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Monthly Archives: December 2014

  • Elasto Proxy Seals a Successful 2014

    Elasto Proxy - 25 YearsDoug Sharpe President of Elasto Proxy

    This year, Elasto Proxy celebrated its 25th year in business. In June, I shared some reflections about where our family-owned company has been, where we’re going, and what it means for you. Today, as 2014 draws to a close, I’d like to review our year with you, and share a few thoughts about 2015 and beyond. Like any growing global company, Elasto Proxy faces challenges. Yet our challenges represent opportunities, and I’m pleased to report that we’re making the most of them.

    Change is the Only Constant

    January 2014 seems like a long time ago, but we began the year thinking about a role for rubber seals in rail safety. As you may recall, the December 2013 derailment of an oil train near Casselton, South Dakota reminded us of a similar disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. The high cost of oil seemed here to stay, but now the price of a barrel has plummeted. Did you see that one coming? Markets are cyclical, of course, but price corrections and even recessions can make winners stronger.

    For Elasto Proxy, part of the strength of our business lies in the diversity of the markets that we serve. Defense spending may be down, but there are growing opportunities in other industries. For example, as cars and trucks incorporate more electronic components, demand for EMI shielding will rise. Some business opportunities are global, but there’s still a need to serve local markets, too. Niche players can find a foothold and grow their small businesses into medium-sized enterprises. That’s been our strategy.

    Building for the Future

    Throughout 2014, Elasto Proxy invested in the future. In August, we announced our acquisition of an infrared film splicer. Did you know that we sold our die-cutter, though? Simply put, keeping it didn’t make sense. Plus, our water jet cutting machine makes fine, fast cuts – and without long lead times or tooling charges. Next year, we plan to invest in a robotic cutting center. 3D printing is hot, and we’ve used it for auto parts prototyping, but there’s a lot to consider as a fabricator.

    Technology investments are important, but equipment isn’t Elasto Proxy’s only asset. Cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) may transform manufacturing, but there will never be a substitute for talented, dedicated employees. In successful organizations, the “human touch” still counts. That’s why Elasto Proxy invests in employee training, and works hard to improve internal processes. We’re proud of our ISO 9001:2008 certification, and continue to embrace lean manufacturing.

    How Can We Help You?

    People, products, processes, and production equipment are force multipliers here at Elasto Proxy’s headquarters in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada. We’re also especially grateful for the strong contributions of our solutions providers in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada; Simpsonville, South Carolina, USA; and Shanghai, China. For a company that began in a basement, Elasto Proxy certainly has grown!

    So how can we help you? Do you need seals and insulation in 2015, or would you just like to learn more about us?  Look for us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. There, you’ll find our Capabilities video, as well as other informative content. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters.

    Happy holidays, everyone! On behalf of Elasto Proxy, I hope your 2014 was a success – and that your 2015 will be even better.

    Elasto Proxy
  • Rubber Part Tolerances and Custom Fabrication

    Rubber Profiles Elasto ProxyDoug Sharpe President of Elasto Proxy

    What’s the best way to organize a factory floor? Work centers are designated areas of a production facility where specific activities are performed. Each area is equipped with the tooling, machinery, and staffing that’s necessary to complete tasks efficiently, accurately, and cost-effectively.

    For rubber manufacturers, examples of work centers include extruding and hydraulic pressing. Custom fabrication isn’t the same as rubber manufacturing, but Elasto Proxy also operates work centers that meet part tolerances – allowable variations in part dimensions.

    Work Centers and Custom Fabrication

    Here at Elasto Proxy’s headquarters in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada, our skilled production personnel use state-of-the-art equipment in ten work centers.

    • Cold bonding
    • Film Splicing
    • Molding
    • Vulcanization
    • Cut Lengths
    • Waterjet cutting
    • Taping
    • Insulation
    • Laminating
    • Painting (i.e., waterproof coating)

    This YouTube video briefly describes our custom fabrication capabilities.

    Custom Fabrication and Rubber Part Tolerances

    As a recent blog entry called Part Tolerances for Rubber Seals and Insulation explained, manufactured and custom-fabricated rubber parts must meet required tolerances in order to ensure proper sealing. The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) publishes a handbook with tolerance tables, and this reference provides a “common language” that the entire supply chain – including technical buyers – can understand.

    In this blog entry, we’ll examine RMA part tolerances for spliced lengths and cut lengths, and connect these two RMA tables to several Elasto Proxy work centers. Hopefully, this exercise will provide you with an even better understanding of how part tolerances apply to your sealing and insulation solutions.

    Spliced Length Tolerances

    Elasto Proxy offers four splicing solutions: cold bonding, film splicing, molding, and vulcanization. Each technique corresponds to a work center. The RMA Tolerance Table that appears below lists tolerances for spliced lengths of extruded rubber profiles by part dimensions and class, a measure of precision.

    Depending upon your application requirements, our solutions providers may refer to this information and then share it with you during discussions about splicing.

    Note: Tolerances may vary depending on the compound selected or the shape used.

    RMA Class 1 Precision 2 Commercial 3 Non-Critical
    Drawing Designation S1 S2 S3
    Millimeters
    Above Up to
    0 250 ±3.2 ±6.3 ±7.1
    250 400 4.0 7.1 8.0
    400 630 5.0 8.0 9.0
    630 1000 6.3 9.0 10.0
    1000 1600 8.0 10.0 11.2
    1600 2500 10.0 11.2 12.3
    2500 over 12.5 12.5 16.0
    Inches
    Above Up to
    0 10 ±.13 ±.25 ±.28
    10 16 .16 .28 .32
    16 25 .20 .32 .36
    25 40 .25 .36 .40
    40 63 .32 .40 .45
    63 100 .40 .45 .50
    100 over .50 .50 .53

    Cut Length Tolerances for Unspliced Extrusions

    Elasto Proxy stocks over 700 standard profiles that our Boisbriand facility can custom-fabricate into specialty sealing solutions.  As you may recall, Elasto Proxy has a Cut Lengths work center. Our custom fabrication facility also has a water jet cutting machine that provides tight tolerances and makes fine, fast cuts without tooling costs.

    Depending on your application requirements, our solutions providers may refer to this RMA Tolerance Table about cut length tolerances for unspliced extrusions, and discuss the data with you.

    Note: Tolerances may vary depending on the compound selected or the shape used.

    RMA Class 1 Precision 2 Commercial 3 Non-Critical
    Drawing Designation L1 L2 L3
    Length (in Millimeters)
    Above Up to
    0 40 ±0.7 ±1.0 ±1.6
    40 63 0.08 1.3 2.0
    63 100 1.0 1.6 2.5
    100 160 1.3 2.0 3.2
    160 250 1.6 2.5 4.0
    250 400 2.0 3.2 5.0
    400 630 2.5 4.0 6.3
    630 1000 3.2 5.0 10.0
    1000 1600 4.0 6.3 12.5
    1600 2500 5.0 10.0 16.0
    2500 4000 6.3 12.5 20.0
    4000 0.16% 0.32% 0.50%
    Length (in Inches)
    Above Up to
    0 1.6 ±0.03 ±0.04 ±0.06
    1.6 2.5 0.03 0.05 0.08
    2.5 4.0 0.04 0.06 0.10
    4.0 6.3 0.05 0.08 0.13
    6.3 10.0 0.06 0.10 0.16
    10.0 16.0 0.8 0.13 0.20
    16.0 25.0 0.10 0.16 0.25
    25.0 40.0 0.13 0.20 0.40
    40.0 63.0 0.16 0.25 0.50
    63.0 100.0 0.20 0.40 0.63
    100.0 160.0 0.25 0.50 0.80
    160.0 0.16% 0.32% 0.50%

    How Can We Help You?

    Do you have questions about part tolerances and custom fabrication? How can we help you? For over 25 years, Elasto Proxy has been helping partners in a wide range of industries solve sealing and insulation challenges. Please contact us for more information, or join the conversation on our social media channels.

    Look for a post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. There, you’ll find our Capabilities video, as well as other informative content. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and they provide links to blog entries like this one.

  • How to Source Custom-Fabricated Rubber Parts

    Hand Crafted

    Doug Sharpe President of Elasto Proxy

    Did you know that there’s a difference between manufacturing and fabrication? Although these two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they’re not exactly the same. Manufacturing is a process that creates something new from raw materials, or that produces a high-volume of parts. In the rubber industry, for example, manufacturers make sheets and profiles – as well as tires for trucks, buses, and cars. Fabricators customize manufactured stock to meet a buyer’s precise specifications.

    For over 25 years, Elasto Proxy has specialized in the custom fabrication of small-to-medium quantities of high-quality parts made of rubber, plastic, and composite materials. Our slogan, “The Art of Sealing”, illustrates how we create components through a unique combination of time-honored craftsmanship and modern production technologies. Today, Elasto Proxy stocks over 700 molded and extruded rubber profiles, and can source many different materials in a variety of form factors.

    From Catalog Pages to Custom Fabricated Rubber Parts

    Elasto Proxy’s catalog of standard products is extensive, but we understand that engineers and product designers want to see more than just a catalog page when making procurement decisions. That’s why we don’t just sell products. Instead, we offer custom-fabricated solutions. As your partner and problem solver, Elasto Proxy applies its technical knowledge and application experience on your behalf. In short, we find innovative ways to solve your sealing and insulation challenges.

    For example, by partnering with trusted suppliers and sourcing high-quality materials, Elasto Proxy can create custom components such as bulb trim seals, edge trim, floor mats, weather stripping, window channels, and tubing. We can also produce custom-molded parts, thermal and acoustic insulation, and EMI/RFI shielding. Rubber bumpers, inflatable seals, and rubber sheeting are also part of our extensive catalog, and parts that we can custom-fabricate to meet your specific requirements.

    Cutting, Splicing, and Taping

    Material selection is important, but custom fabrication isn’t just about choosing the right compound for rubber parts. At Elasto Proxy, skilled production personnel apply their expertise with state-of-the-art cutting, splicing, and taping technologies. For example, our water jet cutting machine can make fine, fast cuts as small as 1/2” x 1/2”. With gaskets, we can create holes with diameters as small as 0.01”. For highly precise, cost-effective cuts without tooling charges or long leads, water jet technology sets the standard.

    Elasto Proxy’s splicing solutions also promote quality and efficiency. Depending on the run quantity, performance requirements, material type, and tooling, we may recommend film splicing, cold bonding, C-press injection molding, or vulcanizing for joints, corners, and ends. Elasto Proxy also offers taping with a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) or heat-activated taping system (HATS) to keep profiles in place for temporary or permanent fastening.

    How Can We Help You?

    Taped gaskets are ready-to-install right out-of-the-box and speed production operations on automotive assembly lines. Custom insulation consists of sandwich-like structures made with coated fabrics, foams, fillers, barrier materials and adhesives for applications such as thermal and acoustic insulation. EMI/RFI shielding protects sensitive medical and military electronics. For a wide range of industries, Elasto Proxy delivers. How can we help you solve your sealing and insulation challenges?

    Please contact us for more information about custom fabrication, or join the conversation on our social media channels. Look for a post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. There, you’ll find our Capabilities video, as well as other informative content. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and they provide links to blog entries like this one.

  • Part Tolerances for Rubber Seals and Insulation

    Drawing

    Paulo Arruda Purchasing and Logistics at Elasto Proxy

    Part tolerances are allowable variations in the dimensions of manufactured components. They are expressed as plus or minus values, or as a range of measurements. If a part is out of tolerance, problems may occur. For example, if a rubber door seal on a machine is out of tolerance, the door may be difficult to shut or fail to provide proper sealing and insulation.

    Engineers and product designers understand part tolerances for metal components, but may be less familiar with tolerances for rubber parts such as door seals. Rubber has different properties than metal, of course, and is more sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature. The type of rubber and the kind of tooling that is used during manufacturing also affects part tolerance.

    Solving Part Tolerance Challenges

    Sometimes, an engineer or product designer specifies a tolerance that would be fine for a metal part, but not for a rubber profile. As an experienced custom fabricator, Elasto Proxy can review your drawings or CAD files, and suggest modifications. By examining tolerance tables from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), our technical team can then recommend solutions that support your product design.

    The RMA is well-known for its work regarding tire safety, but this trade organization supports many manufacturers of rubber products. The RMA’s tolerance tables help during part design and production, and provide a “common language” that the entire supply chain can understand. Buyers of industrial rubber products don’t need the in-depth knowledge of a custom fabricator, but it helps to understand the basics.

    Molded and Extruded Parts

    The RMA Handbook contains tolerance tables for both molded and extruded rubber. Molding and extrusion are different processes, but both subject rubber parts to physical changes. For example, during molding, the rubber expands as it vulcanizes. The recipe for the rubber determines the temperature at which curing or vulcanization occurs. Later, when the molded part cools, it shrinks.

    Extrusion also causes changes in part size, and extruded parts can swell or shrink depending on the compound that’s used. As extruders know, the shape of the die isn’t the shape of the final part. There are other considerations, too. Solid extrusions are denser and easier to control. Extruded sponge and foam exhibit larger variances because of the chemical reaction that creates the cavities.

    Tolerance Types and RMA Classes

    As the RMA Handbook indicates, extruded parts have tolerances for shape or cross-section, cut-length, and angle cut. In the case of cut-lengths, it’s important to remember that rubber stretches. Tight tolerances are possible with metal channels, but not with rubber extrusions that expand or contract with temperature changes. Also, the tolerances on angle cuts used with spliced gaskets aren’t the same as the tolerances for cut lengths. Consequently, each process has its own tolerance chart.

    Buyers of industrial rubber products also need to understand that the RMA Handbook divides, for example, solid extruded parts into three classes: high precision (1), precision (2), and commercial (3). That’s why when you receive a quote from us, you may see a line such as “per RMA-E2”. This refers to the specific RMA tolerance table (Table 13, which uses a lettered identifier of E), as well as the precision class (2).

    How Can We Help You?

    Do you have questions about part tolerances for rubber seals and insulation? Would you like to learn more about molding and extrusion, and why choosing the right rubber is so important? Do you have questions about RMA tolerance tables, such as which ones apply to your design? For over 25 years, Elasto Proxy has been helping partners solve technical design and custom-fabrication challenges.

    Please contact us for more information, or join the conversation on our social media channels. Look for a post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and they provide links to blog entries like this one.

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