A method for dispensing hot melt adhesive onto boxes includes receiving a user input, from a user interface, representing a desired performance condition. A controller receives a box sensor signal representing the presence of a box under a box sensor located near a dispenser. The controller determines a beginning and an end of the box as a function of the box sensor signal. The controller receives a position signal from a position sensor that represents a position of a pump motor and determines a calculated pumped volume as a function of the position signal. The controller produces a drive signal as a function of the beginning and end of the box, the calculated pumped volume, and the desired performance condition. The pump motor is driven to pump a hot melt adhesive to the dispenser as a function of the drive signal. The controller produces a dispense signal as a function of the desired performance condition, the beginning and end of the box, and the calculated pumped volume. The dispenser dispenses the hot melt adhesive to the box as a function of the dispense signal, using the dispenser.