Posted by Mike Burris on | Comments Off on Benefits of Using a Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) System
Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) can be an effective strategy for companies looking for cost savings and a more stable supply chain. In this post, we will outline the benefits of VMI as well as the services that CGR Products provides with these programs.
What is VMI?
VMI is a program where the supplier manages your inventory for you. These programs helped make some of the largest retailers the giants they are today. After seeing these successes, manufacturing caught on as a way to move toward lean practices and to become a demand-driven supply chain.
With traditional purchasing and stocking methods, sales are predicted and inventory is ordered based on the forecast. This method comes with risks of buying too much or too little. In the event of too little inventory, a risk may be present if the supplier cannot meet the higher than expected demand and lost sales may occur. Too much inventory will tie up money and can cause warehousing (cashflow) issues.
With VMI, the goal is for the customer to only buy what they are moving. Using VMI requires a very close relationship between the customer and the supplier. Using technology to maintain constant contact between both parties, the customer can purchase in smaller batches and avoid emergency orders. Using this data allows both parties to work off of much more accurate forecasts.
CGR Products & VMI
CGR Products has been providing VMI services to our customers for many years. Based on great relationships and communications with our customers, we keep properly maintained inventories based on actual usages and forecasts. Our VMI programs give us more control so we can manage raw materials and be more efficient.
CGR Products can offer many different configurations of VMI. Working with our customers to find the VMI system that works best for them is the key.
One common aspect of the program is a bin system that is serviced by our own delivery driver. Highlights of this system are:
Bins are set up at the customers’ location where they are physically needed.
The driver counts the inventory on hand.
Determines the appropriate re-order quantity based on recent usage and predetermined stocking levels.
Enters the quantity consumed and the quantity to be re-ordered.
Electronically scans the provided barcode label on each bin to assure accurate capturing of the item details.
Orders are electronically transmitted directly into CGR’s manufacturing system via our proprietary inventory technology.
On the next visit, stock is rotated, new stock is scanned into inventory, and the bins are refilled to the acceptable level.
VMI runs on a revolving weekly schedule, with deliveries occurring once per week or multiple times per week depending on customer requirements.
Other Programs CGR Products currently works with include EDI and Portals. CGR Products works directly within customer portals to maintain inventory and execute orders. Orders are electronically placed directly into our manufacturing system from the portal. These types of systems allow for more accurate order fulfillment with fewer errors and often include electronic shipping notices, invoicing, and payments.
With an effective VMI system, the benefits are shared for both parties. Some of these benefits include:
Ensuring the necessary parts are ready and available when needed.
Smaller orders allowing for lower inventory costs.
Better inventory turnover rate.
Reduced administrative costs.
More stable supply chain.
Close communications and partnerships between customers and suppliers.
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 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:
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 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 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.
Posted by Chuck Keeley on | Comments Off on Meet the New Knife Cutting Machine at CGR: Flashcut Flex HD
Knife cutting is one of the fastest and most precise methods for producing parts.
From prototypes to final products, no matter the shape or size of a design, knife cutting technology offers flawless production for a wide range of materials.
We’re excited to feature brand new technology to the CGR Fleet from ATOM. “Cutting”-edge tooling, increased versatility, and unrivaled precision are just the beginning.
The Future of Knife Cutting: Flashcut Flex HD
The Flashcut FLEX HD S Series, part of ATOM’s family of Dieless Knife Cutting Tables, delivers the ideal cutting surface for CGR’s range of flexible materials. The table’s static working surface is supported by a powerful 11kW vacuum pump to hold material in place, eliminating potential errors from movement and the need for sacrificial sealing.
A multi-tool cutting head on the Flashcut is able to total cut, score cut, and kiss cut with a single knife chuck, androtating punches that can handle small diameter holes
“Cutting” Costs, Increasing Yields
A robust structure, reliable performance, and high-level precision are bottom line in the Flashcut Flex’s operation. But that’s not all:
Automatic nesting with integrated software helps nest shapes within shapes, producing better yield and reducing waste and cost for everyone.
The reduction of dies and tooling offers a cost savings advantage.Part concavity is virtually eliminated as well.
The Flashcut offers an advantage over waterjet cutting as the dieless knife process does not have any issues with water/moisture contamination.
Less hand cutting and fewer steps are needed for every part.
Check out all of our available custom cutting services, from knife cutting to water jets, laminating services, and more.
Posted by CGR Products on | Comments Off on If it’s Soft and Pliable, CGR has Got it Covered
Getting the proper lamination for your products can mean the difference between a good, sturdy product that is protected or one that doesn’t measure up. When you need the right lamination for your item, CGR offers the right products to fit your needs. With lamination available for products that range in size from 0.062” to 3” thick and at widths up to 84” wide, there’s something for every application. At CGR we offer a variety of lamination techniques using different methods to ensure you get the proper lamination for your project each time.
At CGR we have a wide range of lamination procedures including pressure sensitive adhesive products, chemical fastening systems, and even thermal, film barrier and polyethylene glue web lamination. Depending on what needs to be laminated we also offer foam tapes, PSA, sticky back adhesives, tape laminate, peel and stick and more.
The variety of adhesive options offered range from economical to high performance when permanent bonding applications are required. If you have flexible materials that are dissimilar, we can bond them together with specialty composite laminations. CGR has serviced a wide range of industries including: automotive, heavy equipment, mining, appliances, marine, medical equipment, military, and more.
CGR has lab facilities for engineering and quality reports, to ensure all of our lamination services are consistently meeting standards. With two warehouses full of stock, we are able to offer short lead times for repeat items and new services. If you have something that is soft and pliable, CGR can help you with your laminating needs.
Posted by CGR Products on | Comments Off on How CGR Value-Added Services Help Your Business
At CGR Products, we offer value-added services to enhance your company and its products. Our aim is to use our top-quality services to meet your organizational needs and go beyond what you expect of us.
Our CGR team offers an array of value-added services for the design, packaging, assembly, repair and distribution of your goods. Let us take weight off of your shoulders and also help you craft the product you envision for your customers. Our developers, for example, offer design assistance, whether for parts or engineering. We also provide quality assembly kits and products, part stocking programs, and material or product certifications.
Our value-added services cover a wide range of packaging solutions. Popular services that we provide include marking individual parts for identification purposes and printing logos onto products. Perhaps our inventory management services are what you require instead to streamline your business operations.
Additional services for you are bar code labeling, vulcanizing, slitting and stripping. When you want repair kits, we have many types to offer you, including custom tube cutting per customer specifications and special quantity bagging. For customized distribution of finished goods, we can handle that activity for you too, regardless of your business size.
We customize our services to your business, recognizing each industry that we service has unique processes, designs and regulations. Our customers span several industries, from automotive, lighting, and generators to RV, appliances, HVAC, power tools and so many more. We follow industry standards and our team has in-depth technical knowledge and expertise. From the development to packaging and distribution phases, CGR is here to help you.
Posted by CGR Products on | Comments Off on The Many Benefits of Waterjet Cutting
Now that you better understand Kiss Cutting, it’s also important to understand when Waterjet Cutting benefit your manufacturing process. Perhaps the most important characteristic of waterjet cutting is that it can be used on materials that are sensitive to high temperatures that are common of other methods. Essentially,Waterjet Cutting is the use of a high pressure stream of water to shape or cut a material. The process can be dated as far back as the 1930s when high pressure erosion devices evolved into industrial cutting machines. Although they could only cut softer materials such as paper in the beginning, the technology developed methods of increasing water pressure which now give us the ability to cut materials as tough as stainless steel and at extremely high speeds.
At CGR, we find that Waterjet Cutting is the ideal choice for samples, prototypes, and quick-turn jobs because of its ability to offer excellent material yield. Utilizing a CAD operating system, our waterjet equipment has a rapid changeover time and allows for quick and easy dimensional changes to your parts. We are also capable of producing 76” wide cuts with an unlimited roll length. The CAD system that we use allows for maximum yield gains when compared with standard press die cutting. Add in the four head design of our waterjet fabricator and you’ll see why we are able to make multiple cuts with a faster production time. Using our waterjet fabricator services also lowers your initial set-up charge because the machine requires no tooling or tool maintenance, which means no cost is passed on to you and your business. Next time you need a prototype or a quick turnaround, consider Waterjet Cutting; it’s environmentally friendly and exceptionally effective.
Posted by CGR Products on | Comments Off on Kiss Cutting
Cutting a high volume of precision, custom parts with laminate and/or adhesive takes a special kind of process. The applications for kiss cut products are numerous, including uses in the automotive, marine, HVAC, industrial, farming, electrical, medical, and military industries. You will even find kiss cut materials on escalators and elevators. It is superior in holding tight tolerances, has easy “peel and stick” application, can be done at high speeds, and is even ideal for prototyping. But what exactly is kiss cutting and how is it useful in these industries?
Kiss cutting is part of our Rotary Die Cutting process and can be performed on a wide array of materials, from 3M™ Scotchmate™ Hook and Loop Fasteners to Mylar® to cork. Rotary Die Cutting is high speed, cost effective, and can handle a high volume of orders with ease. Done at high speeds, it involves the die cutting down into the chosen material, through one thin adhesive layer of laminate, and then partially through the adhesive liner. This highly evolved and extremely precise manner of cutting ensures that you get the exact shape and size you want, including materials with adhesive backed parts. The parts are then supplied on a roll or pad for easy “peel and stick” application wherever they are needed. CGR Products can cut material as thin as 0.002” for films and up to 3/8” thick for sponges. We can cut materials up to 16” x 20” in one single stroke, but we can also apply other production methods for larger parts. Call us for a quote on your next batch of adhesive parts.