Case Study: Continuous Rolls of EMI Gasket Materials
- Posted By: Dominic Testo
- Category Featured, EMI RFI Shielding
A telecommunications company urgently needed EMI gaskets to seal and insulate enclosures for a new WiFi module. The timeline was tight, the cost-pressure was great, and the part volumes were high. The telecom company specified an electrically-conductive elastomer and contacted suppliers of EMI silicones with nickel-coated graphite particles. These specialized materials provide shielding against electromagnetic interference and cost less than silver-filled EMI elastomers.
Many suppliers responded to the telecommunications company’s RFQ, and they all offered compression-molded sheet stock in standard sizes. After all, that’s the format that EMI elastomers have come in for years. Yet the telecom company discovered that for a high-volume order like this, the lead times for molded sheets were up to eight weeks. That’s because compression molding can only produce three to four sheets per hour. Across hundreds of sheets, the labor costs would be significant.
These weren’t the only problems. For this project, standard-sized sheets couldn’t yield the proper number of gaskets per square inch. In other words, cutting EMI gaskets from standard-sized sheets would produce too much material waste. For a high-volume order like this, the cost of this waste, especially in combination with the greater labor hours, would raise part costs significantly. The telecom company needed a better solution and was determined to find one that could address all of its concerns.
SSP’s Continuous Roll Technology
Ultimately, the gasket fabricator that won the telecom company’s business did so because it sourced continuous rolls of nickel-graphite silicones from Specialty Silicone Products (SSP). SSP’s fast and efficient manufacturing process reduces labor costs and lead times while producing custom sheet sizes for greater material yields. SSP makes continuous rolls of EMI silicones at its Ballston Spa, New York (USA) facility and provides a Made in America solution that’s fast, cost-efficient, and customizable.
There are three key benefits to SSP’s continuous roll technology. First, it reduces labor costs by eliminating the need for time-consuming compression molding. Productivity also increases since continuous roll manufacturing can produce ten times as many sheets per hour. Second, continuous roll technology reduces lead times. SSP can produce many linear feet of product in a relatively short amount of time, and then cure this material and cut it into custom sheet sizes.
The third and final advantage to continuous roll production is SSP’s ability to produce custom sheet sizes that support more efficient gasket cutting. Consider the example of an EMI gasket that’s 7.1” wide by 23” long. SSP can produce a roll that’s 7.5” wide and cut sheets every 23”. Sheets with these dimensions minimize waste for a gasket of this size while still leaving enough room for gasket cutting. For speed, cost, and greater material yields, SSP’s continuous rolls provide a complete solution.
To learn more, contact SSP on-line or email Dominic Testo, SSP’s Business Development Manager.