NEWARK, Del.—Polymer Technologies Inc. is the exclusive North American distributor of engineered hoses and custom-molded rubber parts for Polybond India Pvt. after an agreement announced earlier this year.
Polymer, which is primarily focused on noise reduction, thermal insulation and vibration isolation products, now offers custom hoses and molded rubber parts directly to manufacturers who need fluid and air distribution on engines and related systems, including cooling packs and emission controls.
The new distributorship provides lower cost and shorter development cycles, as well as a domestic support network, said Jeremy Dayton, Polymer Technologies executive vice president.
"It complements our product line very well, because we are talking to the same people," Dayton said. "We're talking to the same sorts of engineers. Pretty much everything that has an engine in it is using insulation materials. It's using isolation mounts. And it's using hoses. It offers us that additional product line and additional per unit sale that we wouldn't have experienced otherwise."
As a North American distributor, Polymer can answer engineer questions and requests more quickly than Polybond. Polymer representatives are spread across the U.S. and can handle meetings and provide direct line-of-sight support as the interface for Polybond.
"The time zone differential was a challenge," Dayton said. "You lose the face-to-face aspect of it, and the immediacy in response. In today's day and age, an engineer wants to be able to pick up the phone and talk to somebody in normal business hours. They don't want to have to stay up until 10 p.m. or get up at 6 a.m. to have a conversation with somebody who's half a world away."
In addition to local support, the distributor also allows lower labor costs for custom hose construction.
"The labor costs in India are significantly less than what they are here in North America, including Mexico," Dayton said. "Ultimately, the passthrough to the customer is a significant cost savings."
The distributorship also allows for stocking programs and shipping from stock for serial production, which allows Polymer to ship parts within 24 to 48 hours plus transit time, Dayton said. It also brings together sources for acoustic and thermal insulation, isolation mounts and now hoses, rather than working through multiple suppliers.
Discussion for the agreement began in 2015, after Polybond became a supplier to Polymer by way of an acquisition, Dayton said. Polybond has a very large presence outside North America, but relatively small representation domestically. Customers requested local support and distribution.
Having worked with Polybond in the past, Polymer was the natural first choice to discuss distribution, Dayton said.
"Our core market space is overlapped with theirs very well," he said. "We sell into the same industries that they sell into over in India and Europe."
The agreement was signed in September 2016, and Polymer already has started bringing in hose products for customer programs.
"We see great potential for this," Dayton said. "It will be a minor contributor to overall sales in the short term, but a major contributor over the next two to three years."
Also at the start of 2017, Polymer introduced two new lines of anti-vibration engine mounts, ArmorFlex and SquishyFlex. The mounts are durable in rugged applications involving exposure to weather, and drip-proof from oils and chemicals. They also have a low natural frequency of 8 to 10Hz and maximum transmissibility of 10 at resonance.
ArmorFlex is designed with an axial to radial spring rate for engines, generators and compressors. SquishyFlex is similar in its construction and application, but offers three different spring rates instead of two.