There are many different technical foam solutions and products available from the market. However, it is very important to find a supplier with strong in-house expertise and an excellent engineering team.

Finding the Right Foam Specialist
If you need to buy technical foam, you’ll find that there is a wide range of suppliers and direct sales manufacturers, each offering their own USP. However, an in-house engineering department with expert staff can be a real benefit from the customer’s perspective.

This is because this kind of expertise will mean that the supplier’s machinery is maintained and serviced in-house and that bespoke machines and tools are also built within the supplier’s premises. This will generally go hand in hand with bespoke product offerings for customers, prototypes and innovation in new foam products.

Other Things to Look for in a Supplier
When choosing a supplier for foam products, you’ll also want to find a company with excellent customer-service capabilities and a wide choice of high-quality products. A good supplier will be able to provide a wide range of flexible foam solutions, as well as bespoke services. These may include things such as bespoke tooling, shaping and processing capabilities which are broad and deep in scope, new products built on custom machinery, rapid design and production of customer-commissioned prototypes, an in-house production service and well-maintained plant and machinery to ensure optimum production efficiency.

Building Relationships
Look for a supplier too that will go the extra mile in bringing the personal touch to the customer relationship and take steps to fully understand your requirements. Another good sign is genuine expertise and knowledge of the product range and capabilities, rather than just sales prowess. Your ideal supplier will have a broad and deep knowledge of both the materials used in foam production and the processes involved.

Expertise in the Field
The reason that such knowledge is needed is because subtle changes in cell density, size, hardness, strength or elongation will greatly impact the finished result. A particular foam grade will be ideal for one process but another may lead to other results entirely. The right supplier will know what type of foam is needed for your requirements and how each foam type will react. An excellent knowledge of the raw component parts and the ways and means by which they will react to varied production processes will enable good engineers to adapt their tooling and machinery accordingly and to the customer’s benefit.

An in-house design and production capability will also mean that the service can be bespoke, which is often beyond the capacities of regular foam converter businesses. Fast and rapid prototypes, custom builds for tools and machinery and cost-effective and high-quality manufacturing will be the result of working with the right firm. Look also for industry accreditations and quality marks, which demonstrate recognised competence and quality systems. Recommendations from business peers and contacts can also be valuable in helping to make your supplier decision.

In short, if you need to buy foam for your business, work with the right supplier, one with in-house engineering expertise, an experienced team, strong product and process knowledge and excellent customer service skills. You will notice the difference.

AUTHOR BIO :
Johnny Boutain writes regularly on foam products and manufacturing processes for a range of business and trade magazines and other publications.