The Challenges and Rewards of Reshoring Manufacturing to the US

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The term “reshoring” refers to the process of returning offshore manufacturing operations to a company’s home country rather than outsourcing labor to overseas locales. Many statistics indicate that reshoring trends were already on the rise, even before a trade war and pandemic made the idea more appealing. In 2018, 1,389 companies reshored operations, ultimately returning 145,000 jobs to the U.S., according to data from The Reshoring Initiative.  Reshoring rubber manufacturing—and manufacturing in general—to the United States can improve product quality, reduce financial and business risks, and lower transport costs. Reshoring Challenges While reshoring offers a plethora of benefits, it’s important…

The term “reshoring” refers to the process of returning offshore manufacturing operations to a company’s home country rather than outsourcing labor to overseas locales. Many statistics indicate that reshoring trends were already on the rise, even before a trade war and pandemic made the idea more appealing. In 2018, 1,389 companies reshored operations, ultimately returning […]

EPDM vs. Neoprene vs. Silicone

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Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), neoprene, and silicone are long-lasting and valuable alternatives to natural rubber. Learn about the specific characteristics of each material, their advantages and disadvantages, and the applications that suit each material best. EPDM EPDM is a type of synthetic rubber. EPDM has a saturated polymer backbone, which gives it better resistance characteristics than natural rubber and other unsaturated materials. The material is also relatively elastic and flexible, which makes it ideal for creating seals.  Depending on the intended purpose for the raw EPDM material, it may often be combined with the following materials: Fillers (calcium carbonate,…

Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), neoprene, and silicone are long-lasting and valuable alternatives to natural rubber. Learn about the specific characteristics of each material, their advantages and disadvantages, and the applications that suit each material best. EPDM EPDM is a type of synthetic rubber. EPDM has a saturated polymer backbone, which gives it better resistance […]

Why Should You Use Synthetic Rubber Over Natural Rubber?

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Rubber is available in both natural and synthetic variations. While both types demonstrate unique material characteristics that make them suitable for use in different applications, synthetic rubbers offer several advantages over natural rubbers that make them ideally suited for use in manufacturing operations. The following blog post provides a comparison between natural and synthetic rubbers, evaluating their distinct characteristics and applications. An Overview of Natural Rubber and Synthetic Rubber Production Natural rubber is an elastomeric polymer material that was adopted for commercial use in the early 1900s. It is most commonly derived from a Brazilian plant known as Hevea brasiliensis, but…

Rubber is available in both natural and synthetic variations. While both types demonstrate unique material characteristics that make them suitable for use in different applications, synthetic rubbers offer several advantages over natural rubbers that make them ideally suited for use in manufacturing operations. The following blog post provides a comparison between natural and synthetic rubbers, […]

What Are the Differences Between Rubber and Plastic Extrusions?

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At Universal Polymer & Rubber, we are industry leaders in both rubber and plastic extrusion. Although these types of extrusions share similar qualities, their key distinctions make them well-suited for different applications. In this blog, we’ll clarify the similarities and differences between rubber and plastic extrusions as well as outline some of the more prevalent uses of each material. Rubber Extrusions During the rubber extrusion process, manufacturers build a die in the shape of the required cross section, then force the rubber through the die. The immense pressure under which this takes place makes the rubber soft and pliable, enabling manufacturers to…

The Cost of Chaos, Part 2: Oil Price & Trade War Uncertainty Continues

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As we discussed in the first part of this blog series, one of the best ways to create long-term response plans to volatility is to stay informed. “Ongoing volatility” is a great way to summarize the changes in oil pricing and the status of the U.S.-China trade war. Uncertainty surrounding market and political events can mean additional time and resources devoted to weathering the “storm,” so we’re keeping track of them to the best of our abilities, and relaying what we’ve learned. Read on to discover the latest developments in the oil market and trade war. Oil Price Developments Oil prices…

The Cost of Chaos: Economic Challenges Going Into 2019

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The start of 2019 carries with it several uncertainties from 2018: for example, the instability of the global supply chain caused by the United States’ trade war with China, and volatile oil prices brought about partly by ongoing situations within Venezuela and the Middle East. Despite efforts by the federal government to alleviate some of the negative effects of these events, many small and medium-sized businesses must continue seeking new ways to adapt to an unstable global market. Here we outline these causes of uncertainty and how they impact businesses like UP&R: Volatile Oil Prices Oil prices have fluctuated dramatically…

UP&R Concludes a Successful 2018

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As UP&R rings in the new year, we would like to highlight some of our achievements from 2018. We’ll also present the exciting opportunities we’re anticipating for 2019 and beyond. An Overview of 2018 at UP&R 2018 was another successful and productive year for us at UP&R. We attended a number of industry trade shows, including AAPEX/SEMA, The Precast Show, the Mid America Trucking Show, and the American Concrete Pipe Association (ACPA) Annual Convention. We used these shows as opportunities to network with customers and industry peers, as well as to gain insights about the technological advances happening in the…

A Tarp Strap for Every Application

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Every application that requires a tarp strap has specific demands and requirements to fulfill. At Universal Polymer & Rubber, we offer three levels of tarp straps to correspond with your specifications: GOLDLINE ®, standard mid-range line, and retail line. Each of our tarp strap levels varies in strength and characteristics for trucking, boating, recreational outdoor pursuits, and more. A note that all tarp straps are intended for use as tension devices for tarpaulins; they are not made to bear or support weight, or be used as cargo control. Here is a brief guide to UP&R’s three levels of tarp straps…

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

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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.…

How New Chinese Tariffs Impact Small-Mid Sized Manufacturers

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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…