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Innovative Surface Protection Solutions for Automotive Manufacturers

Posted by Sue Chambers Mar 28, 2016 11:03:05 PM

Automotive manufacturers are losing thousands of dollars a month in rework costs.

From the time vehicles are manufactured to when they hit the showroom floor, vehicles are exposed to many hazards that can scratch, dent and ding their finished surfaces. Dust, dirt, debris, and UV rays can all harm surfaces forcing manufacturers to foot the bill for rework costs to restore that showroom floor shine.

Automotive manufacturers have relied on Surface Protection Films to ensure their vehicles remain in pristine condition during manufacture and transport to dealerships. But working with surface protection films isn’t always as simple as it seems.

Automotive manufacturers are always working to stretch their budget to get the most for their money. That can lead to buying large rolls of adhesive films in widths and lengths that are not convenient for their assembly process.

That’s where converters really make a difference. We not only help to figure out the best materials for your specific application challenge, we source the materials from manufacturers leveraging the partnerships we have in place. We then add value to the products by converting them to custom lengths, widths, sizes, shapes and formats. That last piece is key. Adhesive manufacturers rarely supply materials in the exact sizes that automotive manufacturers require.

Here are a few ways that Strouse has designed and manufactured innovative surface protection solutions that are helping automotive companies save thousands of dollars a month in rework costs:

Surface Protection Films Cut to Unique Dimensions

Some manufacturers try to do the converting themselves. They work with a roll of protective film too wide or too thin and end up trying to cut materials by hand with a knife or scissors. The process slows production and trying to achieve accuracy is too tedious to reproduce.

Strouse die cuts protective films to custom shapes and sizes so that you have the parts you need to protect your products with even and consistent coverage.

Surface Protection Films Cut and Wound on a Roll or as Individual Pieces

Designing the perfect die cuts to protect multiple surfaces on your product is important, but it’s crucial not to overlook how the die cut parts will be applied. Will you be using a machine to place the parts or will an assembly team be doing this by hand?

Strouse can provide die cut parts on a roll, on a sheet of liner, or as individual pieces with a backing to protect the adhesive.

Tabs

Application and removal of adhesive can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Strouse can design tabs into custom parts so that assemblers have areas to hold and place parts during assembly without leaving edges wrinkled or disturbed. Tabs also make removal easy so that you do not have to pick at the adhesive and risk scratching the surface.

Kits

Kits help assemblers ensure that they’ve placed all the necessary parts in a sequence before moving onto the next task. When assemblers have multiple areas to protect in such a repetitive process it can be easy to overlook things and leave a critical area unprotected. Multiple kitted parts can be placed on a single sheet of liner, wound on a roll, or supplied as individual pieces.

Sequenced Parts Placed on a Roll

This unique format is great for assemblers that need to mask multiple areas on a product or vehicle before moving to the next product. Different size/shape parts can be cut and placed on a liner in a custom sequence that makes assembly easy for you team.

For example, if your team’s process for applying protective masking goes from the right tail light to the spoiler to the left tail light and so on, the masking die cuts for these different areas can all be supplied on the same roll so that the assembler can move from one area of the vehicle to the next without having to find the right die cut part.

Color Coding

In automotive manufacturing, there are often vehicle parts of the same model but varying sizes appearing on the assembly line. Strouse has color coded masking die cuts to make it easier for assemblers to recognize which die cut part is needed for specific sizes.

Color coding is one of the many ways Strouse has helped Ford protect millions of wheels so they still have the brand new shine by the time they reach the showroom floor.

These are only a few examples of how Strouse helps automotive manufacturers streamline their assembly process with innovative adhesive solutions. Ask our engineers how they can help you design a surface protection solution for your automotive assembly process that can reduce your return dollars and boost production rates.

Sue Chambers

Written by Sue Chambers

President and CEO of Strouse