LD Davis protein glues (animal glues) have been used for game board and puzzle manufacturing for nearly 80 years. To learn more about this unique industry and glue application, we sat down with Technical Sales Manager, Kelly Benjamin, to learn more.
Can you explain a little bit, for those who may not be familiar, how glue plays a role in manufacturing game boards and puzzles?
Standard board games and puzzles are made with paper and chip board. Essentially, glue holds it all together. Glue, typically protein-based, bonds the board and laminated paper (game board/puzzle face) to make a finished game/puzzle.
Without the glue it would be impossible to set up the pieces on the 'Game of Life' board or put a paper puzzle together.
The "face" of the game board and puzzle is where the fun is!
What makes this type of glue application unique?
There are so many different puzzle and game board sizes out there. Each is completely unique. There are a variety of different coated and uncoated papers that are used within the industry.
Glues are not "one size fits all", so it's important to really take a look at the type of board and paper you're working with to make sure the glue used is the best one for the job.
Our Technical Sales and Lab teams review each application when making a glue recommendation. This way, your recommendation is truly customized to the paper and board you plan to use. The last thing you want is run glue your equipment and substrates just to find out later that the glue is not performing properly. That's wasted time, and money. Two big no-no's.
What do you see as the biggest glue challenge for people in this industry?
Not only do you need to make sure you have the correct glue for the application, but I would say you need to make sure you apply the right amount of glue on the board to make the laminated paper stick.
One important thing to note is you don't want to apply more glue than necessary, as you may start to experience issues with board warp. Chip board can be finicky sometimes. A warped board could completely ruin a game board or puzzle. You really want to avoid over-saturating with too much glue.
How does LD Davis glue help people in this industry?
We currently have a few different types of protein glues for manufacturing game boards and puzzles. It all depends on the equipment being used, speeds, and substrates.
What we like to do is visit our customers and prospects on-site to make sure they are running the glue properly. This ends up being a training session for equipment operators on glue "best practices". We run through how to use a mil depth gauge, and how to check glue solids with a refractometer, temperature recommendations and more.
We also have many free resources, like our Protein Glue Troubleshooting Guide, that are extremely useful to keep on-hand in the event that you run into any hurdles on your production line.
What words of advice would you give production teams that make game boards and puzzles?
I know glue seems like a very small part of the manufacturing process, but if the glue fails, the end product will too.
Make sure to take some time to learn about the glue you are using, and how to apply it. In the end, this will be a huge time and cost saver.