US-based Saint-Gobain Seals says that it has established the production of Rulon 123 stamped fluoropolymer parts at its Bangalore, India, facility in order to supply local parts to a global industrial customer for use in gasoline metering pumps. The business decided on moving ahead with local manufacturing due to the customer’s increase in volume and need to maintain efficient JIT (just in time) purchasing process. The machines needed for stamping and packing the parts were built in India and personnel underwent extensive training to operate the production line. To ensure that manufacturing objectives were achieved, the customer conducted an audit of the line and approved it for local supplies prior to official production of the stamped parts.
“This localisation activity is an excellent example of our market-oriented approach. The Rulon stamped part is critical and the heart of the customer’s final assembly. Any field failure as a result of the part has serious repercussions on us and our customer. Since our imported parts were running without issues for more than a decade, the challenge in localisation was to ensure the parts matched the quality and performance of the imported parts. For the part to perform optimally, every step in production including packing is critical,” said Prasad K.R, Saint-Gobain Seals – Industrial Market Manager.
Although the Bangalore facility was initially set up to meet the needs of a sole customer now, Saint-Gobain Seals will work with other global customers to meet their needs for Rulon stamped parts and other Rulon solutions.
The company says due to the product’s versatility and benefits of low wear and friction, FDA compliance, and chemical resistance, it is able to support:
– Aerospace and defence – Rulon AR and W2 PTFE bonded bearings for jet engine thrust reverser and missile launch systems
– Transportation and automotive – Rulon J sliding elements for bogie of 7000 Series trains in Washington DC and cup seals for valve emission controls
– Consumer – Rulon J glide rings for bicycle rear shock absorbers
– Industrial – Rulon 123 piston cup seals for gasoline metering pumps
– Life Sciences – Rulon 641 components for harmonic scalpel surgical tooling
– Oil and gas – Rulon slide bearings for pipeline valves
– Habitat – Rulon sliding tape elements for seismic base isolation systems
Local manufacturing operations have not only benefited the Bangalore site but also the Bristol site in Rhode Island, where Meldin thermoplastic materials are being produced for the US automotive market in the form of core transmission systems such as seal rings, thrust washers, pushrods and bearings; steering systems such as ball joints and guide bearings; and brake system structural parts.