Year in Review: Top Blogs From Our Two Years of Blogging

Sealed-In is now celebrating its two year blog-iversary! Our viewership continues to grow, and we hope that you have enjoyed the content we have produced (and learned something too!).

As is now our annual tradition, we decided to do a recap of our most popular blogs over the last two years. See below for our top 5 list of Sealed-In blogs.

 

The Top 5

Is There A Difference Between Gaskets & Seals?

3 Things You Need to Consider When Deciding on EGR Gasket Material

The Great Gasket Debate: To Reuse or Not To Reuse

What is Creep Relaxation, and Why Do I Care?

Why Would I Use Composite Gaskets When I Can Use MLS?

 

Thank You!

As always, thank you for your readership. We hope that we are becoming one of the first places that you go for information related to gaskets and gasket materials. If there is ever a topic that you’d like us to cover, please let us know – just drop us a comment in one of the blogs.

On to year 3!

Year in Review: Top Blogs From Our Two Years of Blogging

Year in Review: Top Gasket & Gasket Material Blogs From Our First Year

On October 27, 2015, Sealed-In launched its first blog. One year later, we are still going strong, and are very excited about our progress and our viewership. There aren’t too many places that you can find general gasket information, and we are happy to be a resource for you.

In celebration of our first blog-iversary, we thought we’d do a recap of our most popular blogs over the last 365 days. We hope you enjoy reading (or re-reading) them!

 

The Top 5

3 Things You Need to Consider When Deciding on EGR Gasket Material

The Great Gasket Debate: To Reuse or Not To Reuse

“What is Your Lead Time?” 4 Ways to Get a Better Answer From Your Supplier.

Is There A Difference Between Gaskets & Seals?

The Most Commonly Used Gasket Materials and Why You Need Them All

 

Thank You!

Whether you have been following us since the beginning or you are a new follower, we thank you for taking the time to stop by and read a few posts. We hope that you have been able to get your questions answered, or have read something that gave you reason to think. We are always looking for inspiration for future blogs, so if you have anything that you’d like us to explore, please let us know!

Here’s to Year 2!

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Is There A Difference Between Gaskets & Seals?

Today we’re going to talk about gaskets and seals. These terms are generally used interchangeably. After all, gaskets seal a joint…so they’re the same, aren’t they?

We want to get your thoughts on the matter. We invite you to take a break from reading and answer the poll below. Don’t worry the results are anonymous…and try to avoid the temptation to scan the rest of the article before answering!

Is there a difference between gaskets and seals?

Thanks for taking the time to vote in our poll. Read on for the facts about gaskets and seals.

 

Gaskets vs. Seals

The terms “gaskets” and “seals” are often used interchangeably. The fundamental difference is that a gasket is a physical piece that goes between two flanges to create a seal at a joining point between two components. A gasket is a seal. “Seals” is a category that encompasses many types of seals. In addition to gaskets, there are rotary seals, O-ring seals, liquid sealants, mechanical seals, shaft seals, valve stem seals, and packings, just to name a few.

Generally, seals require more machining for the sealing surfaces, and a controlled size or quantity of seal material to make it up. They are typically “engineered” as a solution and designed up front.

“Seals” are also terms noted for non-gasket applications, such as rotary shaft seals. These are a dynamic joint and not something that a flat flange gasket is able to seal.

Gaskets generally function with two flat flanges and the gasket material and construction can sometimes be chosen later in the design stages. Various material constructions are available and must be selected to correlate with the available flanges and parameters.

 

Now You Know

This has been a very general explanation of this topic, but hopefully it has provided some insight into a basic definition of sealing mechanisms. Back to the trivia question…we admit, it was sort of a trick question. A gasket is a seal, but a seal isn’t necessarily a gasket.

Now it is time to stump your friends. Just make sure they at least know what a gasket is before you pose the question!

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“What is Your Lead Time?” 4 Ways to Get a Better Answer From Your Supplier.

“What is your gasket material lead time?”

This is the question that everyone asks. In a world centered around instant gratification, any wait is too long. In reality, especially in a manufacturing environment, lead times are a way of life.

Most manufacturing companies do try to have some of the more popular items in stock at all times. Customer satisfaction is the number one priority, but not far behind is the need to keep the business solvent (and in our case, that can’t be done by stocking every single gasket material that we have ever sold).

Reducing lead times is always a major goal. Anything that can be done to increase the speed of the ordering cycle benefits all who are involved. Maintaining strong relationships with suppliers and predicting the needs of customers and future customers as best as possible is key in this process. However, communication throughout the entire supply chain is what is ultimately going to make or break the ordering process.

Get the Answer You Want

1. Communication

Without a doubt, constant communication with your supplier is a must – especially if the item you order is not a stocked item. The more you talk with us about your upcoming needs, the more we are able to plan for a successful delivery when you need it. If you can find a supplier with a very high OTD% (on time delivery), that is going to help you build trust in the ability of your supplier to meet delivery commitments. We understand that sometimes there is a fire to put out, and we will bend over backwards for you to help when this is the case. However, if every order is a fire….see #2.

2. Planning

There is a rather blunt saying out there “Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on our part.” We don’t know of anyone that actually subscribes to this theory, but there is a little bit of truth in it. If you are constantly flying by the seat of your pants in your planning and ordering, it makes it very difficult as a supplier to continually meet your needs AND still meet the needs of our customers that are already waiting for their orders. A little bit of planning goes a long way. If you are always in this situation because your customer does the same to you, talk with your supplier. We have helped many of our customers figure out some sort of purchasing pattern to try to alleviate this issue.

3. Be Realistic

Lead times don’t generally change. If the product you order is always a 10 week lead time, there is a 99.9% chance that it is going to be a 10 week lead time the next time you order. Lead times are not arbitrarily set, and there is a very good reason why it is the way it is (in our case, receipt of some raw materials takes a while). If a 10 week lead is the norm for your material, please don’t always call your supplier with a delivery date of 8 weeks out. You need to be cognizant of the calendar and place your order with realistic expectations. If you continue to find yourself in this position, talk to your supplier. Most suppliers will take a look at purchasing patterns with you and figure out the best way to match your need dates with the lead times.

4. Be Flexible

In the spirit of customer satisfaction, sometimes if you are in a pinch and need something ASAP your supplier is able to immediately meet your needs. Sometimes, they may be able to get you partway there with a partial shipment of what is in stock, or can build a partial order with the raw materials that happen to be on hand. In even rarer circumstances, there may even be a substitute product that you can take in a pinch. Regardless, if proper planning couldn’t happen, anything your supplier can do for you will usually put you in a better situation than if they did nothing. Taking an “all or none” approach in these situations doesn’t get you on the way to meeting the needs of your customer, which is everyone’s #1 goal.

The Next Order

Most problems in our lives can be solved with communication. A customer/supplier relationship is no different. The more you can communicate with your supplier on your needs, plan the best you can, and work with your supplier to figure out the best way to handle the situations where you can’t plan, you will hopefully never be out of material when you need it most.

In those instances where planning isn’t an option, remember to be flexible – a good supplier will do whatever they can to ensure your order is delivered as timely as possible. If they are willing to get a bit creative to try to help you achieve your goals, jump on the bus – you might like where it goes!

What else would you add to this list?

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