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A worker applies pressure with the 3M™ Hand Tape Applicator while unrolling 3M™ VHB™ Tape.

Automation - Level 1: Basic Tools

The lowest level of automation is none at all, where desired results can be achieved with simple hand tools and methods to improve the manual application process. Labour for these jobs is generally easy to find and train at relatively low cost, while the quality required can be achieved manually and allows for a reasonable amount of variation from piece to piece.

Basic Tools for Tape Processes

  • Assists in manual application of tapes by smoothing out bubbles and wrinkles. Best for thin tapes, vinyl tapes and films.

  • A worker uses a J-Roller to apply pressure to a tape on a metal bar

    After the tape is applied, a J-Roller helps apply pressure evenly to wet out the adhesive to the substrate.

  • Designed with grooves to help apply tape straight and evenly. Recommended for use with thicker foam tapes such as 3M™ VHB™ Tape.

  • Holds and cuts tape in manufacturing assembly and packaging. Different hand-held dispensers are designed to support specific tape types, so talk to your 3M Representative before selecting.

  • Graphic of a triangle mesh outline on a black background with an icon of a gearwheel at the centre
    File Card for Liner Removal

    To lift the edge of the liner from an applied tape, simply swipe the file card upwards on the corner of the liner on the applied tape.

  • Graphic of a triangle mesh outline on a black background with an icon of a gearwheel at the centre
    Cleaning Wipes

    Wipes pre-moistened with an IPA/water solution can be used to easily clean the substrate before taping. These may be available in small, individually packed sachets or packets, or in large buckets with wipes on a roll.

  • Bottles with applicator tips sized to fit the application can dispense primer or adhesion promoter evenly onto a substrate at a consistent rate. Ask your 3M Representative how a dauber bottle with a docking station might improve your primer or adhesion promoter application process.

Basic Tools for Adhesive Processes

  • For low volumes or situations where it’s easier to bring the adhesive to the job, 3M EPX (Exact Proportioning and mixing) applicators comfortably dispense any of the 3M™ Scotch-Weld™ Duo Pak Structural Adhesives with no power or air required.

  • Uses compressed air to supply continuous pressure for fast, easy dispensing. The applicator is trigger-activated, and the flow of adhesive can be controlled and varied through an air regulator.

  • Cordless convenience with no hoses allows the operator to move more freely but does mean carrying extra weight due to the battery pack. These come in a variety of sizes and styles to dispense 1- or 2-part adhesives, and operators are able to quickly swap rechargeable battery packs during larger projects.

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Need help finding the right product for your project? Contact us if you need product, technical or application advice or want to collaborate with a 3M technical specialist.