Almost all applications in various industries utilize dispensing methods in their manufacturing processes. Different materials like adhesives, oil, grease, epoxy, sealants, and other types of fluids are dispensed either manually or through sophisticated equipment. Depending on the application, the volume of dispensed fluid, its flow rate, and other parameters differ.
Liquid dispensing equipment are used in almost every industry including automotive electronics and accessories, sports, medical, industrial elements, oil filtration, aerospace, safety equipment, and many others. Fluid dispensing can be as simple as a hot-melt handheld dispenser like a craft glue gun that we can normally have in our homes to more advanced, sophisticated dispensing systems that require precision needles in different sizes, styles, and materials. With the latest advancement in dispensing technologies, such systems can dispense microdot deposits at high speeds with utmost precision and accuracy.
With manual dispensing systems, a lot of problems and discrepancies can arise during the dispensing process. Moreover, it is only natural that when such precision fluid dispensing methods are used in highly advanced and technical manufacturing processes, challenges are bound to arise. The next few sections discuss the most common challenges in fluid dispensing and their respective solutions.
In applications that require repeated shots of fluid dispensing in a particular manner, problems of consistency may arise especially when using manual dispensing methods. In a manual system, the operator manually dispenses the fluid according to the requirements. This manual dispensing can never guarantee consistency in the output. Furthermore, the output may also vary from one operator to the other. Manual squeeze bottles and medical syringes are two examples of manual dispensing that can cause this shot-to-shot repeatability problem in low-volume productions.
This problem of inconsistency in repeated shots can be solved by ensuring that there are no air bubbles in the assembly of the equipment which can be a main cause of the problem. One solution to ensure the removal of all air is to use a centrifuge that will purge air from the syringe barrel.
A more effective solution to the problem of inconsistency in repeated shots is to utilize automatic and more sophisticated dispensing methods like automated fluid dispensing systems that ensure consistency in the volume and frequency of shots dispensed. For example, substituting air-powered dispensers with pneumatic valve systems or positive displacement dispensing processes can help solve the problem of repeatability.
The accuracy of dispensing fluids is another major challenge to define even with valves that comes with the ability to pre-set dispensing volumes. Quite often there will be a difference between what is set and the actual volume being dispensed. However, this is not as important as consistency in dispensing the same amount all the time.
The accuracy of dispensing varies from valves, parameters set and types of materials. Depending on usage some valves may offer better accuracy. For example under high-speed dispensing, jetting valves may be better than normal piston valves or standard air pressure systems.
Dispensing speed is always important for users, more so for mass manufacturing lines. How fast one can dispense depends on many factors. One of the factors is choosing the right dispensing equipment to match the material characteristic and output specifications.
Manual dispensing, usually done by operators, can be quite fast but they are usually for processes that do not require much control in volumetric or placement accuracy.
For high-quality, high-speed dispensing, a dispensing robot is usually indispensable.
Where sophisticated dispensing equipment allows you to dispense fluids at high accuracy and precision, they pose the problem of maintenance that must be carried out from time to time to ensure smooth working. Some dispensing equipment comprises intricate and small parts that are difficult to disassemble, clean, and assemble back. Sometimes such dispensing valves are able to dispense high-accuracy fluids with much precision irrespective of the fluid viscosity. These advantages outweigh the maintenance issues caused.
However, there are many recent technological advancements in dispensing technology that have designs that require less or easy maintenance. An example will be TechnoDigm’s auger valves. They are designed to allow dismantling quickly for cleaning without any tools.
In the absence of any automated robotic dispensing systems, the dispensing processes require an operator to operate the equipment and dispense the fluid according to the application’s requirement. A challenge that manufacturers often face during fluid dispensing is to ensure effective dispensing through the operators without any inconsistencies and discrepancies. This problem can be partially address by providing rigorous hands-on training to operators to get them acclimatized with the production and dispensing processes. Moreover, the operators need to be trained to troubleshoot any problem they face during dispensing so they can solve the problem without wasting much time and effort.
This problem can be eliminated by replacing manual dispensing with automated robotic dispensing equipment that can dispense high-accuracy fluids automatically. Of course, these automated systems also need to be set up by operators according to the desired parameters, but the operators can easily be trained in those aspects.
Another common problem that manufacturers face during fluid dispensing is wastage. Fluid waste can amount to a costly overhead during production processes. The problem often arises because of using incompatible dispensing valves and fluids. Some valves only work well with high viscosity fluids whereas others work only with low viscosity fluids. As a result there may be more materials wasted in purging, during frequent downtime and cleaning, over-dispensed etc.
The above-mentioned challenges can arise in different situations and may vary from case to case. However, the solutions suggested can be tailored to each individual case to overcome the problems. TechnoDigm is an expert in providing dispensing and UV curing solutions according to your individual requirements and applications. To find out more information about how we can help you overcome your dispensing problems and provide you with customized solutions for your industry needs, get in touch with us today!