DP Seals and Ridgemount Technologies build great connections.

DP Seals, the Poole based manufacturer of custom rubber, seals, gaskets and mouldings has completed development of an intricate seal for Ridgemount Technologies.

Ridgemount is a leading European designer, developer and manufacturer of specialised fibre optic connector interfaces.
The seal, which has a unique cross sectional profile, is for a new connector which will be used in military, industrial and hazardous environments, in particular, immersion and exposure to weather extremes. In all cases maintaining optical continuity for communication, data or sensing is essential. Product failure is not an option!

Rubber over-moulding

Drawing on DP Seals expertise and experience of customising solutions for harsh environments one aspect of the project required rubber over-moulding onto a tubular anodised aluminium substrate ensuring compliance to stringent MIL specifications.

The other challenging aspect of the project was the face seal. This seal is a vital component as it not only locates and seals the precision optical insert within the shell of the host connector but also performs a critical dynamic function at the optical mating face. To do this it displaces into a pre-determined diametric cavity, so as not to impair the functionality and optical performance of the mating optical inserts, whilst also maintaining the sealing of the host connector.

Mark Limbert, Technical Director at Ridgemount, is delighted with the end result. He commented that ‘Through the product development process DP Seals has played a vital role in delivering technical excellence and a first class product in a timely manner. Such service levels and confidence makes managing New Product Introduction relatively stress free!

Ridgemount with cut-away

 

DP Seals Managing Director, Andrew Piper is equally pleased outlining how “This product is another example of DP Seals responding quickly to the challenging problems and high specification requirements of customers who need custom rubber mouldings for harsh environments.”

DP Seals granted a UK patent

Poole based seal and moulding specialist, DP Seals, have now been granted a UK patent for their unique tooling and moulding system.

Originally developed by the company’s founder, David Piper, almost 40 years ago, the basic concept was for a moulding tool incorporating locating plates that not only allowed free and easy movement during assembly and disassembly, but could also be locked into position to ensure the closed cavities remained closed and so drastically reduced any potential for flashing.

The combination of practicality and ingenuity immediately gave DP Seals an advantage over their competitors and enabled it to produce small, close tolerance, flashless mouldings that no-one else could match.

The system has been an integral part of its production process ever since and now the ownership of the idea has been signed, sealed and delivered with the
granting of UK patent GB 2 513 012.

Our patented mould system gives us a unique advantage over our competitors.

NORSOK M-710. Working to a World-Class Standard

Oilrig

Leading seal and moulding manufacturer DP Seals is setting an unrivalled standard in components conforming to the rigorous NORSOK M‐710 benchmark – being one of the very few companies to insist on only using materials which meet the full requirements of just the top two grades.

Originally developed by the Norwegian petroleum industry, M‐710 has now become the internationally recognised standard for non‐metallic seals and bearings, offering oil and gas companies an unequivocal assurance of quality, performance and durability in components designed to operate in hostile sub‐sea environments.

To meet M‐710, materials must achieve accepted criteria for both rapid gas decompression (RGD) – also known as explosive decompression (ED) – and sour gas ageing (H2S), both of which are proven indicators of long-term performance and viable life expectancy.

DP Seals has been working to the NORSOK standard virtually from its inception, and has developed and supplied a wide range of seals and custom-moulded components to customers in the UK, Scandinavia and further afield.

“High quality components have been the cornerstone of our success,” said MD, Andrew Piper, “and adhering to M‐710 is simply one more way in which we can be sure of meeting the stringent specifications of our customers in the oil and gas industries.”

Norsok approved seals, Norsok tested seals
DP Seals is setting an unrivalled standard in components conforming to the rigorous NORSOK M-710 benchmark – being one of the very few companies to insist on only using materials which meet the full requirements of just the top two grades.

 

DP Seals cleans up in a flash

Leading custom rubber moulding and seal manufacturers, DP Seals, has significantly increased its cryogenic cleaning and de-flashing facilities with the addition of another state-of-the-art machine.

Supplied and installed by AW Maschinen & Anlagen Technik Gmbh, the new AWS 20 effectively doubles the company’s capability – not only speeding up the work flow in general but also eliminating the prospect of costly downtime if one of the units should be out of action.

The AWS 20 is one of the most advanced machines of its kind, operating at temperatures down to -150°C and able to run fully customised multiple programmes linked to DP’s own management systems. The operator simply has to scan the docket accompanying each batch of components and the unit automatically selects the appropriate programme for the part, thereby ensuring quality control and traceability are maintained throughout the process.

“With the increases in production we’ve seen in the past couple of years, additional de-flashing facilities were an obvious area of investment for us, ” said MD, “Andrew Piper, and the new machine ensures we can meet our customers’ requirements more comprehensively and cost-effectively than ever before.”

Friction falls to fluorination

Fluorinated piston seals

Gas fluorination is another of the comprehensive range of services DP Seals offers its customers, enabling them to modify the surface properties of components without any effect on the core material itself.

Already used in industries such as automotive, pharmaceutical, packaging and construction, gas phase fluorination is a well-proven process that’s equally effective on plastics, polymers and rubber – and can be precisely controlled to deliver consistent and repeatable improvements in a variety of specific criteria.

Greatly reduced coefficient of friction is the principle benefit of fluorination, but it can also be used to enhance adhesion and bonding, increase chemical resistance, control permeation and improve wettability.

Because the gas accesses the entirety of the surface at a molecular level, fluorination is ideally suited to small or complex components, ensuring the desired effects are maintained across all edges, angles, openings and holes.

Fluorinated piston seals
These Fluorinated piston seals – used in the food industry – allow the piston to move smoothly, maintain air tight operation and prolong longevity through reduced friction, saving time and money on maintenance and replacement.

DP Seals are really on the ball

Rubber mould tool design - Mould for high-spec natural rubber balls for hydraulic engine mounts

With UK car sales recently reaching a six-year high, DP Seals can confirm the resurgence of this particular market sector with the unprecedented success of one of its automotive products.

The component in question is a high-spec natural rubber ball that DP Seals produce for the hydraulic engine mounts made by DTR VMS Ltd. In the past year alone, well over five million have been supplied – an increase of more than 300% since the depths of the recession in 2009.

Trowbridge based DTR VMS is a first tier supplier to the likes of Audi, VW and Mercedes, with its advanced technology products helping to reduce noise, vibration and harshness in a wide range of vehicles.

“The company first joined forces with us in 2002, making their choice on the basis of outstanding QCD performance indicators, and since then, we’ve consistently been recognised as one of their most reliable and trusted suppliers,”

Andrew Piper, DP Seals Managing Director

Although a seemingly simple product, every single ball we produce has to meet exceptionally stringent standards of size, sphericity and quality, since it is instrumental in preventing leakage from the engine mount to ensure the desired characteristics are maintained throughout its lifetime.

For DP Seals, this production increase reflects the stability and growth they’re seeing in more and more of their customers’ activities, and with continuing investment in people, resources and facilities, they’re now looking to the future with a considerable degree of optimism and confidence.

DTR VMS Limited is a full service supplier, designing and manufacturing advanced technical products to address noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and improve vehicle comfort. Their comprehensive product offerings can be found in powertrain, suspension and chassis applications in Audi, VW, and Mercedes and vehicles.

www.dtrvms.com

DP Seals to supply vital part of police breathalyser units

Lion Labs breathalyser seal in fingertips

DP Seals, a leading supplier of high precision custom seals, gaskets and mouldings, has begun supplying a manufacturer of specialised breath alcohol analysis equipment with a custom designed Bellow seal, forming an integral part of UK police breathalyser units. Wales-based Lion Laboratories are now using the seal in their range of breathalyser units, which capture samples for accurate breath alcohol analysis.

The DP Seals Bellow, which weighs 0.12 grams and are 9 x 7.5 mm barrel shaped pieces, will hold the air supplied before moving it in the right direction of the sensor. The part is made from silicone rubber and, given the importance of securing a precise sample, the flex and hardness of the seal is extremely accurate.

Custom moulding for Lion Labs used in breathalyser units
DP Seals’ precision moulded bellows seal. One of the many Lion Labs models in which it plays an integral part and rudimental demonstration of the bellows action.

Lion Laboratories sourced DP Seals in order to gain more consistency with the product. After initial meetings between the two companies, DP Seals reviewed the design specification and created new moulding tools and refined the material composition, the new Bellow seal was then trialled amongst sample assemblies at Lion Laboratories Glamorgan-based branch before going into production.

The Bellow itself, of which Lion Laboratories used 17,500 of in 2013, doesn’t come in contact with the alcohol breath sample. Instead, it fires the sample in and causes the suction motion. A breath is blown through a tube attached to a fuel cell, then an outlet which runs through to a pressure transfuser. The Bellows will then open and close after drawing the air through the tube and the breath sample is captured and analysed.

Alan Holloway, Managing Director at Lion Laboratories comments: “We approached DP Seals for consistency purposes. The Bellows are an extremely important and delicate product – they simply can’t be inert. This will result in false samples which is unacceptable to us and our customer. The bellow design and product from DP Seals was very accurate towards our needs and we feel DP Seals understood our objectives and design spec from the outset.”

DP Seals Managing Director, Andrew Piper comments: “This contract reaffirms DP Seals’ reputation as a leading supplier of high precision custom seals. This product will play a pivotal role in ensuring UK police gain accurate readings in breathalyser units, thus playing a part in ensuring our roads are safer and drink drivers are punished. It is now our prerogative to become Lion Laboratories’ most reliable and trusted supplier and we look forward to forging a productive and healthy partnership.”

Lion Laboratories is based in Barry, South Wales and specialises in the field of breath alcohol analysis. It supplies much of the equipment used by the UK Police and exports to approximately 70 countries worldwide through a network of local distributors.

DP Seals goes underground with belting success for Cubic

igh performance rubber belts for Cubic Transportation System

DP Seals is playing a vital role in the everyday lives of millions of London commuters. The company is supplying high performance rubber belts for Cubic Transportation System’s ticket transport machines at the gates of London Underground stations.

DP Seals has developed and supplied four separate belts for each of the 5,000 units currently in use on the London Underground. Cubic has established a global reputation for its products’ reliability – a vital consideration for this capital installation – and these belts play a key role.

Rubber belts can generate dust that chokes other internal mechanisms, leading to increased equipment downtime. Using its in-house precision tool room facility linked to advanced 3D CAD, DP Seals created moulds for the belts that added a precision profile to the belt edge.

This attention to detail has dramatically reduced dust generation – and hence unplanned downtime and maintenance costs – reinforcing Cubic’s standing as a high-reliability equipment supplier.

Cubic Transportation System’s ticket transport machine
Cubic Transportation System’s ticket transport machine with DP Seals’ high-performance rubber belts.

About CUBIC

Part of Cubic Corporation, Cubic Transportation Systems is the world’s leading turnkey solution provider of automated fare collection systems for public transport projects throughout the world. The company is just one of a number of multinationals to rely on DP Seals for high precision seals, gaskets and mouldings that now play a key role in a huge variety of industrial and commercial applications.

DP Seals keeps the sea at bay in Seacon’s subsea optical cable connectors

Seacon sub-sea optical fibre cable gland

Seacon has chosen DP Seals to supply high-performance rubber seals and boots for its latest range of subsea optical fibre cable glands. These seals and boots, fundamental to the operation of Seacon’s highly innovative connector system, allow optical, electrical and hybrid electro-optic cables to be mated underwater safely and easily.

Increasingly, fibre-optic and hybrid cables are being used in deep water applications such as sonar, surveillance and real-time video systems, remotely piloted submarines and down-hole data logging equipment, as well as classic sub-sea telecommunications networks. To meet the exacting demands of in-field installation, DP Seals and Seacon have jointly developed a novel cable gland technology that provides both anchorage and sealing onto each layer within the cable construction, i.e. outer sheath, steel tube and to each individual optical fibre.

The gland is based on Seacon’s proven hybrid dry-mate FITA MSSQ series connector, already deployed extensively in sub-sea cable networks.

DP Seals worked with Seacon from initial concept through to volume manufacture to develop the several seals and boots that are key to this connector. DP Seals selected a specially-formulated hydrogenated nitrile material because of its high tensile strength, salt water tolerance and effectiveness at the high pressures and low temperatures intrinsic to sub-sea environments.

Seacon sub-sea optical fibre cable gland
Seacon Connector

Two nitrile sealing glands seal the outer sheath and steel tube, locked into place with tapered sleeves to ensure controlled compression is maintained at all times. Additional nitrile boots provide secondary sealing onto the individual optical fibres whilst also preventing the ingress of pressure compensating fluid from within the connector into the steel tube.

About Seacon

Seacon Limited is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of small-diameter, high-density connectors for military and commercial subsea applications. More information is available at www.seaconeurope.com

DP Seals helps Metro Technologies pick its place in nozzle shoot-out

Small Electronics

DP Seals has developed a set of custom rubber mouldings that are helping Metro Technologies lead the world in replacement nozzles for surface mount pick-and-place machines. These soft rubber mouldings cushion components to eliminate damage during assembly whilst helping to ensure accurate placement.

DP Seals created a special carboxylated nitrile for the nozzle tips. In tests, this custom blend has demonstrated exceptional durability and abrasion resistance. Ranging in size from 3mm to 7mm diameter, the tips are moulded to better than ±5 micron accuracy and precision bonded to the nozzles, ensuring Metro Technologies’ performance.

SMT assembly is highly dependent on the nozzles that pick and place components for accuracy, efficiency and therefore throughput. However, nozzles wear out quite quickly and original equipment nozzles are frequently replaced by cheaper second source components. Metro Technologies designed its Optima range to significantly out-perform not only second source equivalents but also OEM nozzles.

In tests at major electronics manufacturers across the USA and Far East, Optima nozzles achieved up to 14% pick-and-place performance improvements against OEM and 41% against second-source nozzles. DP Seals’ mouldings play a major role in achieving these performance improvements.

Small Electronics

One of the keys to maintaining SMT throughput is the rubber mouldings that protect components from the nozzles, they need to be soft but highly durable. After extensive research of rubber moulding companies, only DP Seals underwrote component performance with the exceptional quality standards we demand to ensure continued zero-defect nozzle delivery.

Sean Cassidy, Manufacturing Manager, Metro Technologies