A carbon infrared heating system from Heraeus Noblelight, Hanau, Germany, has allowed one label manufacturer to more than double line speed on one of its paper coating lines and improve quality by eliminating uneven adhesive substrate patterns with colored adhesive. The system was retrofitted at the company’s factory in Scotland after on-site tests.

Smith & Mclaurin Ltd., Kilbarchan, Scotland, makes self-adhesive label, ticket and tag materials. One of the company’s products requires a water-based adhesive to be applied before a laminate is applied to the adhesive. Previously, the adhesive was dried in a warm-air oven, which sometimes caused problems when drying colored adhesives. As a result, the line had to be slowed down to about 65.6 ft/min (20 m/min).

Working to solve the problem, Heraeus supplied a portable infrared module to test on site. This proved so successful that a 32.5 kW system equipped with five carbon medium-wave emitters was installed immediately before the existing warm-air heaters. The emitters are individually controlled so they can be switched on and off according to the coating weight. They create an initial burst of energy at the wet adhesive, eliminating spotting.

The system has allowed the company to double its line speed for that process.