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:
[Infographic] Insider’s Tips to Packaging Issues by CGR Products
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 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.
Posted by Mike Burris on | Comments Off on Die Cutting vs. Waterjet Cutting: Which One Should You Use for Your Project?
More cutting methods are available today than ever before. While friction sawing used to be the primary industrial material cutting option, there are now nearly a dozen viable choices.
Not all cutting methods are created equal — which isn’t to say that one is categorically better than another, but rather that they all have their own strengths. To ensure the accuracy, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of your next project, each designated cutting method specified for a particular part should be a major consideration starting in the design phase.
Two of the more common cutting methods that manufacturers offer today, die cutting and waterjet cutting, each have benefits that are suited to particular needs.
Waterjet cutting, exactly as its name implies, uses highly pressurized jets of water to cut through soft materials. When harder materials such as metals or plastics are needed, abrasive mineral can be added to the water to enable the waterjet to cut these materials as well. This method offers several benefits over die cutting and other cutting methods.
Primary among these benefits are the clean cuts that the process generates.
Many companies consider waterjet cuts to be “finish cuts,” aesthetically acceptable cuts that require no secondary finishing processes. This is important for applications where financial budgets or time constraints are a concern — finishing processes add both time and money to your project.
The second important benefit of waterjet cutting is that it generates little heat, and transfers even less to the material being cut. This is important for a number of reasons:
It allows for the use of waterjet cutting on meltable and flammable materials — such as plastics, laminates, acrylics, and more — that can’t be laser or plasma cut
It prevents the release of heat-generated toxins into the workplace
It doesn’t create heat affected zones on cut parts, thereby eliminating a secondary finishing process that laser or plasma cut parts often require
Waterjet cutters are able to maintain tighter tolerances in their cuts because the cutters are controlled by highly accurate computer software. Additionally, the process creates no mechanical stresses in the material being cut, eliminating the loss of tolerance caused by warping.
Die cutting is a very common method of cutting, wherein sheets of material are stamped with a die in order to create the required part. Die cutting carries many benefits:
Most die cutting processes, including rotary die cutting and progressive die stamping, are continuous processes. In these processes, rolls of material are continually fed into the equipment and stamped parts are continually output.
Simple parts in particular can be produced at great rates. Simple flat cogs, as an example, can be completed in one second with a single stamp. More complicated parts can be quickly manufactured by utilizing a progressive die stamping process.
Particularly important for large volumes of identical components, die cutting creates parts with a high degree of uniformity. Punching a part out with one swift movement prevents variances that can occur in processes that cut a shape around the edges. Tool and die fatigue can occur, but a quality stamper will know his machines and replace affected equipment long before they can impact the quality of the parts.
Because of its ability to create very high volumes of parts with a high degree of uniformity, die cutting is a relatively inexpensive method of cutting. The high output reduces time and, therefore, labor costs, and uniform products reduce losses related to quality assurance.
Additionally, die cutting equipment is fairly standard — many companies perform die cutting, so competition keeps costs reasonable. Tool and die manufacturing can be costly, but high volume part orders can easily negate that one-time expense.
Cutting with CGR
Over the course of more than 50 years, CGR Products has developed expertise with a range of different cutting methods — not only die and waterjet cutting, but also knife cuttingand more. Not every method is the same, nor are they all suitable for any project.