How to Measure Adhesive Bead Width

Sep 14, 2016 Off Comments in How-To, Packaging by
What is a glue line measuring guide?

A glue line measuring guide is a tool that can be used to easily and accurately measure the width of your case and carton glue lines. Typically, the guide measures adhesive beads in .010” increments. For instance, the guide we use here at RS Industrial begins measuring from .070” to .140,” in .010” increments.  

Why is it important to measure glue lines?

Measuring glue lines allows packagers to ensure that their adhesive beads remain consistent. Most importantly, it helps you balance your adhesion performance with value.

Perhaps you want to reduce your overall gluing costs. Measuring the current width of your glue lines helps you calculate your consumption (lbs. per 1000 cases). Once you know your consumption, you can then calculate your cost per thousand.

Figuring out your adhesive consumption and cost will help you optimize your bead width to get the best adhesive performance for your application.

Reduce Your Adhesive Consumption to Reduce Costs

For example, you’re running a packaging line where the current bead width is .12” and your bead length is 3”. Let’s say you calculate your consumption to be 9.40 lbs. (this will depend on the number of beads and volume). Assuming the cost of your adhesive is $2.10/lb., we can say that your cost per thousand is $19.870. You decide to reduce your bead width to .10”. Your consumption has decreased to 6.53 lbs. and your cost per thousand has reduced to $13.709. By reducing bead width, you are able to reduce overall consumption, decreasing your costs.

adhesive consumption

Reducing your adhesive bead width may reduce your costs.


If reducing adhesive consumption affects your performance, you may consider switching to an adhesive with higher tack and greater adhesion, allowing you to reduce the bead width without sacrificing packaging integrity.

Should your adhesive supplier suggest an optimal bead width, you can then use the pocket-sized glue line measuring tool to ensure that your glue lines are at the desired width. We always suggest working alongside your adhesive supplier to identify the best solution (and consumption) for your specific application.

For more information or to request an adhesive audit, contact us at 1-800-844-1740 or use the contact form below. Our technical service team will quickly respond to your inquiry.