If there is one universally accepted truism (and there aren’t many), it’s that you get what you pay for. And in few places is this truer than in manufacturing where a cheaply made part can lead to expensive repairs and sometimes irreparable damage to your reputation. There is a delicate balance between cost effectiveness and frugalness; one optimizes profitability, the other prioritizes those profits over quality.
Whenever a manufacturer needs to create a seal between two parts to create a barrier against fluids, electrostatic discharge, electromagnetic interference, dust, and dirt, they turn to gaskets. This solution fills the space between two or more mating surfaces, allowing for “less-than-perfect” mating surfaces on parts and fill irregularities.
There is no shortage of the types of gaskets on the market, but there is also a litany of available materials and a wide range of prices. And while a purchasing manager can be tempted to go with the cheapest option available—which is certainly a reasonable knee-jerk reaction: no one likes unnecessary expenses—what we find is that, in fact, cutting costs when purchasing the gaskets leads to greater expense later down the line. Here’s why:
We all know that different materials have different lifespans depending on how they’re used, conditions they’re subjected to, and their build quality. Nothing can last forever, which, of course, includes gaskets. Over time, gaskets of any material will eventually degrade to the point they will no longer be suited for use and they cannot perform the job they were designed to do.
Gaskets come in all shapes and sizes, but the material they’re made from is a crucial for their performance and your bottom line.
So, what can you do? It all comes back to the truism we opened this article with: you get what you pay for. While gaskets made from a cheap material have upfront appeal because of their price, if you could imagine gaskets that are made of a more premium material may cost more, but if it lasts longer, then you can enjoy the return on investment. Let’s imagine two gaskets: one that costs $1.55/unit and the other going for $2.00/unit, which lasts 30% longer than the cheaper option. In this hypothetical, sure the second one will be more expensive up front, but superior materials will, over time, prove to be the more cost-effective option; not only will the gasket need to be changed less often, but it will also save the time associated with changing the gasket and help keep your equipment operating longer with less downtime.
When it comes to your gaskets, it is important to remember they are not invincible and that you will need to consistently replace them. We just want to help you make sure your company is profitable without sacrificing quality. If you need help purchasing your gaskets or any other nonmetallic solutions, the Breiner team is equipped and ready to work with you!