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We Understand Your Needs

We work with you to design and provide the seal package that fits your application. Together we can anticipate and ask questions about your requirements resulting in optimal seal design. We care about the seals that are critical to your business.


Will It Seal?

The mission of our technical team is simple: to help you design and spec the best seal for your unique application.  So, you get your design completed quickly and efficiently, supported by data, and spec’d to last
 
 
 
You can find a lot of technical seal information online. Seal design tools, material recommendations. Enough to get you most of the way to where your design needs to be. Good enough for most low risk, static and medium pressure applications. If your application is pushing any of the traditional boundaries like feature size, pressure, dynamics, aggressive chemistries, wide temperature swings, required lifetime, manufacturing or assembly efficiencies, challenging tolerance stack ups, then you need some experienced help on your side.
 
We have experienced seal applications engineers on staff to help you get from “mostly there” to fully meeting or exceeding your program statement of requirements. Our network of specialty design and manufacturing experts means we will help you find the best seal for your application - we won’t limit you to a narrow set of choices.
 
No two applications are the same. We’ll collaborate with you to understand the discrete requirements of your seal, and the impact of other related aspects of your application.
 
Understanding your timeline for getting a solution in production is always an important factor. We have fast prototyping capabilities. For example, we can get precision compression molded elastomer parts into your hands within 2 weeks of agreeing on a design.
 
Wherever possible we will deploy our Test Bench capabilities to help you benchmark performance of your incumbent seal to give you a data driven performance comparison. We will actuate seals in your hardware, in modified seal glands, in your fluids, pull and compile performance data to pre-qualify our solution. So, you have higher confidence as you budget and allocate your own testing resources. For more information see Test Bench Capabilities.
 
Early engagement drives optimal success. Bring in our team to let you know if you’re on track. If you’ve got the best solution already, we’ll tell you as much. We’ll tell you if you’re exposed to risk by inadequate specification based on your unique use case. If you’re over specified, we’ll let you know that too, helping you earn the admiration of your procurement team.
 
Advanced specification support is a set of tools we use to prevent what we call “Performance Creep”. This phenomenon usually presents itself after your product has been released into production for a few years. The seals being installed may still meet the spec as written but now they’re not performing like they used to. This happens when your specs are written too loosely. There are hundreds of competing formulations for any given polymer type, all designed to meet broad performance characteristics. The specs may be loose enough that your current seal supplier is free to switch material A with material B to save a penny or two. Your sourcing team may be put under pressure to find alternate sources if your factory moves to a low-cost region. A supplier of one of your fluids or greases might make a minor formulation change which has a cascading impact on the function of the seal. Your company may decide to outsource production completely. And so on. We understand all the variables that can bite you from the sealing perspective. We’ve been approached by new customers living through the nightmare of seal failure, of product recalls and they need our expertise to help them understand what has changed. We’ve seen this impact so many manufacturers that we coined the term “Seal Performance Creep” and we developed a set of tools to prevent it. We will teach you how to use these tools to assure Seal Performance Creep does not derail your program now for the lifetime of your manufacturing program.
 
Your Darcoid project manager will work to facilitate direct engineer: engineer communication - minimizing time to successful project completion to keep your program schedule on track.
 
Successful sealing performance requires the tribology equilibrium - the interface of the fluid or media you need sealing, the hardware conditions of your mating components, and the seal element itself. You control the mating components media and associated dynamics and we will help recommend the best seal element.
 
Our seal recommendations may include the primary seal but also secondary elements of the sealing system such as anti-extrusion devices (eg “back up rings”), seal energizers, internal and external integrated reinforcing elements (for interference fitted/press-in-place seals and wipers such as radial or reciprocating shaft seals), exclusion elements such as wipers, and in-series components such as buffer seals and step seals.
 
The seal itself is governed by two considerations: the profile, or seal type, and the material the seal is made from.

 

A seal is inexpensive unless it fails .. your quality standard  

Our quality team is driven to support your program with zero defects, maintaining a 100% quality rating as defined by your quality manual.
 
 
 

Person sorting bags of orings for shipping

If you’re visiting this page because you are dealing with recurring quality escapes with your current seal supplier please contact us and book time with our QA (Quality) specialists – they can help you chart a path to resolution. 
 
Quality comes first with Darcoid.  Nothing moves without Quality’s approval.  We work with the best manufacturing partners in the industry but live by the credo “trust but verify”.  We secured ISO 9001 registration in 2002, one of the very first in our industry to do so.  We were an early adopter of the ISO 9001:2015 standard.  Fast forward to 2021 when we secured IATF 16949:2016 certification supporting our Tier 1 automotive customers. 
 
If you’re not sure of your current supplier’s true commitment to quality then contact us and complete a simple 5 question survey.  The result will tell you how much you should be concerned, and will also show how you compare to your peers.
 
Our preference is to use PPAP as our gold standard for quality management methodology where the seal is mission critical for our customer. 
 
compass pointing north to text that says zero defects
Our QA team has developed a wealth of seal quality expertise over the years. We’ve audited manufacturing plants in 3 continents.  We know where and how escapes can happen at every step of the seal manufacturing process and what controls need to be in place and verified.  We build and maintain strong working relationships at our plants with QA technicians, manufacturing engineers, materials scientists, plant and quality managers.  When the wheel falls of the wagon … and it will .. Darcoid knows who to call to effect the changes needed to control and prevent future occurrences. 
 
No one likes to be on the receiving end of a SCAR or 8D.  We take them seriously and use them wisely, as one of our available tools of continuous improvement.  Rather than wait for a problem to manifest we’re proactive and run internal Kaizens to make our operations as safe, efficient, repeatable, and reliable as we can, all under the watchful eye of a Quality Manager who is never quite satisfied! 
 
Zero defects requires an unrelenting focus, outstanding processes, and even more outstanding people.  
 

Certifications

Darcoid IATF16 Certificate

 
Darcoid achieved IATF 16949 certification in May 2021.  This replaces and supersedes the ISO 9001 registration we have maintained since 2002.  Darcoid was an early adopter of the ISO standard.  We were quick to realize the benefits of following what has now become a widely adopted standard which places such a strong emphasis on process conformity and continuous improvement. 
 
IATF 16949 is the Technical Specification for quality management systems developed by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) with the objective of improving the quality capability and the entire certification process throughout the automotive supply chain. The focus lies not on the discovery, but on the avoidance of errors. 
 
 
Benefits of a quality management system according to IATF 16949:2016 
 
  • Improved quality 
  • Improved on-time delivery 
  • Emphasis on supplier quality improvement 
  • Reduced variation 
  • Increased efficiency 
  • Reduced waste 
IATF 16949 is based on the process-oriented ISO 9001, which facilitates the integration of other important major management systems including ISO 14001 for Environmental Management and ISO 45001 for Occupational Health and Safety Management. To customers, employees, investors and the general public, implementation and certification of an integrated management system demonstrates the continuous improvement of an organization’s performance in the areas of quality, environmental protection and workplace safety.
 

Capabilities

Engineer testing seal quality

Darcoid’s quality department has a bigger toolbox than most in our industry.  We are able to offer a combination of the below based on the criticality of your application: 
 
  • Contactless video measurement, automated 
  • 200x microscope metrology 
  • FTIR material verification 
  • Lot, batch controls and traceability 
  • Certification of compliance 
  • PPAP Level 2, level 3 and level 5 controls 
  • First articles to AS9102  
  • Gauge R&R studies 
  • Durometer verification 
  • Custom go no-go gauges 
  • AQL sampling up to 100% vision inspection 
  • Visual inspection performed to RMA, ISO3601-3 grade N, S, CS, Mil-413-C, AS871B 
  • ASTM / SAE / ISO specifications  
  • Regulatory requirements – REACH, ROHS, FDA compliance, USP class VI, NSF, AMS / MIL, UL   
  • International Material Data System (IMDS)   
  • Material certification

PPAP

PPAP is a design & manufacturing inspection process used to verify a supplier's ability to reliably and repeatedly produce a part or set of parts for mass production. 
 
PPAP validates a production process by inspecting parts before, during, and after a production run. 
The PPAP report reviews 18 requirements such as design records, authorized engineering changes, engineering approval, dimensional results, control plan, and more. 
 
PPAP is part of the five Core Tools for effective quality management with APQP, FMEA, MSA, and SPC being the other core tools. 
 
Purpose of PPAP Summary: 
 
  1. Validating supplier’s ability. 
  2. Understanding customer requirements. 
  3. Establishing a reliable and repeatable process & agreement. 
  4. Reducing cost and having faster time to market. 
  5. Maintaining expectations & compliance on both sides.
PPAP is typically required for the production of new parts or when there is a change to the product or process: 
 
  1. A new part or product.   
  2. Product changes/corrections: design, materials, supply, and function. 
  3. Process changes/corrections: method, tools, location, and inspection criteria. 
  4. Inactive tooling for more than one year. 
PPAP 18 Elements: 
 
  1. Design Records: A copy of the drawing or model provided by customer. 
  2. Engineering Change Documents: Detailed description of changes of parts from previous revisions called Engineering Change Notice. 
  3. Customer Engineering Approval: Customer approval of sample production parts. 
  4. Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (DFMEA): Prediction of a product's potential design failure. 
  5. Process Flow Diagrams: All steps in manufacturing process including components, measurement, and inspection. 
  6. Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA): Prediction of a potential process failure that could occur during production. 
  7. Control Plan: Details the plan for how quality will be implemented to ensure a stable and reliable process. 
  8. Measurement System Analysis (MSA): Conformance to customer’s ISO or TS standard. Usually Gage R&R for critical impact characteristics to control repeatability and reproducibility and confirmation that gages are calibrated to measure these characteristics to control measurement bias. 
  9. Dimensional Results: A list of every dimension noted on the ballooned drawing or model with pass/fail assessment. 
  10. Material / Performance Test Results: Summary of every test performed on the part, usually in the form of DVP&R (Design Verification Plan and Report). 
  11. Initial Process Studies: Shows that critical processes are reliable. Includes SPC (statistical process control) charts. 
  12. Qualified Laboratory Documentation: All industry certifications for validation testing. 
  13. Appearance Approval Report (AAR): Customer approval on final product appearance including color, texture, fit, and more. 
  14. Sample Product: Sample from initial production run. 
  15. Master Sample: Sample part signed off by customer and supplier. 
  16. Checking Aids: Detailed list of all tools used to inspect and measure parts. 
  17. Records of Compliance with Customer-Specific Requirements: List of customer’s specific requirements for PPAP process. 
  18. Part Submission Warrant (PSW): Summary of entire PPAP submission. 
The PPAP report has 5 levels of submissions with Level 3 as the default level of PPAP submission approval.
 
PPAP 5 Levels of Submission: 
 
  • Level 1: Part Submission Warrant (PSW) only submitted to the customer.  
  • Level 2: PSW with product samples and limited supporting data.  
  • Level 3: PSW with product samples and complete supporting data.  
  • Level 4: PSW and other requirements as defined by the customer.  
  • Level 5: PSW with product samples and complete supporting data available for review at the supplier’s manufacturing location.

AQL Sampling Rates

 

ISO, RMA, MIL

Darcoid’s part control plans incorporate Acceptance Quality Limit (AQL) sampling rates appropriate to the criticality of the seal for our customer’s end use. 
 
Our baseline AQL sampling rate is 0.25 and this can be adjusted based on your application requirements to include 100% inspection for critical applications.
 
 
 
Our methodology for dimensional and workmanship quality inspection is aligned with requirements and best practices as defined by ISO 3601-1 and ISO 3601-3, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) handbook, and applicable aerospace AS871B (MIL) standards. 
 
The manufacture of elastomer products by compression, transfer, injection, calendaring or extrusion methods produces workmanship and surface defect classifications specific to elastomers.  Defects include off register, flash, flow marks, voids and non-fills.  Acceptability limits for each defect is classified and described, and our inspectors are trained to these standards.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Advanced product quality planning logo Global Eight Disciplines Production Part Approval Process Logo Production Part Approval Process Failure Mode and Effect Analysis

 


Next Level

Customer success is our primary goal.

Our Next Level strategy components are designed to integrate and collaborate
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