Questions to Ask Your Die Cut Parts Supplier

Price and cost are two very different things. The cheapest parts often carry a lot of associated costs, while those with the higher price tag arrive on time, install easily and with little waste. That’s why it’s essential to ask any potential vendor a lot of questions, not just about the products they carry but also the service they provide.

Poor quality and service cost time and money.

Die cut parts, like gaskets and tapes, easily “slip under the radar,” going unnoticed until the installation team starts to complain. Common problems include supposedly kiss-cut shapes that weren’t, shapes that don’t fit the way they should, poor quality pressure sensitive adhesive application, torn release paper and of course, lack of inventory. (Nothing brings work to a halt faster than that last one!)

These problems can be avoided by partnering with a reputable, established die cut parts supplier. The best ones will support your business and help you grow, but how you decide who they are? Here are some questions to ask.

How long have they been in the die cut parts supply business?

Building a partnership means looking toward the long term. Past performance is often indicative of what’s to come, so find a vendor with a track record of dependable performance.

Do they carry plenty of raw materials inventory or only order once they’ve got your business?

Inventory is expensive, so some parts suppliers only buy what they need when they need it. That extends delivery dates, which can be a major problem when you need to keep the project moving.

Do they keep cut shapes in inventory or is theirs a cut-to-order business model?

Ideally, they’ll do whatever is best for you. Holding inventory has a cost but minimizes lead time. Alternatively, do they have the processes and skills to provide a rapid order turnaround?

What cutting methods/technologies do they have?

If they only use flat bed and rotary die cutting, there could be setup charges and minimum order quantities. If they have water jet processing in addition to die cutting, they’ll be positioned to handle orders from prototype quantities up to thousands of pieces.

How quickly can they deliver?

A supplier on the other side of country can’t respond as quickly as one that’s across the street. Check where they’re located, where they’ve put their warehouses and where your parts will ship from.

What tooling do they use?

Steel rule dies are the least expensive, and are often good enough for many components. For higher accuracy though, it’s best to look for a supplier who can handle solid milled and matched metal dies. While steel rule tools will typically achieve +/- 0.010” tolerances, matched metal can maintain as tight as +/-0.001”.

Choose your partner with care

By wasting your time and money, unreliable suppliers and substandard materials will delay a project and also make you look bad. That’s why it pays to evaluate potential vendors with the utmost care. The questions listed here will help you identify companies to buy from -not just once but over and over.

Multipurpose Medium Density PVC Foams

Medium density, closed cell PVC foams are considered a “workhorse” type product in  gasketing and sealing applications. It’s like that handy screwdriver or utility knife we all have. You don’t miss it until you don’t have it. One of the premier medium density PVC product lines is the V-740 series from Saint Gobain.

V-740 Series Product Features and Properties

The V-740 series utilizes a 9 lbs. per cubic foot density PVC foam core. This means you have a very cost effective way to produce seals and gaskets as compared to hand applied sealants and caulks.

One side of the foam core is coated with a pressure-sensitive  acrylic adhesive system designed to adhere to a variety of surfaces; helping to fixture the foam in place until it is put under compression. The foam is dimensionally stable, resistant to weather, fungus, and oxidation, and maintains its’ flexibility at low temperatures.

Applications

This product can truly handle a wide variety of sealing jobs and do them very well. The V-740 series excels at sealing out water, air, and dirt in truck and trailer bodies. In the construction industries, it seals exterior wall panels, HVAC joints, foundation to sill gaskets, and a host of other window and door weather stripping applications.

Product Options

The V-740 series is available in black or gray with or without adhesive (although the adhesive coated version is the most popular) and it comes in 5 thicknesses.

Workhorse products like the V-740 series are easy to overlook. They do so many things so well  that it’s easy to take them for granted. Contact Tom Brown, Inc. today for a sample roll or a die cut V-740 gasket.

Swirl-Free PVC Foams- The V-710 Series

Many sealing and gasketing applications require subsequent drilling for the insertion of screws, bolts or rivets to complete an assembly. The auguring action of a drill bit or screw can cause the foam gasket or seal to rip or tear. This compromises the integrity of the seal itself.

The V-710 series from Saint Gobain solves this problem by taking a medium density PVC foam and adjusting the PVC formulation so that the foam won’t move or twist when the fastener is inserted.

V-710 Series Product Features and Properties

The V-710 series utilizes a 10 lb per cubic foot density PVC foam core. This means you have a very cost effective way to produce seals and gaskets that will work hand in hand with drilling and various mechanical fasteners.

One side of the foam core is coated with a pressure-sensitve  acrylic adhesive system designed to adhere to a variety of surfaces; helping to fixture the foam in place until it is drilled, mechnical fasteners inserted, and then put under compression. The foam is dimensionally stable, resistant to weather, fungus, and oxidation, and maintains its’ flexbilty at low temperatures.

Applications

This product works exceptionally well in product assembly operations.. The V-710 series excels at sealing out water, air,and dirt in truck cab roofline seals and vehicle overlap seals.  In the construction industry, it is an excellent choice for corrugated panels, modualr wall systems, HVAC seals, and outdoor lighting fixtures.

Product Options

The V-710 series is available in gray with a pressure sensitive acrylic adhesive on one side for easy fixturing and it comes in 5 thicknesses.

The V-710 series is truly a unique product line that solves distortion and tearing issues that compromise seal integrity when mechanical fasteners are used for final assembly operations.  Contact Tom Brown, Inc. today for a sample roll or a die cut V-710 gasket.

Light-Weighting with Adhesives and Tapes

stronger adhesive

Light-weighting is a popular topic in a variety of industries including transportation, general industrial applications, and even the building and construction market. In transportation applications, the reduction in fuel consumption is a primary driver along with the associated environmental impact. However there are other benefits to light-weighting initiatives- reduced costs, flexible product designs, and improved product performance.

Light-weighting strategies typically rely on the use of plastics, foams and thinner metals. It is critical to understand the bonding and assembly challenges associated with these material choices.

Let’s take a look at some of the main challenges of bonding and assembly in a new lightweight design and see how adhesives and tapes can assist the design engineer.

Dissimilar Materials

New lightweight designs often involve the bonding of two dissimilar materials such as a foam or plastic and a light gauge metal. These materials not only possess very different weights but more importantly vastly different chemistries.  The metal might exhibit a high surface energy and be relatively easy to bond to with an adhesive while the foam or plastic might have much lower surface energy. The goal is to achieve structural strength and integrity while avoiding concentrating stress in any one area.

Obviously it is not easy to weld plastic to metal so that method is not feasible. Rivets or other mechanical fasteners add weight and the holes associated with them can create an ingress path for moisture, air, or dirt and create weaknesses. Adhesives and tapes typically weigh less than mechanical fasteners and they enable stress to be distributed along the entire joint. 

Bond and Seal In One Step

Mechanical fasteners typically involve drilling or punching holes into the materials. Those holes can lead to moisture ingress, airflow, or create an initiation point  for corrosion.

Adhesives and tapes can bond and seal large or small surface areas. They are often both watertight and airtight while still providing a strong, lightweight bond.  

Thermal Expansion and Contraction

Materials expand or contract as the ambient temperature changes and they often do so at very different rates which can produce stress in the bonded area. 

Mechanical fasteners tend to concentrate stress in one area. When that area is stressed by thermal expansion or contraction, there is no ability for the fastener to absorb or redirect any of the stress and material fracturing can occur. When this happens pathways are opened for water and air ingress

Tapes and adhesives are able to bond materials with different coefficients of thermal expansion and contraction with superior bonding performance.

Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH)

The automotive industry first comes to mind when thinking about reducing all those unwanted rattles, vibrations, engine noise, etc… but that is not the only industry where this is important. The truck and utility trailer industry along with the fire and emergency vehicle market is constantly trying to extend trailer or emergency vehicle service life and all those rattles and vibrations cause wear and tear on components over an extended time period.

Tapes and adhesives excel with NVH problems. Tapes in particular are viscoelastic meaning that they exhibit both viscous and elastic properties when undergoing stress and deformation. This property allows the tape to turn vibrational energy into heat and reduce or eliminate the vibration.

Aesthetic Considerations

Looks matter. Rivets, bolts, screws, and holes affect the visual design and can sometimes detract from the overall product appearance.

Adhesive and tape bonded joints are largely invisible. The tape or adhesive is hidden between the bonded materials. The surfaces stay smooth for any additional finishes or graphic application.

The Right Adhesive or Tape System

Using adhesives and tapes for light-weighting requires an understanding of the overall design objectives and the subsequent assembly processes. It is not hard but with a knowledge of the basics and an understanding the capabilities of different adhesives success is very achievable.

Adhesive technology has progressed tremendously in recent year and systems that address light-weighting bonding challenges with different materials, thermal expansion rates, flexibility and environmental exposures are readily available. Adhesives are delivered in different form factors including liquids, sprays, and tapes making them easier to integrate into an assembly process.

Light-weighting will continue to be a dominant trend in product design. Selecting the best possible bonding method will play a more critical role as designers and engineers try to remove as much weight as possible. The good news is that adhesives and tapes are an enabling technology, one that can help companies solve light-weighting  challenges for years to come.  

Understanding Pressure Sensitive Tape Properties

When it comes to pressure sensitive adhesive tapes, there isn’t a convenient single rating system for how “strong” the tape might be. The adhesive systems on these tapes operate differently in a variety of environments, and there are performance properties that can be judged as more important than others for certain applications.

Generally tack, peel, and shear resistance are the primary physical properties that are measured and reported. There are many more tests that can be performed to develop a more in depth understanding of a tape’s properties. These might include testing for fire or burn properties, solvent resistance, and a host of other specialized tests but if you have a basic grasp of peel, tack, and shear, you can make some reasonable inferences about how a tape might perform.

Environmental Factors

Pressure sensitive adhesive tapes all exhibit some degree of sensitivity to temperature fluctuations. As a general rule, when the temperature increases, the adhesive system can become “softer” to some degree depending on how it’s formulated. When the temperature becomes colder, the adhesive can become “harder”.  This is a function of each adhesive’s glass transition temperature (abbreviated Tg). In simple terms, glass transition temperature is that crossroad temperature where the adhesive ‘transitions” from “rubber-like” (softer) to more “glasslike” (firmer).

Some adhesive systems can tolerate larger temperature ranges than others due to their base chemistry and the way they are formulated and processed-although these temperature extremes may potentially be unnecessary for certain applications.

Measuring Shear Resistance

Shear testing measures the ability of the adhesive system to maintain a bond under a constant load. It provides insight into the internal strength of the adhesive itself. The testing can be performed in a static mode and in a dynamic mode. Static shear testing is useful when a tape may be asked to support a constant load in an application. (think of holding a panel onto a vertical frame system). Dynamic shear testing can provide useful information on how well the tape can resist a sudden load such as a shock or a sudden wind load.

Testing Tack

Tack is the property that controls how quickly a bond is formed when it is brought into contact with a surface with very slight pressure. It is ability of the adhesive to “wet” the surface that it contacts. The most common way we experience tack is with our thumb. We stick our thumb onto the tape’s adhesive surface and pull it away. The more it “grabs” our thumb, the tackier we perceive the tape to be. The thumb however is not a reliable predictor for  how a tape will function in an application.

There are applications where tack(specifically high tack) is very important. Flying splices on paper or film converting machines and wire management hooks and clips for appliances are two applications where immediate loads will be applied and the tape must hold without delay.

Tack is sensitive to a variety of factors including the properties of the adhered (typically roughness or topography) along with temperature and processing conditions.

There are 4 principle test methods for measuring tack- loop tack, rolling ball tack, probe tack, and quick stick. Without going into too much detail about individual test methods, loop tack is often viewed as the most repeatable and consistent and many tape manufacturers now report it routinely. A loop of tape is formed and brought into contact with a test plate.  The loop is then pulled away on a tensile testing machine and the value recorded. The downside of loop tack is that the substrate the adhesive is coated on can have a significant effect on the results.

Probe tack was popular for many years since it more or less resembled the “thumb tack” test but wide variability in the test data has often been observed. In this test, a metal probe is brought into contact with tape surface, allowed to dwell for a specified time, and then pulled away. The force of removal is reported in grams.

Rolling ball tack is a simplistic test where a ball bearing is released down a ramp onto a tape specimen. The adhesive “arrests” the motion of the ball bearing due to grab and a “plowing effect” and the distance need to stop the ball is reported. This test is often used as a quick QC test on a production line.

Quick stick also uses a tensile or peel tester as in the loop tack test to pull a tape specimen off at a 90° angle with short or no dwell time. This differs from normal peel adhesion testing since only the weight of the tape itself is used to initiate the bond or a very light 25 gram roller.

Peel Testing

Peel adhesion testing is measuring the force required to remove a tape specimen from a test panel at a controlled angle (usually 180°or 90°), at standard rate, and with a defined dwell time.

The tape is applied using a weighted rubber roller to a stainless steel (or other panel material that is defined) and then allowed to dwell on that panel. The tape can be peeled away immediately but dwell times from 5 minutes up to 72 hours are common.

Some adhesive applications require temporary fixing of the tape to the surface with the intent of removing it in the future without adhesive residue. Think of the surface protection films used on appliances or paint masking tapes. In these applications, lower peel levels(and likely tack) are needed to impart stable removal over time.

In more permanent applications, higher peel forces will likely be needed in order to permanently affix the tape to the substrate or to bond two surfaces together. This does not necessarily mean that the tape must exhibit high tack (whether you test it with your thumb or a loop tack method). Many high tack tape systems depending on how they’re formulated might have lower ultimate peel strength versus a tape that seems “not as tacky” but develops very high peel adhesion to specific surfaces.

One final note- peel testing on a standard stainless steel panel can be useful but it is imperative that peel testing also take place on the surfaces to which it will actually be applied. That peel testing will yield a much richer date set. Those panels can also subjected to various humidity conditions, high or low temperatures and chemical exposures that the tape will actually see. A much deeper understanding of field performance can be realized (and it may or may not have anything to do with tack as we perceive it).

Accelerated Aging Studies

Tapes are typically subjected to various types of accelerated aging. This may involve aging the actual roll of tape at some elevated temperature and/or humidity to gain insight into how well the tape will survive shipping and storage conditions once it is in the field. These studies provide data that helps the manufacturer set a shelf life for the tape so the customer can be reasonably assured that the tape will work when they receive it.

Other aging studies can be significantly more involved. They might include making test panels and exposing the panels to the sun in a state such as Florida or Arizona for a year and then performing peel and shear tests on those panels. In other cases, actual mock ups of the finished product might be fabricated and then subjected to artificial sunlight, humidity, cold chambers, or all of these in some cycling sequence in order to understand how these environments affect the tape’s performance and behavior over time.

If you’d like to learn more about adhesive tape testing or to discuss the specifics of an application, contact Tom Brown, Inc. today.

Advantages of Curtain Walls

Curtain walls are a fairly common and prominent feature in modern buildings. Designed to protect the building from the outside elements (such as weather), curtain walls are panels that are placed at the exterior of the building often through mechanical bonding, chemical bonding, or adhesive. Curtain walls can be made of glass, metal, or stone, and have a multitude of advantages when they are included in modern designs.

Keeping Out Air and Water

Curtain walls have the primary purpose of keeping air and water out of the building, essentially acting as both a buffer and an insulator. Buildings that have curtain walls will be easier (and more affordable) to maintain, and will last longer in general, as they have this additional protective shield build in. 

Reducing Building Sway

A curtain wall isn’t intended to provide for structural stability, but it does reduce the sway of the building overall, thereby making the structure more secure. The curtain wall is able to even out any stress on the building, by dispersing kinetic force throughout the entire frame and structure. Overall, this creates a building that is more likely to withstand high winds. A reduction in building sway is especially useful in taller buildings and can also make the building more comfortable to inhabitants. 

Slowing the Spread of Fire

Curtain walls are additionally able to slow the spread of fire between floors, by acting as a barrier and preventing the fire from easily transferring across the surface of the building. This can be especially important in taller buildings, where the fire would otherwise quickly be able to spread upwards.

Thermal Efficiency

When properly treated and glazed, curtain walls also vastly improve the thermal efficiency of a building. As another layer of material across the building, curtain walls are able to stabilize the temperature within and cut down on the operating costs of the building itself. Additional glazing can reduce UV light, which will keep items within the building from fading or degrading quickly. 

Appearance and Attractiveness

Curtain walls are expected of many buildings today, not only because of their numerous practical advantages but also because of their appearance. A curtain wall gives a clean, sophisticated, and unique appearance, which is now associated with contemporary design. In many areas, curtain walls are the only type of wall that would be seen against the city skyline. 

Most modern buildings will have curtain walls of some type, as there are numerous advantages. But there are also many ways to install a curtain wall structure, some of which are better, faster, and more cost-effective. Tom Brown, Inc. has a variety of products that are designed for the fast and easy installation of commercial windows and curtain walls. Contact Tom Brown, Inc. today to learn more about their curtain wall technologies.

Laminated Acoustical Baffles? We Can Do That!

The phone rings and a long time building façade customer says that an architect is designing an upscale apartment building and requests a 55dB drop in sound attenuation across wall partitions.   The customer indicated that there was room in the mullions where the panels are joined to friction fit the acoustic baffle panel but it had to be supplied in a 1.625” thickness, 3.9375” wide and in 105” and 125” lengths.

Approaching the Problem

Without diving too deeply into acoustic theory, reducing sound depends on where the sound originates. If the sound is generated within a room, then it needs to be absorbed. If it is generated outside, keeping out the sound requires a space to be insulated. If it is transmitted through the structure, then it needs to be isolated from the source of the vibration.

Cellular and porous materials can be useful materials for absorption and isolation although they are not great at insulating. The carpets and draperies we have in our homes are the most common porous absorbers. Open cell foams are good choices for sound absorption as they permit air to flow into the cellular structure where the sound energy is turned into heat.

Damping refers to the capability of a material to dissipate energy; particularly vibrational energy. Elastomeric materials are excellent at damping vibration which is why we find them on everyday items such as the bottom of our computers, appliances, and furniture. The mechanism for vibrational energy is the same as for cellular materials, they turn vibrational energy into heat.


The Solution

Tom Brown, Inc. selected a ¾” open cell polyurethane foam that could be adhered to both sides of a 1/8”, 70 durometer , EPDM rubber. The open cell urethane foam provided the sound absorption capability along with some insulating properties and the EPDM layer contributed damping to any vibrational energy.

A rubber based, double coated film tape was selected to bond the urethane to the EPDM layer through a 60” wide multiple step lamination process. The laminate was then taken to a Water Jet cutting table for processing into the final dimensions required by the customer.


Combining the right materials, in the right size, at the right time is what Tom Brown, Inc. does. Want to know more about how we can help you? Give us a call or visit us at www.tombrowninc.com

Benefits of Metal Building Panels

Wood, concrete, and brick aren’t the only building materials that should be considered when creating standing structures. Metal building panels are also being frequently used in a variety of applications, and they show some significant advantages over more traditional options. Here are some of the benefits of a metal building panel, in terms of both installation and long-term use. 

Metal Building Panels Are Lighter Than Wood

Metal panels are extremely lightweight — lighter than wood. This conveys a few critical advantages. A metal panel is going to be easier to install and cheaper to ship, reducing the costs of transportation and installation. Metal structures can also be moved and erected temporarily, in the event that shelter is needed for only a certain amount of time. If designed to be assembled by a non-professional, metal building panels will be far easier to position and work with — even with a small group.  

Metal Building Panels Are Durable and Resistant

A metal panel is naturally going to be resistant to rot, pests, and other environmental factors. They are particularly useful in areas with environmental extremes or issues to contend with, as they are not easily deformed and will last for a long time. For the most part, metal is generally only vulnerable to rust, and even then it would need to be metal that is not pre-treated and that is not cared for appropriately. 

Metal Building Panels Are More Dimensionally Stable

Metal panels are built with very low tolerances; they are machined precisely and can fit together very precisely, making them more dimensionally stable. For builds that are designed to use as little material as possible, being dimensionally stable is very important. Stability can be further improved through the use of adhesives for bonding. Adhesives not only create a strong bond quickly, but they can also reduce vibration and wear that would otherwise be associated with metal panels, making them last longer. The precision that is used to achieve this stability also ensures that everything fits perfectly when putting up a metal frame or structure.

Metal Building Panels Are Easily Insulated

Finally, metal building panels can be easily insulated. A metal building panel can contain insulating foam, being designed as a sheet with multiple panels that are stacked together. Special processes ensure that there is no space between the panels and the insulation, thereby making the insulation far more effective than other materials such as wood. Being easily insulated is incredibly important for many new, small homes, which are intentionally designed to have a low carbon footprint and be environmentally friendly.

Though it may seem strange to build a home with metal building panels, there are many unique and innovative homes that are currently being built. When working with metal building panels, there are many options for adhesive solutions that will be more affordable, durable, and environmentally-friendly than other bonding processes. For information about metal building panels and the adhesives that can be used on them, contact Tom Brown, Inc.

Saint Gobain – High Quality Tape

High quality, sustainable, and cost-effective bonding and sealing tapes are available through Saint-Gobain. Saint-Gobain produces a wide variety of construction and industrial materials, including their complete line of bonding and sealing solutions. Ranging from the aerospace industry to general construction, Saint-Gobain’s tape products are used wherever quality is at a premium. Saint-Gobain is a leader within the automotive, fenestration,  and construction industries and produces structural spacer tapes, foam sealants, and other products.

The Advantages of Saint Gobain Tape

Tom Brown, Inc is a master converter of Saint Gobain’s tape products. As a master converter, Tom Brown Inc is one of the most experienced tape converters in North America and is able to provide many different Saint Gobain products to suit any industry specifications or standards. Some of the products that are available through Tom Brown, Inc. include Saint-Gobain NORBOND V2800 series bonding tapes. These bonding tapes are constructed of polyurethane foam which is able to dissipate and reduce stress and wear on the bonded materials. These bonding tapes are ideal for severe weather conditions and provide a seal and resistance against UV light.

  • Saint-Gobain NORBOND A7000 series bonding tapes. These are acrylic bonding tapes available in clear, gray, white and black. They are highly viscoelastic and dissipate stresses well in a variety of applications.
  • Saint-Gobain NORSEAL Series closed-cell PVC foams. A pressure-sensitive adhesive

on one side, these PVC foam sealants are able to act as a shock absorber and sealant in nearly every application.

If you’re interested in any of Saint-Gobain’s high-quality products, contact Tom

Brown, Inc today. TBI will be able to find the right solution for you even if it’s not in

our current inventory and will convert it to meet your specifications and needs. TBI  provides the best in high-quality bonding and sealing tapes for any application.

How a Full Service Converter Helps Solve YOUR Problems

It’s easy to walk into a prospect’s office and say things like, “We’re the best”, “We’ve been in business for 30 years”, “Our quality’s the best”, “We’re a family owned business”, or “We’re faster”.

These all sound great but ring hollow with a prospective customer trying to solve real world problems such as increasing inventory turns, lowering working capital requirements (while not sacrificing lead time), reducing material costs, and solving new product design challenges.

The simple truth is that all those high sounding platitudes really mean little to the customer and make you sound like everyone else. It’s really about their problems. So here’s the converter’s “secret sauce” and how we do it.

Increasing Inventory Turns and Lowering Working Capital

When you decide that a bonding and assembly tape or gasket material is the right solution for your production, you will be faced with some challenges if you want to buy directly from a tape manufacturer. Many tape manufacturers have lead times anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks depending on the product and the minimum order quantity can easily surpass what might be needed on the production line on a weekly or monthly basis. If you buy more than one width or size, this has a multiplying effect on the problem.

That minimum order quantity (MOQ) and lead time throws two “wrenches into the gears”. Let’s say for example that you buy a ½” wide bonding tape for one application and the same tape in 1”” width for another and that the lead time is 3-4 weeks.

If we suppose that the MOQ matches what you use in a month, you will need to have at least 1.5 -2 months of inventory on the floor to prevent a stock out or line down situation especially if your business has any seasonality.

Based on this common scenario, your tape inventory will turn maybe 6 to 8 times if your purchasing folks are really tracking it carefully and you have two months of working capital tied up to make sure you don’t go line down.

So how does a full service converter solve the problem? A converter typically buys tape products in log rolls or master (also called “jumbo”) rolls. These rolls are anywhere from 36-64” wide and can be rewound into the correct length or they are purchased in a predetermined length. Most of the products are purchased in pallet, multiple pallet, or truckload quantities.

The tape inventory is now on our floor and not yours. We hold the inventory and we can slit the log roll or master roll down on demand. Need 400 rolls of ½” and only 20 rolls of 1”? No problem. Need 4,000 rolls of ½”? No problem. Need 10 rolls? Still not a problem. The converter is tooled with the right rewind slitters, log slitters, spoolers, and die cutting presses to turn orders quickly in quantities that match the customer’s requirements.

The net result is that the products arrive in the right quantity at the right time no matter the season. You can cut working capital requirements in half and your inventory will turn 12-18 times (or more) instead of 6-8.

Reducing Material Costs

Converters work with the top manufacturers in the pressure-sensitive tape industry. They have access to and in depth knowledge of a broad palette of products with many different price points. That knowledge and access save sourcing time when your operations and purchasing team are challenged by management to reduce manufacturing costs and improve margins.

A full service converter can often show you two or three samples of products that can meet the technical requirements. There are some products that are unique and only have one or two manufacturers producing them but more often than not, there are alternatives.

If you have multiple plant locations, SKUs can often be reduced by consolidating purchases and many converters have multiple locations to reduce transit time to multiple sites.

Another hidden value with multi-location converters is supply chain continuity. If something happens at one converter site, the other can pick up the slack and maintain supply and avoid any line down situation.

Solving Product Design Challenges

The same access to and knowledge of the top tape manufacturers that helps with cost reduction is also a significant resource when determining the best way to solve a design challenge.

Understanding the technical details of products from many manufacturers means that that knowledge can be easily shared with the end user. The pros and cons of the products can be discussed with the design team and the right form factor can be identified. Need slit rolls in a unique width or length? That’s what we do. Need a die cut part to work with an applicator? We have you covered.

What about fast prototypes? A full service converter can often provide one or two prototypes to a design team within a day or two to allow an idea to be tested quickly and at minimum cost. Designs can usually be easily adjusted and production ramp time is reduced.

Speaking of applicators, converters have knowledge about tape application systems and dispensing equipment. We can easily make recommendations and help facilitate automation efforts that save time and money.

The right product, for the right application, at the right price at the right time. That’s what a full service converter can do but more importantly we help the customer reduce working capital requirements, improve inventory turns, and solve bonding and assembly challenges.

Want to know more about the problems we can solve for you? Contact Tom Brown, Inc. today.