We are fortunate to get the opportunity to tour many manufacturing plants and review a large variety of dispensing processes. One thing that really stands out is that most companies do a good job dispensing. Whether it’s a manual dispensing operation with skilled and experienced operators or an automated dispense with highly repeatable motions, in general, the companies we see are already doing a good job.
When we’re out there, we often hear that either the booth or the plant are already temperature controlled. Often, this is said as if it eliminates the requirement for material temperature control. While definitely an improvement over no control, simply controlling the temperature of your booth and your plant, may not be enough to accomplish your quality and cost objectives.
First let’s quickly review why you need to care about temperature. Put simply, fluids change viscosity with temperature. When viscosity changes, your dispense output changes. When dispense output changes, your product quality, material usage, and solvent usage are impacted. Therefore, changes in temperature affect your cost and quality structure. Obviously important stuff.
Even with a temperature-controlled plant, you will still see variations that are significant enough to impact material viscosity. Those changes can be as simple as those seen from day-to-night or from season-to-season. Additionally, as the material path often travels through various sections of the plant including up in the ceiling or down in the basement, your material will not be immune from temperature fluctuations. When you add the heat generated by the process, you are likely seeing fluctuations greater than you may have thought. So, while temperature control is often necessary, success really depends on where you’re controlling temperature.
We created an infographic that looks at three common places to control temperature and what that ultimately means at the point-of-dispense. Remember, the point-of-dispense is where it really matters. Whether you control the material temperature at the bulk storage/mix room, the plant or the booth, you can’t guarantee what the temperature will be at the point-of-dispense. Only by controlling at the point-of-dispense can you guarantee a consistent cost and quality structure. If you want to download the entire infographic, you can click here. I recommend downloading it as it does nice job tying all of this together.
So, if you’re controlling your bulk storage/mix room, booth and plant temperature, you’re off to a good start. Probably better than many that we currently see. But, if you’re still seeing intermittent quality issues, undesirable transfer efficiency, or excessive solvent usage, you may be ready to take the next step toward a fully modernized dispensing operation. We would happy to review what you are doing and offer our expertise.