Shop Spotlight: Seal Methods Inc.
Seal Methods Inc., (SMI) specializes in precision gaskets, seals, tapes and precision die cuts fabricated at one of its three manufacturing locations in California and in China. The 43-year-old manufacturing firm (SMI) operates 300,000-square-feet of manufacturing space to ISO and TS 16949 quality specifications.
"SMI's customers and suppliers are valued partners whom we treat with dignity, integrity and trust. Our association with the finest raw material manufacturers throughout the world enables us to provide the widest possible selection of materials to meet your needs," SMI writes on its website.
SMI is headquartered in Santa Fe Springs, CA., with an additional facility in Hayward, CA., and a third in Nanjing, China. It provides parts for a wide range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, electric vehicles, energy, construction, electronics, medical, high performance aftermarket, industrial, and trucking and transportation, among others.
SMI's processes include custom die cutting, slitting, sheeting and laminating. Its slitting capacity includes rotary, rewind, score, and simple knife log slitting to optimize processes for multiple degrees of precision, the website said. Examples of parts made through this process include sealing, vibration damping, insulation and gaskets, among others.
In addition, SMI's processes include CNC cutting, including waterjet, knife and laser. SMI describes its CNC cutting expertise as, "some of the most versatile and high capacity cutting methods in the industry," and, "CNC cutting is ideal for lower production volume or prototype applications as well as for projects which require expedited lead times." Parts created by CNC cutting include electrical insulation, gaskets, rubber goods, washers, and rubber parts, among others.
Other SMI processes include molding, extruding, quick-turn prototyping, design for manufacturability and in-house tooling. These processes include injection molding, compression molding and extruding of rubber, elastomers and plastics. Some examples of products made with these methods include electrical insulation, EMI/RFI shielding, gaskets, insulation, rubber goods, washers, and specialty shapes and profiles.
A key process of SMI is its specialty as a converting company. SMI buys and then combines raw materials to create new products using processes including printing presses, rotary converters, laminating, coating and slitting devices. These machines take adhesives, silicone, tapes, foams, plastics, felts, rubbers, and liners sold in sheets or rolled up and SMI combines them into parts. These parts are used for numerous purposes including energy storage, Li-Ion battery casing, fire blocking, heavy-duty bonding, medical skin attachment, thermal management, EMI/RFI conducting and shielding, vibration damping, insulation, isolation, pressure-sensitive adhesives, and surface protection, among others.
SMI's commitment to quality manufacturing dates back to the original ISO certification, ISO 9001 as first published in 1987. SMI upgraded and improved its certification by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) and the technical committee of the ISO in 1999 as ISO TS 16949: 1999. SMI describes its commitment to quality and its quality assurance guarantee as, "Commitment to excellence in dependability and quality for all products and services. Strict condition standards for every single stage of the fabrication process. Top-caliber laboratories for thorough testing to align with international standards, and quality stations at various locations to ensure the quality standards are adhered to."
The international quality certifications are designed to, "Demonstrate its (SMI's) ability to consistently provide products and services that meet the needs and requirements of customer and applicable statutes and regulations. Enhance customer satisfaction by improving the system and assuring conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements," the website said.
In addition to making parts, SMI also labels, kits and packages parts for customers to lower costs and improve the customer's supply chain.
"SMI can streamline this process and provide finished kits or retail ready parts to our customers. We can also kit or package parts made in-house with externally sourced or customer supplied components as needed for maximum convenience," the website said. "In addition to secondary manufacturing operations and inventory management, we offer technical support for customers who are developing new parts or seeking to improve existing components. Technical support includes optimization for manufacturing, tooling design, and prototyping of pre-production parts."
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