For over 20 years, Apple Rubber has participated in the MD&M West trade show at Anaheim California Convention Center. This show typically runs in early February. Due to the pandemic, the show has been held on different dates for the past two years, and attendance has been lower than usual. Not this year. It was a full house for the show which ran from February 7th to 9th. The Expo was packed with exhibitors, and the attendance was even better than pre-pandemic shows.
It was a packed three days of talking with new and current customers about new designs. We usually have one project engineer and salesperson working the show booth at this show who often receive many engineering-based questions. Apple Rubber has dedicated engineers who provide our customers with exceptional engineering knowledge, from groove design to selecting the correct rubber for their project. If you don’t see us at the shows, we have an online form that will get you in touch with a project engineer to help with your design. We call this Engineering Action Request or EAR, which can be found on our website.
MD&M West is also an excellent place to talk with many raw material suppliers. Apple Rubber does not supply raw materials directly to customers, we only provide fully cured rubber articles. We recommend contacting a silicone supplier if you are looking for a specific silicone for your application. Covid has caused many challenges in supply chains. Silicone supplies have greatly improved over the past two years, but there are still a lot of challenges. Most silicone suppliers are seeing production cuts due to labor shortages. This has caused some products to be put on allocation and increased lead times, especially with specialty and implant grade silicones. Apple Rubber tries to maintain a large inventory of standard medical grades. With our expansion three years ago, we added more extensive cold storage to increase our raw materials inventory. Our expansion has proved to be an excellent addition during the Covid years.
We typically get questions on o-ring availability. We stock a large inventory of produced O-rings. We have a size search on our website’s o-ring Size Search. This gets updated with our current inventory. It will show you if we have a specific size and material in stock.
We also get questions about our prototyping capabilities. We can produce small cavity tooling in-house. Typically, low volume is based on a setup charge versus a part price since it costs more to set up and run the tool than if we were to charge by the piece price. We could run from one to a hundred depending on the setup charge.
Our vendors have tested the medical-grade silicone we purchase. They typically test using USP Class VI protocols and some ISO 10993 testing. We also have some grades that we have done our testing on that are also tested to these protocols. It is not typical that a vendor will provide actual test data for these tests, but it will certify that the testing was done and passed. It is always the responsibility of the end user to ensure compliance.
Interested in hearing more?
Check us out on Twitter for updates from Apple Rubber.