Five Products You Didn’t Know That Elasto Proxy Supplies

Five ProductsElasto Proxy supplies industrial products that you probably didn’t know we offered. Why does this matter to you? Engineers need reliable parts that support larger product designs. Components that don’t work, won’t fit, fail in the field, or wear out too soon can cause project delays and cost overruns. If your current supplier can’t support your application, Elasto Proxy may offer an alternative.

Purchasing personnel also need suppliers who meet business and technical requirements. For purchasing agents, sticking with the same vendor may seem like the easiest way to do business. Yet it’s not always the best way, as sourcing managers can attest. As companies consolidate vendor lists to reduce operational expenses, they’re also buying more parts from suppliers with strong vendor scorecards.

In this article from Elasto Proxy, you’ll learn about five products that we offer that you probably didn’t know we did. Do you need rubber that’s bonded to metal, silicone hose, metallic-colored extrusions, molded plastic parts, or sewn products? If your company is buying these products from another supplier, you could save time and money by ordering them from Elasto Proxy instead. Continue reading Five Products You Didn’t Know That Elasto Proxy Supplies

Four Core Values That Define Elasto Proxy

Core ValuesCore values describe what we believe and guide the way that we act. These deeply-held values also serve as a mirror of sorts. When a company’s behavior reflects its core values, employees see this consistency. Customers and vendors recognize integrity, too. Inside and out, a company needs to be true in both word and deed. That’s why at Elasto Proxy, we don’t just talk about our core values. We show you who we are in all that we do.

Maybe you’ve done business with Elasto Proxy for years. Maybe you’re a new customer or vendor.  Regardless, we’d like you to know more about who we are and what our core values mean for you. Elasto Proxy is a growing, global company that’s powered by problem solvers. We’re also engaged, professional, and loyal. Regular readers of our blog have come to appreciate our application knowledge and technical expertise. But do you know how our core values support your success? Continue reading Four Core Values That Define Elasto Proxy

Five Things to Know About Elasto Proxy’s Capabilities

CapabilitiesHow much do you know about Elasto Proxy’s capabilities? Maybe you place an occasional order for coils. Maybe you receive releases of gaskets against a blanket purchase order instead. Elasto Proxy is both a rubber distributor and a gasket fabricator, but we’re also more – a lot more. If you haven’t talked to Elasto Proxy in a while, now is a great time to learn what else we can do for you. Why take a chance on an untested supplier when what you may need is available from a trusted partner? Continue reading Five Things to Know About Elasto Proxy’s Capabilities

Rubber Meets Steel – Elasto Proxy Visits Pittsburgh

Video - Rubber Meets Steel
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Does your Pittsburgh-area company need to solve sealing and insulation challenges? Elasto Proxy is ready to help. Meet us in Pittsburgh from November 9 to 11, 2015. Request a meeting today.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is still nicknamed the Steel City, but there are no longer any steel mills within the city’s limits. During the 1970s and 1980s, the mills began to close and hundreds of thousands of jobs disappeared. Today, the Edgar Thompson Steel Works in nearby North Braddock is all that’s left of this once-mighty industry. Pittsburgh has re-invented itself, however, and now has a diversified economy that’s based largely on healthcare, education, and high-tech industries.

There’s a role for rubber and plastic in each of these sectors – and with steel, too. When Elasto Proxy visits Pittsburgh this week, we look forward to helping partners solve their sealing and insulation challenges. As an experienced custom fabricator, Elasto Proxy specializes in custom rubber and plastic parts for demanding applications. So whether you need rubber exhaust gaskets for stainless steel mufflers, plastic arms for industrial robots, or sanitary seals for medical devices, Elasto Proxy is ready to help. Continue reading Rubber Meets Steel – Elasto Proxy Visits Pittsburgh

Extruded Rubber Profiles for Custom Seals and Gaskets

Video - Extruded Rubber Profiles
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Learn how extruded rubber profiles are made, and how custom fabrication converts elastomeric stock materials into specialty seals and custom gaskets. Click here for Elasto Proxy’s catalog of standard profiles.

Rubber extrusion is a manufacturing process that creates stock materials or profiles with a fixed cross-section such as a U-shaped channel. First, uncured elastomers are pushed or drawn through a specialized metal tool called a die. Later, the rubber compound is cured through vulcanization, a chemical conversion process that uses heat and sulfur to impart durability and improve mechanical properties.

Rubber extrusion is used with many different types of elastomers, and this rubber manufacturing method supports complex cross-sectional profiles with an excellent surface finish. Because extrusion mixes and blends the raw materials, the cured rubber offers consistent strength and a uniform appearance along the length of the profile. Standards from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) define part tolerances based on physical dimensions and an RMA class of high precision, precision, or commercial. Continue reading Extruded Rubber Profiles for Custom Seals and Gaskets

Elasto Proxy Seals a Successful 2014

Elasto Proxy - 25 YearsDoug Sharpe
President of Elasto Proxy

This year, Elasto Proxy celebrated its 25th year in business. In June, I shared some reflections about where our family-owned company has been, where we’re going, and what it means for you. Today, as 2014 draws to a close, I’d like to review our year with you, and share a few thoughts about 2015 and beyond. Like any growing global company, Elasto Proxy faces challenges. Yet our challenges represent opportunities, and I’m pleased to report that we’re making the most of them.

Change is the Only Constant

January 2014 seems like a long time ago, but we began the year thinking about a role for rubber seals in rail safety. As you may recall, the December 2013 derailment of an oil train near Casselton, South Dakota reminded us of a similar disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. The high cost of oil seemed here to stay, but now the price of a barrel has plummeted. Did you see that one coming? Markets are cyclical, of course, but price corrections and even recessions can make winners stronger.

For Elasto Proxy, part of the strength of our business lies in the diversity of the markets that we serve. Defense spending may be down, but there are growing opportunities in other industries. For example, as cars and trucks incorporate more electronic components, demand for EMI shielding will rise. Some business opportunities are global, but there’s still a need to serve local markets, too. Niche players can find a foothold and grow their small businesses into medium-sized enterprises. That’s been our strategy.

Building for the Future

Throughout 2014, Elasto Proxy invested in the future. In August, we announced our acquisition of an infrared film splicer. Did you know that we sold our die-cutter, though? Simply put, keeping it didn’t make sense. Plus, our water jet cutting machine makes fine, fast cuts – and without long lead times or tooling charges. Next year, we plan to invest in a robotic cutting center. 3D printing is hot, and we’ve used it for auto parts prototyping, but there’s a lot to consider as a fabricator.

Technology investments are important, but equipment isn’t Elasto Proxy’s only asset. Cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) may transform manufacturing, but there will never be a substitute for talented, dedicated employees. In successful organizations, the “human touch” still counts. That’s why Elasto Proxy invests in employee training, and works hard to improve internal processes. We’re proud of our ISO 9001:2008 certification, and continue to embrace lean manufacturing.

How Can We Help You?

People, products, processes, and production equipment are force multipliers here at Elasto Proxy’s headquarters in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada. We’re also especially grateful for the strong contributions of our solutions providers in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada; Simpsonville, South Carolina, USA; and Shanghai, China. For a company that began in a basement, Elasto Proxy certainly has grown!

So how can we help you? Do you need seals and insulation in 2015, or would you just like to learn more about us?  Look for us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. There, you’ll find our Capabilities video, as well as other informative content. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters.

Happy holidays, everyone! On behalf of Elasto Proxy, I hope your 2014 was a success – and that your 2015 will be even better.

Elasto Proxy

How to Source Custom-Fabricated Rubber Parts

Hand Crafted

Doug Sharpe
President of Elasto Proxy

Did you know that there’s a difference between manufacturing and fabrication? Although these two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they’re not exactly the same. Manufacturing is a process that creates something new from raw materials, or that produces a high-volume of parts. In the rubber industry, for example, manufacturers make sheets and profiles – as well as tires for trucks, buses, and cars. Fabricators customize manufactured stock to meet a buyer’s precise specifications.

For over 25 years, Elasto Proxy has specialized in the custom fabrication of small-to-medium quantities of high-quality parts made of rubber, plastic, and composite materials. Our slogan, “The Art of Sealing”, illustrates how we create components through a unique combination of time-honored craftsmanship and modern production technologies. Today, Elasto Proxy stocks over 700 molded and extruded rubber profiles, and can source many different materials in a variety of form factors.

From Catalog Pages to Custom Fabricated Rubber Parts

Elasto Proxy’s catalog of standard products is extensive, but we understand that engineers and product designers want to see more than just a catalog page when making procurement decisions. That’s why we don’t just sell products. Instead, we offer custom-fabricated solutions. As your partner and problem solver, Elasto Proxy applies its technical knowledge and application experience on your behalf. In short, we find innovative ways to solve your sealing and insulation challenges.

For example, by partnering with trusted suppliers and sourcing high-quality materials, Elasto Proxy can create custom components such as bulb trim seals, edge trim, floor mats, weather stripping, window channels, and tubing. We can also produce custom-molded parts, thermal and acoustic insulation, and EMI/RFI shielding. Rubber bumpers, inflatable seals, and rubber sheeting are also part of our extensive catalog, and parts that we can custom-fabricate to meet your specific requirements.

Cutting, Splicing, and Taping

Material selection is important, but custom fabrication isn’t just about choosing the right compound for rubber parts. At Elasto Proxy, skilled production personnel apply their expertise with state-of-the-art cutting, splicing, and taping technologies. For example, our water jet cutting machine can make fine, fast cuts as small as 1/2” x 1/2”. With gaskets, we can create holes with diameters as small as 0.01”. For highly precise, cost-effective cuts without tooling charges or long leads, water jet technology sets the standard.

Elasto Proxy’s splicing solutions also promote quality and efficiency. Depending on the run quantity, performance requirements, material type, and tooling, we may recommend film splicing, cold bonding, C-press injection molding, or vulcanizing for joints, corners, and ends. Elasto Proxy also offers taping with a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) or heat-activated taping system (HATS) to keep profiles in place for temporary or permanent fastening.

How Can We Help You?

Taped gaskets are ready-to-install right out-of-the-box and speed production operations on automotive assembly lines. Custom insulation consists of sandwich-like structures made with coated fabrics, foams, fillers, barrier materials and adhesives for applications such as thermal and acoustic insulation. EMI/RFI shielding protects sensitive medical and military electronics. For a wide range of industries, Elasto Proxy delivers. How can we help you solve your sealing and insulation challenges?

Please contact us for more information about custom fabrication, or join the conversation on our social media channels. Look for a post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. There, you’ll find our Capabilities video, as well as other informative content. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and they provide links to blog entries like this one.

Part Tolerances for Rubber Seals and Insulation


Paulo Arruda
Purchasing and Logistics at Elasto Proxy

Part tolerances are allowable variations in the dimensions of manufactured components. They are expressed as plus or minus values, or as a range of measurements. If a part is out of tolerance, problems may occur. For example, if a rubber door seal on a machine is out of tolerance, the door may be difficult to shut or fail to provide proper sealing and insulation.

Engineers and product designers understand part tolerances for metal components, but may be less familiar with tolerances for rubber parts such as door seals. Rubber has different properties than metal, of course, and is more sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature. The type of rubber and the kind of tooling that is used during manufacturing also affects part tolerance.

Solving Part Tolerance Challenges

Sometimes, an engineer or product designer specifies a tolerance that would be fine for a metal part, but not for a rubber profile. As an experienced custom fabricator, Elasto Proxy can review your drawings or CAD files, and suggest modifications. By examining tolerance tables from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), our technical team can then recommend solutions that support your product design.

The RMA is well-known for its work regarding tire safety, but this trade organization supports many manufacturers of rubber products. The RMA’s tolerance tables help during part design and production, and provide a “common language” that the entire supply chain can understand. Buyers of industrial rubber products don’t need the in-depth knowledge of a custom fabricator, but it helps to understand the basics.

Molded and Extruded Parts

The RMA Handbook contains tolerance tables for both molded and extruded rubber. Molding and extrusion are different processes, but both subject rubber parts to physical changes. For example, during molding, the rubber expands as it vulcanizes. The recipe for the rubber determines the temperature at which curing or vulcanization occurs. Later, when the molded part cools, it shrinks.

Extrusion also causes changes in part size, and extruded parts can swell or shrink depending on the compound that’s used. As extruders know, the shape of the die isn’t the shape of the final part. There are other considerations, too. Solid extrusions are denser and easier to control. Extruded sponge and foam exhibit larger variances because of the chemical reaction that creates the cavities.

Tolerance Types and RMA Classes

As the RMA Handbook indicates, extruded parts have tolerances for shape or cross-section, cut-length, and angle cut. In the case of cut-lengths, it’s important to remember that rubber stretches. Tight tolerances are possible with metal channels, but not with rubber extrusions that expand or contract with temperature changes. Also, the tolerances on angle cuts used with spliced gaskets aren’t the same as the tolerances for cut lengths. Consequently, each process has its own tolerance chart.

Buyers of industrial rubber products also need to understand that the RMA Handbook divides, for example, solid extruded parts into three classes: high precision (1), precision (2), and commercial (3). That’s why when you receive a quote from us, you may see a line such as “per RMA-E2”. This refers to the specific RMA tolerance table (Table 13, which uses a lettered identifier of E), as well as the precision class (2).

How Can We Help You?

Do you have questions about part tolerances for rubber seals and insulation? Would you like to learn more about molding and extrusion, and why choosing the right rubber is so important? Do you have questions about RMA tolerance tables, such as which ones apply to your design? For over 25 years, Elasto Proxy has been helping partners solve technical design and custom-fabrication challenges.

Please contact us for more information, or join the conversation on our social media channels. Look for a post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and they provide links to blog entries like this one.

Custom Fabricated Vehicle Parts for the ETS Dune Buggy


Philippe Grenier
Production Coordinator at Elasto Proxy

École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), a public engineering school in Montreal, awards the most engineering diplomas in Quebec and is Canada’s third largest engineering school. Founded in 1974, ETS is part of the Université du Québec system and esteemed for its emphasis on cooperative education. Each year, students combine classroom instruction with hands-on experience such as participation in international competitions. In the process, ETS students work with local companies.

Since 2008, Elasto Proxy has custom-fabricated rubber and plastic parts for student-built vehicles. This year’s project, a yellow dune buggy, took fifth place in a competition among engineering schools from Canada and the United States. Powered by a modified 10-hp Briggs & Stratton snow blower engine, the small two-wheel drive specialty vehicle is capable of achieving speeds of 60 to 70 km/hr. Although the students who visited us didn’t drive quite that fast around our parking lot, the Elasto Proxy employees who tried the dune buggy had a great time, as you can see from these photos on our Facebook page.

Custom Fabrication with Water Jet Cutting

Elasto Proxy custom-fabricated two main types of vehicle parts for the Baja ETS dune buggy: HDPE plastic parts for the vehicle’s body, and silicone foam insulation for the engine compartment. Using our water jet cutter, we made fast, clean cuts in a variety of sizes. Unlike die cutting, water jet cutting eliminates tooling costs and creates smooth edges. Water jet cutting is ideal for polymers and elastomers, but also works well with the thermal and acoustic insulation used in engine bays.

To produce durable plastic parts for the dune buggy’s body, Elasto Proxy cut sheets of yellow HDPE plastic. Known for its large strength-to-weight ratio, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a thermoplastic that’s used in products ranging from fuel tanks and pipes to bumpers and ballistic plates. At our custom fabrication facility here in Boisbriand, Quebec, our skilled production team crafted HDPE auto parts such as the fender, roof, scoop, and 7’ x 20” undercarriage component.

Custom Insulation and Specialty Seals

Water jet cutting also allowed Elasto Proxy to create a heat insulation barrier from silicone foam sheets. Snow blower engines are designed for cold weather environments, of course, but the powerplant that the ETS students modified generates plenty of heat. Without a thermal barrier, heat from the tuned-up engine could cause the transmission to overheat – and sideline the dune buggy during a race. Silicone, a heat-resistant material with an excellent service life, was the right choice for the heat shield.

In addition to water jet cutting, Elasto Proxy applied its expertise in cold bonding, a splicing technique that uses a quick-setting adhesive to join precise, angled parts without tooling costs. The rubber seal that we cold bonded for the dune buggy’s transmission was produced from an EPDM U-channel. A synthetic elastomer, EPDM offers outstanding heat resistance. EPDM rubber’s resistance to ozone and weather also make it a popular choice for the door, window, trunk, and hood seals used on cars.

How Can We Help You?

Do you have questions about compound selection or custom fabricated parts for cars, trucks, military transports, or mobile specialty vehicles such as the ETS dune buggy? For 25 years, Elasto Proxy has been solving sealing and insulation challenges in a variety of industries. By listening to all of your application requirements and analyzing all of your needs, our solutions providers can help.

Please contact us for more information, or join the conversation on our social media channels. Look for a post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and they provide links to blog entries like this one.