In this space we talk ad nauseum about the importance of temperature control to manufacturers who dispense critical fluids as a part of their process. We focus on things like paint, sealers, adhesives, and so forth. You can imagine my surprise when I saw the headline:
The Importance of Temperature Control
I was even more surprised to see the picture of a valve stack that didn’t look anything like what we use. I had to check it out!
Thermostatic Temperature Control Valves
The ad was for phase change valves targeted primarily at the hydraulics industry (think motion control for cranes and bulldozers and dump trucks and thousands of other high-power devices). But what struck me was the reasons that temperature control is important in these systems and the descriptions of the issues associated with high temperatures.
The Same Message
Their first message was, “Maintaining correct temperature keeps hydraulic fluid within its recommended viscosity range ensuring that… hydraulic devices run at peak efficiency.” A message we convey regularly when discussing fluid dispensing systems!
For All the Same Reasons
The benefits they profess also sound a lot like what we relate from our experience:
“Keeping temperatures down helps ensure the hydraulic fluid and other system components last longer.”
“Excess heat degrades hydraulic fluid…” We say the same about sensitive coatings, adhesives, etc.
“[Excess heat] forms harmful varnish on component surfaces…” We often note this same phenomenon with sensitive coatings – we call it “contamination” and it can result in fouling of the dispense system, higher than acceptable defects, and unscheduled downtime.
“Operating within recommended temperature ranges increases a hydraulic system’s availability and efficiency, improving equipment productivity.” Again, this could have come right out of one of our manuals!
Even the benefits that they list sound familiar: “Increased machine uptime and fewer shutdowns reduced service and repair costs.”
It was a little like looking through a window at a parallel universe. Though it was an entirely different application, the problems were the same – as was the solution. And I couldn’t help but think of what we tell our customers…
A Fluid is a Fluid
Often, well-meaning and even technically proficient people will tell us, “Our fluid isn’t that sensitive. I don’t think it’s that important.” And yet here, on the other side of this window, is a group of folks that are dealing with fluids more like the motor oil in your car – far less sensitive than the high-tech fluids that you are dispensing on your products – and they are emphatic about the importance of controlling the temperature of the fluid in operation. For all the same reasons: performance, reliability, repeatability, etc.
Shouldn’t you pay a little more attention to yours?