National Manufacturing Day Serves as an Opportunity to Dive Deeper into 2018s Modern Manufacturing World

Inspiring a New Generation of Manufacturers

 

National Manufacturing Day® was created as a movement of the modern manufacturing industry, meant to motivate the next generation of new manufacturers. Taking place on the first Friday of every October, manufacturers around the country will open their doors to inspire students and encourage their perusal of manufacturing careers.

In order to generate a much larger career interest, industry authorities work annually to change the public’s perception of the industry. Each year, participants continue to correct the “old factory” image.

With the change in industry dynamic comes a new manufacturing image: modern manufacturing. In reality, today’s manufacturing jobs are exciting, harnessing the latest in technological innovation, and require highly skilled workers familiar with using such state-of-the-art technologies. 2018 manufacturing facilities are contemporary, stimulating, and inventive work environments. With current technology, trade workers might be placed in an office or lab, beyond the factory floor. Today, automation plays a huge role in the industry and we need the right players to assist with the functions and continual development of manufacturing throughout the U.S.

Embracing Technology and Innovation

Over the past few decades, American manufacturing has embraced technology and other revolutionary concepts.

National Manufacturing Day undertakings include the promotion of STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering, and math – to bridge the skills gap and reshore jobs back to the U.S. Scholarships are available.

UPR and other manufacturing businesses continue the efforts of pushing this movement forward throughout each year.

Beneficial for the Economy and Local Business

Universal Polymer & Rubber supports the significant strides that National Manufacturing Day participants have created to grow the U.S. manufacturing industry.

Reshoring is currently generating new job totals as many major producers choose to keep manufacturing facilities in the United States.  Local businesses and the overall economy are benefiting as a result.

UP&R’s American-Made Tarp Straps

As an Ohio-based company, UPR proudly offers the AMERIPRIDE line of tarp straps that are U.S. made. The AMERIPRIDE tarp strap is available at an affordable price for use in the trucking, transportation, recreational vehicle, and marine industries. These UV-resistant straps are secured with S hooks that are manufactured from in-house wire coils.

Keep in Touch

By recognizing National Manufacturing Day, UPR supports the proud contributions of everyone in the manufacturing industry.

To learn more about how we support American manufacturing, follow us on our blogTwitter, and LinkedIn. For more information on our products and services, contact us today.

How New Chinese Tariffs Impact Small-Mid Sized Manufacturers

Recently imposed Chinese tariffs on U.S. rubber imports will have significant impact on the small to medium American manufacturers that support industries such as automotive, medical equipment, petrochemical, and plastics. As part of an increasingly contentious trade war, the latest Chinese tariffs call for a 25% increase on an array of goods, such as those used in rubber and polymer component fabrication.

The Harmful Impacts of a Trade War on Small Businesses

Small- and mid-sized manufacturers in America specializing in rubber moldings, extrusions, and injection-molded parts will be forced to find ways to counteract the adverse effects of rising inflation on raw materials. Petroleum is a primary component for synthetic rubber and polymer production, so the most recent tariffs mounted by China will no doubt force small manufacturers to increase their prices to compensate.

In early June, the Trump administration launched its first wave of tariffs against Chinese-manufactured equipment, including the injection and transfer molding machines commonly used for extruded rubber and plastics. This has only compounded the difficulties of the situation for smaller manufacturers, causing them to seek alternate sources for the rubber fabrication machinery they rely on to create products and components. The long-term effects are expected to influence manufacturers serving in the custom and OEM markets, including those facing downward pressure from larger partners that have also been affected by tariffs from both sides.

In automotive production, rubber-based and plastic-based products such as gaskets, seals, brake pads, and tires are on the front lines. Medical equipment companies rely on custom extruded plastic tubing, pump parts, and device housings. With another round of 25% tariffs recently finalized by the Trump administration, small and custom manufacturers must brace for the additional escalations that will inevitably follow.

Plan Ahead, Avoid Potential Pitfalls

The trade war could potentially expand into industrial chemicals and fluoropolymers that are used in rubber gaskets and extruded plastic profiles, as well. Many of those materials are chemically formulated for high-temperature ranges, corrosion resistance, and anti-weathering, making them a crucial requirement for operations with harsh environments. A domino effect in pricing will no doubt impact buyers down the supply chain in a range of industries. Fortunately, however, many small business manufacturers are doing what they can by shifting resources to other markets, reducing production, and tightening profit margins.

Industry at UPR

At Universal Polymer & Rubber, our team is committed to staying on point for our clients, leveraging seasoned and innovative methods to ensure that we maintain the same service standards despite the trade war impact. We work hard every day to apply our years of small business manufacturing expertise to finding ways to ensure that our clients get their products on-time, within budget, and without sacrificing quality.

Follow our blogTwitter, and LinkedIn to stay up to date on current industry news and trends. For more information on our products and services, contact us today.

WEFTEC 2018: The 91st Annual Technical Exhibition & Conference

What is WEFTEC?

WEFTEC, The Water Environment Federation (WEF), brings together water quality control experts from around the world to provide the best water quality education and training in the field today. It stands apart from the rest, as the largest conference of its class in North America.

Taking place at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, the exhibition is recognized as the greatest annual water quality exposition in the world. Their showcase delivers unique access to the most cutting-edge technologies on the market and creates networking opportunities for domestic and international business relations. You never know who you will have the chance to meet at the forum, as a large number of experts from many fields tend to appear.

A Leading Source in Water Quality:

WEFTEC lends insight as a leading source of water quality, as the following contemporary water and wastewater issues and solutions will be addressed:

  • Collection Systems
  • Energy Conservation and Management
  • Membrane Technologies
  • Plant Operation and Treatment
  • Regulations
  • Research
  • Residuals & Biosolids
  • Stormwater
  • Utility Management
  • Water Reuse/Recycling
  • Water Quality & Watershed Management

This Year’s Conference Dates:

  • Conference: September 29 – October 3, 2018
  • Exhibition: October 1 – 3, 2018
  • Hours: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm, daily

Featured at the Conference: What UP&R Does/Who We Serve

  • Chemicals/Chemical Handling Equipment -> Polymers
  • Coatings, Sealants, and Corrosion -> Gaskets, Grouts, Sealants
  • Pipe/Collection Systems -> Manholes, Pipes – Plastic PVC/CPVC
  • Process Equipment/Treatment Systems –> Chemical/Polymer Feed Equipment, Industrial Doors
  • Services -> Condition Assessment, Manhole Rehabilitation, Pipelines
  • Tanks -> Doors/Hatches, Covers/Domes, Plastics

Trade Show Takeaways We Apply to Our Business

As a producer of polymer solutions towards concrete pipe gaskets, manhole gaskets, pipe specifications, and sealing solutions, our enthusiastic and bright staff attends WEFTEC to learn about the latest industry trends and developments to apply to our current and future in-house manufacturing. Our industry focuses include construction, drainage piping, sewer piping, concrete piping, and marine.

Each year, we look forward to networking prospects with water quality control experts, as our aim is to solve problems and create solutions for the sealing of gaskets, pipes, and more. Our ultimate effort is to make your joint systems run smoothly, with the highest level of quality and efficiency. From customer’s joint details to extrusion die development, splice mold manufacturing, and finally finished spliced gaskets, all aspects of the process are contained within UP&R to ensure proper process and strict quality control. Our flexibility also extends to other water and sewer piping markets.

As a polymer business in operation since 1971, we continue to reinvent ourselves in an endlessly changing market. Remaining true to our roots, we continue to build upon our ever-growing foundation. Through our diversity and versatility, we reliably service customer needs across a wide variety of polymer compounds, designs, and specifications, all at competitive pricing.

Although we produce domestically, we maintain international partnerships. This flexibility enables us to learn from a variety of markets and to apply best practices from market to market. All of our UP&R concrete pipes and manhole gaskets meet ASTM C-443 and ASTM C-361 standards depending on your project specification.

UP&R is also a proud member of the American Concrete Pipe Association (ACPA), as well as the National Precast Association (NPCA). Today, we remain one of the largest pipe gasket suppliers in the U.S.

Contact Our Friendly Staff at UP&R!

Find more information on the water industries that we serve by reading our blog, and visiting both our Twitter and LinkedIn pages!

Interested in discussing our water quality control capabilities? We’re happy to do so when you contact us today. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Universal Polymer & Rubber: Examining our Acquisition Strategy

Who Did We Recently Acquire?

UP&R is proud to announce that we have just completed our fifth overall acquisition, and third in the last four years. Our continuous acquisition strategy has cemented our position as one of the largest non-mixing polymer fabricators in the United States. At UPR, we are always actively looking for additional polymer parts manufacturers that fit our perpetual approach.

Who did we acquire this time? Gasko Fabricated Products of Medina, OH! Gasko is a high-volume, die-cutting converter of polymer and hybrid materials for gaskets, seals, and diaphragms. Such modules are used for power take-off and transmission, and engine management/fuel delivery system applications in the automotive, marine, and outdoor power equipment markets.

Over time, the Medina facility will transition to our Tallmadge, OH facility, attaining synergies, economies, and shared die-cut expertise.

John Zielinski, our Executive Vice President, commented, “Customers and prospects have been asking for a wider variety in our converting, and through this acquisition, we will now be able to provide for the market’s need.”

What Sets Us Apart from the Competition

 With about two handfuls of competitors within a 50-mile radius, we unremittingly set our self apart from the many other polymer companies in Northeast Ohio. Acquisition numbers from our wide-range of capabilities allow us to achieve a high-level stature. Our competitors include other rubber molders who tackle tarp straps, but similar manufacturers have limited capabilities that lead to our success as a business. At UPR, we have four different types of tarp straps including our own brands, and multiple layers to each brand.

Through our assortment of brands comes a fluctuation in price point too. Businesses, both small and large, will be able to find an answer that fits their needs.

Additional competitors include extrusion and molding, but the competition only supports one focal point – either, or – not both. Here, at Universal Polymer, we have the support to focus on rubber molding, rubber extrusions, plastic extrusions, tarp straps and gaskets, because of the diversity of our qualified, in-house, team experts. We are a one-stop-shop for all of your polymer solutions for the transportation and cargo control market, construction and pipe manufacturers market, automotive OE supply chain as a Tier II and Tier III, and the general industrial market that comprises several well-known global manufacturers.

Our one-stop-shop doesn’t only serve the end product of a tarp strap, a pipe gasket, window gasket, tire or more. When we say everything is done in-house, we mean it. From die-cutting to fabrication, both your polymers and rubbers start and end with us. UPR beats out the multiple stops that you would have to take to buy extrusions from one manufacturer and your required molded parts from another.

As a robust and elite manufacturer, there’s no worry, no wasted downtime, no hassle. All of our different parts are preplanned, engineered, designed, and already taken care of with you in mind. Every piece you need already fits perfectly together. With UP&R, you get all of the aspects of a small business manufacturer with the quality of a big manufacturer, meaning all of your bases–quality AND quantity, are covered “under one roof.”

With the Gasko acquisition, we continue to supply and have increased supplies for the automotive, marine, and outdoor power equipment industries, plus further industrial markets too.

Immediate customer-facing benefits include:

  • Both locations, Medina and Tallmadge, have historically specialized in fast turn-around, high-mix, high volume production, making them highly complementary. Plans include the move of Medina’s manufacturing into our Tallmadge location, an IATF-16949 and ISO-9001 certified production facility.
  • A Stronger Product Line for Customers – The Gasko product line, when added to our already broad product line, will enhance the total basket of goods that UP&R offers to our current customer base, and further, to market.
  • Enhanced Capabilities – While UP&R and Gasko have shared similar historical focus’, each excels in specific, but complementary areas. We look to offer Gasko customers a more full range of offerings – molded and extruded rubber parts, and die-cut parts, from IATF16949 certified facilities – that will provide vendor consolidation opportunities in a lean manufacturing world.

Our Ideology at UP&R

Because we put continuous improvement into our day-to-day, we get better each day. Started in 1970, we have continuously operated since inception. In 2018, our staff is proud to say that we are wiser today then we were just yesterday. And with additional resources now onboard, we’ll be able to continue forward with our successful business model.

Today, UPR stands ready to help your company compete and grow. At UP&R, we are committed to providing you first-rate service, timely service, and quality – every single time!

How We’ve Grown Since the Beginning

 Universal Polymer & Rubber started out as a tarp strap and pipe gasket manufacturer. We have remained true to our roots by building upon that initial foundation. Starting off as a smaller size business, we leveraged our expertise in pipe gasket development and manufacturing, to gain business in other interwoven product applications including window gaskets, tote gaskets, and tires. Currently, we have branched out into other markets, and through our market diversity and versatility, we have been able to learn from all markets to apply best practices from each market application to the next.

To this day, we remain one of the largest suppliers of pipe gaskets in North America.

Look for more information on the many industries that we cover by following our blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. We update them almost daily!

For any questions on our wide array of gaskets, moldings, extrusions, or company in general, simply contact us today. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

What Makes Reinforced Concrete Pipe Gaskets More Sustainable?

Reinforced concrete is a common material in pipes used in construction, and drainage and sewer systems. These pipes are sealed using a variety of methods during installation. One such method involves the use of gaskets made from polymers such as polyisoprene, neoprene, nitrile, and EPDM.

How durable is reinforced concrete pipe? Is it a good material for sustainable construction? Let’s take a closer look at concrete pipes, and assess their longevity and sustainability.

Longevity and Sustainability of Reinforced Concrete Pipe

Concrete has been used for centuries in construction because of its durability. Reinforcing concrete using a composite material such as high-tensile steel makes it last even longer, making it an ideal component for use in pipes.

Reinforced concrete pipes can operate even under the harshest conditions, and are resistant against compression,  bending, and other factors. They are also safe from intruding roots and soil.

When properly installed, reinforced concrete pipes can last for centuries. This is why this type of pipe remains more popular compared to others, including high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes.

Universal Polymer & Rubber Ltd. produces concrete pipe gaskets that meet ASTM C-443 and/or ASTM C-361 standards. For more information on our products and services, contact us today.

Remember to follow our blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date.

An Overview of National Safety Month from Universal Polymer & Rubber

June is National Safety Month. Taking a look at the numbers, compared to 2015 there has been an almost 8 percent increase in total fatal injuries per year as of 2016, which saw 5,190 deaths. That same year also saw 849 falls, slips or trips, which was up by 49 incidents from 2015. Observed annually, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work.

June serves as a time to raise awareness about important safety issues to ultimately help reduce preventable injuries and deaths. Each week in June this year, the National Safety Council will focus on a different safety topic.

National Safety Month Weekly Topics

The safety topics of the month are broken out as follows:

Week 1: Emergency Preparedness. This week will have a focus on being prepared for accidents and emergencies, including tornado prep plans and employee training on First Aid and CPR.

Week 2: Wellness. This week focuses on 360-wellness of employees, including anyone affected by the opioid crisis or by sleep disorders.

Week 3: Falls. The third week will shine a light on how to prevent falls in the workplace. It will touch on topics like cleaning up spills and hazards immediately and how these behaviors can help reduce the yearly incident count.

Week 4: Driving. The final week of National Safety Month talks about driving and related hazards, especially for those who drive for a living. After all, seat belts saved almost 15,000 lives in 2016. It addresses tips like avoiding cell phone use and making sure to get enough rest to prevent drowsy driving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safety Year-Round

While National Safety Month is observed every June, the NSC provides information, pamphlets, and posters for workplace safety year round. Maintaining a focus on safety during all months of the year is critical to avoiding incidents and improving workplace safety.

Contact us to find out more about National Safety Month and make sure to partake in the weekly topics with your employees for improved safety overall.

To continue following industry topics, find UPR on Twitter and LinkedIn. Our blog is accessible for more on transportation and cargo control market, construction and pipe manufacturers market, automotive OE supply chain (Tier II and Tier III), general industrial markets, and company updates.

We look forward to connecting soon!

Supporting the Environment on Earth Day 2018 and Beyond!

Earth Day 2018 is just around the corner on April 22nd. This annual event led by the Earth Day Network (EDN), dedicates itself to recognizing and celebrating the natural environment. With a focus on the protection of our precious planet, this event spans worldwide as the biggest civic-focused day of action. This year marks the start of EDN’s multiyear campaign called End Plastic Pollution.

Why and How Is Single-Use Plastic Problematic?

Single-use or disposable plastic refers to objects typically used only once, such as water bottles, bags, packages, and straws. These types of items risk the Earth’s ecosystems as over 8 million tons of plastic are tossed into oceans every year.

While plastic is a useful resource, it is unnecessarily wasted in everyday applications such as those cited above. Not only can plastic in our food alter human hormones, but it can also choke natural habitats, poison wildlife that find it, and more. These are big reasons why this year’s EDN platform is to regulate plastic pollution, as well as informing and educating people, governments, and companies worldwide about how to control and improve plastic pollution.

Recycling Responsibilities as Manufacturers

Making the most of recycling efforts involves manufacturers worldwide committing to using more green materials, as well as designing and producing more recyclable products and packages. We wholeheartedly believe in reusable resources and sustainability. This outlook is one our company as a whole share – both employers and employees alike. For example, we recycle all materials used, such as cardboard packaging, the rubber in our moldings, and excess manufactured goods.

Reusing Plastics and Contributions to EVs

UP&R uses reusable plastics to manufacture dependable extruded parts. Reusing plastics extends their lifespan, without compromising quality. We also use sustainable packaging. Our parts come in returnable and reusable plastic packaging to reduce product waste, energy, and resource consumption.

Lastly, we craft non-conducive rubber for many all-electric vehicles. EVs are a major eco-environmentally sustainable effort that aligns with Earth Day initiatives as they have no direct emissions. They have a well-to-wheel emissions advantage over conventional autos running on gas or diesel, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Caring for the Earth and Our Customers

Universal Polymer & Rubber takes pride in not adding extra waste to the environment. We care for the Earth not only on April 22 but the 364 other days of the year too. Customer service is also integral to our company and has been key to our operations since we began in 1970. Our product lineup includes durable compression moldings, injection moldings, and transfer moldings, all made with sustainability in mind and your unique needs taken to heart. Contact us today for your next project.

Also, learn more about manufacturing advancements by following our blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Tariffs Impact Small and Mid-Size Businesses in the U.S.

In recent weeks there has been much talk about President Trump putting tariffs on a wide range of products. Initially, there are two industries that will be greatly impacted: steel and aluminum.

Inflation could soon be hitting raw materials which will impact packaging, transportation, cargo, the supply chain, automotive OE supply chain, and general manufacturing. Rising prices will greatly impact Japanese automakers, but on the home front, small and mid-size manufacturing companies may see the biggest challenges moving forward, as they have less room in their budget for losses.

Consumers are likely to resist the cost increases that companies will be charging. Many millennials who haven’t seen increases like this may been surprised by how quickly things are changing. This type of tidal wave can disrupt all aspects of business and at each level of the supply chain. These changes need to be addressed with small and mid-size businesses before the impact is too great to bounce back from.

As a leader in custom manufacturing for polymers, rubber, and molding, Universal Polymer thinks small and mid-size manufacturing and mom and pop shops need to be prepared themselves for the changing trade climate. Finding ways to counteract the tariffs is imperative to stay alive in today’s market as other countries fight back against these policies.

Universal Polymer & Rubber is a leading manufacturer of rubber extrusions, plastic extrusions and rubber moldings including compression moldings, transfer moldings, and injection moldings. To stay up to date on issues affecting manufacturing and to learn more about us, we invite you to read our blog, follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook. To learn more about how we can help you with the right product for your project, we invite you to contact us today.

AMERIPRIDE Tarp Straps Offer Sturdy Shipping Solutions

Made in the USA (Middlefield, Ohio), the latest line of tarp straps from Universal Polymer is AMERIPRIDE. Members of the trucking industry know that cargo needs to be securely fastened for successful transportation. Not only does cargo need to be transported safely, but it also needs to be protected from the elements it endures in getting to the end destination. This is where tarps and tarp straps come into play.

Tarp Strap Construction

Within the industry, tarp straps are available and manufactured in a number of solutions, including synthetic rubber and natural rubber, as well as with various hook selections to fasten the straps. The AMERIPRIDE line boasts a reliable rubber construction to face the elements while holding down your tarps. The EPDM rubber (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is a synthetic rubber that provides UV and Ozone resistance.

These UV-resistant AMERIPRIDE straps are then secured using S hooks that are manufactured in-house from wire coils, making the entire product Ohio and American-made.

Constructed to withstand multiple climates, these rubber tarp straps work well in the trucking, recreational vehicle, transportation and marine industries. These new tarp straps from Universal Polymer are found in a variety of sizes as noted below.

AMERIPRIDE Tarp Strap Sizes:

  • 10 inches
  • 15 inches
  • 21 inches
  • 31 inches
  • 41 inches

At 50 pieces to a box, these EPDM rubber tarp straps offer a reliable solution for your tie-down needs, whether it’s for trucking or another industry. For more information on our latest line of AMERIPRIDE straps, contact us today!

If you’re looking for another tarp strap solution, also check out our GOLDLINE tarp straps offering different designs per your needs.

For continuous information on the transportation, cargo, construction, pipe manufacturing, automotive, and industrial markets continue to follow and connect with us our blogTwitter and LinkedIn.

Learning & Evolution Continues in Manufacturing with Industry Trade Shows

Manufacturing at its Strongest Since 2004

The long-promised acceleration in US manufacturing may be just around the corner.

2017 closed strong. In fact, the numbers peg it as a favorable year of the likes of 2004 when the depredations of recession hadn’t tarnished profits.

With the morale running high, it is a golden time for all providers to grow, evolve and get equipped for the spike in demand that may follow soon.

And what better way to learn, network and be seen than at some of the most popular, progressive and authoritative trade shows in the country?

Universal Polymer & Rubber Ltd. Is on the Road

February and March will see us rubbing shoulders with manufacturing luminaries – sharing insights, presenting innovations and probing areas that rubber and plastic moldings and custom extrusions fall short in.

These occasions always spark fresh activity at Universal Polymer & Rubber as we return to the drawing board to brainstorm and improve industry solutions.

This year will be no different.

We are looking to not only foster relationships but also a deeper understanding of what we can do to serve client industries that much more efficiently.

The first stop is the Precast Show, held over February 22nd & 24th at the Colorado Convention Center. It is an endeavor by the Precast Organization to bring together contributors and stakeholders who regulate and disrupt this key market. Precast and rubber may seem to belong to different worlds, but the strength of the former often relies on the flexibility of the latter as rubber is the sealing element of choice that maintains the integrity of complex precast structures.

We will be at booth 521, ready to engage with precast aficionados.

Next,  from March 22nd to 24th we’ll be at the Kentucky Exposition Centre participating in the largest annual heavy-duty trucking event in the world – The Mid America Trucking Show.  The perception of trucking has transformed rapidly over the past decade and it is in part to shows like the MATS where educational seminars and live product demonstrations infuse the raw power of trucks with the cutting edge technological strides made in the fields of AI & Big Data.

The outlook for truck sales is optimistic for the next several years and we look to be right in the middle of the upsurge.

Finally, the American Concrete Pipe Association (ACPA) Annual Convention will be happening in San Diego over March 24th through 27th. We look forward to learning more about the technological improvements driving the industry.

 

Stay in Touch

If you’re like us and want to stay abreast of breakthroughs in the world of manufacturing, follow us on the blog, Twitter & LinkedIn.

Or you can contact us for a custom quote.

Custom Manufacturer of Rubber Extrusions, Plastic Extrusions and Rubber MoldingsIncluding compression moldings, transfer moldings and injection moldings