Rubber Utilization in the Automotive Industry


After a few tumultuous years, the automotive industry is still adjusting to an evolving landscape. Engineering groups require the utmost process transparency and precision in all stages of manufacturing in order to avoid supply chain disruptions, reduce risk, and maximize value.

To secure contracts with the leading automotive manufacturers, component manufacturers must source the right materials and have the processes to ensure repeatability. Especially with regards to the latest electric innovations, rubber is preferred for its superior vibration control and ability to protect expensive and fragile components that often pose a higher risk to the operator’s safety when damaged.

In this article, we will discuss the main applications, trends, and requirements for rubber manufacturers providing parts for the automotive industry. From traditional combustion engines to innovations in the electric vehicle space, read about the role rubber manufacturing plays in the automotive industry. 

For more information on our process transparency and part production approval process (PPAP) expertise, you can trust in the experience of RPM Industrial Rubber Parts. Our team of engineers will help design and develop premier quality systems that ensure process repeatability as well as production and delivery schedules that match your operational needs. 

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Meeting the Needs of Automotive Customers

Process transparency is incredibly important for parts manufacturing in the automotive industry. Customers and engineers purchasing rubber parts are looking for repeatability and PPAP experience to ensure compliance in the supply chain.

At RPM, we have experience with documentation for every step of our process. We are able to support all extracurricular documents, process controls, and complete traceability through the system of a part. 

Some of the documentation we are able to provide includes the following:

  • Inventory
  • Packaging
  • Processes documentation (Process Flow, Control Plan)
  • Statistical analysis (Gage R&R, Production Utilization, Design to Manufacture)
  • Failure Analysis (PFMEA)

Our team of engineers allows us to go above and beyond manufacturing premium quality rubber parts by also designing and documenting efficient strategies and systems for quality assurance and repeatability.


Supply Chain Visibility in Automotive Rubber Manufacturing

Since the beginning of 2020, the automotive industry has had to adapt to a variety of disruptions and changes in the supply chain. For that reason, supply chain visibility is an essential element for consideration for everyone involved in auto parts manufacturing. 

The global diversity of the supply chain has posed a unique challenge to the automotive industry. More and more, manufacturers are looking for ways to prevent risk and limit disruptions to their production schedule. 

At RPM, we work with auto suppliers to make sure we're constantly warehousing products close to manufacturing. We offer our customers a stable supply source. Our partners in the automotive industry provide solid forecasts to us. This allows us to build to their schedule, then release inventory from our warehouse on adjusted time for their deliveries.

As a result of these processes, we are proud to say we have not experienced the same challenges with the supply chain as other suppliers have experienced. Our customers enjoy the stability and reliability of working with us because we are in a central North American location with access to the best transportation infrastructure.

Using Rubber in Automotive Parts

Tier two components manufacturers need rubber parts for a variety of applications. Some common parts and systems that require rubber parts are as follows: 

  • Oil coolers
  • Lock assemblies
  • Door Handle Assemblies
  • Exhaust Hangers 
  • Trunk trays 
  • Molded plastic parts
  • Bumpers for trucks 
  • Small isolators
  • Components for inside doors
  • Grommets 
  • Parts that involve steel inserts

These rubber parts are used in systems and components that are then sold and shipped to tier one automotive manufacturers. In order to secure contracts with some of the world’s leading manufacturers, tier two companies require the best quality parts and materials in addition to thorough documentation ensuring process analysis and repeatability.

Trends and Changes in Automotive Rubber Manufacturing

The auto industry is currently undergoing a massive amount of change. Here are some of the ways rubber manufacturing is meeting the evolving needs of automotive manufacturers.  


Emerging Electric Vehicle Technology

Electric vehicles (EVs) are one of the fastest-growing automotive markets in North America. For this reason, rubber parts manufacturers are working to match this growth in new product development and innovation. 

Rubber parts for battery packs, sensors, and other electromechanical components must be isolated for fatigue life. These parts are more fragile and don't react well when damaged. A pierced battery or one that has fallen apart from vibration could explode and become a fire hazard. This creates a challenge for specialists in traditional combustion engine manufacturing.

There are many exciting opportunities in this space as new sensors, control mechanisms, and battery packs come online. As these parts become more commonly used, RPM is still considering process repeatability and PPAPS, to limit disruptions and ensure their supply chains are kept full.

Innovation is required to discover new ways to mitigate shock on battery packs in order to increase longevity. The same can be said for sensors and microchips; The most cost-effective way to ruggedize fragile components is with well-established rubber bonding and components to various substrates.

As EV manufacturers seek ways to fit larger battery packs into small spaces, RPM is there to provide our experience along with the required level of precision. Our team has experience manufacturing parts for industries that require the highest degree of precision, such as medical, military, and automotive. We bring this attention to detail to every project we take on.

Automotive isn’t the only industry that is seeking to electrify. As environmental responsibility becomes increasingly important to consumers, companies, and governments, there is a greater push for more sustainable practices. 

Some other industries that are electrifying now include:

  • Mining
  • Heavy equipment
  • Agriculture
  • Parcel delivery

Local Partnerships for Supply Chain Visibility

Recently, North American auto manufacturers are showing an increased interest in sourcing parts from local suppliers. This is because of the supply chain issues that have presented a constant challenge since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

RPM Industrial Rubber Parts is centrally located in Ontario, Canada. We provide our customers with a significant reduction in risk so your operation can avoid issues with production, material, and transportation.

istockphoto-490048372-612x612RPM: Partners in Automotive Parts and Systems Manufacturing

The automotive industry requires excellence in parts manufacturing. RPM Industrial Rubber Parts can help OEMs achieve this with our expertise in the automotive industry. Our commitment to premium quality assurance processes and superior rubber-to-metal bonding capabilities set us apart from other manufacturers. 




As industry leaders, we understand the need for statistical control and compatible shipping volume and schedules. Our excellent customer service allows us to customize our shipping and production to your specific needs. To learn more about working with RPM, visit our website or give us a call at (888) 842-5668.


We know Rubber

If you need rubber, we’ll have it. If we don’t have it, we’ll find it. If we can’t find it, we’ll make it.