The Role of a Rubber Manufacturer

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The Role of a Rubber Manufacturer

by Mike Escobedo

We at WARCO BILTRITE pride ourselves on being a premiere rubber manufacturer whose primary focus is striving to remain "America's Choice for Quality Rubber". The craft of rubber manufacturing takes time to perfect and with over 100 years of experience, WARCO BILTRITE has proven to be an industry leader. We manufacture a diverse array of custom rubber products for thousands of customers nationally and internationally. We are proud to be a domestic rubber manufacturer with all of our products being in our two U.S facilities located in Orange, CA and Ripley, MS. Rubber sheet, extrusions, molded, mats and matting are the types of rubber products that a rubber manufacturer would likely produce. These products are used for countless applications and environments. WARCO BILTRITE is fully capable of manufacturing all of these products at a very high quality to meet strict specification standards.

Before the actual manufacturing can take place, research and development of the product must be performed. A complete understanding of the customer's requirements and application is paramount to the R & D process. Rubber can be used in a wide range of different environments to include the medical field, construction, food service, military and aerospace. Once it is known how the rubber part will function, a technical expert will begin formulating a compound of raw materials necessary to produce the desired results. A compound consists of a polymer and various other subordinate rubber materials. WARCO BILTRITE has developed and catalogued thousands of custom compounds and formulations to meet the needs of our diverse clientele. Possessing a catalog of established compounds is highly desirable for time sensitive needs as developing new custom formulations can often be a labor and time intensive process.

Once a compound is created and a proper procedure of how to mix, process and cure the compound has been established, a rubber manufacturer can start production. Mixing the raw materials for the compound is typically carried out by using a rubber mill or a Banbury® mixer. A Banbury mixer is considered to be the workhorse mixer for rubber manufacturers. WARCO BILTRITE's in-house mixing capabilities allow us tighter control over the rubber compound with multiple Banbury mixers that are capable of continuously outputting rubber batches 24 hours a day.

Production is the next major step in rubber manufacturing. The production process consists of running rubber batches through machines such as calendaring mills, extruders, rotocures and molding presses to form the rubber into its desired shape. In order to achieve the appropriate physical properties and maintain its shape, the rubber must go through a vulcanization or "curing" process. There are several methods of vulcanization, but the most common method is by high heat. If the machine processing the rubber batch does not cure the part, utilizing autoclaves and industrial microwaves are two methods that rubber manufacturers often use in order to obtain optimal vulcanization. WARCO BILTRITE maintains a cache of these machines with highly skilled workers to operate them and ensure the products meet the highest of quality.

It is clear that rubber manufacturers must maintain a consistent high quality product in order to cultivate long term relationships with customers. Our ability to meet military specifications and standards such as ASTM, AMS, SAE, NSF and FDA can attest to our high-caliber expertise. An ISO-9001 certification requires that a manufacturing company abides by the philosophy of quality through continuous improvement and is the preferred quality standard.

A rubber manufacturer's Quality Control department ensures that all products meet regulations and requirements for the customer's application. The end product must pass through numerous tests to ensure it meets all specifications. Rubber testing typically consists of verifying hardness, elongation, heat and cold resistance, tensile strength and specific gravity. From R&D to an end product, WARCO BILTRITE is a rubber manufacturer who has the capabilities to carry out a seamless production process from beginning to end.

Mike Escobedo is the Vice President of Information Systems at WARCO BILTRITE.

If you have any specific questions that your would like us to answer, email your questions to sales@warco.com or you may contact us directly at (714) 532-3355