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Like some manufacturers in the United States we sell a high quality, high performance product which in turn does not make us the cheapest out there. Our protein glues (animal glues) are sold per pound so some customers look at that per pound price and say, in a cost cutting effort, let’s try the low cost/low quality brand instead.  What they soon find out is they didn't save money and all glues are not formulated the same.

Recently, one of our customer’s corporate procurement managers had their employees at the plant level switch to our low cost competitor.

This low cost glue provider does sell their product at 10% to 20% lower than LD Davis, costing them $300.00 less per skid than a skid of our glue, but that does not tell the full story.  

We were present at a trial for this very large bookbinding customer that we had lost to this low cost, low quality glue provider. On paper our competitors glue was less expensive per pound, so switching to them seemed like a good business decision.  

When comparing the two glues side by side, the customer was using 12 mils of the competitor’s glue. The amount of LD Davis glue that was needed for the same application was 2 mils. This was measured with a mil depth gauge

Not only is the customer using more glue for their application, but they also have to consider the implications of using more glue which can lead to board warping.

The issue of warping increases as more mils are applied on the glue roll. The more glue applied means that more moisture is applied to the very dry board.

By reducing the case making glue film thickness to < 2 mils the amount of moisture exposed to the board is reduced. If the solids content is 50% then for every 1 mil of glue added to the film the board is accepting 50% more moisture. This increases the opportunity for warp.

Therefore the less amount of glue used, the less likely you will have a problem of board warping.

Reducing film thickness will save your business money. Every 1 mil of glue added to film thickness increases the amount of product used by approximately 3.8 lbs. per thousand cases produced.

Mil Comparison - Cases Made Per Skid of Glue

Glue film thickness on a sheet measuring 7.75 X 11.125 for a run of 5,000 pieces

         @ 1 mil = 18.7 lbs.  of glue used   = 1 skid makes 534,759 cases

         @ 2 mil = 37.4 lbs.  of glue used   = 1 skid makes 267,379 cases

         @ 3 mil = 56.1 lbs.  of glue used   = 1 skid makes 178,253 cases

         @ 4 mil = 74.8 lbs.  of glue used   = 1 skid makes 133,689 cases

         @ 5 mil = 93.5 lbs.  of glue used   = 1 skid makes 106,951 cases

         @ 6 mil = 112.2 lbs. of glue used   = 1 skid makes 89,126 cases

         @ 7 mil = 130.9 lbs. of glue used = 1 skid makes 76,394 cases

         @ 8 mil = 149.6 lb of glue used    =  1 skid makes 66,845 cases

         @ 9 mils = 168.3 lb of glue used   = 1 skid makes 59,419 cases

         @ 10 mils = 187 lb of glue used     = 1 skid makes 53,479 cases

         @ 11 mils = 205.7 lb of glue used = 1 skid makes 48,614 cases

         @ 12 mils = 224.4 lb of glue used = 1 skid makes 44,563 cases

 So what does that mean?

In this scenario, our glue was .95/lb. therefore a 2,000 lb. skid made 267,379 cases. Our competitor’s glue, which was priced at $.80/lb. for a 2,000 lb. skid, made only 44,563 cases. This customer would need 6 skids of the low cost/low quality adhesive to equal one skid of LD Davis glue.

So to make 267,379 cases cost this customer:

$1,900 with LD Davis glue

$9,600 with the low cost/low quality glue

Download: Free Protein Glue Troubleshooting Guide

Topics: Adhesive Products, Animal Glue, Book Binding Adhesive, bookbinding adhesive, bookbinding glue, Custom Adhesive, Glue, Glue Cost, Hide Glue, L.D. Davis, Protein Adhesive