Preventative Maintenance Guide for Your Hot Melt System

Hot-melt adhesives and equipment are crucial to some of the busiest industries globally. Packaging, food and beverages, furniture and home décor, manufacturing, books, and paper products are among the industries that depend on hot-melt adhesives for their products.


Every industry has a few crucial elements that require proactive care to ensure long-lasting use and minimal unplanned downtime. An independent report suggests that repair and maintenance accounts for only about 4.5% to 7.5% of the annual operating costs, of which 30%- 50% falls under preventive maintenance. Surprisingly, just ensuring this level of maintenance gives a staggering 545% return on investment, which is unheard of across business verticals in

the current markets.


Preventive maintenance offers long-lasting benefits for all types of equipment, especially hot melt, such as improved efficiency, longer life, minimal downtime, reduction in unplanned process halts, and improved safety for both the equipment and the user. Plus, prevention maintenance is much easier and more cost-effective than repair.


Here are a few tips to maintain your hot-melt equipment in optimal working condition.


Prevent Adhesive Char


Adhesive char is caused by contaminants getting mixed with the glue at high temperatures. It compromises the application consistency and bond performance. It also results in the reduction of the equipment’s life and is a contaminant for the adhesive. Here are a few tips to prevent adhesive char buildup:

  • To prevent contaminants from entering, place the equipment carefully.

  • Use filters and purge through tank drains monthly.

  • Keep the tank closed and do not open it unnecessarily.

  • Do not heat the glue beyond the suggested temperature levels.

  • If char has accumulated, remove it before using the equipment again to prevent further damage.


All Components Matter


Properly clean and remove all debris from hot melt tanks, guns, nozzles, filters, hoses, and all other parts. Purge the hoses and clean the nozzles with the appropriate solvents. Unclog the pumps and regularly lubricate them to prevent unnecessary stress from building up in the system due to lack of lubrication. Apply suitable techniques and cleansers to clean each part.


Maintain a Cleaning Schedule


All parts of the hot-melt system have their specific cleaning requirements. Most of them come with a manual describing the usage and cleaning needs. If you use the equipment more than its recommended usage, you should clean it more often. Heat tanks, for instance, should be cleaned quarterly or even monthly, whereas, for filters, monthly or even weekly is best.


Additionally, schedule complete maintenance to check functionality, aging issues, and machine health every few months to prevent unplanned failures. The setup should be completely drained and cleaned out at least twice a year.


Use the Equipment Mindfully

  • Periodically check tank temperature against the adhesive temperature requirements using an external pyrometer.

  • Do not keep the adhesive or tank lid open, as it allows contaminants such as dirt or paper fibers to enter.

  • Do not keep the equipment on, or in case, inevitable, turn down the temperature to prevent overheating and to save energy.

  • Be consistent with your maintenance schedule.

Preventive maintenance is a sure-shot way of enhancing the performance and extending the life of your equipment, while ensuring minimum downtime. As mentioned above, it offers better ROI than any other business activity.


Adhesive Tips: How to Purge and Clean Nordson Glue Melter.


Step 1 – Decrease Air pressure






Lower the glue pump’s air pressure to 0 psi by using a 5 mm hex wrench to turn the pressure adjustment screw counterclockwise until it stops.




Step 2 – Purge unit filter

Lower the drain chute and place a suitable container under the drain valve.




Lower the drain chute and place a suitable container under the drain valve.





Open the drain valve until a steady flow of glue starts pouring into the container.





When the glue flow starts to lessen, increase the glue pump's air pressure to 10 psi. Pour until you no longer see char particles.






Your unit filter is now clean. You can close the drain valve and set the air pressure to where it was originally.