by Cindy LeClair Cindy LeClair No Comments

Storing Rubber And Plastic Parts | 5 Tips You Need To Know

How to store rubber and plastic parts

Summer is in full swing across the nation and temperatures are rising. Both rubber and plastic can be reactive to changes in the environment, making storage critically important for maintaining the integrity of your parts. Several factors such as exposure to oxygen, ozone, light, heat, humidity, oils, water, or other solvents can affect the performance of your rubber and plastic parts. These factors can be minimized by proper storage conditions.

1. CONTROL STORAGE TEMPERATURE
Materials can change in dimension based upon exposure to extreme temperatures. In particular, rubber is susceptible to these changes because it has a high coefficient of friction. It is ideal to keep materials stored in temperatures between 40°F and 80°F. Higher temps will cause products to soften, while colder temps cause stiffening. If your parts are out of tolerance after being stored, be sure to allow them to stabilize for 24 hours in a milder environment.

2. CONTROL STORAGE HUMIDITY
Some materials are prone to absorb moisture and will surely be affected by humidity levels. When deciding how to store your parts, remember that relative humidity in the environment should stay below 75%. Condensation should be avoided at all times. For those who can’t avoid humidity, be sure to allow for additional tolerance on part dimensions. In addition, letting the product stabilize in a controlled environment for 24 hours will minimize the changes humidity can cause.

3. AVOID EXPOSURE TO LIGHT
Both rubber and plastic products should be protected from light, particularly sunlight and strong, ultraviolet, artificial light. To help solve this issue, we suggest first putting parts into polyethylene bags, and then storing in large cardboard, or other opaque, containers.

4. AVOID OXYGEN AND OZONE EXPOSURE
Oxygen (O2) and Ozone (O3) can be quite damaging to rubber products, so wherever possible, it is best to store parts in airtight containers. This will protect them from circulating air and will minimize the potential negative affect. Exposure to ozone is particularly damaging, and can cause a scission (breakage) of the carbon backbone polymer chain into smaller chains. To maintain the integrity and shape of rubber products, keep them away from ozone-generating equipment such as electric motors, mercury vapor lamps, and high voltage electrical equipment.

5. STORE PRODUCTS IN RELAXED STATE
Rubber and plastic products should be stored in a tension-free, relaxed state. Parts that are compressed when stored may cause cracking or change of shape. Large parts should not be stored on pegs as this may cause severe deterioration. To restore parts to their original shape, apply moderate heat directly to product and allow time for product to be unrestrained.

We hope these 5 tips for storing rubber and plastic parts will help protect your products. These are especially important for parts with custom profiles. Controlling storage environment can be very difficult, but with the right protection, your parts will continue to perform as planned.

For additional questions regarding storage, feel free to contact us!

Visit us at viprubber.com

Cindy LeClair is the Vice President of Marketing at Vip Rubber and Plastic Company in California. Cindy is in the third generation of family ownership and has over 10 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. She is passionate about helping others and aims to educate and connect customers with the right resources. Should you want to get to know Vip Rubber and Plastic better as a potential supplier, do not hesitate to reach out to Cindy.

by Cindy LeClair Cindy LeClair No Comments

The Truth About Custom Manufacturing

In a one-size-fits-all world, where immediate returns and instant gratification rule, some things are worth waiting for. Some things must be planned, well- designed, carefully crafted and handled with care.

This is particularly true when it comes to the custom manufacturing process. Of course, many items are standard, and an off-the-shelf item may work perfectly fine. However, in many cases, the line between success and failure could depend on one single component. Sometimes an application calls for a part that does not yet exist. And this is the world in which custom manufacturing lives. It fills the gap between a problem and it’s solution. This type of manufacturing is meant to evolve as a customer’s project evolves. To flex alongside it’s customer in formation and creation, with a partnership that ultimately creates a fully functioning and successful end product.

I remember going to one of my favorite authentic Mexican restaurants and reading the sign on the wall as I waited for food. It read “quality food can not be made at microwave speed”. This is exactly how we should feel about custom manufacturing. High-quality product can not be made at low-quality speed.
The good news is that there are factors that can influence the speed of custom manufacturing.

HOW TO CHOOSE A CUSTOM MANUFACTURER

Dependability: You can spot a dependable company by it’s ability to thrive and weather the economic ups and downs. Manufacturers with decades of proven experience have gone through recessions and survived. This shows a solid track record of dependability which is incredibly important.

Credibility: Quality management systems like AS9100 Revision D and ISO9001 approve manufacturers who meet their stringent requirements. With these systems in place, you know the manufacturing process is lean, cost-effective, safe and stable. Companies accredited to these types industry standards have been thoroughly tested, tried and have been accepted.

Capacity: You need your products done as close to the due date as possible. To ensure this happens, take a look at a manufacturers capacity. A company running multiple shifts with ample employees is a safe choice.

Integrity: Finding a company you can trust can be a challenge. Often by looking at its employees, you will learn a lot. A good manufacturer will have long-time, loyal employees. Talk to the leadership, have a meeting with the sales team. Make sure this is a company you trust and feel good about working with.

Wisdom: Custom manufacturing cannot be learned quickly, it takes years of experience to develop the wisdom to run efficiently and properly. Manufacturing is, quite simply, not an exact science. You want qualified and capable people handling your part.

Although quality does take time, finding a partner that meets all the criteria above will help to shorten the manufacturing lead times, as well as significantly reduce the chance of dealing with a rejection.

So remember, when you need just the right part, in the perfect material and exact size, it will take more time than a standard part. However, doing a little background research to find an experienced, trusted company, will set you up for success. Contact us today to start your project.

Cindy LeClair is the Vice President of Marketing at Vip Rubber and Plastic Company in California. Cindy is in the third generation of family ownership and has over 10 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. She is passionate about helping others and aims to educate and connect customers with the right resources. Should you want to get to know Vip Rubber and Plastic better as a potential supplier, do not hesitate to reach out to Cindy.