Lanmar Blog Covers PTFE Industry Developments and News
Growth & New Applications
November 13, 2013
It's always interesting to field calls for new applications for our products. This past year has seen an abundance of out-of-the-box applications that have used our PTFE Tapes and Fabrics. The common thread for all of these unusal applications center on the typical properties of PTFE products; high temperature tolerance, anti-stick and anti-friction properties, high flexibility, thermal conductivity, and resistance to chemical attack. The propreitary nature of many of these unique applications prevents further description. But, know that there's a lot more to PTFE Tapes and Fabrics than just heat sealing. We appreciate stretching our application knowledge and enjoy the challenge of a non-standard application for our high performance PTFE products. Thinking out of the box is a healthy enterprise.
While the US economy continues to struggle to maintain a strong foothold on recovery, we have seen our own micro-economy improve with an uptick in sales and inquiries. I hope that your business is also showing signs of growth as well. Lanmar also has an additional voice of experience to help you with your PTFE needs, Logan Jacobs, VP. We are pleased to offer full customer service whenever called by existing or prospective customers. Please contact Logan here at Lanmar for any of your PTFE needs.
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Modest Price Increase
May 22, 2013
We have held our pricing structure steady for the past two years, despite seeing moderate increases from out manufacturing vendors. While the national economy continues to hesitate, we feel it is now necessary to isse a very modest 2.5% price increase on our entire line of PTFE Tapes, Fabrics, Belting and Packaging Accessories products. This increase will go into effect on Monday, June 3, 2013. As Lanmar continues to strive to provide the very best in product and service, we stop to say thank you for your support and ongoing business.
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April 9, 2012
The concern during the last half of 2011 about PTFE shortages, multiple price increases and rationed orders seems to have passed now with the slowly stabilizing USA economy. As of this date we know of no proposed price increases in the offing. Lanmar has not experienced shortages in our standard products---with the exception of one specialty tape from the only manufacturer of this item, #Copper4. But we are expecting this temporary shortage to return to normal by mid-June, 2012. So, as of now, no addtional "bad" news is actually "good" news.
Lanmar continues to explore new markets for our PTFE products. We encourage engineering inquiries as many of our products have practical applications beyond packaging and heat sealing. As always, we welcome your comments and product questions.
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Another Price Change
As we indicated a few months ago when we alerted you of the current pricing crisis due to the continued shortage of PTFE resin, additional price increases were expected by mid-summer. Well, they’re here. Not all of the PTFE product manufacturers raise their prices at the same time. But, our primary high-quality vendor has just announced a increase which we must pass on.
As of July 15, 2011, orders placed for PTFE Coated Fiberglass Tapes, Fabrics and Belting, as well as some of our fiberglass fabric based specialty tapes, will see a 5% price increase. PTFE Film Tapes, UHMW Tapes, Polyimide Tapes, and PTFE Laminate tapes are not included in this price change. However, our vendors of those products may well decide to raise prices down the road.
The PTFE resin shortage continues to be fluid and has ongoing impact on the cost of the raw materials that go into the manufacture of our finished products. Please continue to check this blog for additional updates as they become available.
Lanmar continues to provide you with the best possible products along with our renowned prompt service at pricing that we hope remains competitive within these sensitive market fluctuations. Please contact us with your questions and comments. And, as always, please know that we truly appreciate your business.
April 15, 2011
So far, every manufacturer we deal with, and even some we don't , have announced major price increases for PTFE Tapes, Fabrics and Custom Belting, UHMW Tapes, Film Tapes and other high performance pressure sensistive tape products. This, of course, is in response to the raw materials shortages for PTFE and other fluoropolymer products. Some PTFE resin manufacturers are taking a hard line and placing their customers on purchasing limits with product allocation. Other manufacturers are warning of increasing delivery delays. And finally, there are manufacturers discouraging new business in an effort to protect their in-house inventories.
Here at Lanmar, while we've also instituted a price increase, we have significant in-house inventories enabling us to ship our tapes and fabrics same-day from stock. Custom Belting still takes a week or so to fabricate. And, we are certainly NOT discouraging any new business inquiries that may occur.
We're just at the begninng of what looks like a long and uncertain journey through the ups and downs of product availablity and increasing prices. While we have no further price increases scheduled, some of our suppliers are suggesting more price instability by mid-summer. Please check with our Customer Service Department for current product price quotes and availability. As always, we sincerely appreciate your business and feedback.
Price Increase Details
March 22, 2011
The majority of the Lanmar product line will go up 10% on April 1, 2011. This indludes all PTFE Coated Fiberglass Tapes, Fabrics and Custom Belting products, as well as Silicone Coated Fiberglass Fabrics. Other non-PTFE items such as specialty Fiberglass Cloth tapes will also increase. Our PTFE Film Tapes (skived and high modulus) and UHMW Tapes will likely see price increases in a couple of months as manufacturers of those products eventually raise their prices. Blanket orders already in place will be honored. However, we cannot accept new pre-increase blanket orders in an effort to avoid the inevitable. Some good news,...we do not expect price increases for our PTFE Coated Nichrome cut-off wire.
The Lanmar product line is comprised of quality products from a short list of domestic manufacturers. Some of our vendors have already announced significant price increases for April 1st. Others are waiting a couple of months before putting their increases into effect. Suffice it to say, by summer, all pricing for PTFE products and related specialty tapes & fabrics should have increased everywhere,...not just at Lanmar Inc. As previously stated, every manufacturer, distributor, converter, and end user who has anything to do with PTFE will be impacted by the raw materials shortages causing these sharp price increases. Please check out the previous post in this blog for a detailed explanation.
As always, your input is welcome.
PTFE shortage, higher prices coming. Here’s why.
March 10, 2011
Dear Valued Lanmar Customer,
Come April 1, 2011 a substantial industry-wide pricing increase on all PTFE products will take place. It will impact everyone who has anything to do with PTFE; manufacturers, distributors, converters, fabricators, and end users. It is a “perfect storm” of supply vs. demand and involves the basic raw material ingredients that are used to manufacture PTFE resin.
The major manufacturers whose quality products we market have told us to expect price increases of between 10% and 20% on PTFE Tapes, PTFE Coated Fabrics, and custom PTFE Belting products. Items featuring heavier PTFE coatings will be increased the most. Manufacturer’s themselves are facing raw materials increases from 25% to 35%. These increases are unprecedented and incredible to comprehend. Historically, past increases have been in the 4%-6% range coming at 2-3 year intervals. We are now told that these high prices will last and that there is no end in sight for the material shortages causing this pricing calamity.
We can lay some blame on the unrest now taking place in many of the Mideast oil producing countries for the increased cost of the energy resources used to manufacture PTFE. But the primary issue here is the current availability of a key PTFE ingredient called Fluorspar (aka: fluorite, calcium fluoride, CaF2). Fluorspar is critical in the manufacture and production of fluoropolymers, pharmceuticals, hydrofluoric acid, refrigerants, steel, aluminum, glass, ceramic materials, enriched uranium, hydrofluoric acid, a variety of fluorochemicals, including fluorocarbon plastics (PTFE), solvents, refrigerants, aerosol propellants, and any other product that requires a fluorine-based stock.
China controls 70% of the worldwide fluorspar production capacity and they have restricted exports. The booming Chinese economy is the culprit. For years China freely exported their raw mined minerals to the USA and other countries. Now, these products have Chinese domestic use priorities. Chinese manufacturers are now producing many of their products for internal consumption with the leftover balance targeted for high-tariff exportation, which includes raw materials such as fluorspar. Countries, including the USA, are now scrambling to reopen old or open new mining resources of this critical mineral. The base mineral, fluorite, is found in large deposits in many areas including China, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Norway, Mexico, and in the Provinces of Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. Large deposits also occur in Kenya, and in areas within the Great Rift Valley of Africa. USA deposits are found in Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kentucky, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Ohio, New Hampshire, New York, Alaska, and Texas. Fluorite has been the state mineral of Illinois since 1965. At that time, Illinois was the largest producer of fluorite in the United States, but the last fluorite mine in Illinois was closed in 1995.
Add this information to a worldwide increase in demand for PTFE resin coming from a small number of PTFE resin producers, DuPont being primary among those producers in the USA, and we have a pricing situation that is, sadly, unavoidable and seemingly out of control. The European Union (EU) has declared fluorspar to be on its worldwide shortage list until at least 2030.
It would be advisable for you to try to get a jump on this price increase by placing your orders now in advance of the eventuality that our in-house inventory will turn over and be replaced with higher priced goods. We expect that by early summer all PTFE products in the pipeline will reflect significantly higher prices, not only from Lanmar, but from every manufacturer and distribution source of these technical products.
Please understand that everyone who makes, sells, converts or uses PTFE products of any kind is in the same boat. Customer anger from this situation is certain. In a few weeks there will be no place to go for “better pricing” as everyone will have to face this unwelcome situation. Lanmar will keep our customer base up to date on this pricing instability. We have now introduced a new Lanmar website which has this blog page for posting relevant industry information and Lanmar product updates. Please check this page regularly for items of interest.
Thank you for your patience and understanding while we move through this crisis in search of some hopeful price stability in the future. Please contact Lanmar with your concerns, questions and comments. We at Lanmar appreciate your business and deeply regret having to convey this pricing crisis at a time when the economic climate is so fragile.