Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Safety using Hot Melt

Hot Melt Adhesive Safety Tips | Keystone Industries

Hot Melt Adhesive Safety Tips

Have you ever had molten adhesive on your skin? If you have, "Hot, do not touch" is an understatement to you.

This first thing we want to do it wipe if off. Resist that urge because you will just spread the molten glue to more skin! Immediately cover affected area in clean cool water. Seek medical attention for removal of glue to avoid deep skin removal.

Preparing to Work on Hot Melting Equipment

Before working on any hot melting equipment, such as Nordson, Valco/Melton, ITW, Slautterback or even a small simple glue handgun, be prepared.

Make sure to power down the equipment and give the equipment time to cool. If you need to remove parts, use safety gloves and the proper wrenches.

Since glue machines are under pressure, be sure to turn off the pump pressure before removing any parts to avoid a burst of adhesive.

If you are purging a glue tank, please click here for a step by step video. For more information about hot melt adhesive safety tips, talk to a Keystone representative or call us at (800)235-8090

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What Every Packaging Employee Should Know about Washdown

What Every Packaging Employee Should Know About Washdown | Keystone Industries

When it comes to overseeing hot melt machines and their operators in a packaging environment, one of the most common problems we see is failure of parts due to improper washdown procedure. Anyone in the packaging industry knows that the cost of hot melt parts can add up significantly over time.

Inexperienced machine operators, lack of education by supervisors, and improper part selection can all contribute to premature part failure, which can substantially add to the cost of keeping your production lines running. At Keystone Industries, we want to help you keep your hot melt machines running as efficiently and affordably as possible, so we took it upon ourselves to cover the most common topics surrounding washdown, and also talk about what the future holds for hot melt washdown.

The Importance of Washdown in the Packaging Industry

Many packaging and manufacturing facilities (especially in the food/beverage and pharmaceutical spaces) are required to wash down their machines regularly. This is to prevent bacteria and other harmful matter from contaminating the products that will be consumed by the end user. Washdown is also important for environments that experience large volumes of dust or small particles of packaging debris to ensure they do not interfere with proper function of the hot melt machine and equipment.

Common Problems Involving Washdown

Problem 1: User Error & Lack of Education

When it comes to electrical shortages from washdown, most problems are the result of one of two contributors: improper procedure by the operator, or an inadequate part. Most of the time, it is the former – inexperienced machine operators may not know which parts are resistant to water and which are not. Of course, there is the possibility that the operator may be properly educated, but may just be careless in their personal washdown routine. While some user error is inevitable in many washdown environments, proper education is the best way to combat this problem.

As a supervisor or manager of your production environment, it is extremely important to thoroughly walk through the washdown process with each new employee. Ask them to repeat important points back to you, and quickly quiz them on the procedure after you run through it so you can be sure that they were paying adequate attention and retained the information. If you notice parts fail that you suspect are related to improper washdown, observe the employee during their next washdown to be sure they are following proper procedure. A few quick moments of education and observation of procedure can mean significant savings on failed parts.

Problem 2: Lack of Washdown Hot Melt Parts

Aside from user error and education, the other main contributor to part failure is simply the part itself being inadequate. For environments where thorough washdown is required, using standard parts simply won’t cut it. Standard hot melt parts are typically very prone to electrical shorting when they come in contact with any amount of water, rendering washdown very difficult, if not impossible using these parts.

Choosing a washdown hose or applicator head can help avoid part failure due to electrical shortages. These hoses often feature a rubber sleeve or coating and a water resistant electrical connection that helps keep the electrical components of the part from getting wet. The glue heads have a silicone gasket protecting the inside electronic connections and a matching water-resistant electrical connector. This is a great way to protect your hot melt parts from peripheral droplets or spray that may be created during the washdown process. These parts may be slightly more expensive than a standard part, but the cost savings you’ll experience due to the longer part life is well worth the additional investment.

The Limitations of Washdown Parts

Washdown hot melt parts are a huge step in the right direction for those looking to avoid electrical failure of parts in a washdown environment. At the same time, it is very important to keep in mind that these parts have their limitations. Because washdown parts simply protect the electrical components, the components themselves are just as susceptible to electrical shortages as standard parts if those components come into contact with water.

In short, a washdown part is more water resistant than a standard part, but this does not make the part fully submersible in water. Any attempts to soak, dip, or submerge the part in water will likely result in electrical damage to the part, so your washdown procedures should strive to avoid including any of these methods. If you use parts manufactured by Keystone Industries and want to know if a certain technique is safe for the parts, feel free to ask us!

Your Source for Hot Melt Washdown Parts

Even if you follow washdown best practices and don’t experience electrical shortages of your parts regularly, you can still experience huge savings by choosing hot melt replacement parts from Keystone Industries. Our parts cost up to 70% less than OEM parts, and our friendly customer service is here to help with any questions you may have. But don’t take it from us! Read our testimonials to see what some of our current customers have to say, then browse our site for Nordson®-compatible parts at a great price! Contact a Keystone representative or call us at (800)235-8090 to find your hot melt adhesive solution today!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Fault Log on Nordson ProBlue Melters

How to Find the Fault Log on Nordson ProBlue Melters

Did you know that your Nordson ProBlue glue melter records faults? The melter stores the last 10 faults. Do you have several production shifts running and all the faults seem to occur during the shift you are not available?

This could be your answer to finding out the root cause or at least identifying if faults are actually occurring.

Instructions for Retrieving Nordson ProBlue Fault Log

  1. Press and hold the Setup key. Automatic scan stops and operating parameter 1 appears in left display.
  2. Scroll left display to parameter 2 (fault log). Right display indicates last fault that occurred as follows; if last fault was a F1, F2 or F3, then the LED on the affected component key displays yellow. If last fault was a F4, then LEDs on all component keys turn off. The right display indicated the log entry for the last fault to occur.
  3. Press the right display scroll key to review each of the remaining nine logged entries. Each time the scroll key is pressed, the next older entry will display. The log displays most recent fault first.
  4. When finished reviewing log, press the Setup key to return to the automatic scan mode.

For information regarding each fault, refer to the complete manual.

Replace Faulty Parts with Keystone

If fault indicates faulty parts, please contact us to order parts. If you are still having issues with identifying a resolution to the fault, please call us at (800)235-8090 for free technical assistance.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Is Cell Phone Usage in the Workplace a Safety Liability?

Does your facility run like a fine oiled machine or are there daily challenges with staff, product quality, timely shipments, customer dissatisfaction, etc.?

What is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing can bring peace with employees, keep budgets on track, keep customers happy and just reduce stress in managing.

How to Incorporate Lean Manufacturing

How do you get there? It's not easy. You will encounter a lot of pushback. But the payoff is well worth it. Need some clarification on some of the tools used? Check out this resource on lean tools and concepts.

Lean Manufacturing and Cell Phone Usage

The big challenge today is electronic devices, especially cell phones, in the workplace by those who do not need them for their job.

Some facilities are able to ban cell phones completely. For those who cannot, the challenge can be exhausting. How does your facility handle cell phone abuse by employees? It becomes a safety liability. Contact us to talk about lean manufacturing and your facility.