Sunday, November 21, 2010

Going To Pieces Is Not Always A Bad Thing

Many people are surprised to learn that most types of adhesive tape can be pre-cut into pieces of almost any shape. This pre-cutting can save lots of time during the assembly of a wide range of products. And you know what they say "Time is money". Now I don't know who "they" are that first said this but it is the truth. Very often labor is a major component of the cost of a finished item. And what is labor? It is TIME.

In addition to saving time (which is money) you are increasing consistency of the finished product by eliminating sloppy cutting. This also saves money by eliminating product waste and preventing defective products that would require more time (and money) to fix or replace.

The key to using pre-cut pieces is to have a large enough requirement for them. Depending on the size and type of material the minimum order could be just a few hundred pieces. But the truth is thatthe minimum is usually 1000. A good rule of thumb is thatthe smaller the piece the larger the minimum order. Why is there a minimum order? To make pre-cut pieces requires labor on our part. You need to buy enough to pay for the labor. The more you buy the easier it is to amortize the cost of the production run. In addition there may be tooling charges that have to be absorbed as well.

The easiest way to find out if it's worth it to have the pieces made is to ask. If you never had pieces made before we can suggest the right tape and give you a price per 1000 pieces. If a die needs to be made we will quote that as well. If you haven't used the tape before we will send you samples to make sure it does what you want.

Pieces can be made on rolls or sheets or as loose individual pieces. If you are making a kit that requires the end user to apply the tape pieces you should get the pieces on sheets with the right amount per sheet or as loose pieces that can be put in the kit. By making the end user apply the tape pieces you are saving labor (and money).

Sometimes you are using the tape pieces to assemble the product yourself. In this case getting the pieces on sheets or rolls is the way to go. Notice how sheets work with both situations. The pieces are much easier to handle this way and it makes production go that much faster.

So remember; The next time you need to apply lots of tape think pre-cut pieces.

Yours in all things sticky,

Dr. Tape

"Duct tape is like the force. It has a dark side and a light side and it holds the universe together."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sometimes It's Not That Sticky

When most people buy adhesive tape they want it to be as sticky and permanent as possible. Over the years adhesive development focused on this. Many types of adhesive systems were developed that allowed for very high performance bonding on a wide range of surfaces.

But sometimes the tape is only needed temporarily and then it needs to be removed without leaving a residue. These tapes are made from a variety of materials and have many different uses. By knowing what's out there you can find the one that's right for you.

Lettering Application Tape (Sign maker's Tape) -- This is a low tack paper or polyethylene tape that is used to transfer pre-cut vinyl graphics from the roll to the sign or vehicle while keeping them in register. Certain vinyls may have special requirements for peak performance.

Surface Protection Tapes -- These tapes help keeps finished metal, wood or plastic from getting dirty or scratched during processing and handling. Lettering application tape also makes a good general purpose surface protection tape for most flat or simple curved surfaces. They can be left on for extended periods but they won't do well at high temperatures or in direct sunlight.

PVC based films are much softer which means they conform to complex shapes much more easily than paper or polyethylene. In addition they can withstand being stamped or bent. This means they can be placed on flat polished metal that needs further processing. The PVC film protects the finish from damage during forming. Many PVC films have UV inhibitors in them that allows them to stay outdoors for up to a full year. This makes them an excellent choice for protecting window and door frames during construction.

Polyester based films are very stiff compared to PVC, polyethylene and even paper protection tapes. This means they don't conform to sharp or compound curves very well. Yet they are extremely durable and are the most effective at preventing scratching or other surface damage during manufacturing and shipping. If you ever see a picture of an airliner during construction it may be covered with a green plastic. That is a polyester surface protection tape. These tapes are also more expensive than most other surface protection tapes.

Carpet Protection Tape -- This is a very low tack polyethylene tape that is used for keeping carpets clean during construction or installation. It is an inexpensive way to prevent clean carpets from expensive damage.

The best way to determine which one you need is to give us a call and let us help you figure it out. That's why TAPE-RITE is here, to make sure you get the right tape for your job.

Veni, Vidi, Ductii -- I came, I saw, I used Duct Tape

Julius Caesar