Five reasons to find a solution with Electrolube (Case Study 3)
Posted on 11 April 2016 by Arthur Foxton
Estimated Read time: 897 words 4 mins
Rapid Response Time
I was recently approached by a global automotive component supplier, who having heard about Electrolube’s reputation as ‘The Solutions Provider’ approached me in urgent need of an encapsulation resin for a vehicle lighting application.
They had a new product due to be launched to the market within the next few months and had tested several competitor resins, all of which proved ineffective for their particular application. With the deadline fast approaching and time running out rapidly a solution was required. The customer confided that in an ideal world, they would have found the solution weeks ago…..No pressure then! Completely unfazed, both I and our Global Technical Support Specialists sprang into action arranging a visit that very week.
Global Technical Support Team
We met with the production, design and process engineers responsible for this project, including engineers from each individual stage to ensure the optimum depth of understanding. From experience, I find that the best approach is to methodically work through the detail, leaving no stone unturned as small details can be crucial later on in a project. We commenced discussions on the application and testing requirements, alongside a review of the problems experienced during the testing of other materials.
Having a Global Technical Support Team on hand is a massive bonus for a Technical Sales Engineer such as myself; our in-house team at Electrolube has been enhanced further this year with some new members and an advanced structure. This gives us a great competitive advantage and a head start on tackling complex problems.
Following the discussions with the engineers, it appeared that their testing regime involved quite rigorous salt water immersion, thermal cycling and adhesion tests and several competitor resins simply could not perform in such harsh conditions. Additionally, the material needed to be approved to UL 94 V-0 in terms of flammability.
For this particular application it was critical that the resin wasn’t too hard and exhibited a degree of flexibility in order to pass the thermal cycling regime. Additionally to withstand both salt and fresh water immersion tests, the resin needed to have excellent water resistance and also adhesion to prevent ingress into the unit. As such we selected our polyurethane resin UR5604 for the application.
UR5604 is an excellent all round polyurethane resin. UL 94 V-0 approved, it exhibits excellent adhesion to a wide variety of substrates and with a low viscosity can be potted in geometrically intricate units reducing the risk of trapping voids. As a polyurethane resin it has excellent water resistance and with a hardness of A75 isn’t as hard as an epoxy system. As soon as we had identified the most likely solution, we shipped samples of UR5604 to the customer to begin testing immediately. Following a few weeks of testing, UR5604 was successfully approved for their application. Result!
With this project being on such a short time frame, it was imperative that we delivered the resin to the customer on time. A short timescale such as this could have posed a complete nightmare for many companies, but not Electrolube. Our network of manufacturing and global supply allow us real competitive edge with these types of projects. We can manufacture the products in the local region, or have a local distributor pick up the initial order in order to deliver a fast turnaround. This meant that we had no problem getting the product in bulk to the customer within the few weeks before the project was due to commence.
Excellent Industry Contacts & Knowledge
With the resin approved and delivered, there was literally a countdown period of two weeks to the big launch date, and the customer still had the issue of how to process the resin in production volumes. They came back to me for advice on how to achieve this within this short time frame. Definitely not a simple task by anyone’s standards! But we are the Solutions People……..
Electrolube has many years of experience in the automotive industry, we have built up a great number of industry contacts which proved invaluable on this occasion as they have in other projects. In just under two weeks I was able to arrange for a mix and dispense machine manufacturer to loan a spare machine to the customer as a short term solution. This allowed the customer to proceed whilst their actual mix and dispensing machine was being manufactured.
Support from initial enquiry through to final implementation.
The next step of the project was to ensure that the customer could be up and running in a very short time frame. The process engineers had very little time in which to accustom themselves to this new machine. So, on the day of the machine set up, I made sure I was present on site alongside the machine company in order to offer advice on the set up and processing of our material, and the initial batch run was carried out that same afternoon without a hitch.
So to re-cap, in a little over two months from first contact, not only did we offer a suitable resin for their application but we followed the process through to implementation and production; this is exactly the sort of project that defines Electrolube as a market leader and sets us apart from the competition.
After all, anyone can sell a resin, but selling a complete solution is far more difficult.