How much is downtime on your production line costing you? 💲
We've put together seven cues to reduce your downtime with hot melt adhesives, which we'll post here, starting now, over the next week. Make sure you follow and stay tuned to see how you can save on your downtime costs.
CUE 1: KEEP COOL - CONTROL TEMPERATURES
Check that your tank, hose and gun are set to the lowest temperature possible for the adhesive. Tank temperature should be lower than the hose and gun temperature (e.g. Tank:98°C, Hose:110°C, Gun:115°C).
The glue only needs to be at a higher temperature during bonding. So, if your tank is at the same temperature as the gun, energy is being wasted to keep the tank at this higher temperature. You also risk more char and thermal degradation, which causes downtime by needing to turn off and clean the tanks, hoses and nozzles.
CUE 2: CHANGE YOUR FILTERS!
Filters catch debris before they get to the nozzle, preventing as much downtime as possible.
We often see issues like the image below, where the filter has been left to gather debris to the point where it can take no more! To avoid this, we recommend that you:
🟢 Change your in-line filters every 3 months in the tank
🟢 Ensure that the filter mesh matches the nozzle size
CUE 3: AVOID OVERSPRAY
Overspray occurs when the bead length of the glue is too long, causing the glue to bleed onto the machinery rather than the substrate, causing downtime needed to clean the machinery.
To avoid this, we recommend to:
🟢 Ensure the bead length starts and stops in the correct place before beginning production
🟢 Book an adhesive health check with your glue provider, who will check your tank settings among a host of other checks to ensure everything is optimised for you production line
CUE 4: DRAIN ADHESIVE REGULARLY
We recommend draining 1 litre of adhesive every 2 months, which keeps the manifold clear of char.
The manifold is the section of the system between the tank and the hoses and is particularly prone to char due to the following reasons:
❌ It sits below the bottom of the tank, where char settles due to corners and dead spots where there is no glue flowing
❌ It sits behind a mesh (circled in the image below), where char that is too big to fit through can gather
❌ It is where the adhesive is being pumped from, so any char in the tank that isn't stopped by the filter can be pulled through
Draining the tank the recommended amount above will help minimise the char that makes it through to the hoses and nozzles and therefore, minimise the downtime required to replace or clean them.
CUE 5: USE TEMPERATURE STANDBY BUTTON
Activating standby typically drops the temperature to about 75% of the regular set temperature whenever the tank is not in use. For example, if the tank is set to 160°C 🔥, it will drop to 120°C ❄️ in standby mode, thus massively reducing the opportunity for the glue to char and block your hoses and nozzles.
We recommend that if the machine is left unoperated for more than 2 hours, standby mode should be used to decrease the temperature and help eliminate oxidation and charring.
There is another option to this, however. If you upgrade your adhesive to one that runs at a lower temperature, such as our generation 6 and 7 hot melts that run at 98°C in the tank, then you eliminate the need for standby mode at all among these other benefits:
✔️ No blocked nozzles
✔️ No fuming or odour
✔️ No degradation or charring
✔️ Up to 70% reduced energy consumption
✔️ Reduced burns risk
CUE 6: STORE YOUR ADHESIVES CORRECTLY
It's easy for debris to enter your hot melt tank if you don't store your glue appropriately. We recommend that you keep your glue in a dry, watertight container with a lid so no debris is transferred to the tank; this stops airborne dust and cardboard from going into the tanks and clogging the filters.
Alphabond can provide our customers with:
✔️ Appropriate adhesive storage bins to keep debris out
✔️ Plastic scoops to stop debris entering in the transfer from the bin to the tank
✔️ Safety equipment for operators to prevent burns A clean tank, hose and nozzle ensures a smooth running production line and significantly reduced downtime.
CUE 7: VISUAL CONTROL POINT
A visual control point or VCP is a document that specifies the optimum running conditions for your adhesive. The VCP should be displayed in a prominent location so all operators know the optimum temperatures and settings for the glue. This should allow the adhesive to run as cool as possible, free of char and build-up.
Hopefully these cues have helped you cut down on your downtime. If you would like to get in touch with us about your adhesives and discuss how we can help reduce your downtime, why not book a quick meeting with us using the form below: