Seal Design Starts With This Formula

Seal Design

Finished gaskets follow a formula. Seal design begins with compound, hardness, and profile selection. Custom seals and gaskets that account for these factors can fill the gap, withstand the environment, and meet business and technical requirements.

Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know. Continue reading Seal Design Starts With This Formula

Value-Added Manufacturing: Parts Marking, Kitting, and Custom Packaging

Value-Added Manufacturing

Value-added manufacturing transforms engineered products into goods that save you time and money. It’s different than fabrication, the process of manufacturing a product like a gasket from a semi-finished material like an extrusion. By outsourcing fabrication and leveraging a vendor’s value-added services, you can reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Consider the following example. Instead of paying your employee to cut and bond gaskets, you outsource the gasket fabrication. If you’re using a relatively expensive employee to cut-and-bond, you’ll save money on labor costs. You’ll also reduce material waste from mis-cuts and improve material yields. Yet outsourced fabrication can do even more.

Value-added manufacturing like parts marking, kitting, and custom packaging make your products faster, easier, and less expensive to order, receive, stock, pick, and install. That’s true for gaskets as well as for thermal and acoustic insulation. Even rubber floor mats provide an opportunity for added value.

Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading Value-Added Manufacturing: Parts Marking, Kitting, and Custom Packaging

Better Bonded Gaskets for Sealing and Insulation

Better bonded gaskets improve quality and perceptions of quality. They reduce labor costs and support sales, too.

Bonded Gaskets

Finished gaskets need strong bonds to provide reliable sealing and insulation. In applications where rubber gaskets are visible, bonds that look better also suggest higher product quality. Buyers of specialty vehicles, commercial ovens, and electrical enclosures (just to name a few) don’t want to see bonded gaskets that look like they’re ready to pull apart in the corners or that need touch-ups.

Even in applications (such as HVAC systems) where finished gaskets are hidden, failure is expensive. Replacing the rubber seal in an air conditioning unit may cost more than you realize. In addition to paying for a replacement part, there are direct labor costs. Indirect costs including traveling to and from the job site, scaling ladders, pulling and replacing panels, and completing paperwork. Over time, it all adds up.

Gasket bonding may seem simple, but it’s skilled labor. You can buy your bonded gasket equipment, but machines don’t come with expertise. Even in an age of digital manufacturing, some activities still require craftsmanship. Plus, some bonding methods require cuts that you don’t have the equipment to make. You can try using guillotine saws or hand tools, but you can’t match water jet cutting. Continue reading Better Bonded Gaskets for Sealing and Insulation

Vendor Consolidation is Right for Rubber Products

Vendor ConsolidationVendor consolidation is a procurement strategy where you reduce the number of vendors that your company buys from. Businesses don’t want to become overly dependent on a single vendor or a handful of vendors, but there are costs – and risks – from having too many suppliers. There are also benefits to lowering the number of vendors that you do business with. Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading Vendor Consolidation is Right for Rubber Products

Three Ways to Solve Your Skilled Labor Shortage

Skilled Labor ShortageDoes your manufacturing company have a skilled labor shortage? You’re not alone if you do. Demand for manufactured products is high, but the unemployment rate is low. Time isn’t on your side either. Today, 30% of the skilled workers in manufacturing are older than age 55. These Baby Boomers aren’t ready to retire yet, but they won’t stay on your factory floor forever.

Meanwhile, many of today’s students are choosing college or university instead of the skilled trades. Maybe it’s because they think that manufacturing jobs are dangerous, dirty, or boring. Maybe it’s because they’d rather sit at a computer in an air-conditioned office than stand on a concrete floor next to a machine. Some may remember how family members lost jobs to plants closings or down-sizing.

What’s the solution to your skilled labor shortage then? Do you need to wait for new programs to provide workers? Will automation eventually solve your problems instead? These solutions may sound promising, but you can’t keep waiting if you want to keep your customers happy today. You need a solution now. The good news is that you can get it from your supply chain if you know where to look.

Let’s consider your options. Continue reading Three Ways to Solve Your Skilled Labor Shortage

Hot Splicing vs. Vulcanizing for Bonded Gaskets

Bonded GasketsHot splicing uses heat, pressure, and a film splice to join the ends of rubber profiles into bonded gaskets. This joining technique uses either a conventional heating source or infrared (IR) light and polyethylene (PE) film. Hot splicing creates strong bonds at the molecular level and generally provides better results than vulcanization, a bonding technique that uses uncured rubber instead of a film splice.

Choosing the best way to bond rubber gaskets can be a complex decision, however. The profile material is just one of many considerations. You also need to consider the size and shape of the seal, production quantities and costs, and the way that lengths of rubber are cut. In addition, it’s important to inspect and install your gaskets properly to ensure reliable sealing and prevent avoidable waste.

Is hot splicing better than vulcanizing for the rubber gaskets that you need? Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading Hot Splicing vs. Vulcanizing for Bonded Gaskets

What’s the Best Way to Bond Rubber Gaskets?

Bonding GasketsRubber profiles come in lengths that are cut-to-size and fabricated into finished gaskets. Examples include picture frame or bezel gaskets, O-rings, and gaskets with rounded corners.

There are four ways to bond or join the ends of rubber profiles.

  • Hot Splicing
  • Vulcanization
  • Cold Bonding
  • Molding

Each bonding or joining method has its advantages, but what’s the best choice for your application? Let’s examine each method in detail so that you can make the right decision. Continue reading What’s the Best Way to Bond Rubber Gaskets?

The True Costs of Industrial Rubber Products

True CostsWhat are the true costs of industrial rubber products such as seals, gaskets, and insulation? Buying rubber materials and fabricating them in-house may seem cost-effective, but is your company really saving money? For that matter, are you sacrificing quality, consistency, and potential sales opportunities for a questionable cost savings?

Companies that want to know the true costs of industrial rubber products need to understand the full scope of their manufacturing costs. Typically, these costs are divided into three categories: direct labor, direct material, and manufacturing overhead. If any of these costs are incorrect, your financial statements may under-report inventory value and the cost of goods sold.

In this article from Elasto Proxy, we’ll examine each category of manufacturing costs so that you can consider how your in-house operations compare to outsourced fabrication. By understanding your true costs, you can make better business decisions and strengthen your manufacturing operations. Continue reading The True Costs of Industrial Rubber Products

Rubber Gate Seal for Water Filtration System Lasts Longer, Resists Disinfection, Adds Business Value

Water Filtration Case StudyWhen a manufacturer of water filtration systems needed a rubber gate seal that would last longer and resist ultraviolet (UV) light, Elasto Proxy provided a value-added solution. This custom gasket doesn’t just resist exposure to water, contact with metal and concrete, and disinfection with UV light. The gate seal also supports ease-of-installation and is ready to ship from Elasto Proxy’s warehouse in Newmarket, Ontario.

The 60-durometer EPDM lip seal (J-seal) that Elasto Proxy provides attaches to the bottom of a metal gate used in water treatment facilities. This rubber seal is also compressed against hard concrete floors and exposed to a range of temperatures. UV disinfection kills waterborne microbes that can make people sick, but ultraviolet light can also degrade rubber materials. Without reliable sealing and strong bonding, gaskets like this can’t meet business or technical requirements.

To provide a complete sealing solution, Elasto Proxy leveraged its expertise in seal design, material selection, custom fabrication, warehousing, and logistics. Continue reading Rubber Gate Seal for Water Filtration System Lasts Longer, Resists Disinfection, Adds Business Value

Cold Bonding for Rubber Gaskets

Cold BondingCold bonding for rubber gaskets joins lengths of material without the use of heat. This bonding technique doesn’t require low-temperature conditions, but is called “cold” because no heat is applied to the gasket. By contrast, hot splicing requires either a conventional heat source or infrared (IR) light. Vulcanization and molded corners for rubber gaskets also involve heating gasket materials.

With cold bonding, an adhesive is applied to the ends of the lengths that will be joined together. Different types of bonding systems are available, including compounds that vary in terms of viscosity, chemistry, and material properties. Cold bonding for rubber gaskets can save time and eliminate tooling costs, but engineers need a complete understanding of this joining method before choosing glued gaskets. Continue reading Cold Bonding for Rubber Gaskets