Troubleshooting Tips: Problems With A Head Dive
Not all filling machines will employ diving heads or nozzles, a good number do, including the overflow filling machine. Diving heads fight issues such as foaming and the creation of air bubbles, and are also necessary to create the seal for overflow filling. So when heads fail to dive during production runs, or even for a single cycle, it can become a messy and time-consuming problem for the packager. Below we take a quick look at a couple of the more common reasons that diving heads may malfunction and the simplest solutions.
AIR LINES/AIR COMPRESSOR
The diving heads are almost always activated pneumatically. So the first thing a packager should look at when experiencing issues with the dive are the air lines. Any leak in the air line or any inadvertent disconnection of an airline may cause the dive to malfunction. Along the same lines, a blockage in the air lines can create havoc with the dive. The operator of the filling machine may need to disconnect one or several air lines to ensure that the air is flowing freely through the pathway and able to get to all necessary components. Finally, a check of the air compressor, to ensure that it is powered up and running should also be completed. The solutions, as you might expect, are quite simple. Reconnect, clear or replace any airline that has come loose, become blocked or otherwise needs to be fixed. While the air compressor can create larger problems, techs at Liquid Packaging Solutions have found that more times than not they have simply been turned off for changeover, maintenence or the end of a shift!
OPERATOR INTERFACE CONTROL PANEL SCREENS
Automated packaging machines a touchscreen interface to allow for quick and easy set up of the machinery. Different screens will be used for different purposes. For example, the Manual Toggle screen will control certain functions, including the head dive, when cleaning or maintaining the equipment. For the different features and options of a filling machine to work properly, the corresponding settings in the Manual Toggle screen must be set to function automatically. From time to time, an operator will fail to return the setting to the Auto mode after working on, or changing over the machine. Other screens on a filling machine may include settings for dive limits or even delays for the start of the dive. Depending on the type of filling machine being used - overflow, gravity, piston, etc. - operators should always ensure that the settings are correct when experiencing problems with the head dive. Proper settings should be available in either a manual or a quick set up guide which should always be kept on hand by the filling machine.
In our experience at LPS, checking the air lines and the settings will resolve a majority of the issues for those packagers having trouble with the head dive. However, they are not the only two possibilities and LPS technicians are always available to help with troubleshooting when issues simply cannot be resolved! For troubleshooting help, simple call the LPS service department toll free at 1-888-393-3693 x 304.