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What makes an excellent O-ring supplier?

#1 The role of the specialist trade in the sealing world


O-rings are part of a complex system with many influencing factors. Only if the sealing element itself and the installation situation are optimally matched to the operational loads can the concept meet the requirements in the long term.

It is not only the manufacture, design and professional installation of the seals that play an important role. Retailers also play an important role as intermediaries between manufacturers and end customers

Specialized dealers actively shape the technical and economic performance of sealing systems. You deliver consistently reliable quality and support customers with your technical expertise. In this article, you will learn more about the role of retailers and how they can support their customers even more in the future.

#2 The challenges of being an O-ring supplier

Customers’ expectations of their O-ring dealer can be summed up quite easily: He delivers

  • The right O-ring
  • In the required quality
  • In the required quantity
  • In the agreed period
  • At the lowest possible price
  • With professional advice

Naturally, the practical fulfillment of these requirements is much more complicated for the gasket supplier.

#3 The O-ring supplier as a service partner

Uncompromising delivery reliability, high availability and confidence-building complaints management are among the standards in retail. But although they may seem inconspicuous at first glance, O-rings are products that require explanation. This starts with the numerous fields of application for O-rings and seals.

Here is a selection:

  • Machine and vehicle construction
  • Electrical engineering
  • Refrigeration and air conditioning technology
  • Plumbing and heating
  • Biomedicine and pharmacy
  • Food
  • Semiconductor production

For each of these areas, there are special solutions whose properties are tailored to the conditions of use. O-rings and their installation situation must interact optimally under the application conditions.

In many cases, this requires certifications that prove a certain material behavior. Only certain materials can withstand aggressive environmental media. These in turn place special demands on the design of the installation groove.

This makes it clear that if a gasket supplier wants to position itself in such a way that it can cover the needs of its diverse customers, it has to do a lot. Just being a good businessman is hardly enough. With a great deal of in-house expertise in elastomer technology, he provides his customers with comprehensive advice on the design of new seals.

If the dealer’s application experts can be involved during the design phase, they can help to optimize the design of the entire sealing system.

This pays off, because it is an effective way of avoiding costs. In the opposite case, where customers are looking for a suitable seal for an existing sealing point, often only particularly high-quality and therefore cost-intensive materials will achieve the desired result. Nevertheless, the experts can help with their knowledge of damage analysis.

They can recommend the most suitable sealing elements and coordinated measures for installation and maintenance. The technical exchange between dealers on the one hand and design and maintenance departments on the other is irreplaceable.

#4 Manufacturer network: the basis for success

The specialist retailer brings the seal to the customer. To this end, he works together with several O-ring manufacturers. This is because hardly any producer can cover the entire range of gasket applications with first-class products. Maintaining its partner network is therefore an important task for a company in the technical trade.

With the numerous supplier relationships and products, the focus must not be lost on quality.

As a customer, you rightly rely on receiving only high-quality O-rings and seals from your supplier. Accordingly, it is also up to the supplier to monitor the functional properties of the products with effective quality assurance measures.

After all, it is the supplier’s application experts who recommend specific materials and dimensions to customers for their sealing tasks. Without the certainty that the products comply with the specified properties, this cannot be crowned with sustainable success.

Pinnwand mit einer vernetzten Struktur

#4.1 Competition on the O-RIng MARKET

The competitive situation on the global procurement market and the need to open up new sales channels are not specific to the specialist gasket trade.

However, individual approaches are also required here. After all, those who respond better to growing customer requirements create advantages for themselves and their partners.

#4.2 Service: The all-round carefree package

For the technical trade in seals, this means that the service function of the dealer retains its importance. The gasket supplier bundles the products of many manufacturers and thus makes a preselection.

Quality must be actively assured, as the purchase of O-rings is a matter of trust. From production and storage to correct delivery, error-proof processes are required. Individual customer requirements are crucial, especially when it comes to final treatment and shipping.

With the necessary flexibility in surface finishing and packaging, the retailer adapts its products to customer requirements. This enables the supply of individually coated sealing elements.

For example, color markings and surface coatings facilitate manual assembly or the automated feeding of O-rings. The retailer also supports efficient warehousing at the customer with a customized packaging design.

Foil bags with content quantity and labeling according to customer specifications are often the best protection against ageing for O-rings and effectively prevent mix-ups.

With an increasingly flexible service, the retailer creates considerable added value. This sets it apart from the global competition. This is because customers are increasingly relying on competent and comprehensive support, especially when it comes to a complex task such as finding the right O-ring.

#4.3 Quotation system: Serving the customer's needs optimally

It is also crucial to find the best possible match between customer needs and the product range on offer. This demands a great deal of organizational talent from the supplier, especially when it comes to seals. As these are products from highly specialized suppliers, the retailer must actively shape its supplier network.

This is an ongoing task, as industry specialists are constantly presenting interesting products that retailers can use to help their customers solve their problems.

#4.4 Dynamic development of the sealing world

Innovation does not have to be limited to the establishment of new sealing solutions. The market launch of new materials or entire sealing systems together with a manufacturer offers many design options.

The retailer is responsible for bundling the requirements that customers bring to him. On this basis, he helps the new product to achieve successful pilot applications.

But innovative processes also make a specialist gasket dealer the preferred partner. Those who fully exploit the potential of digital process chains offer their customers real-time information on the processing status of their orders.

It allows you to change orders at any time and offers intelligent support in selecting the right products. Appropriate automation solutions, for example for image recognition, make this possible. For example, the profile of a molded gasket can be scanned to check availability online in the next step.

#5 NH O-RING: THE O-RING supplier

A comprehensive range of O-rings made from a wide variety of materials: This and our comprehensive service concept make NH O-RING the partner of choice for customers from a wide range of industries.

With our Ecolast® brand, for example, we have launched a high-quality FFKM material for O-rings and molded seals. In this way, we are creating an attractive alternative to materials from global manufacturers. Our experts attach particular importance to sharing their knowledge with you.

We support the development process with uncomplicated sample deliveries. Once the technical details have been finalized, you will receive a quote from us within a very short time.

For us, this includes reliably specifying the delivery date.
We make collaboration as efficient as possible with other sophisticated services. We mark the components according to your wishes and deliver the exact batch sizes required.

We optimally coordinate time-critical deliveries and routine orders in order to relieve your incoming goods department. Our concept works, as our complaint rate of less than 0.1 percent shows.

“I am convinced that we should share our knowledge with the world. I hope I have been able to answer all your questions. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at any time. We will be happy to help you.”

Picture of Luke Williams
Luke Williams

Lord of the O-rings
Author of the sealing academy

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