Ordinary can become extraordinary

Turning a standard protection product into a custom masking solution.

It’s sometimes difficult to justify an investment in custom masking, even though you know a custom mask is the best way to mask your product. There are alternatives when it comes to custom masking, especially if your masking provider carries a large range of protection products. One of those alternatives is to consider a secondary operation on an existing standard product.

Most good masking suppliers carry a large range of both masking and protection products. Protection products are designed to protect items when they are being shipped. There is, however, no reason why those protection products cannot be used in masking situations, especially if your supplier has a good working knowledge of the requirements for masking products. What isn’t always known is that a lot of those protection products can be modified to become custom masking products. Modifications to standard parts are known as secondary operations and they can help you get the custom product that you need.

Secondary Operations are additional operations that are performed on a standard part, after the part has been produced. A secondary operation can be as basic as a hole punched into the end of a cap. Alternatively, it may be the addition of a slot on the side of a cap to allow the cap to slide over a T shaped area. Reducing the outside diameter of a flanged area on a standard product can often be achieved with a secondary operation.

The beauty of secondary operations is they don’t always include the expensive tooling which is sometimes associated with custom molded masks. Although in order to consistently produce a product, there can be some tooling involved in secondary operations.

The process for secondary operations is relatively simple. Define the custom requirements with your supplier; your supplier will then make a drawing or provide a prototype to show the customization. Once you have agreed on that, the supplier will manufacture the parts. In the case of a standard cap with some additional holes in, the supplier will manufacture a jig to hold the parts in the punching press and will then punch the holes in the part. Once that is done the parts will be packaged and custom-masking parts will be delivered to you.

These are just a few of the things that are possible with secondary operations. So talk to a masking supply company such as Caplugs or Greentree and ask about secondary operations on their standard products.

Written by John the article was published in Surface World.

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secondary operations can turn standard parts into custom masking parts