Our operations director, Derek  Prince, talks about the evolution of TabTech.

By Derek Prince – Operations Director – Preston Technical

“As usual, and with all good innovations, the best ideas come from real design and production problems. We were working such on an application problem with a large Tier 1 Automotive component supplier in the middle of 2019 who was trying to apply a very narrow width of 3M VHB tm tape in a specific cut length to a large spoiler moulding.

It had become clear that the production cycle time to both apply the tape to the moulding accurately, and then to remove the adhesive liner easily when fitting the part to the vehicle was proving quite problematic and costly.

We took the problem away and came back to the customer pretty quickly with a working prototype that would solve this problem by providing the die cut length of tape in a roll format with an easy pull liner tab – which after further development became the TabTech® product which was rapidly launched onto the adhesive tape market shortly afterwards.

We had noticed that the use of narrow width adhesive foam tapes on mouldings and trims on vehicles is becoming increasingly common – this helps to both reduce component weight, aid aerodynamic efficiency on the vehicle by providing streamline edge profiles, and helping to optimise cycle time when fitting the parts on a production line.

Anything that can reduce cycle time and associated cost in production is paramount. Even seconds of time saving can be important in helping vehicle manufacturers and their component suppliers optimise their production lines and maintain competitiveness.

In recent times we have expanded the portfolio of applications that can benefit from the use of TabTech®. We are continuing to develop the product concept and have future designs to bring to market in the not-too-distant future, which will not only further assist in the Automotive component industry – but also in other diverse application areas which would benefit from the use of TabTech®”.