The industrial adhesives and tapes division of 3M (St. Paul, Minnesota, USA) is evolving its bonding process centers (BPCs) in St. Paul, Minnesota; Neuss, Germany; and Shanghai, China. Against the backdrop of a growing trend toward automation in manufacturing, these centers are designed to provide a starting point from which to design and plan automated bonding solutions.
Each center helps users identify customized process solutions to bonding challenges while enabling customers to virtually access the centers for consultations and live demonstrations. Formerly known as the global adhesives solutions lab, the centers connect customers with local 3M experts, which facilitates a partnership that solves problems and optimizes processes.
To mark this evolution, engineers and experts are offering virtual consultations with customers and prospects in all three locations. These sessions highlight how the company’s growing capabilities can be applied to increase positive outcomes for manufacturing and assembly businesses. “Whether customers are interested in testing the latest innovations in dispensing and automation or are simply looking for a better tape or adhesive to bond their parts together, our scientists and engineers will work with them to identify, tailor, and design custom solutions to their production challenges,” says Taylor Harper, global business development director.
The primary benefits of automation, according to 3M, include improvements in productivity, quality, safety, and reductions in unit cost—as well as having a reduced reliance on labor. As such, each center allows customers to find the optimal combination to meet their needs, either by engaging in an interactive, remote visit, or an in-person experience. To find the right solution, 3M experts are on hand to experiment with tapes, adhesives, and dispensing options that range from powered manual dispensers to fully programmable machinery.
Additionally, the centers are accustomed to all assembly types, ranging from large surfaces to small joints and encapsulating, and offer metered one- and two-part dispensing, automated tape dispensing, hot melt technologies, and more.
“Most problems have more than one solution, and our BPC experts help customers choose the best ones for their circumstances, through one-on-one consultations on process development and improvement, opportunities to test a variety of equipment, and follow-up support beyond customers’ visits to the center,” Harper says.
As an organization worth approximately $32 billion, 3M says it invests six percent of its revenue into research and development. According to the company, the BPCs are an example of how investment into future-forward solutions can contribute to business growth and development for manufacturers.
Source: 3M, www.3m.com.