The newly developed automated Seal-Tite Sealing System for RV windows, doors and moldings from Seal Design, a Dicor Corp. affiliate, has performed well on RV production lines, reports General Manager Greg Kelly.
According to a press release, the Seal-Tite Sealing System uses an automatic hand-assist sealing platform that lays down a consistent, pre-programmed bead size for sealing windows, baggage and entrance doors, storage hatches, exterior outlets and other exterior accessory components. The dispensing system, controlled by the operator with the help of an x/y automatic assist mechanism, will dispense the same size bead of Seal-Tite hot melt sealant no matter how fast or slow the operator works.
A complete system was initiated by Open Range RV Co. and operational set-up for RV windows began in July. By early fall the system was averaging 250 windows a day with one man operating the controls for six hours. Previously it would have taken eight men to do the same number of windows using hand taping procedures in two separate plants, Kelly said.
With a completely consistent bead of the quality sealant, air-tight product testing showed a virtual zero defect for 250 windows a day. In addition, Kelly estimates that the initial upfront savings to be substantial per month.
“Manufacturers can realize a return on investment just on the elimination of cap seal material, scrap and inventory costs alone,” said Kelly. “The big thing this system does is simplify things. Training is simplified, production is simplified, space considerations are simplified, inventory and the inventory accounting process are simplified. Furthermore, we’ve developed a leasing program that makes the initial cost very affordable.”
But the biggest payoff is yet to be realized, said Kelly. “That will come when we start seeing results from the units that have been constructed with the help of this system that are now in use,” said Kelly. “When we start seeing a reduction in leak problems and warranty claims, that will be the big payoff for our customers.”
“What we are doing right now with this system and with our customers is a process of continuous improvement. We are helping our customers integrate this into production processes among other things. We expect to soon start using this system for sealing all exterior doors and moldings as well.”
A major RV manufacturer will start integrating a fully XYZ automatic footprint of the system into its production process in February. Seal Design is also working with several other major manufacturers on an automated process for applying exterior moldings. “What we’re working toward is a complete, automatic sealing process for the entire exterior of the RV,” said Kelly.
Kelly sees these initiatives as “industry-changing steps toward a more automotive approach to RV production and quality. Quite simply, we’re introducing more control, including much more quality control, into the RV manufacturing process which, in terms of things like leaks and warranty claims, promises to be a big win for consumers and manufacturers.”
For more information about this and other Seal Design products, visit www.sealdesignllc.com. SealTite will be part of the Dicor booth (North Wing Lobby, Hall 2A) during the Dec. 3-5 Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) 51st National RV Trade Show in Louisville Ky.
When Dicor Corp. President Gregg Fore gets involved in something, it’s never halfway. And so it was that Fore, an RV industry supplier and immediate past chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), dove head first this summer and fall into a unique “Men in Kilts” charity fund drive on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Michiana.
The inevitable result was that Fore last week (Oct. 24) took the stage with the other nine participants in the 5th Annual Men in Kilts campaign at a 400-person benefit dinner at South Bend’s Hilton Garden Inn as the top fund-raiser.
For his efforts in traipsing around Elkhart dressed fashionably in a kilt visiting health clubs, jewelry stores and sedate business offices in an effort to attract attention to the plight of the Ronald McDonald House, Fore succeeded in raising $67,000 dollars from about 160 donors as part of a campaign that ended up netting a total of $270,000. The Ronald McDonald House oversees “Family Room” operations at nearby South Bend Memorial Childrens Hospital,
In the process, Fore and his campaign’s “Gforce” staff, led by Larry Lebryk, Dicor’s director of marketing, Tina Sharkey, sales manager for affiliated United Shade, and friend Becci Zook, smashed the five-year-old Men in Kilts fund-drive record of $22,000,
“We took two or three days during the process – and then some later as well – where we toured the county, stopping at customers and some other suppliers,” said Fore. “We stopped at specific areas, some potential donors and took photos. We posted them on Facebook (see link below) and put them on our website (www.greggsleggs). We had some videos made and put on our website that poked even more fun at who we were and what we were doing in a self-effacing way – always bringing it back to the seriousness of the cause.”
Fore’s campaign staff also hosted a special Aug. 27 benefit at Elkhart’s 523 Tap & Grill, with proprietor George Anagnos donating a percent of his proceeds.
“Our goal was to go out and be the leading fundraiser, not because winning the fundraising contest was all that important in itself,” Fore said of the campaign, which injects a little fun and levity into a charity that serves as many as 9,000 families a year for the South Bend Memorial Childrens Hospital. “What’s important is the number of people that those dollars help. We were able to reach out and touch a large segment of Elkhart County and across the country in some cases. So, yeah, it was a lot of fun and it turned out great.”
For more information visit the “Men in Kilts” Facebook page by clicking here.
Mark Royce has joined United Shade as director of all purchasing functions for its three facilities.
According to a press release, he will be part of the United Shade executive team, helping to streamline materials management and developing efficient product flow in and out of facilities and production lines.
Royce has worked in the RV industry for more than 20 years, all of it in the purchasing departments of several major RV manufacturers.
“We’re excited to have Mark’s in-depth knowledge of purchasing at the OEM level now working for United Shade,” said Braden McCormick, president of United Shade, an affiliate of Elkhart, Ind.-based Dicor Corp. “This will be a great benefit in our relationships with manufacturers and suppliers. We expect him to be an integral part of managing our company’s growth.”
For more information visit www.unitedshade.com.
In all fairness, it takes some guts to walk around the conservative Northern Indiana community of Elkhart in a kilt, making personal appearances at restaurants, health clubs and driving ranges in this uniquely Scottish garb.
“Yeah, that’s what some people say, but if you believe in what you’re doing, it doesn’t make any difference,” insists Gregg Fore, the outspoken president of Elkhart, Ind.-based Dicor Corp., who was persuaded by a Mishawaka publisher to participate in this year’s “Men in Kilts” fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Michiana, which oversees “Family Room” operations at nearby South Bend Memorial Childrens Hospital.
Fore, immediate past chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), is actually one of 10 area men who have agreed to serve as fundraising leaders this year by doing personal appearances around northern Indiana’s Elkhart and St. Joseph counties as part of the five-year-old “Men in Kilts” program. Fore told RVBUSINESS.com that the 10 participants will compete to become the top fundraiser with a cutoff date of Oct. 24.
To do so, Fore has enlisted his campaign “staff,” comprised of Larry Lebryk, Dicor’s director of marketing, Tina Sharkey, sales manager for United Shade, and friend Becci Zook. Initially, the team spent time learning about South Bend’s Ronald McDonald facility, which operates year-round on a 12/7 basis with two paid staff members, 120 volunteers and an annual budget of $350,000. Of that total, Fore reports, $30,000 comes from the McDonalds Corp. while $100,000 is derived from coin collector devices located in McDonald’s restaurants and the rest from assorted donations.
South Bend’s facility provides day rooms, a full kitchen, computer hookups, laundry and three overnight rooms for families whose dependent children are seeking medical care at Memorial.
“They serve an average of 25 families per day,” says Fore, who plans to personally match the largest singular donation (currently $2,500) and might be seen next Monday (July 1) at local fire and law enforcement facilities. “And they have a hot meal every night for whoever is there. So, they raised $112,000 last year in the ‘Men in Kilts’ fundraiser, and the lead guy did about $22,000. And my intention is to go over $30,000.”
United Shade, an affiliate of Elkhart, Ind.-based Dicor Corp., is rolling in new equipment to help meet growing demand from RV manufacturers for two of its roller shade products.
In another indication of an improving RV market and market share growth, the company also continues to add personnel dedicated to roller shade production.
According to a press release, the new machinery includes CNC automated fabric cutting equipment that more than doubles current capabilities. New CNC automated heat sealing equipment has already doubled current sealing capacity.
“We are very pleased with the acceptance of our SmartRise and SmartPower products,” said Braden McCormick, president of United Shade. “This confirms that we have offered a product with the right features, price point and convenience. We are very excited about the positive momentum we have created, and the investment we’ve just made in this equipment should give a real boost to our manufacturing capacity and our ability to meet current and future industry needs.”
Product lines include SmartRise roller shades, which provide cordless lifting options for different kinds of day and day-night configurations. The company’s SmartPower roller shades feature advanced materials, components, motors and installation systems to provide push-button shade control from either a wall switch, remote control or key fob.
“It appears we’ve delivered what RV manufacturers are looking for in terms of shade innovation,” said McCormick. “Now we want our manufacturing partners to understand that we’re committed to making the investments needed to deliver for their production schedules as well.”
United Shade’s products also offer several residential-style features, including multiple light blocking and light filtering options, and convenient cordless operation.
Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier Dicor Corp. will continue to build on what has become a popular series of RV “instructional” videos focused on various aspects of RV care and improvement.
According to a press release, upcoming videos are expected to spotlight such topics as coating systems for rubber; fiberglass and metal roofs; how to properly seal the installation of a new skylight as well as a roof vent, plumbing vent, refrigerator vent or TV antenna; how to properly seal trim strips; and how to measure for new shades and blinds.
“We just believe that getting more information out to the RV consumer is helpful in improving their RV experience,” said Dave Majewski, vice president of aftermarket sales. “And improving the RV experience is what we all should be doing as an industry.”
The current video series introduced by Dicor’s Rudy character has gone over well because it presents “the kind of clear and easy-to-digest information about maintaining and improving RVs that a lot of people are looking for,” said Majewski.
Dicor is the leading supplier of roofing material for the industry and best known in the aftermarket for its high-quality lap sealants and stainless steel wheel covers and simulators. In recent years it has expanded its presence in the RV aftermarket through new products and its series of roof care videos. Dicor is also one of the leading sponsors of the upcoming RVB Power Breakfast
“These videos help give the RV consumer a direct connection to the OEM level of expertise available in the industry, which RVers really appreciate,” said Majewski. “RV manufacturers and suppliers know the ‘best practices’ for doing these things, so why shouldn’t we share them? Among other things, it really strengthens our bond with the RV consumer.”
To view the most recent videos, go to the Dicor Products website at http://www.dicorproducts.com/resources/care.
Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier Dicor Corp. announced its sponsorship of the first “RV Industry Power Breakfast” May 9 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame Northern Indiana Event Center. According to a press release, scheduled presenters include U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) President and CEO Jim Rogers.
Developed and facilitated by RVBusiness magazine, this is the first such event to bring together the leadership of major RV-related companies, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), executive staff, economic experts and government leadership for a special conference in Elkhart. It will provide an opportunity to address the future of the industry through a series of thought-provoking, informative speakers representing different industry perspectives. Other sponsors include the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County, Forest River Inc., GE Capital, KOA, Spartan Motors Inc. and Thor Industries Inc.
“We appreciate the opportunity to support this event,” said Gregg Fore, president of Dicor and immediate past chairman of RVIA, who will offer opening remarks at the event. “The decision by RVBusiness to hold it in Elkhart makes sense. I think you get a better picture of the challenges and solutions you’re facing when you’re speaking to the community, to the people that put the plans into action. Hopefully the analysis and ideas this forum provides will inspire us in our efforts both as individual companies and collectively as an industry, to continue to work together and stay ahead of the continuing recovery.”
The breakfast runs from 7-10:30 a.m. on May 9. Tickets are $25 per person through April 25 and $30 after that date. Tables are also available and may be reserved by April 25. Online registration will be available on the RVBUSINESS.com website soon.
That’s the message Dicor is spreading at the 50th Annual National RV Trade Show underway this week in Louisville, Ky.
At the company’s “Center of Amazing” display in the North Wing Lobby, Hall 2A in the Kentucky Exposition Center, visitors see a variety of new impact products. Among them:
- Vixen FRP — a new breakthrough family of products that address different application and finish requirements for sidewalls and panels.
- New EPDM roofing in the color tan. Coordinate graphics with that. Also — new, more pliable TPO roofing that makes it easier to install a quality roof.
- New manufacturing robotics for better quality seals for windows, doors and exterior hatches. With amazing manufacturing efficiencies.
- A buzz of new shade products, including remote control capabilities, to further evolve interior RV window treatments into the 21st century.
- New aftermarket sealants, cleaners and repair kits to take care of RVs.
- Lightweight PolyStone solid surface material: first-class countertops at half the weight.
- To help beat the heat, Dicor Products introduces CoolCoat, a new heat-reducing coating for EPDM RV roofs.
What does a Norman Rockwell painting, a table dancer, R2D2, a roll top desk, tan and black lager, and a thermos bottle have in common? They’re all part of a whimsical and fun Facebook page started by Dicor Corp.. The online site provides a sneak preview of new products at the Dicor “Center of Amazing” booth during the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. To view the page click here.
For RV manufacturers, the page previews new Vixen FRP sidewall and external panel options, new tan-colored EPDM roof material, a table with a four-way moveable top and an exclusive robotic window sealing system. These and other new offerings are from what Dicor calls its “Center of Amazing” research and innovation.
RV dealers who don’t usually visit the Dicor booth can view some of the attractive new products at this year’s display that enhance aftermarket revenue and service, including a heat-reducing roof coating, specialized lap sealants, roof cleaning and coating systems, and shade repair and cleaning products.
The page also shows the new roof care and repair videos that Dicor Products is currently producing as part of its expanded consumer communications.
Videos and iconic pop culture photos of robots, tables and people, among other things, liven up the page while highlighting product features. New postings are made daily.
“We want it to be a fun place for people to visit, and encourage the informal exchange of ideas and feedback between us and our visitors,” said Gregg Fore, Dicor president. “It’s another channel of communication for those interested in what we do.”
More about the Dicor, its affiliates and their products, may also be found at www.dicor.com.
Dicor Corp.’s Vixen Composites affiliate has taken the next step in its strategic plan to become a complete supplier of sidewall and other external panels and composites by introducing Vixen FRP products.
“When Vixen was formed a couple of years ago, the plan we had was to develop an unmatched range of products that would bring the newest and best FRP and composite technologies to the RV market,” stated Gregg Fore, president of the Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier, in a press release. “We started by focusing on producing our Vixenite composite panels, which we have successfully introduced into a variety of non-RV markets, and quickly moved to work with manufacturers across the globe to develop RV-specific FRP panel technology to improve the long-term performance of RV exteriors.”
The new product lines are marketed under the name Vixen FRP, and are comprised of a family of products that address different application and finish requirements. The first product introduced will be FibroPlus, specifically designed to boost the performance of RV sidewalls. FibroGloss, an extra high-gloss FRP, will be introduced early in 2013, along with FibroGrip, a non-skid material, and FibroTrans, a translucent panel.
Vixen General Manager Gordon Frost said that FibroPlus and FibroGloss will be available in a variety of widths and colors and in rolls up to 200 feet in length. Frost explained that “some competitive FRP products use general purpose resins with lower fiberglass content and may sell thinner panels, while Vixen’s products are constructed of a proprietary blend of resins and manufactured using new curing technology. They have a minimum thickness of 0.050. These are all important factors in the long term performance of the FRP.”
Fore added, “After working with several global manufacturers, Dicor selected the Yucel Group to provide these specifically formulated FRP Products to Vixen Composites. Yucel made a solid commitment to meet Vixen’s specifications and quality standards, expanded their facility for RV demand, and have proven technical ability along with the integrity and strong principles needed to satisfy both Vixen and its customers.”
According to Fore, these new products are perfect complements to the Vixenite Composite panels introduced earlier by Vixen. “With the addition of this family of FRP products, Vixen will now be able to offer sidewall products that meet the needs of the majority of RV products produced on an annual basis.”
For more information call Gordon Frost at (574) 264-2699. Vixen FRP products will be part of the “Center for the Amazing” Dicor Corp. booth in the North Wing Lobby, Hall 2A, of the Kentucky Exposition Center during the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Nov. 27-29.