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.
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.