Filters are an important part of any hot melt system, as they prevent contaminants from entering the system and clogging it up. However, over time, filters can become built up with residue from the adhesive material as it cools and is exposed to oxygen. This degraded adhesive, or char, can cause the system to become temperamental and even lead to unscheduled downtime. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the reasons why filters get clogged in a hot melt system and how this can be resolved.
Reasons Why Filters Get Clogged
There are several reasons why filters can become clogged in a commercial hot melt system. One is that the heated adhesive material itself can contain impurities that eventually build-up on the filter in the course of operation. Another reason is that the environment where the hot melt system is located can also be a source of contamination, e.g. if there is a lot of dust in the air, this can eventually make its way into the system and cause the filter to become blocked.
Here Are Some Tips For Avoiding Clogged Filters:
- Replace the filter when it becomes excessively dirty. A good rule of thumb is to replace the filter when it has been used for two full shifts for the equivalent time. Hot melt filters are widely and cheaply available, and filter changes can be incorporated into your programme of Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM). We advise replacing In-Line filters every 3 months and tank filters once every year.
- Use standby mode on the tank. This will prevent the glue from being ‘Cooked’ in the melting pot and will limit the amount of burnt/ charred glue trying to work its way through the system
If You Find Yourself With A Clogged Filter, There Are A Couple Of Actions You Can Take To Resolve The Issue, Without Necessarily Replacing The Component:
- If the filter is severely clogged, you will need to replace it. However, depending on how badly clogged the filter is, you may be able to salvage it by removing the blockage and cleaning it thoroughly before re-inserting the filter into the hot melt system.
- Another option is to temporarily use a higher air pressure on the tank to flush out the contaminants that have built up on the filter. We don’t recommend this while in operation though and the hoses will need to be disconnected from the guns and pointing into a bucket/collection reservoir.
- Finally, you could also simply swap out the filter with a new one – in most hot melt equipment models, this can be achieved in minutes at most. Filters are easy to remove and one of the cheapest components we offer, so it is often more cost effective to replace them rather than fix them.
The Adhesive Laundry provide a range of maintenance, repair, and parts ordering services for commercial hot melt adhesive dispensing equipment. If you are struggling with clogged filters or impaired productivity on one of your hot melt machines, please call one of our engineers for confidential advice today on 01480 775815.