Troubleshooting is most definitely a lost art. In today’s throwaway society, we have lost touch with our ability to fix things ourselves. That is true in all aspects of business and most definitely prevalent in the packaging world.

For us, in the hot melt application industry, we have seen it get progressively worse over the last few years. Ever since the pandemic, it seems that most hot melt manufacturers no longer stand behind their equipment and help with troubleshooting. Industry giants, like Nordson, want you to buy new machines, they don’t want you to fix what you already have. Here at Universal Systems, that is the exact opposite of our company culture. We are here to help, we believe in our equipment, and that the art of troubleshooting isn’t something that should be lost forever.

That being said, troubleshooting a pump not running doesn’t mean hitting it with a wrench until it moves. There is an art to it. Using deductive thinking to pinpoint the cause of the issue versus just replacing each piece until it starts working again. For example, your line is running a multi-module gun, and the last module on the line isn’t getting glue. In order to figure out where the real issue lies you first need to make sure all of your key points are met. First, is your glue heated to the correct temperature? What is the consistency of the glue out of the first module in the gun versus the second, etc.? If the gun isn’t heated to temperature, your glue’s viscosity may not be correct to run through the manifold to all modules. Second, have you checked your in-line filters? There could be a clog in the filter not allowing enough glue to flow into the gun to get to all modules. There could also be a clog in manifold itself. Once you eliminate all potential variables, you will be able to deduct what your actual problem may be.

Training on equipment is also very important in practicing the art of troubleshooting. If you have line operators that understand how your equipment works, they will be better equipped to troubleshoot potential issues. If your line operators or floor managers are not fully versed with your equipment, you should be able to call the equipment manufacturer to go through troubleshooting steps with you. At Universal Systems, we pride ourselves in our customer service and ability to walk any customer through troubleshooting. If you have a manufacturer, like Nordson, that will not take that time with you, maybe it’s time for a change to USSE.