As anyone with experience in manufacturing will tell you, the creation of any product requires strict adherence to a very specific formula.
Formulas, of course, come loaded with variables. Unfortunately, when it comes to manufacturing, the formula is often quite complicated and involves a lot of variables.
In the case of fluid dispensing systems, the fluid pressure, the viscosity of the fluid, the speed of the dispense, the fluid path to the point-of-dispense, the condition of the equipment, and a host of other factors all play a role in the overall quality of the product created at the end of the line.
Most of these variables are easy to control. For instance, a regulator can manage pressure variations and motor controls can manage the speed of the dispense.
But perhaps the most important variable – the one that too many manufacturers miss – is temperature.
Simply put, changes in a fluid’s temperature (and the resulting change in its viscosity) can impact just about every other variable in the manufacturing formula. Let’s assume for a moment that your process has a consistent, regulated pressure and a robotic system for perfect repeatability. As the day progresses from the cool morning to the warm afternoon, your fluid viscosity decreases. At the stable pressure you have so carefully controlled, this decrease in viscosity produces an increase in the flow rate, and therefore the volume of each dispense will increase, eventually to a point where the quality of your product is in jeopardy. So, you add flow control. But once you have dispensed this lower viscosity fluid, does it stay where you so carefully placed it with your highly accurate robot? Or does it run, like warm honey, off your toast and onto your plate?
Temperature control is the missing link in far too many manufacturers’ processes - often because many people believe there is no way to control temperature. It is going to change, just as surely as the sun is going to rise in the morning and set in the evening. But the truth is that there are many ways to control temperature, which means that every different process may require a unique, carefully selected, and carefully implemented solution.
Once temperature has been converted from an uncontrolled variable into a tool that can be employed to help manage the process, many manufacturers find a wide range of positive effects. Their reliance on solvents is reduced. Scrap is reduced. First pass yield is increased. The entire process is more consistent and repeatable once temperature is optimized.
If you’ve been looking for similar results, it may be time to take control of your process temperature and make it an ally instead of an enemy.