PlateLoc Hot Plate Vacuum Error

We just bought two brand new PlateLocs because of their reputation and hardiness but our initial experience has not been great. After waking up from sleep mode, we consistently get a “Hot Plate Vacuum” errors and have to fish the sealing media out with forceps.

Has anybody experienced this and come up with a reliable resolution?

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While I have come across this issue a few times before, the fix here described on the display and in the manual on page 99 (chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/ fixed it for me every time.
Have you contacted Agilent service yet? They’re pretty quick depending on region.

Just as a data point we don’t let ours sit for more than 24hrs of inactivity. Or if we do then we’ll run a test plate through it and expect to have to correct an error. It’s really only Monday morning that we usually have problems if we didn’t have anything running over the weekend.

In my opinion, as long as you keep the hot plate clean there is not a more reliable heat sealer than a PlateLoc.


@Brad It could be due to the cutter blade being out of alignment. Does the Plateloc cut the foil and not stick to the hotplate? or does it not get that far?

Hi Kastornaut did you purchase the hotplate cleaning kit?

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Negative, I don’t even know what would be in this…have you?

I have one in my lab, I can open it up and see what’s in it. :slight_smile:

Edit: I went and had a look and it’s abut $30 worth of stuff:

  • Box of paper towels
  • Copper wire brush
  • A sponge dish cleaner with 3 extra sponges
  • A precision pick probably for cleaning the holes on the sides of the hot plate

I got the kit as part of a PM on our PlateLoc, would definitely not pay $500 for it even with someone else’s money.


thanks @jnecr that is exactly what I was expecting 500 for a sponge and a brush!

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You could try playing with the tuning/timings. I’ve had to do this in the past. There is a return to defaults if you are worried you went too far.

I also second cleaning the hot plate if you haven’t yet.

Another cause can be something sticky in the transfer plate that tugs on the seal preventing it from holding nicely to the hot plate vac ports.

Pro tip: Don’t let the seal reel run out, then draw into the plateloc, the piece of tape at the end of the seal spool that holds it to the reel. That piece of tape will drive you insane and depending on how sticky it is, it will require a complete disassembly of the plateloc to remove it. Moral of the story, don’t get anything sticky into the plateloc.

2nd Pro tip: When threading through new seal and cycling the plateloc to test it, use an already sealed plate. This will prevent the plastic of the plate from melting to the hot plate in the event that the seal does not actuate through.

Source: Near decade of xp in a lab with 40 of these things.