Category Archive: Blog

Why is Being “Wrong” so Important?

Let’s face it, nobody likes to be wrong about anything.  It challenges your sense of self confidence, it’s embarrassing, and it just doesn’t feel good.

That said, being wrong is where learning takes place. When people are correct, they move to the next thing. There is no need for reflection or thinking. Being wrong forces people to contemplate their position and how they arrived at their decision. In doing this people see things differently and learn how to make better decisions. That part of being wrong is obvious, but there is much more to it.

Impacts

The impact on human interactions when people are wrong is monumental. Almost anyone that realizes they are wrong becomes defensive.  In that moment communication can deteriorate and in many cases that makes reaching a resolution difficult, if not impossible.  On the other hand, when someone needs to point out that another person is incorrect for some reason, it likely causes anxiety for the person that needs to explain why.  In a team structure, it can create stress and make it difficult for the team to function at a high level. We have all experienced situations where people go to great lengths to “prove” they are correct. There are two reasons people decide to press their position; they believe they are correct, or they do not want to lose.  Regardless of the reason, this activity is usually destructive for your relationships and your ability to function effectively in your role. No matter which reason is behind pushing that you are correct, at that moment pressing ahead is not going to help resolve anything. When there is disagreement, it is best to do nothing more than listen.

So, what are the not so obvious reasons why it is important to be wrong and accept it gracefully? Other people will analyze how you react to being wrong and how they interpret that will go a long way to determine what they think of you. When you accept that you are incorrect professionally, that shows them that you have confidence in yourself. At that moment they become more confident in you. At the same time, it makes it much easier for people to interact with you.  They are not afraid to point out your inaccuracies. In other words, you have given them permission to challenge you. People will be more candid and that will create more fruitful conversations and better decisions in your relationships and in team environments.

Picking your Battles

Let me take this to another level and suggest that at times you should go out of your way to say you are wrong even when you are not. I know that sounds strange but hear me out. You need to decide if you gain more by “not being right”. Human emotions are a powerful thing and in many cases winning the emotional war is more important than winning the immediate battle on an issue or topic. There are many interactions where it simply does not matter who is right. If someone thinks a car is gray and I think it’s silver, does it matter at all who is correct? For that matter, whether a car is blue or red doesn’t matter. As you know this is called picking your battles. Furthermore, if there is more than one way to solve a problem, it can be better in the long run to “not be right”, or probably more accurately, not insisting to do it your way, even if their way is not as good as yours in your opinion.  It helps people learn to solve problems and it makes them feel good which is a positive for everyone involved. No matter what role you are in, a spouse, a colleague, or a leader, productive resolutions to important issues are critical.  Being right or doing things your way in many cases will do nothing to solve problems because of the “collateral” damage that can occur.

Now you are asking, did Chuck really write this? Okay, do as I say, not as I do. I realize that this is a struggle for me and possibly others, but I hope you will at least give me credit for acknowledging that and putting this on paper (or on the computer screen).

Finally, I want to thank all our constituents, our wonderful Associates, our paying Customers, and our Supplier partners. It has been a trying year in many ways, but it is years like this that make us appreciate the not so trying years. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Chuck Keeley

President

CGR Products

Ingress Protection for Electrical Enclosures

Since CGR Products’ founding in 1963, we’ve worked with design engineers to bring projects to life, and we do everything we can to make that process efficient, affordable and successful. CGR uses a wide variety of converting methods and equipment to create parts and designs with precision and efficiency

Enclosure Protection

Enclosure gaskets are mechanical parts used to provide weatherproof seals on electrical enclosures and its doors. The typical method of attaching the gaskets is by means of a chemical fastener such as pressure sensitive adhesives (PSA). The mating surfaces many times can be irregular. In order to protect the sensitive electronic equipment inside the enclosure, a properly selected and manufactured gasket is critical. The enclosures can be used indoors or outdoors; therefore, a properly selected material and design are essential to ensure proper performance and long life. Generally, gaskets are used to seal out dust, dirt, water, Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), and Radio Frequency (RFI). Gaskets can also be used to dissipate vibration.

Industry Testing

Water: Direct spray tests are conducted. These tests can be a drip test, pressure hose test, or submersion test. UL requires that no water enter the unit during any of these tests. Full submersion tests can require up to 24 hours of submersion with zero entry of moisture.
Oil Swell: The gasket material is submerged in oil for 24 hours. The gasket material cannot swell over 25% of its original dimension or shrink more than 1%.
Tensile & Elongation: Some NEMA tests require tensile and elongation retention. For tensile and elongation the gasket materials are aged for 1 week @ 70 degrees C (158 F). After completion, the new and aged gasket materials are compared. To pass the tensile test the aged gasket material must stretch 75% of the same length as the new material before breaking. Elongation requires that the amount of force needed to break the aged material must be at least 75% of the new material.
Other tests include water absorption, compression deflection, and compression set. Contact CGR Products for a more detailed explanation for all of these industry tests.

 

For a FREE downloadable PDF version to keep for your records:

Download the full version of Ingress Protection for Electrical Enclosures here

 

Gasket Design

Die Cut Gaskets:
Die cutting is the general process of using a die or tooling to shear webs of low-strength materials, such as rubber, fiber, foam, paper, paper, plastics, thin metals, and pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes.

Die cutting can produce a precise shape with no seams. These gaskets form around the entire perimeter of the enclosure or the sealing surface. These type of gaskets can be supplied individually, in sheets, kiss-cut on rolls, or in strips, with or without pressure sensitive adhesives for mounting.

Strip Gasketing:
This method is the oldest. Supplied in rolls, the manufacturers of the enclosures adhere strips of the gasket material to the enclosure surface to be sealed. One side of the gasket material will have a pressure sensitive adhesive designed to adhere to the enclosure structure. The corners are not sealed due to the strip design. This method is the most economical but the corners are areas of concern for some applications.

 

Fold- out / Dovetail Gasket
In instances of very large enclosures, high volumes, or the design does not allow for strip gaskets, a fold-out or dovetail gasket may be an option. The fold-out gasket allows the die cut to be expanded to its final shape, eliminating the center scrap. A dovetail gasket works in a similar fashion, except the corners are mitered and fit together comparable to a jigsaw puzzle. The design of the enclosure and level of ingress protection needed will determine if this type of gasket is suitable.

 

Material Selection

Elastomeric materials are the most common and affordable materials used for enclosure gaskets and seals. These materials are available in foams, sponge, foam blends, and cork blends, with and without pressure sensitive adhesives. The key to choosing a gasket material is defining the environment in which it must perform. One must consider temperature / thermal management requirements, UV and Ozone exposure, EMI / RFI resistance, just to name a few.

What can CGR Products do for you?
CGR Products can assist in suggesting a material for an electrical enclosure. We have worked with many enclosure manufactures over the last 50 years. The full CGR Resource Library and team of experts are available to clients with specifications, cost charts, comparative material information and more. Our design team works with automotive, marine, appliance, plastic molding, power tool, electrical, small engine and countless other clients.

Our in-house tool and die capabilities mean maximum problem solving with minimal lead times, and an extensive inventory of raw materials supports projects of all kinds. Safety stocks are in place with our inventory of raw materials, and consultation with our experienced staff is always available to get you started.

 

For a FREE downloadable PDF version to keep for your records:

Download the full version of Ingress Protection for Electrical Enclosures here

 

Learn More

Consider CGR Products when you are developing your enclosure protection.  With over 170,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space and over 100 top-quality machines, CGR serves a diverse range of clients, including those in the electrical enclosure industry.

To request a quote for your next gasket click Here or visit our Sample Gallery to view a portfolio encompassing all the industries we serve.

 

Learn About CGR Products Laminating Services

At CGR Products, we laminate many different materials on a daily basis.  We can laminate materials up to 84″ wide and as thin as .062″.  Materials can range from closed cell foam to heavy fabrics.  In this series, we will look at some common ways CGR Products offers laminating services.

Heat Platen Laminating

This type lamination involves a process where the adhesive roll rides over a heated platen.  Heat is used to soften the adhesive which is typically called “Flow”.   The heat of the platen is computer controlled and is critical to the speed of the process.   The material being laminated is pulled through the machine via driven rollers and the adhesive is applied to the bottom side of the substrate.  The bond of adhesive to the substrate is performed at the nip roller.  Once bonded the materials can be rewound and supplied on a core.

Watch our video below of closed cell foam being laminated with 3M9495 double coated adhesive.

Infrared Laminating

Infrared laminating is similar to heat platen laminating other than the heat source.  This process uses Infrared heat to help the adhesive flow before it is applied to the material.  One benefit of infrared is the heat can be micro adjusted while in process which allows the operator to quickly find the optimum temperature to create the best bond.  The infrared process is instant so the heat can be started and stopped within seconds saving valuable time and material.

Camouflage fabric laminated to closed cell sponge rubber

Camouflage fabric laminated to closed cell sponge rubber

Hot Roll Laminating

Hot Roll lamination involves applying adhesive over a heated drum.  The heated drum helps the adhesive flow just before being applied to the substrate. CGR Products hot roll laminator will handle materials up to 84″ wide.  Our hot roll laminator is well suited for materials such as carpet and textiles.  A common use for this machine is the process of glue web lamination.  This process allows customers to reactivate the adhesive with heat when parts are ready to be installed.

Rotary Laminating

For high volume die cutting applications, we utilize Rotary lamination.  We commonly laminate materials up to 16″ wide such as 3M VHB, Copper foils, and Mylar.   Depending on the complexity of the part,  we can usually laminate and cut the part in one pass.  This helps to reduce cost and increase responsiveness to your customer.

Learn More

To learn more about our lamination capabilities, visit our laminating services page.   Feel free to click around our website or visit our Sample Gallery to view a portfolio encompassing many of the industries we serve.

Gap Fillers for Acoustical and Ingress Protection

Elastomeric gap fillers come in many shapes and sizes,  from open cell foam used for acoustical management, to closed cell sponge used for sealing outside elements. In this article, we will discuss three types of gap fillers that CGR Products manufactures on a daily basis.

Open Cell Polyurethane

Open cell polyurethane is a great low cost material as a gap filler when sealing out water is not applicable.  Open cell foam is made up of cells that are intentionally left open, which results in foam that is softer and more flexible.  Its composition allows air and moisture to pass through so that when condensation takes place, the foam dries and doesn’t hold the moisture.

Open cell polyurethane works well for items such as bulldozers, excavators, generators, and other heavy equipment that have engines that generate a significant amount of noise.  Polyurethane foam gap fillers can help reduce engine noise and other acoustical noises when water ingress is not an issue.

Open cell polyurethane from CGR Products is available with or without adhesive on one side.  This material can be die cut into any shape used for a specific area or supplied in roll form.  Thickness typically ranges from .125″ to 1.25″.  We utilize an acrylic adhesive on our polyurethane foam for optimal long-term, durable applications.

Closed Cell Foam

Closed cell foam is made of cells that are fully closed and packed tightly together. This results in foam that is more rigid and stable than open cell foam.  Closed cell foam can block air movement and water ingress.  Due to the cell composition, closed cell foam is typically much denser than open cell foam.

Closed cell foam rubber can fill large voids and gaps, and also has cushioning properties to help lessen impact between two substrates. Closed cell foam is perfect for sealing gaps and helps reduce ingress, whereas open cell foam offers more flexibility.  Additionally, closed cell foam is ideal for outdoor applications because it resists weathering, UV rays, and fungi.

At CGR Products, we offer a variety of adhesive options for closed cell foam gap fillers. From economical “aid in assembly” applications to higher performance permanent bonding applications.  We can die cut these fillers into individual parts or they can be supplied in continuous rolls.  We skive our thickness in house to accommodate our customers exact specifications.

Crushed Semi-Closed Cell Foam

Crushed semi-closed foam is great for filling uneven gaps and sealing out acoustics, dust, heat, and air.  Semi-closed cell foam is a soft, flexible foam. It has good UV resistance and good resistance to ozone and weathering, making it an ideal material for both indoor and outdoor use. This soft, compressible closed-cell foam, can fill various types of gaps, impede heat, water, sound, and vibration, offering a solution for various uneven types of gap filler applications.  Semi-closed cell materials combine the flexibility of open cell materials with the excellent sealing capabilities of closed cell foams.armacell-ensolite-foam

As with our closed cell foams, CGR Products offer a variety of adhesive options for semi-closed cell foam gap fillers.  We offer die cutting, and various types of fabrication, such as layering and bonding different types of foams.  An example of a layered gap filler is a closed cell foam on the bottom for rigidity and support, bonded with a crushed foam on the top for compression and uneven surfaces.  Crushed semi-closed cell gap fillers can be die cut to meet specific sizes or supplied in roll form.

Learn More

Consider CGR Products when you are developing gap fillers for sound and ingress protection.  With over 170,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space and over 100 top-quality machines, CGR serves a diverse range of clients, including those in the heavy equipment industry. To learn more about our capabilities visit our Die Cutting pages or visit our Open and Closed Cell Foam pages to view a portfolio of the different types of foam we work with.

Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH): What You Need to Know

Guest Author: Technicon Acoustics

Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) is a concern for many companies.  One of our long time suppliers Technicon Acoustics has provided the below resource and also has a full version pdf available to download here.

The extraneous sound and vibration are more than just an annoyance for people who work around noisy machinery. Excess equipment noise creates a perception of low quality that can decrease the perceived value of an OEM’s productNoise and vibration are first and foremost bothersome, but it can also cause underlying issues of increased wear and tear, ultimately leading to shorter equipment life. These results have detrimental effects on the marketability of the productdecreasing its appeal to the customer. 

Fortunately, there are methods to decrease excessive noise and vibration to optimize performance and enhance the overall consensus of your product. 

What is the Meaning of NVH? 

NVH stands for “Noise, Vibration, and Harshness.” NVH seeks to understand the source of industrial noise and modify equipment to reduce it. When looking for methods to diminish the noise and vibration from machinery, Technicon Acoustics relies on these core principles when engaging in equipment modification:  

  • Reducing the source strength 
  • Interrupting the path of the noise and vibration 
  • Absorbing the noise and vibration 
  • Smoothing out sound quality and annoying tones 
  • Increasing speech intelligibility inside of the machinery 

Sound waves move outward from their source at different strengths and speeds, depending upon the mediums they encounter. Installing the right kind of barrier material deflects sound waves, reducing their impact. Some mediums absorb sound waves rather than allowing them to proliferate. Specialized foams are often used to absorb sound waves caused by vibrations.  

The field of NVH has its roots in the automotive industry. Sound dampening methods were originally developed to reduce the noise produced by automobiles, but now noise and vibration control techniques are applied across an array of industries. 

Engines and motors on machines and vehicles are the primary sources of noise in an industrial setting. Interrupting the path of the noise involves installing barriers within the machinery, as well as equipping individual components that are prone to vibration with damping material that reduces vibrations. By addressing both structure-borne and airborne noise the overall sound quality of the machinery improves. In turn, this improves the ability of operators or passengers to understand one another or to hear the speech from a GPS or radio. This is the definition of speech intelligibility. 

Increasing Sound Quality and Speech Intelligibility 

Not all sound is created equal. The different sounds and their harshness all have a unique perception to the individual. Some noises may sound alike, but have certain attributes which make it more disturbing. A tone is defined as any frequency bin that has a dB rating of +/- 3dB from the previous bin, which makes the difference audible and annoying to the human ear. There are methods to reduce noise and vibration, but masking the harshness of the noise needs to be accounted for as well. 

By properly addressing the noise sourcesthe acoustic signature becomes less harsh. No one wants to be in or around a piece of equipment that has a loud annoying tone to it – whining, thumping, scraping, etc. Improving the sound quality of a machine and smoothing out the annoying tones helps improve speech intelligibility, which is vital inside cabs or simply being around the equipment. 

In an ever-growing world of digital communication, speech intelligibility is not just important for persontoperson interaction. Devices also need to be able to understand voice commands that are given by the operators and vice versa.  

Why is Measuring NVH Important? 

Measuring NVH and implementing the correct acoustic solutions will enhance the value of your product. Customers commonly look for the equipment and machinery that check all the boxes on their shortlist, which always includes a product with the least amount of excessive noise, vibration, and harshness.  

With vehicles, noise originates in the powertrain, which includes the motor, engine, exhaust, and all ancillary support systems. At lower speeds, powertrain noise is the most noticeable type of sound. At higher speedsthose exceeding 100 km per hour—rolling noise takes over. Rolling noise is directly tied to airflow. An everyday example of this would be to compare the noise generated by a car in city traffic compared with the noise generated on the highway.  

Vibration is caused by the sound waves generated by moving components within the equipment or vehicle. As sound waves emanate from their source, they reverberate off of other components and cause them to vibrate as well.  

When it comes to perceptible sound, the human ear has a wide range. We are able to sense anywhere between 20-20,000 Hz. It is critical for engineers and manufacturers to reduce the upper threshold of their equipment’s NVH sources during the design process to appropriately mitigate risks posed by industrial noise. 

Lowering NVH Levels with Technicon Acoustics 

When dealing with sources of NVH, there are two types of sounds that need to be considered:  

  • Structure-borne 
  • Airborne 

Structure-borne sound results from all moving components within the machinery. Airborne sound is generated by the equipment’s aerodynamics and combustion processes and is transmitted directly to your ear. Together, these two types of sound compose the machinery’s overall acoustics.   

Technicon Acoustics uses different solutions to reduce harmful noise. Designed to address the three core NVH principles, these solutions include: 

  • Acoustic absorbers 
  • Acoustic barriers 
  • Damping materials 

Acoustic absorbers are made using porous materials like polyester foam and polyester fiber. These absorbers are installed on sound-reflective surfaces to prevent airborne noise from proliferating and affecting equipment operators and bystanders.  

Acoustic barriers are made from massloaded vinyl, a dense material that stops sound waves from spreading. Barriers serve as an environmental modification and are often installed on surfaces surrounding industrial machinery or in the cab of a vehicle.  

Certain materials actually amplify the frequency and harshness of sound waves. Damping materials such as PVC and foam composites dissipate sound waves before they amplify and are used to keep the interiors of large-scale mass transit vehicles comfortable for passengers.   

Click here to download the full NVH materials guide PDF.

CGR Products has worked with Technicon foams for well over 30 years, providing solutions ranging from small gap fillers to full enclosure panels.  As flexible material specialists, the CGR Products team offers years of experience in converting foam materials into gaskets and components. Our in-house precision cutting services include rotary, flatbed,  kiss cutting, slitting, waterjet, knife cutting, and more.

Speaker Gaskets for OEM Manufacturers

CGR Products works with many manufacturers die cutting speaker gaskets.  Our gaskets are used in several markets including, marine speakers, automotive speakers, home speakers, and more.  Our die cutting capabilities allow us to cut virtually any size and pattern for large volume applications.  This article will describe a variety or materials and cutting methods used to produce speaker gaskets.

Materials

CGR Products stocks several raw materials used for speaker gaskets.  Materials such as closed cell sponge, cross linked polyethylene, and urethane foam are commonly used.  Closed cell sponge is the most common material used by speaker manufacturers. In the case of rear mounted speakers, a material such as closed cell sponge, or cross linked polyethylene (XLPE) is highly desired to make an airtight seal.  Later in the speakers life, if rear mounted, the speaker can easily be removed with no damage to the enclosure.

For conventional speaker mounting, the gasket is used to make a seal to a mounting ring, or to give the speaker better esthetics.  Material such as closed cell foam or urethane foams is typical for these applications.

Die cut gaskets from the above-mentioned materials allow for an easy installation.  CGR Products die cuts gasketsfrom all of these materials plain, or with adhesive. Materials laminated with adhesive on one side provide an easy installation by the OEM.  The gaskets will have a removable liner on the mating side, allowing for a quick peel and stick application.

CGR Products die cuts dampening or batting material for all types of speaker enclosures.  Typically, this material is either a non woven polyester batting or 2lb open cell urethane foam.  Depending on the cabinet design, we will die cut panels for the whole cabinet, or critical pads that are mounted strategically for dampening.  The dampening is critical in automotive applications to keep rattles and vibrations to a minimum.  These materials can also be laminated with adhesive if desired.  With polyester batting, CGR can add a heat activated glue web.  Urethane foam can have adhesive with a removable liner for peel and stick application.

 

Die Cut Gasket

CGR Products can die-cut products up to 75″ wide x 84″ long in a single stroke. For segmented parts, we can incorporate “dovetailed” or interlocking parts.  For supplying high volumes of speaker gaskets, this method of die cutting is the most desired for cost savings.  CGR Products will design the stamping tool to allow for the best material savings plus maximize throughput to reduce cost.  Cutting high volumes of parts are what we do best and set us apart from our competitors. Our large format cutting operation has its own dedicated shipping dock with 7 bays.

CGR Products also uses a variety of waterjet machines for cutting speaker gaskets.  Waterjet cutting offers excellent material yield and the ability to cut a multitude of materials. The CGR waterjets require no tooling or tool maintenance, lowering your initial set up charge.  We use custom made waterjet machines with multiple cutting heads to allow for multiple cuts at the same time.

 

Knife cutting is another exceptional option for fabrication tasks that require precision cutting without the use of waterjet machinery. Our state-of-the-art knife cutting machinery utilizes a serrated (dentated or toothed) blade in the Z-axis. This ensures the production of a precise end product, every time, no matter how intricate the details. The machine is powered by advanced control software and a powerful, versatile cutting head.  CGR’s knife cutting machine eliminates the need for cutting dies and increases yields to enable quick turnaround and higher precision.

Learn More

CGR Products is capable of producing custom speaker gaskets for a variety of applications.  With over 170,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space and over 100 top-quality machines, CGR serves a diverse range of clients, including those in the speaker industry.  To learn more about how CGR Products can help with your die cut speaker gaskets, Contact Us today. Ready to get started,  Request a Quote for your die cut parts.

Why does my dog look me in the eye?

Why does my dog look me in the eye?  He could look at my ears, my nose, my shoulders, etc.; but for whatever reason he looks into my eyes.  And why does he cock his head a bit sideways when he is focused on trying to understand what I am saying?  And finally, why I am spending so much time thinking about these types of things?

First, I am thinking about weird and different stuff because of COVID.  I am noticing things I have never noticed before and that is one of the very good things that has come out of these challenging times.  I think my dog and all animals know to look into our eyes because they know that eyes are the key to connection and communication.  I think my dog cocks his head sideways because he is trying as hard as he can to listen and understand me.  We can learn a lot from these behaviors.

 

Eye Contact

I have had about a million virtual meetings, just like everyone else, and the one thing I really dislike about them is that no one looks anybody in the eyes. I can look at the camera, so everyone thinks I am looking in their eyes, but then I do not get to see other people’s eyes.  If I look at the other participants eyes, they do not get to look into my eyes.  Technology has come a long way, but they still have not invented a camera that can follow your eyes. I guess that is why I got so focused on my dog’s eyes and the pleasure I have gotten from our eye contact. As you know roughly 60% of human communication is through body language, 30% is through voice intonation, and only 10% is through what is actually said. It would not be hard to argue that the most important part of body language is your eyes. That is what you are mostly looking at in any person to person interaction (or person to animal).  You know how I know when I have done something wrong? You got it, my wife’s eyes.  Frankly, I can tell way more from her eyes than what she says.  All animals use body language to assess their surroundings; trust, fear, and comfort to name a few.  Since eyes are the most important “tell”, that is why dogs look at your eyes.

Listening

Listening to actual words has also taken on a new meaning during COVID.  I need to cock my head sideways more because it is harder to read body language on the computer screen and even noticing intonation can be hard in this virtual world.  I must listen to the words more to tune out the dogs, kids, and interesting visuals that come along with virtual meetings.

 

Staying Focused

Another thing I have learned is how productive I can be working away from the office; you are not interrupted so you can stay focused, you have more usable time due to no car time or ad hoc discussions, etc. Before COVID I would check emails and may have done some busy work when I was not in the office, but I did not do a lot of real heavy brain work like I do now. I have also noticed how mentally exhausting it is when I work off site. So why is that?  I think it is because when you work off site, you get very few breaks, so you have many straight hours of intense brain activity. That is very tiring to this old boy. So, most people would say that more productivity is the way to go so why not work off site all the time. Seems easy right?

As with all things there are two sides to the story. Being mentally tired every day is not great for my marriage and not being in the office is not good for collaboration or culture building. Out of the one million virtual meetings I have had, I have not had one that has produced as many new ideas and free flowing collaboration as my normal in person collaborations.  I am going to suggest that is because people need full communication, body language, intonation, and voice to be the most effective when collaborating. That total communication, and especially eye contact, are critical when building culture.  It creates trust, energy, and connection like the dog assessing his surroundings.

My point is that there are real positives to working off site and there are real positives to in person collaboration.  It is going to be important for all of us to strike that proper balance to take advantage of both benefits.  I am guessing that there will be some combination of off-site work and in person collaboration.  I think we will land at some set times in the office for everyone and the rest is up to the individual.

 

New Things Learned

This has been a historic time and I am really proud of the CGR team.  Our business fell off a cliff in April.  We implemented new safety protocols, reviewed numerous financial models, and overhauled our business operations.  As the year wraps up, I can honestly say we have exceeded my expectations.  We have grown, persevered, and laughed a lot, in lieu of crying.  I will be happy to see COVID go, but I will look back and be thankful for the numerous new things I have learned and contemplated because of it.

CGR really appreciates our connection to our associates, customers, and suppliers and I personally appreciate everyone that decided to read this and experience my attempt at being a psychologist. Have a great holiday season and for what it is worth, I really love my dog!

Heat Sealed 3M™ Thinsulate™

CGR Products has been supplying various types of 3M™ Thinsulate™ materials to the automotive market for more than 10 years.  The 3M™ Thinsulate™ NVH material (noise, vibration, and harshness) is used in a variety of applications across many different industries and provides a wide variety of sound absorption and dampening properties.

The Advantages of 3M™ Thinsulate™

3M™ Thinsulate™ NVH Material provides a reliable acoustic solution for various automotive applications.  3M™ Thinsulate™ is engineered to provide high-performance sound absorption.  Specific products are engineered to assist in the creation of lower profile products and reduce mass in the automobile while also reducing noise around the vehicle.  3M™ Thinsulate™ is water repellent to absorb minimal moisture; thus, no need for an additional waterproof layer. It is also resistant to mildew growth, eliminating the risk of unintended odors.

Heat Sealing Thinsulate™

CGR Products supplies custom cut 3M™ Thinsulate™ to the automotive industry utilizing a heat seal around the perimeter of the part.  Some of the benefits of a heat seal include:

  • Preventing contaminants into the part.  If your part is located in an area prone to dust, dirt or any other foreign contaminants, a heat seal is an ideal way to keep much of the substance out of the part.
  • CGR can supply custom cut Thinsulate™ in a variety of ways, such as individual parts stacked in a box, or perforated on a roll.  If a heat seal is used, the parts will retain their shape and remain stable dimensionally.
  • Visually Appealing. If you have a die cut part that is visible, you may be interested in a heat sealed edge. This type of edge will provide a more finished look as opposed to an open, fibrous part.

Keep in mind that for most die cut Thinsulate™ parts, the heat seal is not needed.  However, if there are OEM requirements or if you are looking at exterior parts, a sealed part may be what you are looking for.

Learn More

Consider CGR Products when you are developing sound and vibration dampening.  With over 140,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space and over 100 top-quality machines, CGR serves a diverse range of clients, including those in the automotive industry. To learn more about our capabilities within this field, download our automotive application guide, or visit our Sample Gallery to view a portfolio encompassing all the industries we serve.

CGR Products is Helping To Fight COVID-19

Just a few months ago, we would have never imagined we would be fighting the pandemic that we’re now facing.  CGR Products is currently classified as an “essential business”.  We die cut critical engineered parts that go to other essential businesses.  The amount of inquires we’ve received has been both overwhelming and a blessing, including companies that range from major automotive manufactures making ventilators to high school students 3d printing face shields in their homes.

The president of CGR Products recently gave an interview with our local news affiliate regarding how we are helping fight COVID-19 which you can find Here

Helping in the Fight

A few products that went into production extremely fast are gaskets used for ventilator timers, die cut face masks, and die cut foam strips used on face shields.

Ventilators

The ventilator gaskets are a specialized neoprene rubber that have a 3M high temperature adhesive on both sides.  We used to cut these gaskets years ago but the company moved the production overseas.  Within 10 days we were able to locate the tooling which we still had, ordered the specialized material, and started die cutting the parts.  The parts were then rushed to a major USA based automotive manufacturer where the ventilator is being produced.

Face Masks

A local company reached out to us about die cutting their own material to make face masks in a rush.  This customer brought us a prototype of the mask and the material to be used. The face mask design is a closed cell material that is washable and reusable. From the sample, we created the tooling in house and started die cutting the masks.  We were able to create a die to maximize the customers’ material utilization and start cutting immediately.

Face Shields

Face shield foam strips have also been in huge demand.  We have been supplying these strips in materials that range from open cell polyurethane foam, to closed cell sponge.  With closed cell sponge, CGR Products can split these materials to any specific thickness.  We have seen thickness requests that range from .500″ to 1.25″ for these strips.  We then apply adhesive to one side of the materials and either die cut to the finished desired strip or supply the materials in roll form.

A student from an area high school reached out to us looking for a material to use on face shields.  The school has 3D Printing as part of their curriculum and they started making the clear plastic portion of the face shield.  Here at CGR Products, we stock a wide variety of closed cell sponge and offered the school Armacell 3091 to use as the foam strip.  We supplied them strips die cut 1.00” thick x 1.50” wide.  The completed face shields were then supplied to medical staff in the local hospitals.  Attached is a link from Armacell, regarding materials used for face shields.  Foams for face shields.

We Are Ready to Help

CGR serves a diverse range of clients, including those in the medical equipment industry.  To learn more about how CGR Products can help with your die cut parts, please Contact Us today. Ready to get started,  Request a Quote for your die cut parts.

Large Format Die Cutting

CGR Products has actively been die cutting high volume parts for more than 40 years. To accommodate either very large die cut parts, or supplying parts in a prolific fashion, we use a process called “Large Format Die Cutting”

Equipment

large die cutting press

CGR Products utilizes two Bruno die-cutting presses. Bruno presses are made in the USA and used by large manufacturing companies throughout the world, primarily in the automotive and gasket industries. These presses cut against a flexible conveyor belt to move raw material and the die cut parts along in an automated fashion.

Both presses use steel rule dies as the cutting method. CGR Products creates and maintains all our steel rule dies in house. These dies are typically made with heavy gauge and long length steel rule to accommodate thicker materials. These presses can hold a die up to 84″ x 75″ or roughly 7ft x 6ft.

Process

The process is similar to what is found in most die cutting operations but on a much larger scale. Raw Materials in Roll form or Sheet form are fed into the front side of the presses. Most flexible materials such as rubber, foam, and Thinsulate can be fed in multiple layers providing more throughput per cycle.

The raw material advances under the cutting platen via the conveyor belt. With the die attached to the top of the platen, a “stroke” is made. The steel rule die cuts through the raw material down to the conveyor belt. Once cut, the material advances out on the conveyor belt and a new cycle will start again. The die cut parts at the back end of the machine will be taken off the conveyor belt and packaged.

Advantages

For us at CGR Products, we are primarily cutting flexible materials and typically utilize these machines in two different ways.

  • To cut very large parts that no other machine can convert.
  • To cut very high volumes of parts that no other machine can convert efficiently.

To expand on large parts, let’s consider the insulation for a vehicle door panel. The non-woven raw material comes in rolls and wide widths. Typically the die can be nested so the entire vehicle door panels can be cut in one single stroke. If the material can be layered, then you can greatly increase your throughput. These die cut insulation panels can then be stacked in returnable containers that go directly to the OEM.


large format die cutting

For high volume parts, the process will be more complex. The number of die cavities can be immense and the throughput can be monumental. For example, we die cut millions of foam filtration parts. With a standard die cutting press we could get 12 cavities on a single die. With our Bruno die we have 264 cavities. That is a difference of 252 parts per stroke and with simple math, the throughput numbers to keep up with demand add up easily. It takes CGR Products years of experience running large cavity dies while maintaining high quality, to maintain these stupendous volumes.

Cutting high volumes of parts are what we do best and set us apart from our competitors. Our large format cutting operation has its own dedicated shipping dock with 7 bays. This allows for truckload quantity operations of unloading one set of trucks while filling another set of trucks. CGR Products has the ability to work with our customer’s computerized interfaces and portals, allowing order to flow directly to our large format cutting department.

Find out More.

With over 170,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space and over 100 top-quality machines, CGR serves a diverse range of clients, including those in the automotive industry.  To learn more about how CGR Products can help with your large volume die cut parts, please Contact Us today. Ready to get started,  Request a Quote for your die cut parts.