4 Things to Look For in a Rubber Product Manufacturer
Rubber is a popular material for a variety of products and applications. By processing and vulcanizing various natural materials, like latex and isoprene, in different ways, rubber product manufacturers can produce different types of rubber that are suitable for everything from car tires, boots, gloves, and waterproof products to erasers, medical devices, balls, and more. There is also a growing number of synthetic rubbers being made to meet specific applications, and innovative rubber manufacturers are experimenting with new combinations and processes that will better serve these applications.
There are many companies that work with rubber, but they’re not all equally suited to create the products you need. Here, we share the top factors to consider when choosing a rubber product manufacturer.
Reputation & Experience
Your rubber manufacturer should have a reputation for high-quality products, friendly and reliable service, financial success year over year, strong leadership, social and environmental responsibility, and more. You should be able to find evidence of this in the supplier’s long-time customers, glowing reviews, community involvement, and online image.
Manufacturers earn that high level of reputation through experience. It’s a good sign when a company has been around for years, particularly if it persisted and even grew during challenging times. Look for ongoing improvements, like a history of buying new equipment, expanding operations, opening larger facilities, hiring more employees (while retaining their long-time experts), or learning new skills and processes.
You should choose a supplier based on value, not price. While it may seem tempting to save money, you must consider the long-term ramifications of what may be a sub-par product, even if it is less expensive. Value includes elements that price doesn’t: the rubber product manufacturer’s knowledge and experience, attentive customer service, and more. High-value solutions may cost more, but they also last longer and perform better, which ultimately impacts your reputation and your relationship with your customers.
Your products should be built to last, and you want to work with a rubber manufacturer that uses high-quality materials. Prototyping services and rigorous testing procedures ensure your products will withstand the real-life conditions they will face. This is even more important for specialized items that will be put to work in extreme environments.
With so many types of rubber and associated applications out there, you should ensure your chosen rubber manufacturer has the capabilities and experience to manage your specific requirements. If you need to meet the strict regulations and safety standards in the aviation industry, for example, you want to work with a company that is familiar with that industry and has a successful track record of producing rubber products for those applications. In the best-case scenario, you’ll develop a long-term working partnership with your rubber manufacturer, creating a mutually beneficial arrangement that will help both businesses grow.
It’s also essential for your rubber product manufacturer to hold professional industry certifications demonstrating a commitment to quality, service, and meeting customer expectations. This includes ISO 9001:2015, ITAR, NADCAP, and more.
Scope of In-House Manufacturing Capabilities
The scope of your project will help determine how many complimentary services, capabilities, and in-stock raw materials you’ll need your chosen manufacturer to provide. Checking a supplier’s website is a good starting point; if the company seems to only specialize in one area and doesn’t offer the secondary services you’re looking for, partnering with that company might add time and cost to your project.
For example, let’s say you’re looking to create bonded seals. Partnering with a manufacturer that has all the key elements to create this bonded rubber product in-house – including rubber and metal raw materials, mold and tooling staff, metal fabrication machinery, assembly, special marking, and packaging – can shorten your production timelines and reduce your project costs.
The alternative to using a one-and-done manufacturer may be more costly and complicated. For the bonded seals example, this means having to find independent suppliers for each component:
- Rubber parts: Building molds and dies and producing rubber components with a rubber manufacturer
- Metal parts: Partnering with a machine shop to supply just the metal components that will eventually need to be bonded to the rubber parts
- Bonding: Finding a provider who has the machinery to bond the rubber and metal components together
- Assembly shop: This can include kitting, laser marking, bag and tag, and final packaging to prep products for sale
At MTI, we have a broad scope of in-house services for our clients, including metal and rubber manufacturing, bonding, and final assembly. By having all areas of support on-site, you can cut weeks to months off of startup lead time.
Learn More About Our Rubber Products & Services
For more than 50 years, Micro-Tronics has been solving complex rubber manufacturing challenges for clients around the globe. We rise to the occasion with innovative solutions serving a number of industries, including aerospace and transportation, medical devices, industrial, electronics, and more.
As a family-owned rubber product manufacturer with more than 150 experts working in Tempe, Arizona, we’ve built our reputation on high-quality products, the ability to grow and adapt to changing consumer demands, and a positive company culture that promotes employee longevity and professional development. Our scope of in-house manufacturing services includes in-house tooling for mold and die creation, rubber molding, kitting, assembly, and more.