Tips for Hot Melt Polyurethane Operation III
For consistent operation and minimal downtime, it is also necessary to keep your hot melt polyurethane dispensing equipment in peak condition. The following are some basic tips, read them with a little patience.
Turn off the heat. While a melter can be turned on at the start of the day and forgotten, hot melt polyurethane degrades with heat exposure. This can cause some polyurethanes to cure and, at the very least, will diminish the adhesive’s bonding capability, increasing waste and costs. Over time, as heat exposure causes the polyurethane to cure inside the system, buildup will occur, constricting flow and eventually damaging the equipment as well.
The solution is simple. Systems that are in continuous use can remain at optimum application temperature without damage because new adhesive is constantly moving through it rather than sitting in the melter waiting to be used. If your production schedule requires that your polyurethane system be used only a few times throughout the day, ensure that your equipment includes a capability called “temperature setback,” which allows the temperature to be lowered for short periods when the system is not in use. Temperature setback not only protects your adhesive and equipment, but also saves energy and reduces the carbon footprint of your production process.
Regardless of your equipment’s exact usage schedule, reduce the temperature or use the equipment’s standby mode if it’s not running for 15 minutes or more. At night, turn the melter off.
Prevent emergencies. Hot melt polyurethane systems may have huge benefits, but tolerance is not one of them. If you let daily, weekly, quarterly or annual maintenance procedures slip, the damage will often show up just when you need the equipment to work most.
The consequences may be severe, but the problem can be avoided by scheduling and performing preventative maintenance. For example, every 3-6 months, depending on use, be prepared to remove and clean applicators, replacing all seals and filters.
With polyurethane system maintenance, it’s important to follow the rules. Comply with your adhesive supplier’s recommendations and your equipment supplier’s recommendations. Do everything thoroughly and on schedule, and the pain you’ve heard about with hot melt polyurethane will be minimized.
If you don’t have the staff to perform this maintenance, look into a service plan offered by your equipment manufacturer. With a polyurethane system, planning for consistent maintenance is another part of the investment, which will save money in the end. After all, arranging for regular service is less costly than repeated emergency service calls and associated downtime.
A little attention goes a long way. All adhesive dispensing systems require some level of regular preventive maintenance in order to run effectively and efficiently long-term. Hot melt polyurethane is no different. With a little extra attention to procedures and maintenance schedules, switching to polyurethane doesn’t need to be a stressful change. Managing hot melt polyurethane dispensing systems through regular preventive maintenance will result in less downtime, fewer service calls and greater satisfaction. Greater consistency means greater success.
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