Alabama’s Governor visits the “Best Place to Work” – Specification Rubber Products

Specification Rubber Products recently received top honors as the 2021 Best Place to Work in the North American Rubber Industry by Rubber News. This milestone achievement prompted a visit from Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey, who toured the facility on March 21, 2022.

 

The company produces products for multiple industries, with its largest division being the waterworks industry. Specification Rubber Products prides itself as an ISO-9001 certified manufacturer providing NSF-61 certified gaskets and sealing components to the drinking water industry.

 

Specification Rubber Products President Steven A. Smith said, “Gov. Ivey’s visit, her participation in the celebration, and her recognition of the work our teammates do mean the world to us. It helped make an extraordinary day even more extraordinary. Having the governor, our special guests, our teammates, corporate leaders, and elected officials, including Alabaster’s Mayor Scott Brakefield, with us on our special day was incredible. It is fascinating to see what’s happening here. While our company has enjoyed good times in our 54-year history, our best days are ahead of us. It is an extremely exciting time to be part of the Spec Rubber family.”

 

The celebration began with an overview of Specification Rubber’s operations and products by Marketing and Sales Manager Wesley Helton. “We are so fortunate to have such great teammates who put their heart and soul into Specification Rubber Products daily,” Helton said. “Without their support and love of this company, we would never have had a chance at such a prestigious award.”

 

Ivey and others toured Specification Rubber’s manufacturing operations before Governor Ivey spoke to the crowd. “It is quite an accomplishment to be named the number one manufacturer in your industry in North America. Without all of you and your work, we wouldn’t have the components needed to help make water clean and safe. You are making a huge difference in our state and beyond. Keep up the outstanding work and bring this title back to the great state of Alabama next year!”

 

After the celebration, Specification Rubber Products Customer Service Manager Paige Harkins said, “We have a wonderful group of teammates. We are very proud of our experienced and diverse team here at Spec Rubber. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have many devoted teammates, many having more than 25 years with the company. In the audience today, we had our most senior teammate who recently celebrated her 45th year with the company, as well as our newest teammate having only two days.”

 

Spec Rubber was founded in 1968 and is a subsidiary of AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company, located in Birmingham, Alabama. The company is the pre-eminent supplier of rubber gaskets and sealing products to the North American water industry.

 

For more information about Specification Rubber Products, including open positions, visit Specrubber.com.

 

 

Spec Rubber Nominated for 2021 Rubber News’ Best Places to Work

Specification Rubber Products, Inc. has been named one of Rubber News’ “Best Places to Workin 2021.  

The Rubber News’ “Best Places to Work” program, recognizes and honors companies in the rubber  industry for outstanding employee satisfaction. The rubber industry is defined as companies that make  end rubber products, as well as suppliers or providers of services for the rubber industry. 

Determining the best places to work involves a two-step process. The first step involves an evaluation of  participating companies’ workplace policies, practices, and demographics. In the second step, employee  surveys are conducted to directly assess the experiences and attitudes of individual employees with  respect to their workplace. The combined scores determine the top organizations and the final ranking.  

Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process, and also analyzed the data  and used its expertise to determine the final ranking.  

About Specification Rubber Products: Founded in 1968, Specification Rubber Products is a wholly  owned subsidiary of AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company. Specification Rubber Products is the  preeminent supplier of rubber gaskets and sealing products within the United States of America alongside it’s robust industrial market sectors. The company is headquartered in Alabaster, Alabama where the sole plant produces over 2 million rubber components per year. Specification Rubber  Products’ prides itself as an ISO-9001 certified company. Every component intended for drinking water  application is NSF-61 certified.

 

For more information about Specification Rubber Products visit  www.specrubber.com or contact Wesley Helton (whelton@specrubber.com).  

 

 

 

Celebrating Manufacturing Day 2021

Each year the National Association of Manufacturers recognizes “Manufacturing Day” on the first Friday in October. Manufacturing Day aims to raise awareness about modern manufacturing and the rewarding careers available, especially among students, parents, educators, and the general public.

 

Modern Manufacturing: History and Industry Trends

Manufacturing as an industry has been around for hundreds of years. From the first major shift during the Industrial Revolution, to lean manufacturing and robotics, each new level of innovation makes production more impressive and efficient. 

We have seen some remarkable gains in the manufacturing industry over the last ten years. Industrial robots have gone from heavy equipment designed to perform only the most dangerous tasks to smaller machines that collaborate side-by-side with employees. Additive manufacturing has matured in the last decade, lowering cost barriers in prototyping and production. Technologies are advancing and consumers and businesses are in the market for unique, quality products at a much higher rate. 

In 2019, manufacturers in the United States accounted for almost 12% of the total economic output, and employed 8.51% of the nation’s workforce. Over the years the manufacturing output has increased by billions of dollars — every single year.

Out of the top 10 manufacturing sectors, Plastics and Rubber Products ranked 10th, with an estimated $83 billion in output.  

 

And the industry is continuing to adapt and grow.

 

How the Pandemic Affected the Manufacturing Industry

Last year, the pandemic affected millions of jobs and hundreds of industries, and manufacturing was no exception. Forced shutdowns in the early months of the pandemic caused a significant dip in manufacturing employment levels. April 2020 recorded manufacturing’s lowest employment levels since 2010. 

Today, production and order levels are seemingly at an all time high. While the industry’s recovery may have been relatively quick. It will take effort to maintain our current climate.

 

Our Role in the Manufacturing Industry 

Specification Rubber Products has been a part of the manufacturing industry for over 50 years, serving clients and customers all across the United States. Our company began in 1968 as a manufacturer of molded rubber components for the waterworks industry, specializing in rubber gaskets. Today, Spec Rubber is a primary supplier for ductile iron pipe, valve, hydrant producers, and specialty mechanical molded goods for industrial applications.

Over the past 53 years, we attribute much of our success to the hardworking individuals that make up the Spec Rubber team. From the employees who have stuck by us since our early years to the eager and skilled individuals who have joined us along the way, they have found rewarding and long-lasting careers in modern manufacturing. 

We want to celebrate Manufacturing Day 2021 by thanking our employees, customers, and community for helping us continue to do what we love each and every day. We also want to do our part in spreading awareness about the great career opportunities that modern manufacturing holds for the next generation! 

 

If you have any questions about our products or want to learn more about what we do, contact us here! 

 

 

 

Moving Forward, Together: In Remembrance of 9/11

Humankind is nothing if not resilient. We see it in the people around us; we hear it from the infamous words of everyone from Rocky Balboa to Nelson Mandela. 

As we remember the tragedy of September 11, 2001, and the many people and heroes who lost their lives that day, we think of this quote by American writer Ryder Carroll:

 

“No matter how bleak or menacing a situation may appear, it does not entirely own us. It can’t take away our freedom to respond, our power to take action.”

 

We want to recognize how so many people chose to respond, take action, come together and support one another, and keep moving forward. 

 

How the Economy Reacted, How the People Responded

In the wake of this tragedy, the entire business community felt the blow. Stock markets immediately fell, and economic damage ensued, adding further injury to the struggling business community.

But by the end of the year, the economy and most markets had recovered surprisingly well. The American economy, and its people, were more resilient than expected. And people all across the nation played a part. 

At Spec Rubber, we remember that day and the months following very well. While we may not have had friends or family in New York at that time, we knew that people were hurting and that it was not a time to give up. So, we continued to serve our community and our country in the best way we knew how — working hard to produce the materials companies needed all across the USA for their industrial applications. 

It was a very small part to play, but we did it in honor of those who lost someone or something that day. All across the country, businesses, communities, and individuals were resilient, taking action, moving forward together.

 

Made in the USA

For over 50 years, Spec Rubber has been proud to say that all our rubber gaskets and other molded rubber components are made in the USA. From our manufacturing facility in Alabaster, Alabama, to the clients we send products to thousands of miles away, we are proud to serve communities all across the United States. We serve a country full of heroes sacrificing everything, people refusing to give up, and communities coming together in times of need, just like they did in 2001. And we look forward to keeping our “made in the USA” promise for the next 50 years.

“There When You Need It” Celebrating Drinking Water Week with AWWA

Having clean water is like having a good bill of health – it’s very easy to take for granted when you have it. You don’t think about your health every day when your body is working, but as soon as you get sick, it’s a different story. Similarly, you may not think about the clean drinking water in your home until the water has to be shut off for repairs, and your taps are dry. This week, however, is a week to stop and appreciate your clean drinking water! This May 2-8, 2021, is Drinking Water Week, an opportunity for water professionals and those they serve to “recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives.” 

 

Safe and Clean Drinking Water

The American Water Works Association, of which Spec Rubber is a member, has been celebrating Drinking Water Week for over 40 years. This year, the theme for Drinking Water Week is “There When You Need It.” Water goes on a long journey to reach your tap, and there are many factors and water professionals involved in getting it there safely and cleanly.

 Spec Rubber is proud to be a part of that journey, supplying many of the gaskets, o-rings, and sealing systems that keep water safe and uncontaminated. Spec Rubber products uphold the highest standards of NSF-61. These are important standards set by the National Sanitation Foundation to ensure that water system components meet the health criteria developed and set by a team of scientists and industry experts. It’s not just unnecessary red tape, these standards include crucial details for manufacturing such as microbial coating and testing for certain harmful chemicals. This covers more than just the metal pipes that deliver your water! These criteria extend to the critical components that seal the pipes, supplied and made in America by Spec Rubber. 

 

Drinking Water, Not Wasting It!

In addition to water being “There When You Need It,” we would also like to add “Not When You Don’t.” Leaks, dripping water, and burst pipes are no fun, and can lead to contaminated water and unhealthy situations if not handled properly. Spec Rubber’s sealing solutions handle both sides of the spectrum when it comes to accessing clean drinking water! When you go to fill up your cup at the tap this week, we invite you to recognize and celebrate the vital role that clean drinking water plays in your life.

Spec Rubber thanks all its hard-working employees and all water professionals around the world that work to provide clean drinking water that’s there when you need it, not when you don’t! 

You Get What You Pay for: Why Spec Rubber’s Quality Products Are Immune To Competition

 

Everyone loves a good deal, but a product’s total cost isn’t always apparent on the price tag. Quality matters, especially when we consider the impact that substandard products have on replacement and labor costs and your company’s reputation. 

 

It’s Been a Crazy Year

Like most categories, the rubber industry has faced many ups and downs in the past 12 months as supply, demand, and purchasing power fluctuated with the uncertain business climate. But it wasn’t all bad news. 

At Spec Rubber, we continued to thrive despite a variety of challenges, including low-price competition. Why? Even though our rubber gaskets cost more than products from foreign competitors, our customers understand the significant role gaskets play in quality assurance. 

 

Quality Matters

Unfortunately, gaskets are sometimes an afterthought when it comes to water system project planning. They are typically a tiny percentage of a project’s upfront cost. But the wrong gasket or seal can cost your business down the line. 

A lower cost gasket may look like a great value on an invoice, but it might not be such a good deal when you factor in the cost of product failure, expensive product recalls, legal fees related to NSF-61 problems, and damage to consumer confidence. Make no mistake, cheaper gaskets and seals have a shorter lifespan than higher-quality versions, so you will be paying for replacement parts and the corresponding labor more frequently. 

 

What Makes a Quality Product?

Some foreign manufacturers add fillers to their compounds, and, making matters worse, they’re inconsistent with their material formulation. Spec Rubber uses ANSI/NSF certified compounds and maintains a consistently strict adherence to its formulation, as well as a very thorough and rigid ISO quality system for all compression, injection, and transfer molding. 

See more of our rubber molding capabilities here!

Sure, you may pay more for quality products on the front end, But that initial outlay pays off via state-of-the-art process and technical experience that go into creating a safe and long-lasting rubber product. 

 

You Can Count on Spec Rubber Products! 

Are you confident in the quality you’re getting from your rubber gaskets and sealing products? This is especially critical for anyone in the waterworks industry, as faulty gaskets and seals can cause leakage that can cost you and the customer hundreds and thousands of dollars. 

On the other hand, when you know the products you’re getting are quality-assured and long-lasting, you can be confident you’re getting what you’re paying for — in the best way possible! 

To learn more about Spec Rubber’s products and our quality standards, contact us here

Lt. Governor of Alabama Visits Specification Rubber For “Best Place to Work” Recognition

 

Alabama Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth visited our facility in Alabaster on Tuesday, March 2nd, to celebrate Specification Rubber’s recent “Best Place to Work” award from Rubber & Plastics News, a national industry publication. Rubber & Plastics News selected Spec Rubber for this award based on teammate feedback in three areas: job satisfaction, satisfaction with their employer, and perceived workplace safety. This award is a tremendous honor recognizing our hard-working teammates and all they do to create a positive work environment.

We also appreciate Rep. Russell Bedsole of Alabaster and Alabaster Mayor Scott Brakefield for joining us on this special occasion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specification Rubber has served clients across the US for over 50 years, and much of this success can be attributed to our teammates’ dedication to quality and customer satisfaction. It was an honor to receive this award and the commendation from these public officials! We look forward to many more years of excellence. 

 

About Specification Rubber 

Founded in 1968, Specification Rubber has grown to serve multiple industries. The largest division is water distribution, where Spec Rubber has become the industry leader of highly engineered rubber gaskets and sealing solutions. Located in Alabaster, Alabama, we provide high-quality, close-tolerance, engineered rubber products for the waterworks and other industries. 

 

Contact us to learn more! 

Replacing Valves Using A Filler Flange

Replacing valves can be a relatively simple task, but more often than not, there are complications. One of the most common complications is a difference in the lay length between the new valve and the old valve. Valves used to require thicker metal compared to what is now possible based on advances in manufacturing and technology. A difference in lay length used to be a headache, requiring a shop trip to get custom pieces machined. This frequently led to downtime for work crews and equipment, as well as project delays. 

But not anymore. The filler flange provides an instant option to fill gaps up to 3” on-site. And it is NSF-61 certified and 100% Made in the USA.

 

Replacing Valves With A Filler Flange

 

Step 1: Measure The Gap

Measure the gap that you need to fill and the size of the pipe. The filler flange can fill gaps up to 3”. 

We stock 5 of the most common diameters, with more custom orders up to 120” in diameter. 

  • 4”
  • 6”
  • 8”
  • 10”
  • 12”

 

filler flange thicknesses

Step 2: Select Filler Flanges to Fill The Gap

The filler flange comes in four thicknesses.

  • 1/16”
  • 1/8″
  • 1/4″
  • 1/2″

You can mix and match, stacking up to 3 flanges to fill up to a 1.5” gap using three ½” flanges on one side of the valve. When you fill a 1.5” gap on both sides of the valve, you can close a gap up to 3”. 

 

 

filler flange filling gap

Step 3: Connect The Valve

Insert the flanges and connect the valve, and you are done.

Seriously! That is it! This simple product increases efficiency and saves money from day one.

 

 

 

Save Time and Money

Imagine having the job completed in less time than it would have taken to drive to the machine shop. In addition to saving time, the filler flange eliminates project risks inherent with custom-made parts. 

  • What if the shop doesn’t have the right materials?
  • What if measurements are off?
  • What if the piece is manufactured incorrectly?
  • What if your crew gets back to the job site too late in the day to finish the job?

Those risks are eliminated when your crews have the filler flange on the truck and ready to use. 

Request a Filler Flange sample today to see how this NSF-61 product can increase efficiency and make you the hero of the operation. 

 

Making a Difference with Filler Flange Gaskets

We’d like to share a little feedback we received from a customer recently. 

Zach Barrett, an Inside Sales Representative with Prosouth Fastener, has been one of our clients for more than 15 years. Zach said, “Throughout these 15 years, we have always had exceptional service and products from Specification Rubber. Their NSF-61 gaskets have always arrived with outstanding workmanship and quality, and we have never had any issues with these gaskets – nor do we expect to.”

We appreciate the kind words! We put a lot of thought into customer service and workmanship, and it means so much to know that it is making a difference. 

We talked to another client about some of the quantifiable ways our gaskets make a difference on job sites. We wanted to know if projects run smoother, processes are simplified, and water is delivered safely to customers. This customer couldn’t go on the record, but they did give us permission to share a few quotes.

 

filler-flangeWork Crew Efficiency

“We recently started using the filler flange. It used to seem like we had to go to the machine shop every damn time we replaced a valve because the new ones have a shorter lay length than the old one. Now, we keep filler flanges on the truck, and we are filling that hole in no time. No trip to the machine shop. No invoice for $1,000 or more. No work crew sitting on their rear ends waiting on a part to come back. Filler flange is the best thing since sliced bread.”

 

What I Need When I Need It

“I hate getting put on hold and having to leave a message. When I call Spec Rubber, Paige answers the phone, knows what I need, and it’s usually in stock. They can get it to me fast since they are right down the road in Alabama.”

 

Call us today to request a free filler flange sample pack!

Water Safety

“I’ve seen so many of these gaskets coming in from overseas. You can tell the quality isn’t the same, and I’m scared to think what could happen in those pipes 10-15 years down the line. There is no way we are going to be the next Flint, and I feel really good knowing that Spec Rubber makes everything in the USA and that it’s inspected and verified NSF-61 certified. I’ve done my part to keep this place safe.”

 

 

That’s what we love to hear. We love providing outstanding products and support for our clients because it helps them take care of their clients. It’s like Barrett at Prosouth Fastener said, “Our customers have also had the same track record with these gaskets as we have. Some of them actually ask to have these gaskets every time because they know that the products supplied always exceed their expectations and standards required.”

If you have had a similar experience with Specification Rubber, we would love to know! Your feedback encourages us as we support your business, and it helps us understand where we can learn and improve. To leave a review or learn more about our products, contact us or give us a call at 800.633.3415!

 

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