Author Archives: Jessica Stacy

  1. Rubber Pallet Bands: The Shrink-Wrap Alternative for an Efficient, Sustainable Brewery

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    New Green Solution Delivers Significant Savings & Keg Stability for Drake’s Brewing

    Closeup of silver beer keg with red logo for Drake's Brewing Co with large green rubber band around pallet of kegsBefore switching to environmentally friendly practices, one brewery relied on plastic shrink-wrap for stabilizing their empty kegs while moving them across the facility. While effective, the process was labor intensive and wasteful. In 2019, they found a simple solution to their problem—Rubber Pallet Bands from Aero Rubber Company®, Inc. Green in more ways than one, reusable rubber pallet bands resulted in dramatic savings on disposal costs, budget, and labor time for the brewery. These savings have allowed them to invest in other sustainable practices, and optimize their business and budget, thanks to this simple, cost-effective solution.

    The Challenge

    Sustainability, Reduced Costs, Efficiency

    When it comes to stabilizing pallet loads, you really can have it all. For Drake’s Brewing Company in San Leandro, California, a transition to more sustainable practices was on their minds years before Hal McConnellogue, then Cellar Manager, discovered Aero Rubber. “I was looking for ways to reduce waste on my own,” said McConnellogue, now the brewing company’s Sustainability Manager. But 2019 brought a challenge that Drake’s turned into an opportunity—a trash violation.

    Following the violation, McConnellogue requested a free county waste management audit of their facility. In assessing Drake’s Brewing’s processes, the auditor noted their significant shrink-wrap usage. At the time, when new kegs were dropped off from distributors, they were transported from the receiving area to the keg washing area, located in a separate building at the other end of their complex. There, the kegs were stripped of shrink-wrap, washed, and then rewrapped in shrink-wrap before being transported to their storage area. The kegs then needed to be unwrapped once more to be filled with beer.

    Not only was Drake’s Brewing’s shrink-wrap usage staggering but disposing of it was also troublesome.

    The waste management auditor told McConnellogue about a grant through the county for investing in reusable transportation materials. The $5,000 grant allowed Drake’s Brewing to explore shrink-wrap alternatives for drastically dialing back their budget and environmental impact.

    The Solution

    Pallets of empty kegs, secured by large green rubber bandsThe first suggestion the auditor made was to try mesh pallet wraps instead, but the cumbersome wraps took a long time to apply and were excessive for the application at hand. Their next solution, ratchet straps, was also off the mark. “They were really hard to use because you had to keep tension on them the whole time,” McConnellogue said. “Otherwise, they’d fall toward the bottom of the keg. And you needed two people to put them on.” Trials with poly strapping were promising, but also time-consuming, due to the equipment involved.

    When McConnellogue checked in with the county waste management auditor, he aired his concerns about the options he’d found. “The auditor said he had seen a food facility using big rubber bands, and maybe that would work for us. He said he had some samples.”

    Samples in hand, the team set up a test to evaluate the bands. Forklift drivers double stacked the kegs, stabilized them with the rubber pallet bands, and went full speed down a bumpy shipping alley between Drake’s Brewing’s two complexes. Not only did the kegs stay securely in place, but the ease of application saved their workers’ time, which was also the main concern with other solutions they’d tried. Pleased with how well the bands performed, Drake’s Brewing Co. reached out to Aero Rubber Company® to place an order.

    The Results

    Fast ROI

    With an investment of just $500, Drake’s was up and running with several hundred rubber pallet bands to transport their empty kegs. It took just over three months for the company to achieve ROI. After one year of use, the company had replaced 226,248 square feet of plastic shrink-wrap with rubber pallet bands, massively reducing the company’s plastic waste output. Since 2019, the trend has continued, with another 61,886 square feet of plastic shrink-wrap eliminated between 2020 and 2021, further reducing shrink-wrap and disposal costs.

    “Pallet Bands are super affordable, and you’ll make your money back instantly.”

    —Hal McConnellogue, Sustainability Manager of Drake’s Brewing Co.

    User-Friendly Load Stabilization

    Pallet bands also improved the team’s efficiency, allowing them to stack empty kegs four high, each level secured with its own pallet band, to transport around the facility. “It’s super secure,” McConnellogue said. “I don’t think anybody’s ever had one break.” The days of unwrapping and rewrapping kegs for washing are in the past and the team’s processes with new keg shipments are much faster now.

    As far as usability, Aero’s rubber pallet bands alleviated many safety concerns that are present with shrink-wrap. “Wrapping stuff in stretch wrap takes a long time. Typically, you’re walking backwards and you could trip and fall over something,” McConnellogue said. Pallet bands, on the other hand, are easily applied by one employee, no equipment or training required. “Anybody on their first attempt can put a band around a pallet of goods,” McConnellogue noted. Plus, the rubber material of the bands provides a solid grip against the metal of the kegs, making it easy to apply the bands and keep them in place.

    McConnellogue also highlighted that the green bands are easy to spot in a facility filled with steel machinery and can be hung up on hooks around the warehouse for easy access. “When anybody’s moving anything that warrants wrapping something up, that’s what they grab,” McConnellogue said. This includes bags of grain that slide around during transport.

    Reusable = Sustainable

    On top of the ROI and usability benefits, pallet bands are an extremely impactful step toward a greener business. Since the rubber pallet bands are reusable, the same band can be used many times before needing to be replaced. “They last forever,” McConnellogue said of the pallet bands.

    In just the first year of using Aero’s rubber pallet bands, Drake’s prevented 565 pounds of plastic waste from entering landfills, compared to the previous year, and their shrink-wrap budget was slashed in half. Three years later, the company’s total shrink-wrap budget is down 75%, while their in-house shrink-wrap use is reduced by 95%. “You’re eliminating all your stretch wrap waste,” McConnellogue pointed out. “If you’re a small brewery, you can reduce your waste for landfills very quickly.”

    Their overall shrink-wrap waste is now so minimal that they were able to invest in a baler to compact plastic waste from their incoming shipments from distributors. They store many bales worth of plastic waste before calling out a dedicated recycling company, taking their sustainability efforts to the next level.

    What’s Next

    Black and white logo for Drake's Brewing CompanyNow, when workers from other breweries visit Drake’s Brewing’s facility and see the pallet bands, they ask the team about their banding process. “They want to know where they can get them,” McConnellogue said. “I give them a bundle to try.”

    Drake’s Brewing’s next mission, according to McConnellogue, is getting industry partners onboard with using pallet bands. His message to those companies? “The solution is already here. Don’t waste any more time. Pallet Bands are super affordable, and you’ll make your money back instantly.”

    Go green and save money!Single Pallet Band

    Are you ready to try pallet bands in your own brewery or warehouse? Request a free sample and get a call from an experienced Sales Specialist within 24 hours.

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  2. Are Your Electrical Enclosure Gaskets a Safety Hazard?

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    Electrical enclosure gasketsFrom meters to fuse boxes to enclosed lighting, you’re surrounded by electrical components on the job. Most of them have gaskets just inside the electrical enclosure to stop outside particles from getting into the wiring compartment. But are your current gaskets the right fit and material for your work environment? Do they protect your electrical enclosures from rain or harmful airborne particles? Are there any gaps or signs of wear? You might not know the answers to these questions, and the consequences could be dire for your business.

    An inefficient design for electrical enclosure gaskets can allow gases and liquids to leak into your devices. This can cause everything from system failures that require time-consuming repairs to fires that put your facility and employees at risk. A molded gasket allows an all-around customized fit that can protect your electrical enclosures against harmful debris, gases, and liquids.

    Aero Rubber Company works with molded parts every day and can help you optimize your gaskets for the protection you need. With Aero in your corner, sudden electrical equipment failures due to leaking gaskets can become a concern of the past.

    Why Molded Gaskets?

    Electrical components are expensive. Using gaskets that leave gaps or break down in your work environment can jeopardize your budget and your employees’ safety. Custom molded gaskets can help eliminate some of the biggest risks by offering the most complex design of any gasketing method.

    When you work with Aero for your molded gasket, we’ll help you identify opportunities to make your gaskets more effective. Our sales engineers are ready to guide you through the process of optimizing the protection around your electrical enclosure.

    Customized Fit

    A molded part has greater design flexibility and gives you more control over your gasket profile. Molded gaskets have more depth and more design capabilities to fully seal your electrical enclosure. You can add ribs and other complex points of contact to the design to enhance the gasket. A gasket that is custom molded into the shape you need makes it nearly impossible for outside particles to breach the enclosure.

    Flat gasket next to molded gasket

    Adaptive Design

    A molded gasket also provides a higher level of protection for your electrical enclosures thanks to its adaptability. Most mating surfaces will have minor inconsistencies by default. A molded gasket’s robust nature compensates for any gaps in your enclosure that a flat gasket would leave vulnerable. This means more contact between the surfaces of your electrical enclosure, significantly reducing the chances of leakage or contamination.

    Molded parts have far more design flexibility than a flat gasket and can create the seamless protection your electrical enclosures demand. Aero’s sales engineers can review any concerns you have about your current design. Your team will also offer tips on developing top-quality molded gaskets for better security of your electrical enclosures.

    Airtight & Watertight Molded Gaskets

    Electrical components at a job site are often exposed to elements in the air as well as water and other liquids. If not enclosed properly, particles and fluids can erode your gasket over time and eventually damage your equipment. This type of contamination can lead to everything from breakdown of parts to minor system failures to fires and other critical safety hazards. A molded gasket blocks debris, water, chemicals, and other fluids from entering the device.

    Outdoor Worksites

    Airtight and watertight molded gaskets are ideal for enclosed electrical devices and components used in outdoor environments. Here are a few instances where switching to a gasket with this type of specialized molded gasket could really pay off.

  3. Discover Oil-Resistant Labels That Look Great

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    Wash, Reuse & Delight With Oil-Resistant LabelsEO Bandz closeup with bands on bottles

    Essential oil fans are delighted, but could their solution apply to your business? Oil, fluids, food, and everyday environments can ruin labels, making it hard for customers to identify your products. But what if there were a better way? Would you want a label that wasn’t affected by oil, could be washed, reused, and looked great time and time again?

    The Challenge

    This struggle was all too common for essential oil enthusiasts Colleen Anthony and Dina Susich, Co-owners of EO Bandz. What started as a hobby, turned into a successful business filling an essential need. When Colleen began mixing her own essential oil blends, she labeled her bottles with stickers, like many other oil users.

    The problem was that the stickers weren’t performing the way she needed. “It was extremely frustrating to spend money on precious oils only to throw the contents away because the stickers fell off,” she explained.

    Even more important to Colleen was knowing the contents of her bottles for her family’s safety. “You need to know what’s in your containers for yourself and your kids. I just wanted something that told me what I was giving my daughter.” Colleen’s concerns led her on a search for an oil-resistant labeling method that she could share with other essential oil users.

    “It just seemed like a simple solution to have labels that would last.”
    —Colleen Anthony, Co-owner of EO Bandz

    EO Bandz essential oil bottle band variety

    The Search for a Label

    Colleen started with trying to optimize the most popular option for essential oil labels—stickers. She attempted every method from paper covered with packaging tape to custom printed label sheets, but she kept ending up with the same issues. Labeling with stickers left bottles slippery and prone to smudged writing from the oils. Once the labels became unreadable or came off completely, she had to choose between wasting her carefully crafted oils and the risk of guessing the contents.

    Labels that did stay in place still had to be scraped off empty bottles so they could be boiled for the next batch. “You can spend $1.75 for a vinyl sticker that’s printed in cursive, but it’s not reusable,” Colleen explained. “And if you use oils daily, the stickers maybe last a week.”

    Bottom line: no solution was cost-effective. Every existing option left Colleen right back at square one, going through costly solutions that didn’t cover all of essential oil users’ needs.

    The Fix

    Having exhausted all conventional options, Colleen headed to the hardware store where she found something close to what she was looking for—o-rings. They would provide the durability and grip she wanted for her bottles along with being reusable. However, the o-rings didn’t have the customization options that she really needed to tell her bottles apart.

    With their final goal in mind, a simple internet search led partners Colleen and Dina to Aero Rubber’s PromoStretch® Silicone Bands. Despite reaching out to a few companies, Aero Rubber was the only company to return their call. After chatting with a Sales Engineer, they found that Aero’s pricing was competitive and that our product could easily provide customization, a sure grip, and the reusability and durability they wanted for essential oil bottle labels. And there was an added bonus of tons of color choices.

    The Benefits

    Thanks to Aero Rubber’s PromoStretch® silicone bands, Colleen and Dina can offer their customers an option that checks all the right boxes—reusability, durability, and a broad range of customized printing and colors. “This makes life simple,” Colleen said of the bands. “It’s one of those things you think should be readily available in the market.” Now essential oil users from all over have access to bands that make holistic living quick, convenient, and affordable.

    The Outcome

    With their first order, the team launched their new business EO Bandz. They were hopeful the new bands would fill a need, but sales quickly rose above their expectations. When Colleen and Dina officially began selling, they sold one-quarter of their inventory in a six-month span without even a website.

    Since launching their online business in fall 2019, Colleen and Dina have kept up the good momentum, selling the bands in the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe. “Our general orders are fairly steady and we’re looking to expand,” the partners elaborated.

    The feedback so far has been extremely positive, but their favorite feedback came from the parents of special needs children. The parents praised EO Bandz’s wide color scheme and the silicone design’s superior grip as ideal for their children’s use. “They want to give them a responsibility to go get their oils and use them on their own,” Colleen explained. Knowing that their bands made a difference in the lives of these families “was really nice to see.”

    Colleen and Dina are extremely proud of the work they’ve done. Their goal with EO Bandz is to be the go-to label option for all essential oil users. Whatever their next venture, we at Aero Rubber look forward to remaining a part of their journey.

    EO Bandz essential oil bands with box and bottles

    Create Your Own PromoStretch® Band Labels

    Feeling inspired by EO Bandz’s story? Get in touch and learn what it takes to create custom PromoStretch®  silicone advertising bands your customers will love.

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  4. Silicone Benefits & Uses

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    Sponge Silicone Rubber Sheet with Gaskets

    Five Reasons to Switch to Silicone for Industrial Rubber Parts

    1. UV & Ozone Resistance
    2. Extreme Cold & High Heat Endurance
    3. Range of Durometers
    4. Color Options
    5. Custom Variations

    From pharmaceuticals to food and beverage manufacturing, silicone is a popular elastomer.

    Silicone endures manufacturing environments and harsh outdoor conditions easily thanks to properties like UV and ozone resistance, as well as tolerance of a wide range of temperatures. These features, along with an extended service life, make silicone one of the most in-demand elastomers. In spite of a recent shortage, its uses are only expanding as more industries see the broad range of benefits silicone can offer. If you’re searching for a new elastomer, here are some reasons why silicone may be the best choice.

    Top Benefits

    Customize Your Project

    Silicone Rubber Sheet Circles with Gaskets and Chemical Resistant Fluorosilicone

    When you need an elastomer that tackles extreme temperatures, has outdoor resistance, and can be customized for your project, silicone may be perfect for the job. Aero Rubber Company®, Inc.’s dedicated sales team will help you discover how many silicone uses can fits your needs. Aero Rubber Company®, Inc. is proud to offer reduced lead times during the current silicone shortage through a network of reliable compounders.

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