When it comes to packaging adhesives, planning and maintenance go hand in hand.

From selecting the right adhesive and matching it to the job it is expected to do, to regularly inspecting and caring for adhesive equipment, proper planning and maintenance will help to extend the life of your equipment and keep it functioning optimally.

Check you have the right adhesive for your equipment

Our blog post titled “Using the wrong packaging adhesive can cost your business dearly” explored the potentially catastrophic cost of using the wrong adhesive with packaging and the integral role adhesives play in underpinning the quality of the product being shipped.

It is important to also understand how adhesives work, and why adhesives must be matched with the right equipment to avoid undermining their integrity.

Quality adhesives should always be chosen over cheaper, inferior options. When the correct adhesive with the correct polymers is utilised, it will remain stable and not degrade like adhesives containing inferior resins.

When adhesives become unstable, they begin to degrade in their pots, affecting the cleanliness of adhesive lines and the viscosity of the adhesive as it is applied to packaging.

It can also cause blockages in nozzles at crucial times, resulting in down time and expensive repairs and replacement of the components of the equipment.

Choosing the right adhesive is part of properly maintaining your equipment and helps avoid a range of issues down the track.

Maintenance of hot melt equipment

In addition to the quality of the adhesive, planning ahead will prevent adhesives being left idle in pots at high temperatures, meaning it is less likely to degrade.

A hot melt tank should never be left at its working temperature of 150 to 180 degrees when not in use.

For example, if lines are expected to be down for three hours, hot melt equipment should be set to standby and the temperature lowered to 60 degrees.

The temperature variation from working temperature to standby mode is specifically indicated to return the adhesive to its plasma, instead of melted, state. This helps maintains the stability of the adhesive and prevent it from degrading.

Maintaining hot melt equipment for safety

Proper planning and maintenance of hot melt equipment is also vital for workplace

Hot melt packaging adhesives are innocuous until they are melted, where they have the potential to cause burns and other serious injuries when they come into contact with equipment operators.

When regular maintenance isn’t carried out on hot melt equipment, operators are exposed to greater risk of injury, while adhesives can burn and clog nozzles and filters.

Setting the right temperature on the hot melt tank according to the adhesive being used will help protect operators from burns and injury while also supporting the adhesive to bond with packaging as intended.

Operators should also inspect hot melt equipment on a daily basis to identify any faults cracks or fragments in the equipment that could reduce the functionality of the equipment or cause injury.

Faulty equipment does have an impact on the end product and can cause packaging to fail. Maintaining and operating adhesives equipment properly can help avoid the downtime and expense of not only repairing and replacing parts, but dealing with unhappy customers!

Signs your equipment needs attention

Regular equipment checks can help prevent injury, accidents and errors. If you spot any of the following issues it is time to call for expert help with maintenance, servicing or repairs.

  • Restricted flow of adhesive
  • Char that appears in the adhesive
  • Reduced pump function
  • Nozzles that drip or leak
  • Failure of the supply unit or applicator to heat

With industry leading engineering expertise and reliable stock of spares our engineers can attend to your maintenance issue swiftly, limiting downtime and inconvenience.

Get expert support for preventative maintenance

Having the back-up of an expert team to help you select the right adhesives, show you how to use them and support the maintenance of your equipment can not only save you time and money but provide greater peace of mind.

The team at Stephen Miller Ltd has more than 50 years’ experience in end-of-line packaging solutions. When you partner with us, we can provide support with training and help set up your equipment to ensure it runs effectively.

You can also count on our experienced team to support you with reliable servicing and spares and technical advice for any specific queries you may have.

To find out how Stephen Miller Ltd can help your business achieve more from your adhesives, get in touch with us today on 01 685 2096.