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Seals company expands reach to diesel, off-highway markets. (Industry News).

When the former Acushnet Rubber Inc. became Precix Inc. midway through 2002, more than the name was changed. Along with the new identity (pronounced "precise"), came a new marketing strategy. While maintaining its focus on automotive, aerospace and chemical processing applications, the company has expanded its reach into the diesel engine, hydraulic and off-road industries with its extensive range of high performance O-rings, seal rings and custom elastomer solutions.

Precix has also completed a major retooling project that included research and development, new processes and new machines, according to President and CEO Mike Walther. "The revamping of our business strategy enabled the company to more effectively focus its extensive elastomeric research, development and manufacturing capabilities on its core transportation industry accounts and selected non-automotive customers that were both profitable and showed potential for growth."

As these internal changes were going on, Precix Inc., based in New Bedford, Mass., also discontinued several product lines that had not shown either significant growth or consistent profit for the company.

With its experience in the automotive sector and in aerospace hydraulics, Precix feels well equipped to supply mobile and stationary equipment manufacturers, the engine industry itself and the mobile hydraulics sector.

"Our current market focus, as it relates to hydraulics and engines, is wherever aggressive chemicals and temperature extremes can be found, which usually means in the fuel system, near the engine," said David Slutz, director, sales and marketing. "These are difficult, 'high consequence' applications where failure is not an option."

Precix has continued to add to its extensive portfolio of compounds developed with the specific needs of the automotive/heavy-duty industry in mind.

"For instance, the Precix F86 high-fluorine fluorocarbon exhibits swell numbers up to 33 times better than conventional fluorocarbons in fuel blends. Precix F87 is a semi-conductive fluorocarbon that can enable an entire fuel system to dissipate a static charge," Slutz said.

"In addition, Precix's unique Velix II wash is a PTFE-free, inexpensive and environmentally sound treatment that will not flake off during installation or operation, and significantly reduces insertion force and coefficient of friction which allows for assembly ease without the mess. New on the horizon are biodiesel specific sealing compounds that will enable users to increase sealing performance even as the levels of the bio-element (20 percent and beyond) increase. These new biodiesel-specific compounds will be available in mid-2003."

Parlaying its experience in new compound development, Precix also offers engineering consultations, online access to its extensive catalog of existing compounds, non-linear finite element analysis (FEA) and Quick-Parts, a 10-business day prototype tooling and product service. The company strives to anticipate customer needs and precisely implement initiatives that reduce transaction, inventory carrying, logistical and design costs.

The manufacturer has also expanded its European presence through its European operation, BWD Automotive in Hamburg, Germany, which provides sales and application engineering resources to Precix customers. In addition, BWD is well equipped to provide assistance with logistics in the form of a dedicated warehouse facility near Hamburg, from which most of its customers are supplied on a just-in-time or synchronous basis, as required.

Precix is already an established supplier to the European automotive sector, where it counts ITT Automotive, John Guest Ltd., Legris, TI, Automotive Siemens, Delphi and A. Raymond among its customer base.

While the company's sealing products offered fit into three main application groups, the largest is automotive. In this sector Precix offers O-rings and sealing rings for a very wide range of components, including quick connects, fuel injectors, fuel rails, fuel tanks, fuel pumps, rollover valves, fuel sensors, relief valves, fuel filters, fuel filling caps, oil pumps, crankcase inlets, electrical harnesses, oxygen sensors, HVAC systems, emissions control equipment and diesel fuel systems.

For alternative fuel systems, the company has a range of seals for hybrid engines, 42 V electrical systems and fuel cells. In the aerospace sector, Precix products center on engines, fuel and hydraulic systems, including landing gear. And in the chemical processing industry, seals are offered for a wide range of pump types, instrumentation, valves, sensors and connectors (both hard plumbed and quick connect).

"Precix remains an agile company whose product approval process includes the AP/QP process to ensure a seamless transition to production, onsite tooling production, speed to market and uniform quality," said Slutz.

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Comment:Seals company expands reach to diesel, off-highway markets. (Industry News).
Author:McNeely, Mark
Publication:Diesel Progress North American Edition
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 1, 2003
Words:719
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