Customized Rubber and Sealing Solutions: How Distribution Can Help!

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Customized Rubber and Sealing Solutions: How Distribution Can Help!

The Need for Custom Sealing Solutions

When working to resolve a problem with an existing product, or while designing something new, there is not always a catalog, off-the-shelf solution for every unique sealing need. While an o-ring is a tried and true sealing solution, perhaps the design limitations make use of an o-ring impossible. In many cases, the best solution is a sealing product custom tailored to the specific application environment and performance requirements.

How a Sealing Distributor Can Help with Custom Solutions

Several gasket manufacturers offer custom sealing products for their potential customers, but the unique gasket manufacturing abilities of each factory present different options and solutions to the problem. While many different sealing solutions may work for the industrial application’s needs, it can be difficult and time-consuming to solicit proposals from multiple sources and to ensure the given sealing solution presented is offered at a reasonable price. This is where a gasket and seal distributor with a wide range of manufacturing partners can help.

Making the choice to work with a custom gasket and seal distributor creates a relationship where a single point of contact for the customer opens the doors to several seal manufacturing options for each unique application requirement. While the customer may have knowledge of a few options to meet their needs, the sealing distributor partner might know of other seal and gasket manufactures that can satisfy the design requirements in a shorter timeframe or in a more economical manner. The varied options can all be presented at once to the customer and an informed choice can be made from the information.

When an Off-the-Shelf Rubber O-Ring Won't Suffice

A common example might be a customer requiring a seal to close off the gap between two mating metal components fastened together with four bolts. While an o-ring is a fine off-the-shelf choice if a groove is provided, design considerations might require something unique like an inverted assembly where an o-ring is likely to fall out. Perhaps a custom rubber gasket with interference fit on the bolts would alleviate that issue.

Another option might be a custom rubber seal that adheres to a machined gland with an interference fit. Maybe the interface also has an integrated check valve that the customer installs at the same time they would assemble the seal. A manufacturer might have the ability to create an integrated rubber valve or overmold the additional component to make a unitized solution that eliminates additional part numbers and minimizes labor. This unique sealing solution also has the benefit of being very specialized and protects the customer’s aftermarket sales as well.

Relationship Counts with your Sealing Distributor

The distributor contact works with the customer to truly understand the application. They then convey the information to the many seal and gasket manufacturing partners to work through design options that resolve the customer’s sealing needs in the most effective and efficient manner possible. The distributor will work to create prints and models, quote tooling and testing plans while ensuring they provide everything required by the customer so the proposed sealing solution supplies the best possible answer to their needs.

Working with a gasket and seal distributor partner creates options and opportunity for every unique application requirement. Distributor product specialists open doors to manufacturers and methods that might not have even been a consideration of the customer previously. Working with more options, with less direct effort from the customer’s side, creates opportunity for better, more cost-effective industrial sealing solutions, and can help develop unique products that resolve manufacturers' needs better than standard seal catalog solutions and create a better final product overall.

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