Comments Off on Best of 2018: IPC’s Top 5 Posts of the Year
As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look back at all that has happened over the past twelve months. This has been a very productive year for International Products Corporation and we look forward to continued growth during 2019.
We have embarked on a building renovation project and are expanding our warehouse to better serve our customers. Recently, we installed a new manufacturing filling line that provides for more efficient and quicker operations.
Throughout the year we exhibited at various trade shows and visited many of our customers and distributors worldwide.
Our on-site laboratory has worked on various customer driven research projects and continues to ensure the quality of our products.
It’s easy to see that you have a dirty surface that needs to be cleaned. Figuring out what type of cleaner to use can be tricky! Choosing the right product from the outset will make your cleaning task easier, quicker and more efficient. So, how do you know which detergent to use?…
The O-ring…the little part that plays a big role! “What are the parts of a car?” Most people will answer with “engine, thermostat, radiator, water pump, battery, alternator, ignition, steering wheel, tires, windows, doors, and seat belts”. Not too many people will mention O-rings…
We’ve all been there. Any of these scenarios ring a bell? A long road trip and your car won’t start. You’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner and your oven isn’t working. Or, it’s the worst heat wave of the summer and your air conditioning unit dies. Regardless of the scenario, we can all agree that malfunctioning equipment is extremely aggravating. If only there were a way to prevent these things from happening!…
How do you provide a consistent, high quality supply of water when you have a large volume ethanol distiller located in your backyard? The city of Fargo, ND came up with the perfect solution: reclaim water through the municipal wastewater treatment plant!…
A lubricant is a material that reduces the friction between two surfaces making it easier for them to move across each other. Lubricity measures the reduction of friction that results from using a lubricant. A higher percentage of lubricity indicates a greater reduction of force….
Did we miss your favorite post from 2018? Please let us know! We have more great content coming your way in 2019. Be sure to subscribe to the IPC blog to read the latest and greatest from the IPC team.
Happy New Year and Best Wishes for a wonderful 2019 from everyone at IPC!
Comments Off on Ergonomics: A Winning Formula For Improved Quality, Safety And Production
International Products Corporation (IPC) recently upgraded their manufacturing facility with the installation of a 20-liter liquid filling line that not only provides for a quicker, more efficient manufacturing process but also provides ergonomic benefits for workers. The new station was engineered, manufactured and installed by Inline Filling Systems.
The new equipment has designated product capabilities and is used to fill 20-liter (5-gallon) sized containers of the company’s lubricants and cleaners.
Features of the new equipment include:
Increased Fill Accuracy
Increased Worker Safety
Assisted lift devices
Automatic speed adjustments
Automatic case erector
Ergonomic Improvements Are A Win-Win
Ergonomics Reduces Injuries
Worker injuries are frequently the result of repetitive movements and strain caused by moving heavy objects. Lifting, pushing and pulling heavy loads can all cause undue strain leading to injury. Ergonomic lifting equipment helps to eliminate the strain caused in these instances. The assisted lift device on IPC’s new fill line bears almost the entire weight of the heavy bottles.
Ergonomics Improves Quality
If line workers are in pain, tired or frustrated, the quality of their work may suffer. By installing ergonomic lifting equipment, the strain and repetitive motion of lifting are removed and workers can more easily focus on the task at hand. In addition to providing ergonomic benefits, IPC’s new filling line provides increased automation which reduces the likelihood of human error.
Ergonomics Increases Productivity
With ergonomic improvements in place, jobs can be completed with less strain and fewer motions leading to a quicker, more efficient production process. Adding to the ergonomic benefits, IPC’s new filling equipment has the capacity to fill three to four times the number of bottles as the equipment previously used.
Ergonomic improvements in the workplace are beneficial to companies and their employees. Improvements in quality, production and employee well being all contribute to reduced costs and a safer work environment. A win-win for everyone!
Comments Off on Keep Your Powersports Vehicle in Tip-Top Shape
Riding your motorcycle on a crisp fall day, feeling the wind on your face and seeing the colorful splendor of the autumn leaves, can be quite an exhilarating experience. Nothing can dampen that feeling more than having to cancel your ride because of a breakdown. Routine maintenance can help prevent unexpected repairs.
Powersports vehicles such as motorcycles, ATV’s, snowmobiles, scooters and personal watercraft should all undergo regular maintenance to keep them running in tip-top condition. Oil changes, tune-ups, chain adjustments, brake and safety inspections, engine maintenance and parts cleaning are all common scheduled maintenance tasks.
Why Should You Schedule Preventative Maintenance?
Routine maintenance helps keep your powersports vehicle running smoothly. Not only will regular cleaning and maintenance keep your vehicle looking great, it also gives you the opportunity to carefully inspect all of its parts to catch any issues before they become major headaches. Preventative maintenance can increase equipment life, improve the functionality and reliability of your vehicle, decrease unplanned breakdowns and allow for less costly repairs.
Cleaning Vehicle Parts Is A Key Maintenance Task
Cleaning older parts is one of the first steps in many repair and maintenance jobs. Refurbishing suspension components, chain lubrication and adjustments, rebuilding engines, brake repair, oil changes, carburetor cleaning, fluid flushing and safety inspections all begin with parts cleaning. Removing grease, oil and dirt from used parts makes them easier to inspect and repair.
What’s The Best Way To Clean Parts?
Parts washers are a great solution for cleaning vehicle parts and tools. Hand washing in hot water will get parts clean, but parts washers will provide a deeper, more thorough cleaning. Parts washers will gently move parts during cleaning which helps remove dirt and debris. Plus, when used with the right cleaning detergent, parts washers can remove dirt from blind holes and obstructed sections of equipment.
There’s a New Kid On the Block
Many shops struggle with finding an effective parts cleaner that is easy to use. ANSED Diagnostics recently introduced a new portable parts washer that is ideal for small motorcycle and auto repair shops, racing teams, bicycle shops and garage repair shops. This powerful unit generates its power from an air compressor, so no electricity is required. And, it only weighs 22 pounds making it easy to use and carry.
Simply attach the unit to any standard air compressor and fill it with water and LF2100 Liquid Low Foam Cleaner. Place the dirty parts into the liquid and turn on the air compressor. The cleaning solution will bubble and agitate providing deep cleaning to all the hidden areas of your parts. Be sure to use the low foaming cleaner included with the unit to avoid excess foaming during the cleaning cycle. When the cleaning is finished, turn off the air compressor, remove the parts and empty the liquid from the unit.
Putting It All Together
Once the parts are cleaned and serviced, it’s time to reassemble your vehicle. Using a temporary rubber assembly lubricant will help reduce the force needed to install rubber parts like O-rings, seals, hoses and bushings making the job go smoothly and efficiently.
Before you know it, you’ll be riding into the sunset on your newly cleaned and maintained bike.
Comments Off on How To Assemble Hoses And Seals With P-80® Temporary Rubber Lubricants
Cars, trucks, buses, locomotives, motorcycles, boats, airplanes, refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers, pumps, construction equipment, conveyor belts, cable assemblies, and machines…What do all of these familiar items have in common?
All of them are composed of countless rubber parts that help them function properly and efficiently. Have you ever considered all of the uses for rubber hoses and seals? Without hoses, seals, grommets, O-rings and so many other rubber parts, most everyday items would leak, fall apart or otherwise malfunction.
Since rubber parts play such an integral role in product function and design, manufacturers have to be careful to assemble them properly to avoid problems down the line. While this sounds simple enough in theory, the reality is that assembling rubber parts can be quite difficult.
The slip-resistant nature of rubber makes it difficult to install, cut, remove or manipulate. Improper part alignment or installation can lead to part failure and safety issues. Repair and installation of rubber parts can take considerable physical effort and time.
Temporary assembly lubricants help solve this problem. When applied to rubber parts, temporary assembly lubricants reduce friction during assembly to make installation easier. Once dry the slipping action goes away and parts stay in place.
What is the best way to apply temporary lubricants to rubber parts? Brushing, sponging, spraying, dunking and dipping are all effective manual application methods. Since each assembly process is unique, the best method is often based on personal preference.
Watch this short video for International Products Corporation’s (IPC) suggestions for assembling hoses and seals with P-80® temporary assembly lubricants:
P-80 temporary assembly lubricants are water-based and do not contain alcohol or petroleum distillates, so they will not cause rubber to swell, dry out or harden. And, they do not contain silicon or other persistent ingredients, so once dry the slipping action goes away and parts stay in place. P-80 lubricants are free of hazardous ingredients, making them safe for workers and the environment. Most P-80 products are biodegradable.
Comments Off on How Can You Help Customers Install Your Parts? P-80® To The Rescue!
Did You Know? P-80 Fun Facts…
Major manufacturing companies have used P-80 lubricants for years for the assembly of engine mounts, bumpers, seals, belts, bushings, O-rings, hoses, grommets, grips, plugs, moldings, tires and many other rubber or soft plastic engineered parts.
Did you know that you can help your customers to easily install those same parts? Simply include a tube of P-80 along with the parts in replacement and repair kits!
The slip-resistant nature of rubber makes it difficult to install, cut, remove or manipulate. Improper part alignment or installation can lead to part failure and safety issues. Repair and installation of rubber parts can take considerable physical effort and time.
What is P-80?
P-80 temporary assembly lubricants reduce friction during rubber assembly to make it easier to install parts. They are water-based and do not contain alcohol or petroleum distillates, so they will not cause rubber to swell, dry out or harden. P-80 lubricants do not contain silicon or other persistent ingredients, so once dry the slipping action goes away and parts stay in place. And, P-80 lubricants are free of hazardous ingredients, making them safe for workers and the environment. Most P-80 products are biodegradable.
P-80 temporary assembly lubricants are available in six different water-based formulas, so you can find the product that’s right for your assembly needs. There are even two special formulas that are registered with the NSF as H1 lubricants approved for incidental food contact applications.
A Win-Win Solution
P-80 is available in re-sealable 10 mL tubes that are perfect for inclusion in kits for repair or replacement parts. Companies that include P-80 in kits have found that less damage occurs to their products during repair or installation, saving money in the long run. Their customers are happy because the installation of the part is much easier. Since the tube is re-sealable, it can be used multiple times after opening.
Many jobs can benefit from the reduced friction and increased safety provided by P-80 temporary rubber assembly lubricants. Use P-80 to install or replace seals, grommets, hoses, valves, belts, bushings, grips, bearings, boots, bumpers, engine mounts, fuel lines, moldings, O-rings, wire harnesses, sleeves, gaskets and tires. Any time you encounter rubber parts…P-80 can help!
Comments Off on 10 Things To Know When Choosing An Assembly Lubricant
What is a Lubricant?
A lubricant is a material that reduces the friction between two surfaces making it easier for them to move across each other. Lubricity measures the reduction of friction that results from using a lubricant. A higher percentage of lubricity indicates a greater reduction of force.
Dry force is the amount of force required to insert a part without using a lubricant. Lubricated force is the amount of force required to insert a part after applying a lubricant. A force gauge meter can be used to measure the force (in newtons) needed to insert a part.
A lubricant should be used any time you need to decrease the friction between two surfaces.
10 Things To Know When Choosing An Assembly Lubricant
1. Temporary or Permanent Lubrication?
Some lubricants provide ongoing lubrication to keep parts moving over and over again. Machinery that consists of parts that must continually move or slide across each other will benefit from using a permanent lubricant to ensure they are operating properly.
Other lubricants provide temporary lubrication, reducing the friction between two parts for a short amount of time. After drying, the lubricity provided by a temporary lubricant is gone and the two parts will no longer slide easily across each other. Temporary lubricants are used for assembly and repair applications.
Rubber materials, in particular, are extremely slip-resistant, making them inherently difficult to install, remove, or otherwise manipulate – even when wet. This creates a challenge during the assembly and repair of rubber parts that can result in problems such as ill-fitting, misaligned or damaged parts, rolling O-rings, uneven cuts or worker injury. Temporary assembly lubricants can help prevent these problems.
2. How Much Lubrication Do You Need?
Sometimes you need a lot of lubrication, sometimes just a bit. Different lubricants will reduce friction by varying amounts depending upon their viscosity. Find a formula that is right for your application.
3. What are the Advantages of Temporary Assembly Lubricants?
Reduce Installation Force:
A thin film of lubricant applied to a part fills in any gaps, holes, or spaces between two separate surfaces, allowing them to slide across each other. By reducing the surface tension between the two surfaces, rubber parts can slide into place easily.
Design Parts with Better Tolerances:
When a lubricant is included in the design control process, mated parts can have lower tolerances because the characteristics of the lubricant are considered. Partnering with a lubrication engineer ensures the optimal lubricant is selected before production goes live.
Improve Product Performance:
Improper part alignment can lead to part failure and safety issues. Taking into consideration lubrication properties like dry time, material compatibility, any interfering residue and environmental conditions, will ensure that mated parts will work as anticipated.
Increase Production Rates:
Paring the optimal lubricant with the right application technique speeds up production.
Help to Avoid Worker Injuries:
Assembly lubricants ease the installation process of many parts. An increase in lubricity, even by small amounts, is greatly appreciated by line operators required to maintain strict cycle times. Inferior lubrication quickly leads to fatigue, muscle strain, injuries and lost work time.
4. What is the Dry Time of Your Temporary Lubricant?
Some temporary lubricants dry quickly while others take longer to fully dry.
Quick drying lubricants are frequently used in assembly applications in which the parts undergo pressure testing or movement shortly after assembly. In these cases, it’s important to have the part firmly in place before the next step in the assembly process.
Other assembly applications may take longer or the parts may need to be manipulated a few times before the assembly is complete. In these instances, you may benefit from a slower drying temporary lubricant.
Yet, in other assembly operations, achieving maximum lubrication may be the primary goal and the dry time of the lubricant is less important.
Manufacturers of temporary assembly lubricants should be able to advise you about methods of slightly altering the dry time of their lubricants based upon the amount applied, the method of application, part tolerance, material porosity, and temperature.
5. Can Temporary Lubricants be Used With All Types Of Surfaces?
It’s important to check the compatibility of any chemicals that will come in contact with your parts and equipment. What types of surfaces are they made of? Ask the lubricant manufacturer if their product is compatible with the specific type of rubber, metal and/or plastic found in your parts and equipment.
Lubricants will be absorbed more quickly by porous rubbers, like Buna-N and EPDM, than by plastics and coated rubbers. You may want to choose a quicker drying formula for less porous surfaces.
6. How Will You Apply the Lubricant?
Think about your assembly process and the parts that will need a temporary lubricant. What type of application method will work best for your unique process? Common methods of application include dunking and dipping parts, using brushes, sponges and sprays, and using automated solutions. Make sure the lubricant you choose will work well with the best application method for your unique situation.
7. Can They be Used for Food Manufacturing Equipment?
Food and beverage manufacturing is a highly regulated industry. Therefore, all parts and processes, including any lubricants that are used, must comply with federal regulations and industry standards. Look for specially formulated assembly lubricants that are registered with the NSF as H1 lubricants approved for incidental food contact applications.
8. Are They Safe?
Avoid using lubricants that can cause rubber parts to swell or dry out, like alcohol or petroleum-based products. Look for a product that is compatible with the parts it will come in contact with.
Be sure to also consider the environmental impact of any lubricants you are using. Look for products that are non-hazardous and non-flammable, making them safe for workers and the environment. Many assembly lubricants are biodegradable.
Choose an assembly lubricant that will work well, yet meet all of your safety requirements and federal regulations.
9. Is it Possible to Arrange a Trial?
Many lubricant manufacturers will offer free samples for testing. Testing enables you to run trials for your unique assembly application and choose the product that will best meet your needs.
10. Will the Manufacturer Offer Support?
In addition to their willingness to offer free product samples for testing, look for a supplier that can offer technical guidance and provide a variety of products to solve your assembly requirements. The manufacturer should be able to assist you by providing material compatibility studies, insertion force measurement testing, toxicology reports, regulatory compliance, free product samples, and technical support.
With careful thought and planning, you can find a lubricant that meets all of your specifications. When choosing a lubricant for your assembly application consider the amount of lubricity required, surface compatibility, dry time, application methods, chemical composition and safety of the product.
Comments Off on Everything You Need To Know For Easy O-ring Installation
The O-ring…the little part that plays a big role!
“What are the parts of a car?” Most people will answer with “engine, thermostat, radiator, water pump, battery, alternator, ignition, steering wheel, tires, windows, doors, and seat belts”. Not too many people will mention O-rings. But, O-rings play an integral role in the manufacturing and operation of vehicles of all kinds, as well as most other everyday items such as appliances, pumps, and medical devices.
What Are O-rings?
An O-ring is “a loop of elastomer with a round cross-section, designed to be seated in a groove and compressed during assembly between two or more parts, creating a seal at the interface.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O-ring). Like the name implies, an O-ring is a round, rubber ring. O-rings are used to create a tight seal between assembled parts to prevent fluids or air from passing from one part to another. The simple little O-ring is often one of the most important components in finished goods. Without properly installed O-rings leaks and product failures could occur.
Common Installation Problems
O-rings need to be properly installed to do their job and function properly. When installed correctly, O-rings can prevent leaks and add to the service life of the component. Incorrectly installed O-rings may cause leakage resulting in part damage, requiring taking apart and reassembling the component. Some common problems that occur during O-ring installation include tears, twisting and turning, and overstretching.
5 Guidelines for Installing O-rings
Installing O-rings properly at the outset saves time and money in the long run. These installation tips can help you avoid problems that may cause application issues down the road.
Size Matters: Use the right size O-ring for each unique assembly. O-rings that are too small are more prone to tearing and breakage. O-rings that are too large will not provide an adequate seal.
Avoid Overstretching: Each O-ring has a maximum stretch point. Overstretching can cause O-rings to break or tear during assembly or use. Engineers need to ensure that the stretch does not go beyond the maximum elongation of the O-ring. It’s also important to stretch the O-ring evenly, not just on one side or the other. In general, try to stretch the O-ring as little as possible for a tighter fit.
Slide, Don’t Roll: Rolling an O-ring down a shaft for installation leads to spiraling. Spiral wound O-rings cannot be properly installed and their functionality will be limited. This can result in leaks and/or damage to the finished assembly. Sliding the O-ring into place, rather than rolling it, helps avoid spiraling. Using a lubricant helps the O-ring slide easily into place.
Ease O-rings Over Threads: O-rings are often mated with threaded parts. The threads can easily tear the rubber O-rings. Covering the threads with masking tape during installation and using an assembly lubricant can help protect the O-ring from nicks and tears.
Keep Away From Sharp Edges: Some mated parts may also have sharp corners or edges that can damage O-rings. Sometimes these tears are so small they are not visible, resulting in leakage problems later on. Avoid forcing O-rings onto sharp corners and edges. Lubricating the O-rings makes it easier to slide them into place.
Overall, it’s best to avoid using excess force while installing O-rings. Using an assembly lubricant helps ensure that many of the above problems are avoided.
Using a lubricant for O-ring assembly can prevent tears, twisting, pinching, cutting and abrasion of the rubber. A thin film of lubricant applied to the O-ring fills in any gaps, holes, or spaces between the O-ring and the mated part, allowing them to slide across each other. By reducing the surface tension between the two surfaces, the O-ring can slide into place easily, providing a tight fit.
Achieve closer fits by helping to properly seat the O-ring
Aid automated assemblies
Improve product performance and reduce failures
Increase production rates
Help avoid worker injuries
Types of O-ring Lubricants
There are numerous types of lubricants that can be used to install O-rings. Some common choices include soap and water, petroleum distillates, solvents and ester based products. Many traditional choices may cause damage to the rubber O-ring or present safety concerns.
For example, petroleum based products can cause rubber to swell or dry out. Solvents provide poor lubrication, contain high VOCs, may be flammable, and pose possible health risks. Soap and water, while safe, provides inconsistent, nominal lubrication and may reactivate when wet causing problems after assembly.
Ester based lubricants are an ideal solution. They provide excellent reduction in friction, offer temporary lubrication, and are safe for both workers and the environment.
Here is a comparison of some common lubricant choices:
So, how do you choose the right product? Consider these factors:
P-80® Temporary Rubber Assembly Lubricants are an excellent choice for O-ring assembly. P-80® lubricants significantly reduce friction helping rubber parts slide easily into place. And, they do not contain any hazardous ingredients, making them safe for workers and the environment. P-80’s unique, water-based formula is temporary; once dry, P-80 stops lubricating and parts remain in place.
O-ring installation without lubrication:
O-ring installation using P-80:
Installing O-rings doesn’t have to be a struggle. Remember, these small rubber parts can make or break the functionality of your finished assembly. Take the time to install them properly and use a temporary assembly lubricant to aid the process and protect the part.
Contact International Products Corporation to learn more about using P-80 Rubber Lubricants for O-ring assembly.
Have an O-ring you need to install? Request a free sample for testing
Comments Off on Solve Hydraulic Line Assembly Problems With P-80® THIX
A worldwide crane manufacturer experienced hydraulic system issues, including contamination, rolled O-rings, leaks, and line shut-downs resulting from numerous false-positive leak detections. Once they began using P-80® THIX for assembly they were able to eliminate false positive hydraulic leaks and contamination, allow easier thread starts and aligned joint assemblies, and achieve torque specifications.
What is P-80® THIX?
P-80 THIX is a biodegradable temporary assembly lubricant that eases installation of tight-fitting rubber and plastic parts by reducing the force needed for insertion. Once assembly is complete, the lubricant dries and the part stays in place. Since THIX is a water-based, thixotropic gel, it stays where it’s put without dripping. THIX does not contain any alcohol or petroleum distillates, so it will not cause rubber to swell, dry out or harden, nor does it contain any hazardous ingredients, making it safe for workers and the environment.
What Was Happening at the Crane Manufacturer’s Plant?
The crane manufacturer was using multiple petroleum-based lubricants for the assembly of hydraulic hoses and thread starts. These lubricants eased the assembly of the hydraulic lines and facilitated thread starts, but, if not applied meticulously, slowed production, increased cost of quality, and increased the amount of rework needed. Over-application of these lubricants caused residue to remain in and around hydraulic lines attracting dirt, contaminating hydraulic systems, fluorescing brightly during black light leak inspections – leading to false positive results, and reducing installation torque over time. When used sparingly, the lubricants caused leaks from rough thread starts, rolled O-rings, friction-related damage, misaligned parts, and low installation torques. They also had frequent line shut-downs because of many false-positive leak detections.
P-80 THIX to the Rescue
A team of design engineers, material engineers and hydraulic line assemblers worked together to find a solution. P-80 THIX was trialed for assembly of hydraulic lines and coating of threads for wet torque starts.
Since THIX is a water-based emulsified thixotropic gel, the volume applied was not critical. Once applied, THIX remained in place regardless of the part’s orientation. The gel as a whole reduced assembly friction by 70% thereby eliminating rolled O-rings and misaligned parts. Installation torques were achieved consistently. After assembly, THIX began to evaporate and lose its lubrication – leaving at most a negligible residue, which will not attract dirt or contaminate the hydraulic system, will not fluoresce, and cannot reduce torque over time.
The crane manufacturer experienced an immediate improvement in cost of quality and on-time delivery metrics. As a result, THIX has been implemented throughout the entire assembly floor and is currently being trialed at other locations worldwide.
Comments Off on How Engineers Choose Rubber Lubricants
A Multi-Disciplinary Engineering Approach to Selecting Assembly Lubricants
Rubber is everywhere! Have you ever stopped to consider how many rubber parts are in your car? Or your dishwasher? Or the airplane flying you away to your dream vacation? So many items that we use every day are composed of thousands of rubber parts of varying size and shape. Each of these components plays an integral role in how that item functions and performs down the road.
Rubber is truly a unique material. It is elastic yet strong, smooth yet tacky, lightweight yet insulates and protects, and soft yet abrasion-resistant. Rubber stretches and compresses, waterproofs no matter its thickness, and remains flexible over a wide temperature range. What’s more amazing is that any of these properties can be optimized by compounding rubber articles using select elastomers, fillers, processing aids, activators and vulcanizing agents. Rubber’s versatility is only limited by one’s imagination. It’s no wonder rubber is so valuable in many industries for an unlimited number of applications including vibration and sound dampening, sealing, electrical and thermal insulation, chemical transport and waterproofing.
Rubber is quite versatile. It can be pushed, pulled, stretched, compressed, or heated to fit in, on, or over anything. Rubber is inherently tacky and can be squeezed into tight areas, but it is naturally slip resistant making it difficult to install, remove or manipulate. It’s not unusual for rubber parts to slip during assembly and not go exactly where they’re intended: an O-ring may get twisted, a heater hose may not be fully inserted, a gap can appear in a waterproof seam. Successful assembly can be tricky. Improper assembly can lead to a multitude of problems including destroyed parts, warranty claims, recalls and worker fatigue or injury.
So, why has rubber installation always seemed to be an afterthought?
Coating rubber parts with a liquid to provide lubrication prior to assembly helps avoid some of the aforementioned problems. Traditionally, lubricant choice was based on convenience. Line workers would find whatever substances were in the plant and use them for rubber assembly. Some common choices were soap and water, alcohol, gasoline, motor oil, petroleum jelly and silicone spray. While these products do provide lubrication, they also introduce health and safety risks and may damage rubber parts.
Enter the Engineers…
To protect product integrity and ensure environmental and worker safety, engineers became involved in the lubricant selection process. Design Engineers, Lubricant Engineers and Ergonomic Engineers all take part in choosing the proper lubricant for each assembly process. Design Engineers are concerned with design tolerance, part breakage, production rates, dry time and material compatibility. Lubricant Engineers are more focused on performance, cost, regulatory compliance and toxicity approval. Ergonomic Engineers remain focused on worker safety and consider factors such as friction and effort reduction, production rates, quality and consistency, and health and safety hazards.
Lubricants Are a Part of the Design Process
As a result of these concerns, lubricants are now included in the initial design phase of many engineered parts. In addition to detailing all facets of the part, material specifications now include the accompanying assembly lubricant and its proper assembly technique. Design stages include a battery of lubricant trials and choices are made based on performance, cost and safety. More and more frequently, water-based lubricants are the product of choice.
The Power of Water-Based Lubricants
A well-formulated oil-in-water emulsion overpowers the low surface energy of rubber. This means the emulsion completely coats the surface without beading up. The oil portion has a natural affinity to the rubber surface and the water is exposed to the environment, facilitating evaporation. Only a thin layer of oil contacts the rubber, an ample volume for successful assembly. The thin coating ensures no residue, temporary lubrication, no compatibility issues and a safe working environment. Once assembled, the water evaporates and the lubrication ceases.
Water-based lubricants can be formulated with different properties making them ideal for essentially any assembly application. Lubricant properties such as viscosity, dry time, biodegradability, compatibility, and surface residue (such as adhesiveness) are all taken into consideration. Engineers can now choose a lubricant tailored exactly to their needs before production begins, eliminating many of the problems that used to occur after assembly.
The lubricant selection process has evolved so that it is now a true collaboration between Design, Lubricant and Ergonomic Engineers. Learn more here about this multi-disciplinary engineering approach to selecting assembly lubricants.
Comments Off on Deciphering Reach and RoHS…The Alphabet Soup of Safety Standards
There are many safety standards that apply to chemical products. As new standards and regulations emerge it can be difficult for those who buy and use chemical products to keep up-to-date with proper safety requirements. Many businesses use chemicals in their day to day operations for manufacturing and maintenance. Sometimes it may seem as though the regulations are an alphabet soup of acronyms designed to overwhelm and confuse the average person. Consumers of chemical products rely on manufacturers to comply with all regulations and standards.
What is RoHS?
RoHS is an abbreviation for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. Specifically, it restricts the use of certain hazardous materials in electronic products. It is a list of substances that are not permitted in electronics or electrical devices sold in the EU. The RoHS directive applies to all components that are involved in the assembly of electrical products, not solely the finished goods. What substances are restricted under RoHS?
The following materials are banned under the RoHS directive: lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), hexavalent chromium (CrVI), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), and four different phthalates (DEHP, BBP, BBP, DIBP). Why is RoHS important?
RoHS compliance is mandatory. The substances banned under RoHS are hazardous to the environment. These substances are also harmful to workers using them during the manufacturing process and consumers that use the finished products.
What is REACH?
REACH is an abbreviation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. REACH is an EU regulation designed to protect human health and the environment from chemical harm. REACH is monitored by ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency. What substances are restricted under REACH?
REACH applies to all chemical substances, not solely those used in manufacturing or industrial processes. So chemical products used in everyday life, like household cleaning products and paints, home appliances and clothing are also affected. Currently, REACH restricts the use of 38 chemicals, the full list can be found on the ECHA website. What about SVHC?
SVHC is an abbreviation for Substances of Very High Concern. These substances are put on a candidate list for REACH authorization and are called the REACH SVHC List. This list of substances is updated frequently. The full list of REACH SVHC substances can be found on the ECHA website.
Substances on the REACH SVHC list are:
• CMR: classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic (category 1 or 2)
• PBT: persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic
• vPvB: Very Persistent and very bio-accumulative
• substances for which there is evidence for similar concern such as endocrine disruptors Why is REACH important?
Like RoHS, REACH was enacted to ensure environmental and personal safety when using chemicals.
REACH AND RoHS: How they differ
Both REACH and RoHS are safety regulations designed to protect workers, consumers and the environment. REACH is monitored and implemented by ECHA, while RoHS is an EU directive that is monitored by the individual states. The substances banned by RoHS include a list of 10 specific substances (as of the writing of this post), while those prohibited by REACH keep growing as new hazards are discovered. In general, REACH is much broader in scope than RoHS. In both cases, it is the responsibility of the manufacture to ensure compliance with all regulations.
Manufacturers must continually monitor not only the substances that are restricted by these regulations, but also those under consideration. In some cases, finding a suitable substitute for a banned substance can be very difficult. Compliance for manufacturers is time consuming and expensive, but safety has to be their number one concern.
Safety concerns? IPC has you covered!
As a chemical manufacturer, International Products Corporation (IPC) takes its responsibility to the environment and its customers very seriously. All of IPC’s water-based lubricants and cleaners comply with RoHS and REACH directives, and can replace traditionally used corrosives, phosphates, solvents, petroleum distillates, and other hazardous chemicals. IPC maintains a zero discharge policy and all of its products are developed and manufactured in its Burlington, New Jersey, ISO 9001 certified plant.
IPC is committed to keeping abreast of environmental and regulatory trends and best practices to continually improve the quality and safety of its products and facilities. For more information contact one of IPC’s product specialists.