In many ways, manufacturing is the art of managing the unpredictable. In order to take a product or part from initial idea to completion, skill, hard work, and just a bit of luck are needed. There are a variety of things that can go astray during the manufacturing process; here are some of the more common ones:

Material Inconsistency

When working with a variety of suppliers, it’s difficult to sometimes keep track of all of the different parts and materials, and where they are coming from. When it comes to materials, they must be consistent to work; coordination with suppliers and ensuring the materials are of the same compound is essential and doesn’t always work out.


If the past winter has taught us anything, it is that weather cannot be counted on. Day after day of snow and frozen roads have stopped manufacturers in their tracks. In fact, U.S. manufacturing output fell sharply in January 2014 almost exclusively because of the cold weather, as seen in this article.

The Human Element

People do manufacturing, and people are not perfect. We all have bad days. While this variable is hard to control, you must take it into account in everything you do.

So, what is the answer? How can you avoid having your production lines come to a screeching halt? As we mentioned before, the key is preparation. You must do everything in your power to reduce the impact of these variables. It helps to have a couple of things locked down.

Preventative and Predictive Maintenance

If you keep your machinery in top shape at all times, you instantly lower the likelihood of a sudden breakdown. It really is that simple.

Proper coordination with suppliers

If you trust your supplier, it takes away a giant worry. If you know they are putting their reputation behind everything they send your way, it makes life so much easier. Plus, you also know they will go out of their way to make it right if something does go wrong.

At Universal Polymer, we believe that we fall into this category. We are the kind of company that will make every effort possible to eliminate worry from the equation. Our rubber and plastic extrusions and rubber moldings are of the highest quality and we stand behind everything we make. We can’t solve all your problems, but at least you will be able to trust your rubber and plastic gaskets, straps, and tubes!

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