The hot melt equipment industry has evolved over the last 40 years. Each manufacturer has made design and material modifications to their product line, which has had a significant impact on the creation and assignment of part numbers. Unfortunately for our particular niche industry there have also been an abundance of variations created solely for clerical purposes. These superfluous numbers make it extremely difficult to place orders and keep inventory organized.
Let’s say you are looking for a single orifice right angle nozzle with a .014 inch diameter hole. The correct manufacturer number can be 244519, 244-519, 244 519, 24-4519US, 320014, 320-014, 320 014, 32-0014US, 1011014, 1011014US, or SR19014. These are all correct manufacturer parts numbers and as you can see the variations are sometimes nothing more than a space or dash. This has already created a very high level of confusion, but wait, it gets even worse.
If you are not purchasing directly from the manufacturer you add a whole other coded level of alpha numeric characters, dashes and mystery spaces. Each buying house has their own system, each aftermarket dealer makes up their own numbers, and even legitimate distributes from time to time will add a character to a part number purely for tracking purposes.
It is important for anyone using hot melt systems to understand the function of each piece of equipment so that there is not a complete dependency on just a part number. We at Universal Systems SE work with our customers to identify parts through a combination of part numbers, descriptions, and photographs. It is especially important to take the time to talk to one of our associates if you haven’t ordered a replacement part in several years or are order a new part for the first time. Our website has a part number search function for your convince; but know you can always call 1-800-848-5018 for personal assistance.
Hot melt systems are an important investment that will increase the efficiency of your business. Like with any important investment, you want to protect it and get the most out of it. A consistent preventative maintenance program is the key to ensuring efficient productivity and increasing the life of the system.
As with any product used daily, normal wear and tear can cause reduced efficiency. Over time hot melt systems naturally see decreased bead accuracy and restricted adhesive flow. By checking the system and cleaning regularly, you are more likely to maximize productivity.
INCREASED MACHINE LIFE
The more comprehensive your maintenance plan, the longer your system will last. You will get the most for your money by responding immediately to slowed pump strokes, pneumatic gun misfires, and clogged nozzles.
SAVE TIME AND MONEY
A rule of thumb is to replace any component $100 or less, instead of trying to troubleshoot the component and fix it. Studies continue to show that a company saves the most by focusing on troubleshooting and fixing the most costly equipment.
LIMIT DOWN TIME
Replace consumable parts on a regular schedule to avoid unplanned down time. Once a packaging line goes down the average cost/lost to a company is $10,000.00 per hour.
To help you, here are some standard maintenance tips to ensure you get the most out of your melter.
1. Clean and purge your hot melt unit every 500 hours and/or each time you change adhesives.
2. Check all fastenings and hose fittings to your machine and make sure they are secure and tight.
3. Clean attached components monthly.
For additional maintenance tips for your specific melter or other components, please call 1-800-848-5018 to speak with a technician or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Downtime for an average production line can cost a company, at minimum, between $150 – $170 per minute. This makes it vital for companies to identify factors and equipment that impact production capacity.
Why are Hot Melt Adhesive Systems so important?
Hot melt adhesive systems are often overlooked as just a cog in the production packaging line. However the reality is that these small systems are vital to processes like primary paperboard packaging as well as the key to ensuring protective secondary packaging. Furthermore any disruption to the heating, transferring and adhesive application process results in the slowing if not complete shut down of a production line.
While literal monetary translation of the 1-10-100 principal is debatable, there is no question a proactive approach to maintenance that considers prevention cost, corrective cost and failure cost will reduce downtime and yield significant savings.
How to optimize Hot Melt Part Maintenance and Purchases
To ensure quality, longevity, and support for hot melt glue equipment one should purchase from a well-established manufacturer such as Universal Systems SE, Nordson, Graco, ITW Dynatec or Robatech. All these companies have engineers on staff to discuss equipment selection, technicians to address maintenance questions, and sales representatives who can assist with product procurement and replacement.
Unlike water and solvent based adhesives, the adhesives used in a hot melt system do not require any dryer after being applied. This gives these machines a unique and efficient advantage over other types of adhesives being used. Also known as “hot glue,” hot melt is a thermoplastic adhesive that begins to bond as soon as it’s applied to the object due to it being able to cool down to its solidification point almost immediately.
Who Benefits With Hot Melt Adhesive Systems?
Hot melt adhesive is ideal for those who work throughout several industries. This type of adhesive equipment is ideal industrial applications that include, but are not limited to:
- Bonding versatility.
- High-speed manufacturing.
- Minimal shrinkage.
- Large gap filling.
Within the packaging industry, hot melt adhesive systems are extremely popular because they allow for major applications to be accomplished in a faster time while increasing production value. Whether you work in construction, woodworking, stock and tape manufacturing, bottle labeling, or any type of bonding industry, this adhesive system can only benefit your business.
Using a Hot Melt System
With a majority of hot melt glues being composed of polyolefin compounds, acrylics, polyamides, and urethane materials, there’s no need for any pre-surface treatment when you begin bonding. Hot melts are easy to apply systems because the only process is turning a solid into a liquid then it immediately turns back into a solid (remember: no dry time). Although durable and long lasting, this type of adhesive is easy to repair by reheating and re-separating.
If you think a hot melt adhesive system can benefit you and your business, contact us at Universal Systems and we can inform you of the equipment that has the best benefits in terms of what you’re attempting to achieve.
Within production corporations, advanced adhesive systems are beginning to play a larger role in terms of joining agents, fasteners, and sealants because they’re proving to be stronger than the standard bolts and rivets. When you have severely strong bonds that were created by an adhesive formula, you’ll notice that your machine and tool construction has been enhanced. Plus, using adhesives allows for any tools or machinery to be lighter, stronger, and last longer.
If you’re using bolts and rivets, your product won’t be able to absorb shock from shipping like another bonding agent like a strong adhesive will be able to do. When you invest in adhesive machinery, or a hot melt system, you’re keeping your products above production value because adhesives allow you to create a stronger product that will survive any type of deformation or stress caused by:
- Heavy Impact
- Load Transfer
- Thermal Expansion
Adhesive hot melt equipment can be used to join together carbon steel, plastics, and other composites that will increase the value of your product and make production easier. With the machine industry being one of the least explored sectors in terms of technological potential, advanced adhesive systems are certainly making a name for themselves throughout today’s machine shops.
In the event that you want to add an adhesive system to your business, you want to make sure that you choose a retailer that can assist you with any issues you may run into. Whether there’s a problem with the machine and it needs a repair, or if you just need troubleshooting tips – find an adhesive system retailer that you can trust. Especially if you’re introducing your hot melt system into your business as soon as it’s received.
Whether you’ve already invested in hot melt glue equipment, or you’re considering it, knowing how to troubleshoot any potential problems is highly advised by any hot melt adhesive machinery as well as equipment distributors and manufacturers. However, before we get into common troubleshoots; let’s define what hot melt adhesive systems actually do.
What is a Hot Melt Adhesive System?
Hot melt adhesive systems are composed of different pieces of equipment that come in a variety of pump, hopper, and hose gun connection sizes in order to satisfy your individual production needs. Hot melt glue machinery can be used to assist several different industries including, but not limited to:
- Graphic Arts
- Labeling / Laminating
Troubleshooting Mechanical Problems With Your Hot Melt System
Now, we don’t advise that you should try and troubleshoot a hot melt dispensing unit on your own unless you’re a qualified professional. If you are a qualified professional, observe and follow the safety instructions within your OEM manual that you were given for your specific machine.
IF YOUR PISTON PUMP ISN’T WORKING PROPERLY
First, check to see if the unit has reached its operating temperature, if it has, then there could be a problem with your air supply, the solenoid valve, or there’s something wrong with the assembly of the shifter valve.
IF THE PISTON PUMP IS STROKING ERRATICALLY
If this problem is occurring, then you may be low on adhesive, if you’re adhesive level is fine, then check to make sure that the adhesive is actually melted. You’ll also want to check the pump seats in case anything became lodged within them, as well as make sure that the o-ring in the crossover tube isn’t broken.
IF THE GEAR PUMP IS NOT PUMPING PROPERLY
One of the first things to check if your gear pump is not pumping properly is the motor. If the motor is not running, you want to check the motor control as well as the capacitor. If you don’t see anything wrong with the motor than look for any fault indicators, as well as making sure that the pump ready light is on. In the event that none of these tips help, then there may be a blown fuse.
IF NO ADHESIVE IS PUMPING OUT
If your motor is running, but there’s no adhesive being pumped out, then you’ll need to check your adhesive levels and make sure it’s melted. There’s a chance that the nozzle could be clogged on the head however, if it’s not then you’ll need to check the inline head filters, the tank filters, the coupler between the motor and the pumped, and the pressure regulator.
Hot melt adhesive systems are a great investment if you’re looking to increase your production rate, and if you have the right equipment that works properly, then that’s even better. However, in the event that something goes wrong with your hot melt glue equipment or your adhesive machinery, you’re going to want to know how to troubleshoot the problem yourself. While your OEM manual that came with the machine should be able to help you solve the problems, you may not necessarily know what to look for, and that’s where we come in.
In the event that your hot melt adhesive dispensing unit malfunctions in any way, it’s highly advised that you seek someone who’s qualified and familiar with this machinery – if you’re not already. Now, with that being said, you want to make sure you follow all the safety instructions within the manual as well.
IF THE TANK IS UNDER / NOT HEATING
In the event that your tank is under heating or if it’s not heating at all, there are a few things that you could look into – the first being the system fault light and making sure there isn’t a blown fuse. After that, you’ll want to look into the resistance on the tank heater and the tank RTD, there’s also a chance that you have a burned off or broken wire leading into the tank heater.
IF THE HOSE IS UNDER / NOT HEATING
If your hose is either under heating or not heating at all, check the system fault light as well as a blown fuse. Checking the issues surrounding the hose is similar to checking if the tank is under heating. So, you’ll want to check the resistance on the hose heater and the hose RTD. Also, make sure that none of the electrical collectors are unplugged.
IF THE HEAD OF THE HOSE IS UNDER HEATING
A majority of the issues surrounding electrical deal with a blown fuse or the system fault light, therefore you’ll want to check that if the head of the hose is under heating or not heating up what so ever. You’re also going to want to check for unplugged electrical connectors, wire connectors (look for backed out pins), and the control boards.
IF THE TANK IS OVERHEATING
If your tank if overheating, there’s a good chance one of the four following things is wrong: – The system fault light, the resistance on the tank’s RTD, the control board, or the triac. If you’ve found that one of those four things is the issue, you should be able to find a solution in your OEM manual to get your hot melt adhesive unit is back up and running.
IF THE HOSE OR HOSE HEAD IS OVERHEATING
For both the hose and hose head, you’re going to want to first check the system fault light as well as the resistance on the hose RTD and the head RTD. Another thing that could have a problem is the control board.