Apr, 12 2016

Three Silicone Sourcing Lessons from GFA Expo 2016

Three Silicone Sourcing Lessons from GFA Expo 2016

Orlando is a premiere vacation destination, especially during the cold-weather months in more northern climates. This central Florida city is best known as the home of Walt Disney World, but Mickey Mouse isn’t the only attraction there. From April 5 to 7, 2016, members of the Gasket Fabricators Association (GFA) met at Orlando’s Rosen Shingle Creek conference center for the 2016 Gasketing/Converting Expo. Specialty Silicone Products (SSP) attended this three-day event, and learned valuable lessons that can strengthen your supply chain.

Traceability Matters

As many material converters and gasket fabricators told us, certifications and documentation are an increasingly important part of their sourcing decisions. Acronyms like REACH, GHS, and TCSA may not mean much to your business yet, but they probably will – especially if you plan to acquire new markets overseas. For converters and fabricators who serve the medical, defense, automotive, and aerospace industries, the traceability that SSP provides is invaluable.  

As an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, SSP uses a proven quality management system (QMS). We also comply with RoHS 2, the second Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive for European Union (EU) member states. When you research products on our website, you’ll find Safety Data Sheets (SDS) instead of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). This is an important distinction for manufacturers who need to address the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).                 

Short Lead Times Are Critical

Material converters and gasket fabricators know that they can order particle-filled silicones as ready-to-mold compounds, compression-molded sheets, or continuous rolls. Each form factor has its advantages, but compression-molded sheets can take a long time to produce. For converters and fabricators who need M83528 shielding silicones, long lead times can mean missed deadlines for military projects. Aerospace and military buyers also need MIL-SPEC fluorosilicones for EMI shielding and environmental sealing.  

SSP produces ready-to-mold compounds, compression-molded sheets, and continuous rolls at its Ballston Spa, New York facility. For converters and fabricators who are concerned about long lead times, it’s important to understand that SSP can manufacture 1000 ft. per day – the equivalent of 600 standard 15” x 20” sheets. Shorter lead times aren’t all we offer, however. By choosing continuous rolls instead of sheets, you can optimize material yields and use automated equipment for cost-effective conversion.

Partnerships Are Better Than Vendor/Customer Relationships

Finally, SSP’s interactions with other GFA members in Orlando deepened our understanding of why partnerships are better than vendor/customer relationships. As your strategic sourcing partner, SSP can recommend the right commercial, medical, and military silicones for your specific project. For example, depending on your application requirements, we may suggest a silver-aluminum SpecShield™ silicone that’s less expensive than a pure-silver product, but that still provides silver-like conductivity.   

How can we help you meet requirements for EMI shielding and environmental sealing? Do you need QPL listed gasket materials for military gaskets? Do you need ultra-pure, platinum-cured silicones for medical devices or equipment? For information about our full line of products, and for answers to your application-specific questions, please contact us.