As we race toward 2019, let’s not forget to consider the impact of seasonal changes on equipment, fluids, and performance. If you’re like us, the weather outside is an adventure; from four snowfalls in the autumn to tornadoes in December (that narrowly missed one of our oldest customers). Who knows what actual winter might bring?
One thing that the cold temperatures are certain to agitate is performance. Liquids move slower. Brittle parts snap. Worn parts fray. Formed parts change shape. All to be expected, yet nothing to fear. Here are some simple considerations that can be addressed during routine maintenance or between set-ups.
As always, be sure to follow your plant’s safety guidelines before entering any flexo or folder-gluer area.
Depending on the warmth of the plant, the quality of hoses, fittings, and valves might produce a noticeable hiss or leak. This, of course, can cause changes in pressure settings. As we noted in this blog entry we recommend 80 psi (max) for air provided into the Gartech Glue System GAR-GU2-0102 Pneumatic Panel.
We set the bearings in our patented yokes to turn freely–with minimal drag–for best results. This can be tested by hand, before the machine has run and parts are cool, and simple adjustments can be made with .002″ shim stock and a set of Allen wrenches as covered in this blog entry. Worn bearings should be replaced, of course.
For the Gartech Glue System, loosen the timing belt and turn pulleys and wheels by hand. Often times, the stability can be felt. If the bearing is stiff, sloppy, or clicking, do consider a replacement bearing.
The timing belt on the Gartech Glue System endures quite a bit. This is never more evident than those first few minutes after a belt snaps. Inspect the dual-positive timing belt for signs of wear, frayed edges, or general looseness. An over-tightened belt can snap in cold weather and a loose belt can hop a pulley once production-warmth expands the materials.
Heated-air rises. Cold-air falls. Depending on where your plant stores adhesive, this change can affect the flow of glue. Allow for slower-flowing formulas, and be sure to keep reservoirs clean and hoses free of blockage.
In this blog entry, we covered the proper way to meter glue onto the Gartech Glue Wheel.
Keep in mind that cold temperatures contribute to cracks in brittle airlines. If you know of worn lines, show them a bit more care until they can be replaced. Even a reinforced line can split from wear.
Did you know? Parts have a higher tendency to fail when a supervisor is standing at the machine or when a rush order is in production. Preventative maintenance helps everyone.
Cold temperatures can cause minor (thousandths not inches) changes to a machined part’s tolerance. A cold part will not fit the same as one that’s room-temperature warm. This is important to remember when installing replacement parts, shoes to mounting plates, and wheels to shafts. Forcing a cold part can cause further damage.
This one’s more about creating a habit than worrying over seasonal change. If you replace the air filter on your home’s heating-cooling system on the first day of each new season, you never have to remember how long it’s been in service. In a similar regard, if you coordinate glue shoe and glue wheel redresses with certain seasons, that helps keep ready-to-go spares available when they’re needed.
At the time of this writing, there are sixteen days until winter. Plenty of time to send your shoes and shoes to Gartech’s shop for a 6-month redress. Don’t throw away shoes or wheels till you’ve gotten as many redresses as possible. We inspect each part that comes through our door, and will always contact you if a redress cannot be performed.
Like hoses, rubber seals can become more brittle in cold temperatures. An already worn O-ring can crack, etc. Sometimes these parts compress more, too, and cause a hissing sound. Tighten the connection, where necessary, and monitor to see if the problem has gone away.
Remember: We recommend 20 psi (max) cold water pressure through the Gartech Glue System.
Cold water? This is the opposite of what we discussed in Machined Parts. The logical thought is that hot water cleans better. On machined parts, hot water has the opposite effect.
If performing a wash cycle on the Gartech Glue System with hot water, the shoe will expand and cause the shoe-to-wheel setting to change. This change can cause leaking, spraying, and uneven patterns.
Hot water has also caused gelling and hardening of adhesive in some formulas.
We never recommend piping hot water through the Gartech Glue System.
All the above-listed checkpoints are carried out during a standard service call from a Gartech technician. Most can be inspected visually or with basic tools. However, we remind again to follow your plant’s guidelines to keep yourself and your workspace as safe as possible. We want you to enjoy your holidays and thank you for using Gartech products in your plant.
Not feeling the Christmas spirit? Ask a service tech to sing you a carol.