Five Qualifications to Look For When Selecting a Custom Urethane Supplier
Custom urethane products deliver important advantages over conventional elastomers and plastics. They are stronger, tougher, more durable and more versatile. As a result, if made properly, and depending on how they are used, you may never have to replace your parts again.
The lifespan and performance of your custom molded urethane parts is heavily dependent on many factors, including design, quality of materials used, formulation and tolerances. If any of these factors are lacking, your product performance will as well. As a result, it is important to seek out and select a custom urethane provider that is extremely knowledgeable, willing to provide guidance and has a proven track record of success. To help in your selection process, this article outlines five key qualifications to look for when selecting a custom urethane provider.
Five Qualifications to Look for When Selecting a Custom Urethane Manufacturer
To ensure you get the highest quality custom urethane products with the best overall performance, your custom urethane supplier should:
1. Offer Complimentary Product Design Assistance
In some instances, you may come up with a design that looks good on paper, but may not be feasible to produce. Or, there might be times where there is a more cost effective way to design your custom molded parts, eliminating the need for secondary machining. When looking for a custom urethane provider it is important that you select one who is willing to provide the strategic guidance and expertise necessary to ensure your custom molded parts are created with the best, most cost effective design and will deliver the longest life. Doing this will require your urethane provider takes the time to look at your product sketches, understand how your product will work, including the product environment, and consult with you to make recommendations on how to save expenses and develop the optimal design and formulation to increase its lifespan.
2. Use Custom Formulations with Premium Materials
While urethane products are stronger, tougher, more durable and more versatile than conventional elastomers and plastics, not all urethane is created equal. This means, if you are looking for the custom molded urethane parts which will have the longest lifespan, you want to select a urethane provider that can create custom formulations to meet your unique needs and uses premium grade raw materials. While lower grade materials may be cheaper up front, they will cost you in the end, as they tend to have lower physical properties, which means they are less abrasion resistant and have a shorter life.
In addition, when looking for a urethane provider, it is important to go with someone who has the versatility to meet your product’s unique needs, especially when it comes to the physical properties like compression set, elongation, tear resistance and tensile strength. To ensure optimal performance, you will want to select a provider who not only uses quality materials but has the ability and experience to develop custom formulations to meet your unique requirements.
3. Have Tight Standard Tolerances and Can Handle Unique Tolerance Requirements
When designing and developing custom molded urethane parts, precision is key. With some products, tight tolerances may not be important, yet with others there may be little to no tolerance flexibility. When looking for a custom urethane provider, it is important to find one that will be able to meet your tolerance needs in the most cost effective fashion. The smaller their standard tolerances are, the less likely it will be that you will need to request additional customization. This means you are less likely to incur upcharges in pricing. However, some custom urethane products will undoubtedly require tighter tolerances than the standards. If this is the case, you will need to have in-depth discussions to ensure the custom urethane provider you choose has the machining ability necessary to meet these tight tolerances.
4. Offer In House Mold Making
Custom urethane manufacturers that design and make their own tooling pass on many advantages to their customers. By offering in house molding, these urethane suppliers are eliminating the need to use a third party company which not only makes pricing more cost effective, but also results in a faster turnaround time for the custom urethane products. This means you will have a timely delivery of your products and you will gain the flexibility needed for faster fulfillment on future orders.
5. Have Responsive Customer Service Professionals
When looking for a custom urethane supplier, the quality of customer service should not be overlooked. While a company may meet other key criteria, if their customer service representatives are unresponsive and lack knowledge, you may not end up with exactly what you are looking for. Instead, make sure the company you decide to select gets back to your inquiries quickly (within 24 hours), enthusiastically answers any questions you may have and has the knowledge and expertise necessary to ensure your custom molded parts meet your every need.
About PSI Urethanes
PSI Urethanes has over 50 years of experience as a market leader and innovator in custom molded urethane. With a long history of outstanding quality, superior product performance and excellent customer service, PSI is a trusted provider of custom molded urethane parts, ranging from low quantity prototypes to full production products. Backed by a highly experienced engineering staff, PSI provides creative solutions with product design assistance, offers a vast array of specialty formulated compounds and delivers top quality parts designed to provide the best overall performance and longest lifespan.