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Monthly Archives: February 2015

  • Aerospace Seals, Gaskets, and Insulation from Elasto Proxy

    Aircraft Production is Soaring Aircraft Production is Soaring

    Doug Sharpe President of Elasto Proxy

    Learn why the aerospace industry sources seals, gaskets, and insulation from Elasto Proxy, a custom fabrication specialist with offices in Canda, the United States, and China.

    Did you know that aerospace manufacturing is flying high in North America? As reported recently in Industry Week, aerospace investment in the U.S. has increased by over $25 billion since 2012. Here in Quebec, Canada, where Elasto Proxy is headquartered, analysts are also optimistic. Maybe you knew that Boeing and Airbus are expanding production in the continental United States, but did you know that Montreal is one of the world’s top three aeronautics hubs?

    Here in Boisbriand, just a short drive from Montreal, Elasto Proxy has grown alongside the aerospace industry. Today, Quebec is home to over 200 aerospace companies, research centers, and associations. Our aeronautics industry employs over 40,000 highly-skilled workers, and Quebec’s universities and technical schools train nearly 5,000 students each year. Bell Helicopter Textron, Bombardier Aerospace, CAE, and Pratty & Whitney Canada all call this part of Canada home.

    Sealing Solutions That Last

    As a growing, global company, Elasto Proxy monitors trends in both the civilian aircraft industry and in military markets. For over 25 years, we’ve used our technical design and custom fabrication expertise to solve sealing and insulation challenges in a variety of industries. Recently, a major defense contractor accepted our advice about hatch seals. Maintenance personnel don’t always have the rubber parts that they need in the field, and taped parts adhere reliably so that frequent replacements aren’t required.

    By listening to the aerospace company’s needs and applying our application experience, Elasto Proxy won an award for taped parts. Using our compact taping machine, our Boisbriand facility can supply gaskets with either a heat-activated adhesive taping system (HATS) or a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA). Developed by 3M, HATS features strong stress-handling and weatherstripping capabilities, making it a sound choice for permanent sealing and outdoor applications. HATS high-bond tape takes 24 hours to fully-cure, but provides the kind of adhesion and holding strength that aerospace companies require.

    Aerospace Seals That Won’t Go Up in Smoke

    Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to aircraft manufacturers can also benefit from our industry knowledge. For example, aerospace engineers may need to source materials that meet ABD 031, the Airbus standard for fire testing, flammability, smoke, and toxicity (FST). Boeing also maintains its own fire testing standards: BSS 7238 for smoke density, and BSS 7239 for toxicity. Elasto Proxy can help with compound selection, and then design and custom-fabricate fireproof rubber products such as seals, gaskets, and insulation.

    Our solutions providers can also help technical buyers source elastomers that meet Bombardier SMP 800-C and ASTM’s Aerospace Material Standards (AMS). The AMS specifications cover a variety of areas, including transparent enclosures and materials.  AMS standards apply to passenger aircraft, of course, but did you know that they apply to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), too? If you need EMI RFI shielding for UAV power sources and guidance systems, ask Elasto Proxy about its gasket fabrication capabilities.

    Growing Globally

    Like the aerospace industry, Elasto Proxy is growing globally. Since our founding in 1989, we’ve expanded to Ontario, Canada; Simpsonville, South Carolina; and Shanghai, China. Today, Ontario’s aerospace industry is the second largest in Canada, and 14 of the top 25 firms are located in Canada’s most populous province. From aircraft integration and assembly to helicopters, engine systems, and aircraft component manufacturing, our warehouse near Toronto can supply the rubber parts you need.

    In the southern United States, Elasto Proxy’s sales office and warehouse isn’t far from Boeing in South Carolina, Airbus in Alabama, Gulfstream Aerospace in Georgia, and GE Aviation in North Carolina. China is flying high in terms of aerospace manufacturing, too. From our office in Shanghai, we’re ready to work with civilian aircraft manufacturers, domestic companies, and foreign subsidiaries. Shanghai itself is an aerospace center, and home to the Shanghai Aircraft Design and Research Institute (SADRI).

    How Can We Help You?

    How can we help you? To learn more about Elasto Proxy’s aerospace capabilities, watch this short video. Then, when you’re ready to strengthen your supply chain, contact us for high-quality seals, gaskets, and insulation.

  • Rubber Auto Parts, Plastic Auto Parts, and Automotive Suppliers

    Strengthen Your Automotive Supply Chain Strengthen Your Automotive Supply Chain

    Learn why Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive suppliers source rubber auto parts and plastic auto parts from Elasto Proxy, a custom fabrication specialist with facilities in Canda, the United States, and China.

    By John Rye Branch Manager for Elasto Proxy

    In the automotive industry, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) supply finished products such as cars, trucks, buses, and vans to the consumer marketplace. These OEMs don’t manufacture everything themselves, however. Instead, they rely upon a network of suppliers who add value through technical design, system integration, and custom fabrication.

    The automotive supply chain is complex, so it helps to have a model to describe it. Instead of a metal chain with links, imagine a pyramid with different tiers. At the top of the pyramid are the OEMs. Right below the automakers are the Tier 1 suppliers of modules or systems. The pyramid doesn’t end there, however, and other tiers play supporting roles.

    As the diagram that accompanies this article shows, there are Tier 2 component suppliers, Tier 3 parts suppliers, and an extensive automotive aftermarket. Companies in the “lower” supply chain tiers don’t directly interact with automakers, but Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers depend on them. For reliable rubber auto parts and plastic auto parts, automotive suppliers call upon Elasto Proxy for its design and fabrication expertise.

    The Heart of the Auto Industry

    For over 25 years, Elasto Proxy has helped supply chain partners meet their application requirements for quality, performance, and cost.  Founded in 1989, Elasto Proxy flourished in Quebec and then expanded to Ontario, the heart of Canada’s auto industry. With our sales office and warehouse in Newmarket, we’re close not just to Toronto, but to Oshawa, Windsor, and even Detroit itself.

    Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to the Big Three automakers like that we stock materials in Ontario and can respond quickly to demand. Parts don’t have to be imported from overseas and then shipped across the continent to Canada’s automotive plants. Port slowdowns and dockworker strikers on the coasts won’t constrain these shipments either. Air freight is expensive, and shorter supply chains enhance logistics.

    From our sales office in China, Elasto Proxy can also help international automakers with local sourcing initiatives. By leveraging our strong business relationships, we can help Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to control costs without sacrificing quality. Elasto Proxy also maintains a sales office and warehouse in Simpsonsville, South Carolina, not far from automotive assembly plants in the southern United States.

    Adding Value to Automotive Supply Chains

    Elasto Proxy understands that automotive suppliers need more than just a parts provider, however. As your supply chain partner, we have the application knowledge and technical expertise to offer advice about material selection, additional data on force and deflection, and proof about the life cycle of parts. By listening to all of your application requirements, we add value to your supply chain.

    For example, if you specify that a brake release must cycle a certain number of times before showing a specific percentage of wear, Elasto Proxy can help prove that the part is right for the application. If a custom molded part is in high-demand, we can safeguard your safety factors by releasing parts from our warehouses in response to your sales forecasts.

    Elasto Proxy’s automotive industry experience includes custom-molded stoppers and bumpers for seat tracks, molded plastic parts with the words “press here”, and molded rubber pads and end-pieces for emergency brake pedals. These pedal pads combined a rubber part with a plastic insert for the lettering, and were more challenging to produce than a standard pedal pad. We’ve also supplied lengths of rubber and plastic tubing for automotive wiring, parts for car door assemblies, and U-shaped rubber isolators for hood props.

    Vendor Selection Starts Here

    Are you a Tier 1 or Tier 2 automotive supplier? Are you reviewing your vendor list, or searching for a custom fabrication specialist who can produce rubber or plastic parts for a particularly demanding project? Elasto Proxy has worked with suppliers to some of the world’s biggest automakers, and helps keep assembly lines humming in an industry where stock-outs are not an option.

    How can we help you? Do you need molded parts, tubing, bumpers, edge trim, or window channels? Elasto Proxy keeps over 700 standard rubber profiles in stock, and supplements its extensive product catalog by working with a trusted network of material suppliers. Our production team is highly-skilled, and combines traditional craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology like waterjet cutting.

    Watch this short video to learn more about us.

    Then, when you’re ready to strengthen your automotive supply chain for rubber and plastic parts, contact us. We’re ready to help.

  • Rubber Prices, Custom Fabrication, and Supply Chains

    How Strong Is Your Supply Chain? How Strong Is Your Supply Chain?

    Paulo Arruda Purchasing and Logistics at Elasto Proxy

    Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia supply enough natural rubber to meet over two-thirds of the world’s demand for this plant-based elastomer. When rubber exports to China slowed, industry analysts worried that rubber plantations might put away their tapping knives and stop extracting latex from unprofitable trees. More recently, heavy rains in Southeast Asia caused a contraction in the supply of natural rubber, prompting fresh concerns about price increases.

    Supply and Demand are Elastic

    As with any global commodity, the price of natural rubber fluctuates. That’s also true of man-made or synthetic rubber, which is made by the polymerization of a variety of petroleum-based precursors called monomers. When crude oil prices topped $100 (USD) per barrel and analysts worried about “peak oil,” elastomers such as styrene-butadiene rubbers (SBR) were more expensive to produce. More recently, oil prices have plummeted, a trend with implications for the world marketplace for petroleum products.

    Meanwhile, global demand for rubber continues to grow. China’s current rate of economic growth isn’t as strong as it was in 2011, but that doesn’t mean the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is falling. In fact, global demand for industrial rubber products is expected to rise by 6.6% per year through 2018, with more than half this demand coming from China. Tire manufacturing consumes much of the world’s rubber supply, but demand for rubber seals and insulation is also strong and growing.

    Macroeconomics and Microeconomics

    What do these global trends mean for your company? What will your business do to minimize risks such as material shortages and significant price increases? By choosing a custom fabrication specialist with a strong supplier network, you can strengthen your supply chain and reliably source high-quality, cost-effective industrial rubber parts. That’s why manufacturers in many different market segments choose Elasto Proxy for specialty seals and custom insulation.

    As a global supplier of low-to-medium volume quantities of industrial rubber products, Elasto Proxy works with suppliers from around the world. The semi-finished products that we buy come from compounders who share our commitment to meeting your application requirements and business needs. So whether you need extruded rubber profiles or molded rubber parts, our solutions providers can source the right rubber and custom-fabricate solutions that meet all of your specifications.

    Leveraging Logistics

    Choosing the right supply chain partner is important, but it’s only the first step. Once you’ve selected a custom fabrication specialist, how will you the make the most of the relationship? If the price of rubber is getting ready to rise, should you buy more materials now and have the custom fabricator store them? Not necessarily. Logistics isn’t that simple. There’s a lot to consider, but a trusted partner can help. Let’s consider a few general guidelines.

    Consider all of your costs, including storage. Share projected usage with the vendor, and create a blanket order that lets your partner make the most of the best price. Some customers prefer to issue monthly releases, but this isn’t the most cost-effective approach if you know your projected monthly usage for the year. Blanket orders may represent a greater commitment, but these agreements enable the custom fabricator to order more material than just a minimum quantity when the price is right.

    How Can We Help You?

    Do you have questions about rubber prices, supply chains, custom fabrication, or logistics? For 25 years, Elasto Proxy has been working with companies in industries such as automotive, construction, defense, electronics, food equipment, green power, mass transit, medical equipment, and mobile specialty vehicles. How can we help you? Contact Elasto Proxy today.

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