19. April 2012   5:20 pm
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL

Hi again,

I thought I would make this a brief but informative entry for anyone looking to improve their gluing process in the folding carton industry.   Here’s my top 5 ways to improve bonding performance:

1.   Present a perfectly clean surface to the glue applicator on your folder gluer.

2.   Activate difficult to bond substrates with a pretreatment step.

3.   Increase wettability of the substrate to be glued.

4.   Remove static charge prior to glue application – especially for full plastic cartons.

5.   Eliminate old technologies used in the past to achieve good adhesion – i.e. skiving, mechanical abrasion.

All of these improvements (and more) are possible when Openair plasma treatment is used inline on your folder gluer.

The first two entries are perhaps most important of all.   It’s common sense that a perfectly clean substrate will allow for better bonding results.   However, a clean surface is only part of the solution.   Activating that clean surface (by the addition of primarily Oxygen functional groups) is paramount to achieving good bonding results.   Without this activation, the surface will remain inert with no bonding sites available for the adhesive.   A plasma treated surface will provide these bond sites for adhesives allowing for a true chemical bond between the adhesive and substrate.

My next few entries will discuss these and other improvements in more detail.   Stay tuned!

Until next time,



Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
President Plasmatreat USA
Elgin, IL

Editorial April 2012

America and Canada are a truly great countries. Both regions are characterized by truly freedom loving people, both feature strong democracies despite the daily stalemates and political quabbles.  While their economies in general are powerful and have created some of the largest wealth per capita in the world, the recent 10-15 years have been marked by, in my view, myopic activities in industry: Manufacturing was given up on. With China achieving first “most favored nation status” and then later gaining access to the WTO, thus allowing for tax and duty favored imports, many manufacturing companies started to believe that they could not compete with China as well as other countries in the SE Asia region with their low wages and other low operating costs. Comprehensive new supply chain systems were set up, new operating and trading relationships were established, more and more company managers became ex-patriates. Some companies that wanted to continue producing product in North America were forced by large retailers such as WalMart to move their operations to a China location. The common crede became: Operating our production in China is the better way, there is no such future in North America.  

I disagreed from the Get-Go. I always believed that America needs manufacturing. One needs to build things to create value. Our countries cannot simply be service and consumption oriented societies. We saw what happened if when relied on the finance/banking sector alone. It created huge wealth only for a very few and when it all went wrong, we were all asked to pay the bill.

Manufacturing creates jobs at all levels, stimulates personal and professional creativity, helps shape products and processes and let us focus on the future by taking direct control. Plasmatreat works with manufacturers all over the world creating better and more productive operating environments. Here in Canada and the USA we have the potential to reclaim a top spot in the global arena of manufacturers. Designing and building product creates not only possibilities domestically but also sets the stage for successful exports. The USA in particular has been suffering from a negative trade deficit for several decades now. We need to think about reversing the flow of dollars into America not away from America. We need to support the Reindustrialization of America – we need to believe again in manufacturing. Plasmatreat together with our many industrial partners continuously are presenting ideas how to create competitive operating environments right here in North America. Our projects reach into various markets such as Solar, Medical, Packaging, Automotive and Electronics. We look foward to mastering the challenge to compete with low cost production countries, but we believe we can. Do you, too?

Till next time,