5 Challenges to Finding the Right Rubber Parts in 2024 (And How We Can Help!)

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Supply Chain

Any engineer or supply chain professional knows the challenges of finding the exact right rubber part for the right application in 2024. When sourcing everything from o-rings to seals, problems and original equipment manufacturer issues can arise with finding the right custom rubber parts, adapting to discontinued materials, navigating supply chain challenges, and staying on top of inventory management. These are five unique and current challenges facing manufacturers and companies relying on custom rubber parts to keep their business running efficiently and effectively.

Understanding the Right Part

The first issue that often arises when looking for specific or customized rubber parts is understanding what you need. Without specialized training, it can be challenging to know what part you need or the nuances of two similar parts. This can lead to wasted time and money, thinking that one part is the right fit and then realizing it’s another closely related part.

The Solution: Rothkopf has the right certification, education, and knowledge to find the right part for different applications across industries. We’ve built our entire business on identifying the best part for our customers. We can save hours of resources from your engineering, purchasing, and supply chain teams.


Decrease in Production

We’ve felt it across industries. A decrease in everything from skilled labor to the actual harvesting of rubber has made it harder to find the parts you need when you need them. You don’t have the time to call ten different factories trying to locate one specific type of O-ring.

The Solution: Parts have to be sourced from across the globe to ensure you can get what you need when needed. Your custom rubber parts could come from manufacturers in your region or in another country. But you don’t always have the time or network to know where to go. That’s where you bring in a partner like Rothkopf, who has an extensive worldwide network and a deep book of resources to pull from whenever there’s a part that needs to be found immediately.


Supply Chain Issues

We’re fortunate that in 2024 the supply chain issues that plagued previous years seem to be gradually subsiding. But that doesn’t mean we can go into cruise control when it comes to managing inventory by assuming highly customized and specialized parts are continuously available. There continue to be geopolitical and economic issues at play that will disrupt manufacturing at a moment’s notice and cause significant supply chain challenges.

The Solution: You can’t rely on one factory in one location for the critical parts that keep your supply line running smoothly. Rothkopf has the expertise, connections, and institutional knowledge to know where to go and when. We keep a keen eye on what’s going on in the industry so we can anticipate roadblocks and disruptions.

Higher Prices

Inflation is still impacting prices across the supply chain, including industrial rubber parts. If you’re looking for a custom rubber part crafted from a specialty material, your price is going to be high.

The Solution: Whenever Rothkopf sources a specific rubber part, we compete and collaborate. Our customers usually shop from two or three sources for the best price on something, but we know exactly who to go to, saving them time and money.

Discontinued Materials

You could find exactly the right part for your needs, only to have one of the materials necessary for that part discontinued a year later. You’re left back where you started, wondering how you’re going to get one hyper-specialized part that is critical to your business.

The Solution: Again, navigating challenges is all about connections and knowing where to find the right material and product. Rothkopf has over six decades of knowledge and experience, so we can get your products back on track with a new manufacturer or a substitute that will meet the same certifications.

Let Rothkopf Help

Finding the right rubber parts for your supply line or system components nearly always presents challenges, but having the right partner can help you overcome issues in locating and sourcing the right part, finding new or unconventional solutions, navigating the supply chain, and optimizing inventory management. Rothkopf has been a trusted partner to customers across industries. Reach out to us today to start overcoming the challenges in your business in 2024.

Related Posts