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By Josh Dunahoe | Jan 24, 2019
GMN fabricates custom silicone foam gasket

A US-based customer of GMN was designing an electrical connection between two plastic housings for an outdoor application. In order to establish the connection, it was vital to achieve a permanent, air-tight seal between the two housings. Given the nature of the design, even the slightest ingress of moisture or foreign particles would hinder the optimal performance and durability of the product. Hence, shielding the seal from dust and water was critical. Additionally, the seal also needed protection from extreme temperatures and flames.   

Originally, the customer utilized a bead of silicone (silicone rubber paste) on the edges of the two housings that hardened over time to form a seal. However, this approach presented several manufacturing challenges and shortcomings. Dispensing a uniform layer of silicone rubber was not only cumbersome, but also inconsistent, leading to an uneven bond line. As the paste became rigid upon drying, it formed a seal that was susceptible to breaking under stress, thereby producing cracks and weakening the bond strength. The drying and curing of the silicone rubber paste also spiked up the processing time, creating a bottleneck on the assembly line.

The customer approached GMN to achieve a better form-fitting solution to prevent moisture ingress. After learning about the environmental conditions that the seal was required to withstand, GMN proposed a custom-fit Roger’s BISCO® silicone foam gasket. From the extensive range of BISCO® silicones available in the market, GMN narrowed it down to HT-800 family to strike the right balance between seal-ability and compressibility. As a Preferred Converter of Rogers Corporation, GMN delivered a high-performance solution with accelerated lead time and competitive pricing.

Roger’s BISCO® silicone, with its high flame resistance, seamlessly fit the needs of the project. In addition to excellent viscoelasticity, it provided high dimensional stability and sealing capability. Contrary to the previous solution, BISCO® silicone foam does not break under stress or pressure. It allowed for quick and easy application, eliminating the extra processing time associated with bead of silicone.

Although, selecting the right material wasn’t enough. Creating a custom shaped gasket to fit the exact configurations of the housings was equally important. Since the customer had initially planned to utilize silicone paste, they did not have the dimensions of the housings readily available. Based on the customer’s sketch and 3D file of the housings, GMN developed a CAD file for the laser tool to fabricate the gasket. By flowing into every nook and cranny of the surface area, the gasket flawlessly married the two housings together to achieve an enhanced seal.

With the help of GMN’s dedicated rapid prototyping team and equipment, we then created two distinct prototypes of custom BISCO® silicone foam HT-800 gaskets in two different thicknesses and durometers. It enabled the customer to test compression and seal strength of the two different gaskets and choose the most optimal solution.

GMN’s ability to determine and source the right material and create a tailored-fit gasket allowed the customer to meet the functional requirements of the project without compromising on the aesthetics. Given our extensive experience and technical expertise with die-cut components, customers can truly rely on GMN to efficiently provide quick design fixes and improvements.

By Sandy Dick | Jul 12, 2018
Value-added assembly for iSolved's time clock

iSolved, a US-based company providing scalable solution to human capital management needs, was developing a series of backlit time clock devices. However, they quickly ran into problems with LED hotspots and approached GMN to develop a graphic overlay prototype to get rid of the lighting issue.

Developing a product with multiple suppliers and manufacturing facilities can be a time-consuming and expensive ordeal. But, GMN’s holistic approach to building devices and its reputation as a one-call, one-stop-manufacturer allowed iSolved to bring substantial cost and time savings to the project, while meeting all of their functional and cosmetic requirements.

GMN not only manufactured a scratch-resistant overlay to mask the hotspots, but also streamlined the project using its varied capabilities including capacitive touch circuit, backlighting, die-cutting, LCD display, and touchscreen.

To learn more about how GMN delivered a value-added, cost-effective solution, download our case study here.

Bob Coyne GM Nameplate
By Bob Coyne | Sep 19, 2017
GMN will help guide the design and manufacturability of your product.

GM Nameplate’s (GMN) design support capabilities spread across a variety of technologies to meet the needs of a variety of industries. As a custom manufacturer, GMN has to be ready to accommodate a vast array of needs a customer has. Our specialties lie in graphic, industrial, mechanical, and electrical design support, providing design considerations for manufacturability, and managing projects in a coordinated and efficient manner to meet the agreed requirements of a project.

When supporting a customer’s design, GMN brings forth many departments to help provide input. These in-house experts make up our product development team which includes product line managers, the rapid prototyping group, graphic designers, design engineers, and the process engineering group. GMN can provide design support for all customers, and the extent of that support varies based on the customer’s specific requirements and information given to GMN on the project. 

In addition to developing a product, we construct the manufacturing process for the product as well. To produce a custom part, there must be a manufacturing process in place that is efficient, reliable, and repeatable and in alignment with the project requirements. The process begins by obtaining requirements from the customer with sufficient detail and specification (thermal management, moisture ingress, UV, chemical, or corrosion resistance, etc.). Then a development plan is created with assigned roles and timelines. Next, validation parts are built, parts are tested, revisions are made and updated, and then the production process for that specific part begins. Once that process is developed, it is tested and validated before starting production.

GMN is a vertically integrated manufacturer that offers a wide range of value-added capabilities and services under one roof. To continue to simplify the supply chain, GMN sources high quality materials from its extensive network of strategic partners and suppliers to ensure that we provide our customers with the best product possible.

Quality is key in manufacturing, and GMN is compliant to internationally recognized quality standards across several industries including aerospace and medical. Although quality standards are specific to each GMN facility, a few certifications maintained by GMN include: ISO 9001, ISO 13485, AS 9100, ISO 14001, China ISO/TS 16949, China ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001. To learn more about our certifications, check out our quality and compliance page.

Our company has several facilities throughout the US and Asia. We are headquartered at our Seattle, WA Division, and other GMN divisions include: Monroe, NC Division, San Jose, CA Division, Beaverton, OR Division, China Division, and Singapore Division. Although many of our facilities share similar capabilities, each one also possesses unique capabilities specific to that plant.

If you would like more information about our processes and development capabilities for your company’s next product, please click here to request a consultation with one of our in-house technical experts.

By admin | Apr 14, 2015
GMN Hero Maria Silva

GM Nameplate displays devout service and excellence when providing a product, giving each customer a reason to be proud. This takes hard work from many people. One person, who reflects these GMN traits every day in her work is Maria Silva, senior assembler at GMN’s Seattle, WA Division.

“I love my job. Everything at work is a good thing.  I would feel lost anywhere else,” says Maria.

Maria loves her job. Each department within GMN requires hard work, and working in the assembly department is not always easy. Days for Maria can often be stressful and busy, but she never fails to display diligence in her work. After working 31 years at GMN, Maria is able to work on almost every job presented. She is looked up to and called upon frequently by fellow employees. Every day for Maria is something new, but she continues to be of service for GMN.

“Whatever needs to be done, whether it is the most simple or most complex project, Maria is right there ready to take a swing at it,” says Bill McLain, Maria’s manager..

Maria is excited when she gets to work and motivated to complete the jobs at hand, on time. She is appreciative of the opportunity and community GMN provides. Not working directly with customers, but having direct contact with their product, is fulfilling to Maria. Taking part in customers’ happiness and gratitude is a great feeling for all GMN employees.

“Have a good attitude and do the best you can do,” says Maria.

Maria has never lost sight of her humorous side. She exemplifies her positive outlook on life by making her colleagues laugh regularly and bringing enjoyment into each new day. Maria’s reputation has been carried throughout the division where she is known for good quality work and sincerity in her projects.  Maria is always on time and working the best of her ability. Every day she demonstrates experience and commitment in all she does. We are proud to call Maria a GMN hero.

For over half a century GM Nameplate has been serving the nameplate manufacturing industry with pride and commitment. To celebrate GM Nameplate’s 60th Anniversary, the team at GM Nameplate decided to shine the spotlight on some of the people who have helped make GM Nameplate and our customers successful. 

By admin | Mar 17, 2015
GMN hero Lisa Coletti

Offering a broad array of capabilities, GM Nameplate has grown in size and its capabilities in the last 60 years. Being the individual to help investigate and construct one of our newer markets is something Lisa Coletti, business development manager, can take pride in.

Starting at GMN as a graphic artist, moving into sales, and later working as a marketing manager, Lisa was assigned the task to explore the wine market. Lisa helped develop GMN’s presence in the wine industry. Lisa loves to be challenged, overcome development, and learn within the wine industry. Now as a business development manager specializing in wine labels, she steers the company in the direction of achievement. For many wine customers she is the liaison — preparing, corresponding, and relaying information with customers and the internal staff.

“I like trying new things and I like growth.  Challenges push creativity and move things forward — they create growth.  New challenges keep me engaged,” says Lisa.

Lisa understands customers’ point of view and works with them to find a solution. A recent example of this was when Lisa was approached by a designer requesting a more complex product. She was able to relay information between the winery and designer to create a win-win solution, leaving the customer very pleased and meeting the challenge she faced.

“GMN is a service to so many different industries because we can think beyond the first product,” says Lisa.

GMN has continued to grow in a good direction, accomplish a lot, and prove commitment to each customer. At GMN we hold our customers to a high standard just as Lisa has shown in her work through the wine industry. Lisa’s personality and commitment make her someone everyone enjoys working with – whether it’s through phone calls, email or direct contact with the customer. And that’s why Lisa is a GMN hero.

For over half a century GM Nameplate has been serving the nameplate manufacturing industry with pride and commitment. To celebrate GM Nameplate’s 60th Anniversary, the team at GM Nameplate decided to shine the spotlight on some of the people who have helped make GM Nameplate and our customers successful. 

By Gerry Gallagher | Feb 17, 2015
Industry trends

Last week we reported the results from our bi-annual customer satisfaction survey. The majority of the survey covered areas related to satisfaction of working with GMN. In addition to assessing customer satisfaction, the survey also asks questions related to customer service trends. The goal of these questions is to confirm or establish new trends within the industry.

The industry trends section of the survey asked participants to indicate to which degree they agree with various trends GMN has noticed within the industry. Based on customer feedback we confirmed the following trends:

  • Increasing integration of touch technology into product user interfaces (glass interface)
  • Growing dependence on suppliers for engineering and design support as experts within our specialized field
  • Suppliers who can offer multiple products are valued

Respondents also identified a number of changes impacting business and suggestions for what GMN can do to help them adapt. Customers suggested end customer cost down initiatives, off-shoring manufacturing and a growing dependence on contract manufacturers – all areas GMN has already been working to improve.

As we look to the future of manufacturing, we are excited to see that we are on track with industry changes and trends. We will continue to assess industry trends and changes in future customer surveys, and look forward to continuing efforts to better serve our customers. 

By Gerry Gallagher | Feb 10, 2015
Graph bar upward trend

As part of GMN’s commitment to excellence and its customers, every 6 months GMN conducts a customer survey to asses our customers’ satisfaction. The survey also fulfills part of GMN’s quality system requirements. GMN’s bi-annual customer survey is made up of a series of ranking and short answer questions related to various aspects of the customer experience, product quality, value, and more.

Every bi-annual customer survey we are pleased to report that the majority of our customers are pleased with their overall experience and would recommend working with us. Over the last 15 surveys, more than 92% of customers reported that they would recommend working with GMN.

Compared to the last survey, this survey saw improvements in a number of areas. More than 90% of respondents rated their experience with GMN as good or excelling in the following areas:

  • Overall experience of manufacturing and industry expertise
  • Sales people responsiveness, expertise, communication, and overall experience
  • Experience working with GMN new product managers and account managers

While the majority of our customers report satisfaction with GMN, areas in need of improvement were also pointed out. We are continually making efforts to improve all aspects of our business. Recently many employees have been involved in customer service training, lean manufacturing workshops, and other continuous improvement efforts. We are excited to see how these efforts will improve our customers’ experience with us.

We look forward to continuing our efforts to improve all aspects of our service and manufacturing.

By admin | Feb 3, 2015
GMN hero Caren Ang

GM Nameplate is driven by the success of our customers and helping them achieve growth. This requires great leadership to solve problems and challenges as a team. With the contribution from plant operators to management staff, we have been able to accomplish many things in the past 60 years. One individual in particular has stepped into a challenging GMN leadership role — Caren Ang, account manager from the GMN Singapore division.

She started as an office receptionist, moved to sales coordinator, and then was later promoted to her current position as account manager. Caren is grateful for the opportunities GMN has provided her. Ang says she’s had a lot of encouragement to learn new skills and expand her knowledge daily. Every day she improves and grows, while offering better assistance to customers. Not only has GMN had an impact on Caren’s life, she has also impacted the life of GMN. Her daily motivation is the excitement of new business opportunities and is an inspiration for all GMN employees.

“It is the little extra mile you go, to make your customer feel encouraged and comfortable,” says Caren.

Caren processes customer orders and works closely with material and production schedules — never losing her hard working spirit while ensuring customer satisfaction and on-time delivery. Caren carries the role of making certain GMN meets our quality objective, while handling customer feedback. In her experience as a receptionist, production coordinator, operator, occasional event planner, and account manager for both the US and Asia, Caren always gives 110% to her job.

“Caren makes the effort to learn and take on responsibilities that are not hers. She is someone that needs no pushing or much teaching. She multi-tasks a lot and to this day has not lost the spirit of quality work,” says Tina Chen, Singapore managing director.

Caren proudly states, “I feel honored to be part of the pioneer team of GMN’s efforts in Asia.” And GMN is honored to have Caren as a part of our team. Each individual has a distinguished position to contribute to the company. Caren has seen the Singapore division evolve and the entire company of GMN progress through the years. Her helping hand has been evident in the changes and growth of GMN. We are grateful for employees such as Caren. Her hard work, joyful spirit, and love for the company are a few of the many reasons we are proud to call her a GMN hero. 

For over half a century GM Nameplate has been serving the nameplate manufacturing industry with pride and commitment. To celebrate GM Nameplate’s 60th Anniversary, the team at GM Nameplate decided to shine the spotlight on some of the people who have helped make GM Nameplate and our customers successful. 

By admin | Jan 26, 2015
GMN Hero Mark Privett GMN fabrication supervisor

“We have a history that shows not just where we’ve been, but where we are going.”

January 24, 1984 marked a special day — his first day on the job.  Traveling from New York City to Seattle, on a Greyhound bus in 1984, is how Fabrications Supervisor Mark Privett began his career at GM Nameplate. Calling his coworkers family and his department home, Mark has entrusted a deep care and influence in not only the family of GMN, but its customers as well.

Overseeing the fabrications department, Mark recognizes the strengths in his operators to make assignments for best quality of product. Getting his hands dirty and helping pick up jobs, or making sure paperwork and certifications are organized; Mark gives his all and maintains his sense of humor through the challenges. His job fluctuates depending on the day. Some days more stressful with the amount of projects, and others right on schedule. No matter the day, once customers decide what they need and when they need it, Mark is the guy to coordinate production, giving them exactly what they want — the best product.

“I really love the fact that the customer can rely on us. They know we will follow through and be successful meeting their needs. I truly care about what’s going on in my department and what’s going out the door. It’s important to me,” says Mark.

Carrying gratification in the success of GMN, Mark smiles at the fact he’s been here for half of GMN’s history. “The company has earned it,” says Mark, and so has he. Challenges are considered a motivation and an opportunity to grow, according to Mark. Once a customer was in need of a fast replacement for a part they lost. Mark was quickly contacted by the customer in need of a dire replacement. He coordinated and processed another part in very short time, leaving the customer grateful and relieved. 

“When offered a challenge, we will rise to the occasion. It helps us grow. We will continue to meet our customers’ needs,” says Mark.

Mark knows customers have helped make GMN what we are today. He continues to provide customers with the best product we can produce, knowing it is exactly what they want. Even though he may not directly work with them, he is dedicated to the customer and holds their requests to a high standard. His reliability and devotion are what makes Mark a GMN hero. 

For over half a century GM Nameplate has been serving the nameplate manufacturing industry with pride and commitment. To celebrate GM Nameplate’s 60th Anniversary, the team at GM Nameplate decided to shine the spotlight on some of the people who have helped make GM Nameplate and our customers successful. 

By Steve Baker | Jan 16, 2015
Visit GMN at MD&M West

Every year the top medical device manufacturers and suppliers on the West Coast exhibit at the Medical Design and Manufacturing tradeshow (MD&M West). GM Nameplate will be exhibiting at the show again at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California from February 10 through 12, 2015.

If you will be attending the show, be sure to visit GMN in booth 1876. At the show, you’ll have the chance to meet our dedicated staff, view samples of our diverse capabilities, and learn about new manufacturing techniques and trends. We will be showcasing a variety of our capabilities including our latest front panel integration projects, membrane switches, injection molded plastics, input devices and more.

If you are attending the show and would like to meet face-to-face with a member of the GMN team please email me at steveb@gmnameplate.com. We look forward to seeing you at the show!

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