Last fall, Open Range RV became the first towable manufacturer to adopt a semi-robotic sealing system for its exterior windows produced by Seal Design, an affiliate of Elkhart, Ind.-based Dicor Corp.
According to a press release, Seal-Tite has made the placement of window sealants more precise and error-free, eliminating the hand application of such sealants that often resulted in inconsistent quality.
When a window is prepared for installation on a typical assembly line, a butyl tape or foam sealant is applied to the window where it attaches to the wall. However, installers frequently have trouble keeping the tape or foam from stretching around the corners where it can create small gaps at those points, or elsewhere where it may also be unevenly stretched.
Accordingly, a caulk or cap sealant is often applied around the window once it is in place to provide an additional barrier to water intrusion. However, such caulking can eventually break down or be unevenly applied as well, leading to window leaks that can damage the RV and make for an expensive repair job.
The Seal-Tite system involves a quick-set, hot melt sealant that can be precisely and optimally sized for a particular window type and applied in a consistent bead by a hand-assisted robotic arm in a matter of seconds. In addition, the need for a cap sealant is virtually eliminated.
“There’s nothing else like it in the industry,” said Seal Design General Manager Greg Kelly. “Open Range has really taken the lead on this as a real solution to window leaks, and we intend to alert RV buyers to this with a special sticker to certify that a particular RV has been built using this process.”
Open Range’s leak testing showed consistent, near perfect test results over the course of hundreds of windows a day. The company expects to initiate a similar process for sealing entrance doors and exterior hatches.
“At Open Range we are continually trying to improve on everything that we do,” said Jason Martin, director of product development for the Shipshewana, Ind.-based builder. “If there’s something new out there, we take time to look at it and see if it works for us.”
Marketing Coordinator Josh Streich noted, “As the only RV company with this kind of technology for eliminating window leaks, it adds another distinguishing feature to our towable products. More room and less weight are features that distinguish us in the marketplace, and now we can add leak reduction as well.”
Dicor Corp. affiliate Seal Design is opening up another market niche within the marine and RV industries as the exclusive distributor of a new mold release coating, said Greg Kelly, general manager of the division.
The latest expansion of Dicor Corp.’s offerings is for FRP, ABS and fiberglass molding suppliers serving the RV and marine industries. Such molding operations make boat hulls, interior molded ABS, injected molded and roto cast parts for marine products, and a number of significant parts for RVs, such as front and rear caps, ground effect products and various ABS parts.
Called Release Rite 7000, the mold release features a tough, durable film that allows multiple mold releases with one spray-on application, and can easily be touched up as needed. It has an exclusive chemistry composed of an aqueous co-solvent blend of a semi-composite release agent intended for most general composite and FRP molding operations, including phenolic, epoxy and fiberglass applications.
“Release Rite has a very complex chemistry and is a very high quality mold release agent that we’ve been able to make cost-competitive,” said Kelly. “Its big advantage is the cost savings in terms of productivity that it brings to molded parts suppliers. With Release Rite, they can get a lot more ‘pulls’ before they have to recondition the mold. And when they do recondition molds, it will take less time and create lest disruption. Its spray-on application also facilitates ease-of-use and makes it perfect for bigger molds.”
Seal Design will also be introducing a complete line of new release agents for the broader injection molding industry, including injection and compression rubber molders.
“As the exclusive supplier of this product, this is a great opportunity for us in a whole new market,” said Kelly.
Seal Design LLC recently introduced its Seal-Tite hot melt sealant for RV windows, doors and hatches that can “reduce manufacturers’ sealant cost by 30%,” according to a press release.
Nitrogen gas is infused into the sealant material, volumizing it and enabling the material to spread farther and seep more effectively into small gaps to create an impervious seal. Seal Design, a subsidiary of Dicor Corp., said that because of the deeper penetration, manufacturers save on material costs.
The new closed-cell, gas-sealant mixture is easier to compress when solid and also less likely to over-compress, retaining good rebound or reflexive qualities. It also reduces sagging to maintain uniform thickness while still offering a seal that is as durable as the non-infused material.
The caulk and putty replacement is a highly stable sealant that can be applied by the manufacturer quickly and accurately with a hot-gun or robotic process that keeps bleed waste and cleanup to a minimum, according to the release.
Also, unlike caulk and putty tape, Seal-Tite does not crack, shrink or deteriorate over time, maintaining a solid, worry-free seal. In addition, it is a green product manufactured in accordance with Energy Star and American Architectural Manufacturers Association specifications.
The volumized product will let RV manufacturers do more with less material, and take advantage of a newly developed robotic application option that applies the sealant with consistent automotive quality faster than ever, said Greg Kelly, general manager of Seal Design.
“We’re talking a fraction of the time it would take for an assembler to seal a fixture with standard caulking. It can replace the manufacturer’s inventory of several different kinds of caulks and sealants,” Kelly noted. “With nitrogen infused Seal-Tite applied robotically, you get a consistent, automotive quality result — a precisely placed, solid, durable seal that’s going to stand the test of time and weather,” he said.
The infused sealant also sets up faster for increased line speeds and production rates.
For more information, visit www.sealdesignllc.com, call toll free 877-262-0954, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elkhart, Ind.-based Dicor Corp. has launched its new corporate website along with new websites for several of its affiliated companies.
The new corporate site at www.dicor.com features the company’s recent rebranding and the introduction of its affiliates’ new products under the theme of “amazing breakthroughs with boring stuff,” according to a news release.
The site links to easy-to-use online product catalogs for three Dicor Corp. affiliates — Dicor Products (www.dicorproducts.com) Seal Design (www.sealdesignllc.com) and United Shade (www.unitedshade.com) — along with a repeating slide show of the major breakthrough products Dicor Corp. companies have recently introduced to the RV market.
The websites will offer an expanding library of videos about products and their uses and provide product specs, warranty information, and installation instructions.
For RV manufacturers, the websites contain “Factory Friendly” notes for each product that explain how the product benefits the manufacturing process as well as the RV owner, and the extensive support offered by Dicor Corp. companies to effectively integrate the product into a manufacturer’s production line. Items for aftermarket purchase and installation are also featured through each site.
“These sites are part of the expanded capabilities we’ve been putting in place over the past year,” said Gregg Fore, president of Dicor Corp. “The websites are designed to make it easier for our customers to quickly obtain information about our many new products as well as our familiar offerings. Many people are not aware of the great variety of products we have. We expect to build on this online presence in the months and years to come.”
The easy-to-use sites highlight each product with its own page. Visitors can view a summary of product’s features and benefits as well as available videos, specs, installation procedures, service and warranty information — all accessible with just a few clicks.
“The information on these sites can be used for a quick reference, or for extensive data analysis, or for precise installation instructions,” said Fore. “Furthermore, they raise the profile of our extensive, quality product offerings, and communicate the innovation and customer support we apply to every product line.”
To learn more about Dicor Corporation and its affiliated companies and the difference they make, visit www.dicor.com.
Along with innovative new products, Seal Design, an affiliate of Elkhart, Ind.-based Dicor Corp., has taken steps to make the core of its business environmentally friendly, the company said in a news release.
“We’re the only sealant innovator in the RV industry that is an Energy Star partner,” said Greg Kelly, general manager for Seal Design. “We have a number of products, including Touch-N-Seal insulating spray foam, that have the Energy Star label.”
Energy Star is a government-backed symbol for energy efficiencies that help protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices as rated by EPA standards. Many Seal Design products have also been certified by AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturer Association) for their environmental benefits.
“Energy Star and AAMA are not certifications that any product can get,” said Kelly. “These products have been tested, tested and retested. All these products must meet the features and performance demanded by consumers while also achieving greater energy efficiency. They are proven products.”
“At Seal Design we are green driven and well as performance driven. We have developed a number of green practices along with products designed to preserve the environment and people’s health. We want to be a green and health-conscious supplier for the industry, and we think that’s something RVers, in particular, appreciate.”
Seal Design’s green solutions include:
• No toxic or carcinogenic materials used in production or installations.
• No rainwater or soil contamination (no runoff).
• No off-gassing in either production or application.
• Zero chemical migration.
• No specialty disposal requirement.
• No specialty freight regulations or restrictions.
• Zero volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).
• Biodegradable materials.
• Non-allergic materials.
• No HCFC’s or CFC’s — chemicals that deplete the ozone layer, which increases skin cancer, cataracts, and potential damage to some marine organisms, plants and plastics.
• Moisture-resistance systems and systems that inhibit growth of biological contaminants in structures.
• Sustainability. Seal materials that never dry out or harden, providing a longer lasting, more energy efficient seal with less replacement material and labor.
• Recycling: Waste from Seal-Tite applications is reprocessed, and TPV extrusions are 100 percent recyclable.
A foam insulation product used increasingly in home building is being introduced to the RV industry by Seal Design as a superior alternative for insulating and sealing RVs.
Seal Design is an affiliate of Dicor Corp. and provides a variety of sealant products to RV manufacturers. Its new Touch-N-Seal foam polyurethane insulation results from the chemical reaction of two liquid components that combine in a spray gun to produce sprayed-in foam that quickly expands to fill even the smallest crevices, before hardening into solid, lightweight-structured insulation. It is a practical alternative to the fiberglass used in most towable RVs today, according to a news release.
Small gaps typically left by fiberglass insulation as it is rolled over studs, or is tucked around cutouts for windows, doors and hatches, are filled by the solidified foam. Along with its better seal, Touch-N-Seal has an R-value of 7.2 per inch compared to a typical R-value of 3.2 per inch for fiberglass insulation used in RVs. Additionally; Touch-N-Seal provides better insulation for sound.
Another benefit is the solid foam’s ability to limit water damage and mold growth from potential leaks because of the tight interior wall seal it achieves. “Unlike fiberglass batting, water cannot penetrate the closed-cell foam, and the foam will not hold water inside the walls like fiberglass, reducing the chance of serious damage from water intrusion,” said Greg Kelly, general manager of Seal Design.
The polyurethane foam also strengthens the walls as it solidifies, while weighing less than fiberglass. “So you’re strengthening the wall while reducing weight at the same time,” said Kelly. “That’s what manufacturers are looking for these days.”
“We know our customers and the industry as a whole need better insulation solutions, so Seal Design looked at some of the best performing sealing technologies in other industries and this is one of several new products we determined could very practicably be used in the manufacture of RVs,” said Kelly.
For example, using a spray gun, a single worker could more quickly insulate a wall than by cutting and gluing fiberglass batting between the studs. Seal Design provides delivery systems that include a new CPDS 1000 dispensing system. This system is portable and delivers a constant pressure using compressed air, enabling higher foam yields and fast installation. Installation is in compliance with Energy Star and AAMA standards.
“It also saves a ton of storage space for the manufacturer,” said Kelly. “Two-inch thick fiberglass takes up to 30 times the space that Touch-N-Seal materials would occupy.”
“By enhancing productivity, Touch-N-Seal would financially benefit the manufacturer before its units even leave the line,” said Kelly. “For dealers, the energy-saving enhancement, the sound muffling, and water-blocking properties — they all provide excellent benefits to talk about. This could help differentiate RVs in a category where buyers are looking for something new.”
The new foam insulation will be introduced at the National RV Trade Show Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 in Louisville, Ky. It will be part of the Seal Design display at the Dicor Corp. booth, No. 260, North Wing Lobby.
Dicor Corp. is pulling things together, both literally and visually.
As the company prepares to make several product introductions at the 48th Annual National RV Show, Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Louisville, Ky., it was in the process of moving its corporate headquarters and a number of affiliate companies to a new, shared Elkhart, Ind., location. Also in the works was a corporate rebranding effort to more closely identify the corporation’s various units under the Dicor umbrella.
The privately held northern Indiana industry supplier, with some 100 employees, was doing all that while launching Vixen Composites, a new business unit that uses a computer-controlled system to manufacture “advanced composite” RV sidewall panels up to 10 feet wide and 45 feet or more in length.
Dicor Corp. President Gregg Fore said the new brand identity, kept under wraps until its unveiling in Louisville, will help customers see both visually and “in practice” that the corporation encompasses not only Dicor Products but also Alta Resources, Seal Design and United Shade, along with the new Vixen unit.
Alta Resources, Seal Design and Dicor Products will share facilities with Vixen, at 2965 LaVanture Place in Elkhart, after moves to be completed by December, Fore said. Part of United Shade and the company’s Window Expressions division, which serves the commercial and residential building markets, will share the older Dicor on the city’s north side facilities.
A company news release explained that the $6.1 million startup and relocation project “is symbolic of the company’s recent reorganized efforts to communicate a consistent corporate message across all product brands.”
“Right now, we offer what looks like an unrelated group of products,” said Fore, chairman for 2011 of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “However, each product and each brand is driven by the same core values established at the corporate level. We want to be very clear, as a corporation, about what we stand for. And we think our new branding approach will more effectively communicate that.”
Fore said the unique Vixen Composites manufacturing process addresses the “typical problems” associated with sidewalls. The finished product is entirely seamless, down through the substrate, and includes no wood. It’s cured at temperatures of more than 250 degrees to prevent the “post forming” esthetic flaws that sometimes result when resins are cured at lower temperatures, Fore said.
“This is a proprietary process that we’ve spent the last couple years developing,” he noted. “It uses technology that is a mix between existing technology and new technology that we’ve paired with it that enables us to scale the process and size so we can produce a panel up to 10 feet wide and in virtually any length.”
A number of towable RVs are expected to be on display at the Louisville show featuring new sidewalls from Vixen Composites. Vixen’s customers also include Class A motorhome builders, said Fore, adding that Vixen’s products also have potential applications in commercial transportation, the marine sector and in building construction.
Dicor Corp.’s varied divisions are also planning on introducing several other new products or improvements for OEM and aftermarket customers in Louisville.
Seal Designs will display new thermoplastic extrusion seals, a polyurethane spray insulation/sealant and “an advanced new technology” for exterior seals. Dicor Products, in turn, will unveil lightweight, European-style RV cabinetry and new roofing and flooring products.
Alta Resources’ new offerings include Eurostyle table bracket mounts and pedestals, TV slides and a multifunctional remote control, while United Shade plans to introduce cordless honeycomb shades and new “SpaceSaver” rollershade systems that can be motorized.
TaigMarks Inc. has been named as the new marketing and public relations agency for Dicor Corp. Both firms are based in Elkhart, Ind.
TaigMarks is a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm with particular expertise in product launches and branding strategy. It has a long history of service to the RV industry, including clients such as Coachmen-Forest River, Workhorse Custom Chassis, Dometic, Blue Ox and TRA Green Certification. It also serves a diverse range of clients involved in such fields as health care, hospitality, outdoor recreation, cabinetry, financial services, trucking, higher education and poultry drinking systems, according to a news release.
Presently TaigMarks is assisting Dicor with an extensive rebranding effort and the marketing launch of its new affiliate, Vixen Composites.
“Dicor is a great match for us because of the depth of RV knowledge that we both bring to the table,” said Steve Taig, president of TaigMarks. “Dicor is the kind of client that we enjoy working with because it allows us to use the full range of our capabilities, from developing brand charters to coordinating marketing and public relations action plans. We think the ability to develop a branding plan from conception, and then helping to implement the marketing plan, makes us most effective.”
Dicor is a leading supplier of innovative products to the OEM and component manufacturers for recreational and conversion vehicle industries, as well to distributors in the recreational vehicle and automotive aftermarkets. It is currently bringing to fruition a $6 million start-up of Vixen Composites, which will manufacture advanced composite materials for RVs and other products.
Current affiliated companies include Dicor, United Shade, Alta Resources and Seal Design, all of which provide a variety of components, materials and services that enhance RV manufacturing and the RV experience for the consumer.
“We appreciate TaigMarks’ RV knowledge and the strategic thought its associates put behind everything they do,” said Dicor President Gregg Fore. “We think TaigMarks and its creative team will help us focus our message and provide a more cohesive identity for all our companies, which will keep Dicor’s success growing for many years to come.”
For more information about TaigMarks, visit www.taigmarks.com or call (574) 294-8844.