Essential questions to ask a rubber supplier before placing an order
27th September, 2019
Choosing to buy from a rubber supplier in the UK is a wise choice and offers a multitude of benefits. Once you've chosen your rubber supplier, you should be ready to make an order. Before you do, make sure to go through our checklist of the essential questions to ask a rubber supplier before placing an order.
What manufacturing processes are on offer?
It goes without saying that your chosen supplier needs to be able to manufacture your order to its exact specifications. Rubber manufacturing is a complex, multi-faceted process, and some firms choose to specialise in one type of manufacturing process for this very reason.
Ask your potential supplier whether they offer the following common manufacturing processes:
- Vertical Injection Moulding
- Rotational Moulding
- Blow Moulding
- Over Moulding
- Injection Moulding
- Compression Moulding
Make sure to discuss your bespoke order with the supplier to ensure that the processes they offer are adequate.
Does the supplier have the right equipment and trained staff?
Once you’ve established that your chosen supplier offers the right manufacturing process for your order, you don’t need to be hesitant about asking whether they have high-quality equipment and expert staff. After all, this will affect the finish of your product and determine the value you get.
Also, consider the level of engineering support the manufacturer offers post-purchase – if something breaks, or you need a replacement part, what is their warranty policy.
What materials does the supplier use?
Some suppliers only work with specific types of rubber; such as foam rubbers; and others work with a broader range. Ensure your chosen supplier is able to source and manipulate the correct compounds to manufacture your product to industry standards.
For information on the variety of rubber materials Aquaseal Rubber works with, click here.
What control and inspection processes are in place?
Control processes govern how raw rubber materials are measured and mixed together and are essential for ensuring accuracy.
Inspection processes ensure the finished product is up to standard. Your chosen manufacturer should have some form of Internal Quality Control (IQC), Quality Control (QC) and Finished Goods Quality Inspection guidelines set in place.
If you know what to look for, you might want to inquire as to whether you’d be able to visit the supplier’s QA laboratory. That way, you can make sure that BSI standards are being met, and that testing equipment is adequate.
Addressing the specifics – what is the application, and what will your product be used for?
Once you’ve satisfied yourself with the credibility of your chosen supplier, they will have questions for you regarding your order.
Make sure you know your order inside-out. A good place to start is by seeing if you can answer the following questions:
- What environment will the product be used in?
- What are some stressors the product might come into contact with, and how long will the material be exposed to the stressor?
- What is the temperature range the product will be expected to operate within?
- Will the product be exposed to UV or sunlight, and if so, for how long?
- What is the desired compression/pressure withstanding of the product?
- Will the product need to be elastic? If so, to what degree?
- Will the product come into surfaces that could cause it to tear?
- Will the product be exposed to vibration or abrasion?
- Will the product be applied to a metal surface, and if so, how?
- Will the product be expected to operate whilst in contact with chemicals, solvents, oil, grease, water, or electricity?
- Should the product feel soft or hard? Will it be expected to interact with people?
Last, of all, ensure you ask for samples. Finding a rubber supplier and placing an order doesn’t have to be difficult – just make sure you’re prepared and willing to ask questions.
Contact Aquaseal Rubber about your bespoke rubber order today.