As a process engineer or operations specialist, your ability to thrive hinges upon the quality and accuracy of the products you build. One of the best ways to bolster your accuracy and quality is to select a fluid dispenser that offers precision while serving as an ideal match for your specific needs. Below is a look at the three most common types of fluid dispensers and some tips to guide you in your selection of the best dispensing option for your needs.
1) Manual fluid dispensers
Manual dispensers are known for their affordability and convenience. Their low-maintenance design makes them a popular industry choice as does their ability to dispense fluid without electricity. They are commonly used in general industry applications where repeatability is not required.
2) Foot valve dispensers
Foot valve dispensers, also known as foot-operated dispensers, earned their name because they are designed to be mounted on the floor. They contain an integrated pressure regulator and pressure gauge, and the operator uses the foot pedal to control the output and shot size. While foot valve dispensers are more costly than manual dispensers, they offer a higher degree of user control than manually operated models. They are commonly used for general applications of sealants and adhesives.
3) Programmable fluid dispensers
Advances in dispensing technology have contributed to the growing popularity of programmable fluid dispensers. Designed to be intuitive, efficient, and user-friendly, programmable dispensers offer four operating modes and enable users to create up to ten different dispensing routines. The four most notable characteristics of programmable dispensers are as follows:
- Clear digital screens that display pressure, time, and vacuum read-outs
- An integrated "suckback" mechanism that helps eliminate waste
- Ability to control dispensing with a footswitch
- Power-operated via a universal power supply
What are the key factors to consider when selecting a fluid dispenser?
"Critical to surface mount assembly is the need to deposit very small and precise amounts of fluid—such as adhesives and silicones—to the tiny microelectronics and other minuscule parts, to keep these surface-mounted devices in place before and during the soldering process. These fluids also provide the added benefits of mechanical strength, thermal conductivity, dielectric strength and chemical inertness throughout the life of the assembly." - Assembly Magazine, 2017
Each of the three types of fluid dispensers outlined above has its own set of features and benefits. As you evaluate each dispensing option, there are some important variables that you should keep in mind as you finalize your choice. A hasty decision or failure to consider these factors could result in the selection of a dispenser that you are not able to use or a dispenser that hinders your product quality and desired efficiency. The top five factors to consider are as follows:
1) Your budget
Budget is the factor that often determines which type of fluid dispenser is your best option. In general, manually operated syringe guns are more affordable than foot-operated dispensers or programmable digital dispensers. You can save hundreds of dollars on your initial purchase by choosing a manual syringe gun, while also saving additional money by not using electricity. Programmable models, on the other hand, have a higher up-front cost but offer long-term value in the form of increased accuracy and versatility.
2) Type of applications
Today's cutting-edge fluid dispensers are manufactured to satisfy the specific psi requirements for various applications. Programmable dispensers are available in 0 to 15 psi models as well as 0 to 100 psi models to accommodate low to high-viscosity fluids. These digital models make it easy to consistently and accurately dispense fluids of varying viscosities. Manual dispensers, on the other hand, do not allow users to control settings, making it difficult to accurately dispense fluids. Manual models are also not ideal for dispensing high viscosity fluids, which are most accurately dispensed by programmable models.
3) Accessibility to electricity
Adhesives sometimes need to be applied in environments that lack steady access to electricity. If you plan to apply adhesives in a rural area or in a location that is prone to frequent power outages, you should consider investing in a manual syringe gun. Manual syringe guns are also your best option in areas that prohibit the use of electricity. If you are considering a programmable model, remember that you will need a source of electricity for your power supply.
4) Spatial constraints
One of the primary advantages of foot valve dispensers is their space-conserving design. Their floor mounted design greatly reduces the bench space needed for the adhesive application process. Programmable models, on the other hand, will require additional bench space and storage space to house the power supply, docking stand, and spare tips.
5) Desire for convenience
Sometimes the desire for convenience and efficiency is strong enough to convince buyers to invest in a programmable fluid dispenser. While manual guns carry an attractive price tag, they lack the collection of attractive benefits that power-operated models offer. Programmable models such as the TS350 offer convenient features that are simply too attractive to ignore. They arrive ready to use with sample tips, power supply, and a host of other accessories. Most importantly, they offer ten programmable dispensing modes that bolster efficiency.
What is the surest way to choose the best fluid dispenser for your needs?
As outlined above, you should consider a variety of factors before finalizing your purchase of a fluid dispenser. In addition to keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure that you select the best option to meet your specific needs by enlisting the guidance of an expert in the fluid dispensing industry. By seeking the expertise of a fluid dispensing specialist, you can carefully weigh the costs and benefits of each of manual, foot-operated, and programmable fluid dispensers.
We invite you to contact us today to learn why we are an international leader in fluid dispensing products. In addition to offering an extensive selection of manual, programmable, and foot valve fluid dispensers, we possess the industry expertise to guide you in your purchasing decision. We look forward to becoming your trusted resource for all of your fluid dispensing needs!