s components can withstand a variety of fillers, whether they are fragile (balloons) or abrasive, and also has the capability to heat the material.

Finally, the E-Flo iQ has a reduced number of wetted components and a modular dispense valve, making it compatible with most material viscosities and chemistries, including some filled materials.
 

Manufacturing Style

The physical layout of the manufacturing cell and system configuration can influence the product that works best for the application.

The PGM System is comprised of a number of components including a supply pump, control panel, gear meter, and valve. Both the supply pump and control panel require electrical connectors in order to be plumbed and wired to the gear meter and valve, which are mounted on the end effector of robotic automation. The robotic technology must have sufficient payload capability for up to 60 lbs. (27 kg), and as such, will be best suited for slower dispense cycle rates and patterns.

When needing a more simplified configuration and lighter weight system, the PCF system has a supply pump, smaller control center, fluid plate, and a valve. The control center is small enough that it is usually mounted onto the cage of a robotic cell. The fluid plate is typically mounted onto the mast of the robot and the valve mounted to the end effector. The size of the PCF valve is smaller than the PGM valve and this size differentiation should be taken into account when considering the robot’s payload capabilities.

The E-Flo iQ is the simplest one component metering system with high precision available. It meters directly from the pail or drum, reducing the number of system components and drastically reduces the payload requirement of the robot. The system is comprised of the E-Flo iQ supply system, hoses, and the iQ dispense valves that mount directly to the end effector. With this self contained electric drive, fluid controls and pump; the E Flo iQ can be situated into a wide array of manufacturing settings.
 

Summary

Specifying a sealant and adhesive dispensing process can be challenging. The team at Graco is here with the products and experience to reliably, accurately, and safely dispense sealants and adhesives in all manufacturing industries. Contact our experts for further assistance in selecting a single-component metering system.

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