Spray gun maintenance is critical in ensuring the best output of your spray gun day in and day out. In fact, many of the spray guns that get sent in for full repairs or rebuilds are simply due to faulty or non-existent maintenance procedures.
The biggest culprit when it comes to needing repairs is buildup in the material ports or in the needle/nozzle itself. This is typically due to the material settling in the gun itself while it is not in use (i.e. overnight in between production runs). Depending on the scale of your spray system, there are multiple solutions available from mechanical to procedural, that will drastically extend its functional time in between repairs.
For a smaller spray system such as a simple gravity feed gun for automotive finishes, flushing the gun out with water or cleaner (depending if your material is water or solvent based) after every spray cycle is a best practice. This procedure takes only minutes and will dramatically increase the life of your spray gun while also reducing wear and tear. In addition, you should use accessories such as picks of small brushes to manually clean out any material ports on a semi regular basis (i.e. weekly or bi-weekly depending on material and frequency of use). You can easily source a spray gun cleaning kit that has all of the tools necessary to keep your gun in tip top shape. For more complex systems such as multiple gun spray marking systems, you can purchase flushing equipment that will automate this process for you so that it only takes seconds to clean out your entire system.
Spray gun maintenance is key no matter how small and simple or large and complex your spray system. These best practices, when performed on a regular basis, will keep your process running smoothly and your guns out of the repair shop thus saving you time and money in the long run.
Jorge Flores, Marketing Coordinator
Coating Equipment Technology, Inc