Manufacturers of extruded products face many challenges in today’s competitive and high-tech world. Customers and end users have significantly increased their expectations and demands for quality response, value added capabilities and service. The performance requirements of the products continue to expand while costs must continually be reduced.
As a vertically integrated organization, Lauren Manufacturing controls every step of the manufacturing process, including; Raw Material Development & Mixing, Product Design & Sampling, Process Optimization and Final Packaging & Delivery. Obtaining process control enables Lauren to stay competitive while providing the highest level of quality through consistency and precision, eliminating variation in material and profile design.
Recently, Lauren was presented the opportunity to redesign a dishwasher door seal for a high-end consumer in the appliance industry. With over 45 years of experience, Lauren engineers recognized this project would involve profile redesign, innovative processing and material expertise for the best solution and continual success.
Due to the seals environmental exposure, the compound was required to be UL 157 certifiable, pass a demanding hot water resistance test and meet stringent compression load deflection (CLD) requirements. Utilizing material development capabilities and in-house testing, Lauren was able to formulate the material with ease. In-house die shop and FEA capabilities allowed engineers the flexibility to trouble shoot design performance and dimension issues instantaneously.
Lauren’s process engineers constantly work on building innovative solutions through electronics and control technologies. Various new and/or improved systems were built to sustain quality and repeatability for this appliance project. Since the parts CLD performance was so crucial, Lauren’s process engineers developed equipment to perform periodic CLD checks in real-time, throughout an entire production run. Lauren’s ability to develop unique processes for individual opportunities demonstrates Lauren’s flexibility and the remarkable level of commitment toward quality assurance and service.
Additional engineered processes included: a technologically advanced light array, laser system, Servo Guillotine cutter, ink marker and touch screen technology. A light array system was added to the production line to alleviate stress typically put on the part before the cutting process. Reducing stress on the part allows for a precise cut tolerance. Lasers are currently operated throughout the facility and were utilized during the production of this profile. The lasers control the line speed at the exact time of cut; then validate cut lengths are to specification. New Servo Guillotine cutters permit the lasers “stop and go” technology. Good for multiple processes, an ink mark was also designed to indicate critical points on the finished part for internal operators and end user precision. Preprogrammed touchscreen technology has been implemented throughout Lauren’s facility for improved and continual accuracy and repeatability.