Posted by Mike Burris on | Comments Off on How to Prepare for Your Next Adhesive Materials Project
Adhesive bonding is often required for projects in many applications and industries.
With various types of bonds available to meet virtually any need, it’s important to know how to pinpoint the best option for your unique project. When discussing your application with a bonding products manufacturer, you will be presented with a series of questions in order to narrow down adhesive options. Being able to anticipate these preliminary questions and having a clear understanding of your needs will help ensure that your project runs as smoothly and cost efficiently as possible. (more…)
Posted by Mike Burris on | Comments Off on To Fuji or not to Fuji Test your Gaskets, That is the Question
Many variables can affect gasket sealing such as internal pressure, temperature, gasket design, and flange load. Sometimes it is necessary to dig a little deeper into the actual sealing picture when a difficult or critical sealing situation is encountered. In this article, we will explore a process we call “Fuji Testing”.
How Fuji Testing Works
Fujifilm Prescale is a polyester based film that contains a layer of tiny microcapsules. The application of force upon the film causes the microcapsules to rupture, producing an instantaneous and permanent high resolution “topographical” image of pressure variation across the contact area. The use of this tactile sensor film is one method CGR Products uses to help customers see a “Static” picture of how the gasket is sealing in the current application.
We place the Fuji film between any two surfaces that touch, mate or impact. Apply pressure, remove it, and immediately the film reveals the pressure distribution profile that occurred between the two surfaces. Like litmus paper, the color intensity of the film is directly related to the amount of pressure applied to it. The greater the pressure, the more intense the color.
Analyzing the Fuji Data
The principle way in which CGR Products uses Fuji film is to determine if the current gasket design is producing an acceptable seal to satisfy the customers’ requirements. In our example below, you are looking at a currently designed gasket where its highest pressure points are at the bolt holes. The bolt pressure points left a softer area in the middle of the flange.
If it is determined that the sealing pressure revealed by the Fuji film is not acceptable, CGR Products can use the film data to determine a possible revised gasket design. These tests can also reveal that a material change is all that is needed to satisfy the sealing requirements. Using the same example, this is CGR Products proposed design and material change after Fuji analysis.
To answer the question as to whether a Fuji analysis is right for you, Ask yourself if the potential warranty cost to your company is worth the time and effort. Let CGR Products help with your sealing issues so we can work together to solve potential warranty problems before they occur. Feel free to contact us with questions or dig deeper into our capabilities by clicking on our website.
Working with specific requirements and tight tolerances can be a challenge for many companies. For this client, the product was being crafted with an acid-etched die. Our Account Manager and Quality Manager reached out to fine-tune the tolerance standards for this customer, and the team also updated equipment in order to streamline production.
In a recent project with a large automotive customer, CGR was asked to reduce costs while ensure production would not be delayed. CGR formed a Kaizen team to evaluate their current manufacturing process and developed several cost-saving ideas regarding tooling.
With some re-engineering of existing configurations and proactive cost evaluation, we were able to cut annual raw material costs by $26,000.
Repair costs in the field are expensive, stressful, and dangerous. One OEM’s gaskets were failing, so CGR found a superior material choice and design. By incorporating a laminated gasket with a metal core and bonded rubber compound, the team enhanced critical sealing performance and reduced costs in the process.
New EPA regulations meant that a hose manufacturer had to alter its assembly construction, and the changes came with a variety of challenges. From increased production costs to new leaking issues, their technicians were faced with a struggle.
We worked with new materials, new equipment, and an automation assembly machine to get the job done.
With over 100 pieces of professional equipment and a long list of success stories, the CGR Team is ready to tackle any gasket challenge. See more of our work on the Case Studies page, or reach out to the team today to learn more.
Posted by Chuck Keeley on | Comments Off on CGR’s Open House: Facility Tour, New Equipment and More
CGR Products will be hosting an open house at our Wisconsin facility — offering tours of our ISO 9001:2008-certified facility and showcasing our new high-quality equipment.
We want to show you our new state-of-the-art machinery used for our custom cutting and fabrication services. Our equipment is involved in a number of manufacturing processes, including die cutting, knife cutting, waterjet cutting and laminating.
New Manufacturing Equipment
One of the latest additions to our list of machines includes our new knife cutting Flashcut Flex HD.
The new Flashcut Flex HD is able to total cut, score cut, and kiss cut with a single knife chuck and rotating punches that can handle small diameter holes. Alongside this machine, CGR hosts a collection of other machines for waterjet cutting, custom die cutting, custom fabrication, and more.
Wisconsin Facility Tour
Don’t forget dinner & drinks!
Whether or not you can make our Open House, please join us Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Coopers Hawk in the Brookfield Square Mall. Cocktails will be served at 6pm and dinner starts at 7pm.
To learn more about the open house click here, or click the button below.
Posted by Mike Burris on | Comments Off on [INFOGRAPHIC] Insider’s Tips to Packaging Issues
An OEM’s guide to avoiding common packaging issues and eliminating unnecessary costs
While generally overlooked during production, packaging solutions have a significant impact on your project’s overall costs.
For OEMs requiring custom fabricated rubber, foam, and plastic products — such as gaskets, seals and tapes — there are a number of packaging solutions to not only reduce costs, but also protect the product during shipping. After cutting and fabricating these products for over 50 years, CGR Products put together an infographic that lists some of the common packaging problems we’ve seen customers encounter, followed by the solutions we offer to combat each of the issues.
The infographic includes solutions to problems such as:
Long processing times
Messy line assembly
High packaging costs
Slow data entry or inaccurate data
Excess parts or shortage of parts
Check out the infographic below to find the solution to your issue.
Click image to enlarge:
Add this infographic to your website by copying and pasting the following embed code:
Other Steps to an Optimized Supply Chain
Now that you know how to fix your packaging issues, take the next step to reducing product costs with an optimized supply chain. Our guide, How OEMs Can Optimize Their Supply Chain, offers six research-backed solutions to get you there, including how to manage your inventory properly and tips for selecting the most cost-effective supplier.
Posted by Mike Burris on | Comments Off on Rotary Die Cutting vs. Flatbed Die Cutting: Which Should You Use?
Die cutting is frequently used to fabricate unique shapes from rubber, plastic and foam materials.
Before starting a die cutting project it is important to discuss all specific project requirements — including whether rotary die or flatbed die cutting is the best fit for the job. Each cutting method has its own distinct benefits based on production size, costs, and material.
What is Rotary Die Cutting?
Main Benefits: Holds tight tolerances and ideal for kiss cutting
Best Used for: High-volume orders
How It Works: Rotary die cutting, a highly accurate cutting method, is very cost effective on high-volume orders and produces less waste compared to other methods. As shown in the video, the machine is fed a roll of material which is then passed through the rolling die. This cuts the desired shape from the material and the waste is disposed of into a catcher.
What is Flatbed Die Cutting?
Main Benefits: Provides a more cost-effective option with lower tool and die costs
Best Used for: General cutting and low-volume orders
How It Works: With flatbed die cutting, material shapes are stamped out using steel rule dies and hydraulic presses. This method allows for easy hole removal and web removal from parts, along with quick changeover times to increase efficiency.
Die Cutting with CGR Products
CGR’s team of engineers makes sure to match your project’s needs with the right die cutting machine for the job. The products we die cut from a variety of flexible non-metallic materials can be supplied in continuous rolls, sheet form, or individual parts for your unique application.
Posted by Chuck Keeley on | Comments Off on Which Gasket Materials Are OEMs Using in Your Industry?
Construction applications and marine applications are both regularly exposed to extreme environments — from dust and chemicals to humidity and fluctuating temperatures.
With conditions like this, specialty materials are required. CGR routinely works with OEMs whose products undergo these conditions, during which we’ll partner with industry-leading suppliers to make sure their materials and our manufacturing processes get the job done.
Two of our suppliers recently highlighted these OEM projects on their websites, published as success stories for gasket and seal components.
Armacell, a world leader in the manufacturing of flexible insulation foams, focused on our project for an OEM construction application that involved the fabrication of Ensolite foam. Rogers Corporation, a specialty materials manufacturer for cushioning, sealing, impact protection, or energy management applications, described CGR’s manufacturing processes of PORON® for a display mount cushion to be installed in a marine vessel.
Read more about each of these material properties and the challenges that CGR tackled during each project below:
[Armacell] Delivering 100 Unique Parts for a Heavy Equipment OEM
As a stand-alone material, Armacell’s Ensolite foam is known for its exceptional sealing capabilities and high-performance physical structure.
However, for this particular construction application, an OEM needed a wide range of seals in a variety of thicknesses to meet their product criteria — some even thicker than the raw material itself.
Problem: The company needed seals that offered quantifiable noise reduction, as well as compliance with several stringent global specifications. In some cases, the seals needed to be up to 90mm thick and able to withstand trials, testing, and fit requirements for over 100 unique applications.
Solution: First, the team assessed the material and determined that the appropriate thickness could be attained by laminating the foam material prior to custom cutting. After selecting and testing a suitable adhesive and developing an effective laminating process, the rolls of foam were further laminated with a PSA (Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive) for attachment to the OEM’s substrates.
Finally, with our custom waterjet and die cutting equipment, the components were cut to precise specifications and quantities. They are now custom packaged, coded, and shipped every week.
This marine industry OEM needed more than just water or fluid resistance though — their gasketing and cushioning system needed to withstand weather vibrations, physical shocks, dramatic temperature fluctuations, and more — all to protect an industrial-duty touch screen display.
Problem: Touch screens are not normally required to endure the harshness of the proposed industrial marine environment: humidity, wetness, shock, and extreme temperatures were just the beginning. The OEM placed a premium on the protection of this sensitive equipment.
Solution: In addition to selecting an exceptionally high durability material, the CGR team developed a unique system of parts with two levels of protection to support the screen. The completed assembly required four different gasket components, all designed from scratch and crafted with the use of our skiving, laminating, slitting, and die cutting equipment — and all developed and prototyped within three weeks. Annually, we now deliver thousands of these assemblies.
With over 100 pieces of professional equipment and a nearly unlimited range of Material Suppliers to choose from, CGR regularly produces gaskets and seals for construction equipment parts, marine applications, and so much more.
Visit our Case Studies page to learn more about the industries and materials we’ve worked with and to see specialty examples of CGR at work.
Posted by Chuck Keeley on | Comments Off on 3 Reasons Manufacturing is Coming Back to America
Everyone is familiar with offshoring — the process of sending manufacturing projects across seas in an effort to save costs has been in practice since the 1960s.
But now a new trend is emerging called reshoring. Also known as “inshoring” or “backshoring,” reshoring manufacturing is returning previously offshored manufacturing processes back to America.
The original benefit of offshoring — lower production costs — is now dwindling as wages outside the U.S. increase. While offshoring may still allow you to reduce some cost to your product, you may actually be incurring more costs in other ways.
Reshoring carries a number of benefits by helping to reduce the unseen costs of offshoring.
In the United States, companies are incentivized by competitive market pressures to maintain strict adherence to relevant ISO and TS technical specifications, as well as standards from other standardization bodies.
Products manufactured from offshored components, however, may not meet the same quality as ISO-certified manufacturers in the U.S. Tolerances can be looser and fail rates can be higher. These substandard-quality parts can lead to increased replacement costs and even loss of business, cutting into your bottom line.
Significantly Faster Lead Times
Offshoring parts adds considerable lead time to your orders. A general timeline for an offshored part looks something like this:
2-4 weeks — Manufacturing time, varies depending on complexity and volume
~5 weeks — Shipment to an American port: while some parts can be shipped via air cargo rather than sea cargo, doing so comes at a considerable expense
~1 week — U.S. Customs approval
~1 week — Removal from bonded freight
1-2 weeks — Packaging and transportation to final destination, varies depending on location
With offshored parts or components, final delivery can come four months or even longer after order placement. In contrast, reshored manufacturing processes can finish and deliver parts in half the time or less.
When you accept delivery of offshored parts, you never know what you are going to find. It can be incredibly difficult to trace the supply chains of offshore contractors. Certain offshore companies have even been known to use counterfeit materials, falsely branded with the logos of reputable suppliers.
With reshored manufacturing, tracking the provenance of all of your parts and their source materials is drastically easier, giving you the peace of mind that you are always receiving goods at the level of quality that you expect.
If these three reshoring benefits are not enough to get you to consider reshoring your currently offshored manufacturing processes, there is one more to consider — the United States economy. By keeping vast amounts of raw material and manufacturing dollars in the U.S., reshoring as a whole can be a great boon to the American economy.
The Reshoring Initiative compiled job data from January 2010, the point of lowest employment in the manufacturing sector, to December 2015: they found that roughly 248,000 manufacturing jobs were created in America thanks to reshoring efforts.
Posted by Chuck Keeley on | Comments Off on How Can OEMs Cut Costs and Optimize Their Supply Chain?
For original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the stress of product design and manufacturing often overshadows the maintenance of a lean supply chain.
Supply chain optimization is an initiative that always seems attractive, but it can be difficult to pinpoint just where to start.
According to a recent TMG-IMG study, OEM supply chain management and optimization can deliver enormous benefits to cutting costs associated with sales, administration, and products. Delaying a supply chain overhaul could lead to years of needless spending that could have easily be spent slashing costs.
Luckily, there are several simple steps you can take one at a time to achieve a lean supply chain, each of which carry a significant impact.
Step 1: Inventory Management
A well-maintained inventory can improve your business in a number of ways, some of which include:
Vendor-Managed Inventory (VMI) is a software-automated process offered by manufacturers like CGR Products to streamline the supply chain. In a VMI system, customers send automatically generated product reports directly to the manufacturer via customized software.
The advanced software eliminates the time-consuming rounds employees make as they walk around a warehouse counting products, as well as the possibility of human error or miscounting that result in delays and rush orders. Your entire ordering process is streamlined so only a minimum number of people have to touch each order.
Step 2: Production & Assembly Optimization
Design automation strategies, facility layouts, and production areas can all be re-organized and optimized to maximize workflow and efficiency.
One commercial small engine builder, for example, received die-cut rubber gasket parts in bulk delivery boxes, which called for a time-consuming assembly line process that involved stacking piles of parts, assembling them with additional gaskets, and finally installing them.
By changing to a rubber-coated, metal-clad material and packaging the parts in pre-counted and banded stacks, the OEM drastically reduced these assembly line times and achieved a direct costs savings of $400,000. Opportunities for small changes and efficiencies like these can be found everywhere, as long as teams are committed to looking for them.