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Machine Builders Introduction to Precision Fluid Dispensing

A Quick Guide

30 March 2018

By Dave Spalding

When an assembly process requires fluid dispensing, few things can compromise the performance of a custom automation solution faster than unreliable dispensing equipment. Every dispensing solution used in machine design should be tested and proven to last millions of cycles. A vendor should be able to produce hundreds of documented application tests and real-world application success stories.

This is just one reason machine builders should take care in selecting not only the right dispensing equipment but the right partner. Here’s more advice to make dispensing equipment integration easier.

Consider Dispensing in Early-Stage Planning

It’s important to think about the dispensing system early in your design process to prevent problems later, for example, the location of the fluid reservoir in relation to the dispense valve. Some applications require a shorter fluid line for optimal results. If the valve is tank-fed, the tank should be located as close to the valve as possible.

Another consideration is the location of the valve within the custom automation solution. Often, a valve requires service more frequently than other components of a machine. If the valve is difficult to reach, it can stall production.

Getting a fluid dispensing expert involved early can support innovation as well. As machine builders are faced with increasing demands to design, develop, and install machines that increase business agility and productivity while lowering cost of ownership for their clients, the ability to innovate is more important than ever.

Replacing multiple contact dispensing valves with one non-contact jetting valve, for example, helped one of Nordson EFD’s machine builder customers design a smaller cell that was faster, cleaner, and easier to adapt to different dispensing tasks. Because of the reduced footprint, the machine builder’s client purchased an additional machine to increase production capabilities. It was a win-win for the machine builder and client.

Choosing the Right Equipment = Choosing the Right Partner

Choosing the right fluid dispensing solution for a client’s application can be an obstacle. Nordson EFD, for example, provides more than 130 types of dispense valves and dozens of controllers, valve fittings, fluid reservoirs, and dispensing tips. Choosing the right combination to get the desired deposit within specific tolerances that fits the budget and production requirements of a client is no easy feat.

Working with a vendor that has 50+ years of experience in dispensing is vital to the selection process. Time is money. Machine builders that partner with a fluid dispensing expert who can ask a few questions and recommend the right system, down to the right dispensing tip, saves a significant amount of time.

In addition, the right partner will be able to:

  • Validate the recommendation for a specific application by conducting an application test in a lab with the parts and the fluid you provide.
  • Send technicians to Final Acceptance Trial (FAT) and Site Acceptance Trial (SAT) visits to make sure dispensing processes are set up properly.
  • Visit end users to answer questions and demonstrate the value of the recommended dispensing system.

Staying Informed Keeps You Innovative

Dispensing solution providers are constantly innovating to make products smaller, faster, more precise, more versatile, more user-friendly, and easier to service. This can impact a client’s bottom line, and consequently your own. You can’t recommend the latest dispensing technology if you don’t know it exists.

Nordson EFD makes it easy to stay informed about the latest dispensing technology by signing up for a bi-annual Machine Builder / OEM Tech Update. This update provides a brief overview of the latest fluid dispensing technology with links to more information. Sign up takes about two seconds and won’t flood your inbox with unwanted information.

See an example of a Tech Update here.

Useful Resources

Although we recommend working with an experienced fluid application specialist, there are resources for machine builders who prefer to do their own research. This Dispense Valve Selection Guide organizes dispense valves by the type of fluid and application for easy selection. It also outlines the features of different valves and controllers and provides a detailed fluid reservoir selection table.

This contact vs. jet dispensing white paper can help you decide which micro-dispensing method is right for your application.

If you’re wondering what type of dispense tip to use for a client’s fluid and application this dispense tip selection video series provides an overview, and is a useful resource to share with end users.

You can easily locate all the 3D and 2D CAD models of EFD valves, controllers, dispense tips, tanks, components, fittings, and more here.

More details about how Nordson EFD partners with machine builders can be found in this Machine Builders Solutions Guide and on the web.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at

Head shot of fluid dispensing application specialist Dave SpaldingAbout Dave Spalding

Dave Spalding is the Systems Manager of Western Europe at Nordson EFD. He has more than 21 years of experience helping customers, particularly machine builders, find the right dispensing solutions for their applications. He joined Nordson EFD in 1997.

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