Countless products exist for original equipment manufacturers, so selecting the right one for your application can be daunting. Determining the best fit involves (1) understanding your application’s needs, (2) recognizing the different chemistries and product options and determining the compatibility of those products to your materials, and (3) finding the right partner to come up with creative solutions.
1. Following this product selection process should help you seal the deal:
The first step to selecting a product is understanding the trends in your market segment or industry, as well as the demands of your application. Whether you are involved in modular construction, transportation, or agriculture, here are some questions to consider:
- Have you had difficulty in the past with other products?
Technologies and formulations can change over time so if you have seen declining performance in one product, it may be time to reevaluate.
- What is your production timeline and budget?
Product cure time, speed of application, shipping time and costs, and price are important factors. Determine these upfront with your supplier to ensure you stay on time and within budget.
- What type of movement capability is needed?
Depending on if your system is facing horizontal, vertical, or multi-directional movement will dictate which products have the strength and elasticity to suit your need.
- What conditions will the final product face? Temperature, precipitation, and long periods of UV exposure can all impact product performance, so it is important that you have a clear idea of what your application will require in order to determine the right product type.
- Once you know if a sealant, adhesive, tape, gasket, or coating is necessary for your job, the chemistry becomes a crucial factor. Options include silicones, urethanes, butyls, acrylics, hybrids and more. But will they be compatible with your existing materials? Your product supplier should be clear about the properties of these technologies and how they will adhere to the adjacent substrates.
Consider preliminary compatibility testing to ensure that there is proper adhesion, no staining, and continuous, durable connections.
- The ideal supplier will work with you to identify the best options for your application’s needs. Look for a partner that offers:
- Longevity in the industry and experience working with OEMs
- R&D and manufacturing capabilities to produce customized solutions such as custom colors, viscosities, and packaging which small batch options
- A range of product technologies to address myriad OEM applications
- Supportive sales, technical, and engineering teams that will work alongside you to devise solutions and troubleshoot
- Testing capabilities to ensure the products will work for your application and mitigate risk for both you and your customers
Many of these steps lead to more questions than answers, but thankfully the necessary research has already been done for you. Learn more about solutions for OEM from Tremco and their affiliate Chemtron International, Inc.