Considered the heart of the edgebander, if the glue pot is not functioning at 100 percent, then neither is your machine. Here are four tips for maintaining a good glue pot.

1. Clean spills promptly and keep the glue pot clean.

The root cause of many problems is not promptly cleaning up the small spills, which can add to a big headache later on. Also, in order to maintain your glue pot at 100 percent, it’s necessary to perform a full-blown cleaning on a regular basis. Take the glue pot out of the machine, put it on the bench and remove every speck of glue from the inside and outside of the pot. Your machine’s manual will tell you the correct frequency to do this; it will also vary depending upon you production. If you can, we also recommend removing the glue from the inside the pot every week or so.

2. Proper lubrication is critical.

Make sure that you are using the proper lubricant. Glue pots typically require specially formulated grease that is designed to withstand the extreme heat in the bearings. Also ensure that you are performing the lubrication at the correct frequency (i.e. every 8 hours); consult your machine manual. The final consideration is to make sure you are injecting the correct amount of grease every time you perform this maintenance item.

3. Watch your temperature.

Make sure you’re operating your glue pot in the temperature range on the glue’s specification sheet. Also, never let the machine sit idle with the glue pot at operating temperature for longer than 15 minutes. If you do, you’ll rapidly build up a layer of burnt, oxidized glue on the inner walls of the glue pot. This can lead to problems with glue bond strength and delamination. Instead, reduce the temperature of your glue pot by about 30C degrees if the machine will be idle for any longer than 15 minutes. When you’re  ready to run production again, it will only take a few minutes to heat the glue pot back to operating temperature.

Also check the accuracy of your temperature controller periodically. Depending on the condition of the glue pot and the age of the machine, it’s possible that the application temperature can be very different than the one indicated on the temperature controller. The easiest way to check this is with an Infrared Pyrometer. You can pick one of these units at your local electronics store for as little as $50. They are typically very accurate and you don’t have to get close to the glue to get a reading. You simply aim the red dot at the glue roller and the temperature will display.

4. Check your float.

The float is the deflection of the glue pot as a part contacts it. While this is necessary to ensure the proper tracing of the workpiece, if you have too much or too little float, it can cause problems in your glue line. Check your float with a dial indicator.

Source: Stiles Machinery. For more information call (616) 698-7500 or visit StilesMachinery.com

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