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How to Optimize Benchtop Syringe Dispenser Performance

Practical Tips for Boosting Productivity in Your Manufacturing Process

22 February 2018

By Tom Muccino

It doesn’t matter if you’re dispensing glue, oil, grease, epoxy, silicone, sealant, cyanoacrylate, solder paste, UV-cure, or any other assembly fluid. Sometimes it’s the little things that may be overlooked that could make all the difference. Simply adding an air filter/regulator or learning how to properly adjust your syringe dispenser’s pressure might be all you need for the perfect workflow.

Nordson EFD has created a series of short How-To videos to help you learn the best practices for using an air-powered precision fluid dispenser (also known as syringe dispenser) to give you the most precise and consistent deposits in the shortest amount of time.

Plant Air Quality

The two most common factors that can affect the accuracy and consistency of fluid deposits when using an air-powered (or pneumatic) fluid dispenser are:

1. Plant Air Fluctuations

Most companies use one air compressor to supply an entire plant. This can make it difficult to maintain the consistent air pressure required by dispensing equipment, especially when that air is used by multiple work stations at different times throughout the day.

2. Contaminants such as Oil, Dust, and Water

Though most air compressors have filters, most filters aren’t fine enough to catch tiny particles of oil, dust, and water that can clog fluid dispensing equipment, causing it to fail.

Both plant air fluctuations and contaminants in your air supply can cause inconsistent fluid deposits. Installing a 5-micron filter/regulator between your plant air supply and your benchtop syringe dispenser helps prevent fluctuations and contaminants from slowing production.

Watch this short video to learn more about plant air quality and how to get more consistent deposits by using a 5-micron filter/regulator.

The Right Deposit Size

Dispensing accurate, repeatable fluid deposits is a benchtop fluid dispenser’s single most important job. Setting up an air-powered fluid dispenser to do exactly that requires three simple steps:

1. Choosing the Right Dispensing Tip

With so many styles and sizes to choose from, finding the best dispense tip for the type of fluid and the size of the deposit needed can be challenging. To choose the right tip size, simply take the diameter of the dot you need to make and cut it in half. Use that as the baseline from which to experiment to find the right internal diameter (ID). If you are making a line, cut the width of the line in half. Nordson EFD provides ID specs in both millimeters and inches for each of our dispensing tips, which makes it easy to formulate the approximate gauge you’ll need.

2. Setting the Air Pressure

The air pressure setting establishes how much fluid will flow through the tip. Start at 0 psi and slowly work your way up. As you increase the psi, watch to see what comes out of the dispensing tip. Stop increasing once you’ve established a consistent fluid flow.

3. Setting the Time

The timer setting establishes how quickly each deposit will be made and the size of the deposit. Start at 0.2500 seconds and increase or decrease the time until you have reached the right deposit size.For faster production, increase the pressure and decrease the time. This will reduce overall dispense time, delivering higher throughput.

Watch this video to learn more about setting up your dispenser for higher productivity.

When Something Goes Wrong

There may be times when you press the foot pedal of your syringe dispenser and nothing happens. In most cases, there is no problem with the dispenser itself, rather some simple issue that may need to be adjusted. Asking yourself these four questions may be all you need to get started again:

  • Is the dispenser plugged in?
  • Is the air hose connected?
  • Is the power turned on?
  • Is the foot pedal connected?

If each question is answered yes and you still have a problem, there are additional tests you can do to resolve your issue. First, remove the adapter head and step on the foot pedal to see if air is flowing through the dispenser. If not, make sure nothing in that factory is impeding air flow to the dispenser.

Next, check the safety clip to make sure it is open. If it’s closed, no fluid will be dispensed. Third, check for fluid clogging in the dispensing tip. Replace your dispensing tip with a new tip to see if a clog is preventing fluid from being dispensed.

Lastly, check the vacuum suck-back feature to be sure it is properly set. Also consider using an adapter assembly with a filter trap inline of the adapter hose to prevent fluid from entering the dispenser. If you have tried all of these techniques and still have problems, contact your Nordson EFD representative.

Learn more about troubleshooting your dispenser by watching this video.

If you have any questions about how to improve your dispensing process, don’t hesitate to email us at

Tom MuccinoAbout Tom Muccino

Tom Muccino is a Zone Manager at Nordson EFD. He manages the sales team located in the Midwest to the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada. Tom has more than 30 years of fluid dispensing expertise. He joined Nordson EFD in 1987.

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