Tag Archives: rubber moldings

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.

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.

 

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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.

Confidence in Manufacturing Predicted for 2018

After the recession of 2008, it has taken time for our country to rebound. The rebound started slowly but has gained momentum and industries across the U.S. are beginning to see quite a change. For many, optimism is high. Helping the change is the new administration and the President’s commitment to supposedly bring jobs back to America. He has started deregulation of manufacturing industries and has promised to lower business taxes in an effort to make the U.S. more competitive with jobs that were off-shored long ago.

Consumer confidence has spurred the economy, allowing businesses to once again invest in new software, new equipment, training and industrial structures. All of these investments help to better our economy. Industries are also more expectant due to the increase in employment rates and increase in disposable income.

According to a report by Bloomberg Markets, the U.S. is experiencing growth at a rate higher than what was forecasted. Currently, the rate is three percent, which is a solid gain. This rate is high considering the time period reported on includes two devastating hurricanes in two parts of our country. All of this information leads to an encouraging outlook for the coming years for manufacturing.

A wide range of industries are seeing this growth, including rubber, the housing industry coming off all- time lows of 2009, mining, aerospace, and more. This past September, the Institute for Supply Management hit an all-time high mark for gauging manufacturing activity. The last time numbers were this close was in 2004.

As a custom manufacturer of rubber extrusions, plastic extrusions and rubber moldings including compression moldings, transfer moldings, and injection moldings, all of this information leaves the Universal Polymer team enthused about the potentials for 2018. We serve many industries, including the transportation and cargo control market, automotive OE supply chain as a Tier II and Tier III, construction and pipe manufacturers market, and the general industrial market.

To keep abreast of what’s new in our industry, we invite you to read our blog, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and connect with us on LinkedIn. To speak to one of our professionals about how we can help you, we invite you to contact us today.