When planning and deciding on where to produce molded silicone components, there are many options to choose from. With manufacturing growing overseas, it can be a compelling idea at a glance, but there are many factors to consider when producing abroad. Shipping and turnaround times are greatly increased when overseas shipping is involved. It can also prove impossible to fully protect patents and intellectual property rights. Because of this the United States has an agency and regulations in place to protect/prevent property rights of all components used in military products.
ITAR was created for just this purpose and stands for International Trade Arms Regulation; The Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) is responsible for interpreting and enforcing all ITAR regulations and procedures. This department is responsible for controlling the import and export of all defense components and services defined on the United States Munitions List (USML). The DDTC requires manufacturers and their suppliers of military articles and components to register and keep extensive records of components produced for future audits. Manufacturers are responsible for vetting the origins of all components used for military applications. Enforcement of ITAR regulations can be severe and halt all production, costing time and money as well as, large fines.
Foreign manufacturers can’t acquire ITAR registrations to produce components or provide services related to military articles. In addition, foreign manufacturers reduce cost by using inferior raw materials, adding different fillers to increase profits. This can lead to premature failure of a component, increasing costly repairs. Intellectual property rights are extremely important and can prove impossible to protect. Even with a patent in place in the U.S., it can be nearly impossible to enforce overseas.
Turn-around times on production are directly dependent on the location of manufacture. When going off-shore to produce components, the length of time from concept to production to final delivery is greatly increased. When revisions are required, they can take much longer to communicate and there are also hidden costs when producing components overseas. Shipping must be paid from factory to port, port to port and port to final delivery. That is in addition to any port or customs fees that are required and delivery insurance.
ITAR registered manufacturers are the best option to avoid additional costs and time related to overseas production. In addition, when military components are involved, ITAR registration is a must. SiTECH is a domestic manufacturer of Injection molded silicone components. We are ITAR registered and all silicone components are produced and customized in-house. Only the highest quality raw silicone is used, supplied by GE and Dow. SiTECH can assist in planning and offers many value added services to fulfill all your custom silicone rubber needs.