Custom colored, precision molded polymer or rubber components are more important than ever — and Rahco Rubber’s customers believe color makes a significant difference in their branding and success of their products.
Rahco manufactures custom-engineered, high-precision rubber parts, components and seals for the nation’s most sophisticated OEMs and their suppliers, catering to many who are developing new product and those facing performance challenges or material concerns.
In addition to developing parts that align with exacting specifications, among a range of value-added capabilities, custom color matching is heavily considered in each stage from conception to commercialization. Here are three core benefits of colored rubber that suppliers commonly recognize when customizing compounds.
Distinguishing Parts and Supporting Assembly
Molded rubber parts are often considered small, but in fact they are critically important components on a complete assembly. In fact, many parts manufactured by Rahco are smaller than a dime (and many just the opposite, like gaskets that measure several feet in diameter), but serve as critical sealing solutions or support vibration reduction.
When assembling products, the risk of failure is significant if any rubber components are omitted from the assembly process. So, different colored rubber can help ensure the part is included and in place. This also helps distinguish different parts that look very similar or those that appear as one component — during assembly, inspection and maintenance. For example, a green O-ring is visibly different from its black plastic housing.
Reinforcing Brand Identity
There is no reason a rubber part shouldn’t contribute to a brand’s identity. Power sports and utility vehicles — such as iconic green tractors — should feature appropriately colored external parts, like bushings that protect gear shifters.
Rahco designs and engineers many parts that adhere to specific, branded color schemes that match company logos or themes of product lines. When seeing these parts on the final product, the user knows exactly where they came from.
Supporting Safety Practices
From aesthetics to function, there are many benefits to color mixing rubber. Safety is without question.
Electronics are great examples that make the safety case for colored rubber, such as indicating which electrical connectors match and the ability to withstand voltage or harsh environmental demands.
Using separate colors is also effective in distinguishing different polymer formulation used to make the same components that have varying material specification, such as identical parts made from Natural Rubber opposed to a version that uses elements that may be harmful or contaminating. Manufacturers of food service equipment, agricultural tools or medical devices, for example, may want to color a part with red, blue and yellow versions to prevent mistakenly installing one in select products.
Colored Rubber from a Best-in-Class Supplier
Selecting the best color for a custom molded part can be simple, but the formulation of the material and color matching isn’t. Molding colored rubber parts requires very clean facilities. It’s the only way to yield brilliant colors and pure white compounds.
At Rahco, our quality system is aggressively structured to not only ensure a clean and orderly facility —to avoid contaminants — but that all required materials, tools and processes are designed to support our goal of superior quality and manufacturing efficiency. World-class suppliers of any precision parts must put forth relentless effort for quality control and impose stringent internal audits year-round.
When developing new products or enhancing existing parts, a critical starting point lies in the right recipe or “rubber formula.” Therefore, it’s important to involve a chemist in establishing mixing processes that will yield very consistent batch-to-batch reliability.
While many companies don’t have such resources available, Rahco keeps chemists, material-science experts and engineers on-staff to ensure materials are capable of molding zero defects and processing efficiently. Advanced molding capabilities are also vital to developing components with exacting specification and color matching.
Rahco uses traditional manufacturing methods such as compression and transfer, as well as the latest computer-controlled injection processes to guarantee the best design — and in production, it can create a color match from a Pantone, RAL number, or simply a sample part, and guarantees that the color will be the same each time.
Simply put, Rahco Rubber can formulate and engineer a robust system that best suits your application while keeping economics in mind. Whether the quantities are small or large, we are here to service your needs — in any color.