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On the 24th September the 3rd and final event of our planned customer events took place at the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb. This was the long awaited Members Day event.

What is a Members Day

The Members’ Day is a great opportunity to experience the hill in a relaxed, controlled and fun atmosphere. Guests are invited to drive their own cars, up the famous Shelsley Walsh track, during a day of non-competitive runs. Any road-legal cars are able to participate, including kit cars and classic sports cars as well as everyday standard saloons.

Who attended with Cadillac

Cadillac General Manager, Simon Jones, took to the hill in his track ready MX5 Turbo. Tony and Liz Burd (RH Technical) brought along a very nice example of a 1975 Dolomite Sprint. Tony has lovingly restored this car over many years and relished the opportunity to blast it up the hill. 

John and Louise Wills (Will Prints) treated us to a 1933 Morgan 3 wheeler. John was able to get the Morgan to lift a wheel on the corners during his runs. However, he usually rides motorbikes and feels more comfortable on 2 wheels than 3.

Other attendees on the day included Alistair Kennedy (Cadillac Director) in his Maserati, and Sam Gothorp (Preservation Equipment) who had intended to bring along his Mercedes AMG. Unfortunately last minute issues prevented it from being available, and so he attended as a passenger.

Also attending as a passenger for the day was motor sport fan James Wright representing 3M, a supplier of adhesive products to Cadillac Plastic.

Some Images from the Event

Each driver had 6 runs on the hill throughout the day and while none of the runs was timed, video suggested the Morgan managed a run of around 58 seconds. John was thrilled to break the 60 second barrier in the oldest car at the event.

You can see the video here - John Wills at Shelsley Walsh, and many thanks to John for uploading it.

There is also a video of Simon in the MX5 completing a run in around 38 seconds.

One again it was great to see customers and friends out at an event with us, and we look forward to future events.

Find Out About the Other Events

Read about our other Shelsley Walsh events on these links:

Shelsley Walsh - The 1st Event - Classic Nostalgia

Shelsley Walsh - The 2nd Event - Autumn Speed Finale

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On the 18th September the second of our 3 planned corporate events took place at the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb.
Read about our first event here >>>

The Autumn Speed Finale is the final event in the Hill Climb calendar at Shelsley. Organised by The Midland Automobile Club, this event is open to novice and experienced drivers.

With UK time trials in the mix, it promised to be a great day of competitive racing and we were not disappointed.

Guests of Cadillac Plastic

Cadillac guests on the day included representatives from Augustus Martin, Graham Smith, Bob Heath Visors and Rudd Macnamara Ltd.

The weather on the day was again kind and we enjoyed a fine day of racing. Cars included classic Mini Coopers and Morgans to modern Mitsubishi EVO’s and F1 style hill racers.

Spectators were also able to try their luck with an F1 simulator. This allowed them to set track times around a virtual Silverstone. Mike Page of Rudd Macnamara managed to set a decent lap time and remained in the top ten throughout the day, earning him the title of "Driving Legend".

Gallery of Cars and Guests at Shelsley Walsh Autumn Speed Finale

The best time on the hill was by Allan Warburton in his Gould GR59 racing car (1600cc). He managed a stunning 25.62 seconds on his first run and 25.97 seconds on his second run. There is a full list of runners and riders on the Shelsley Walsh website, along with the times and winners. Click Here >>> (scroll to the bottom of the page for the Speed Finale on the 18th Sept)

Many thanks to all our guests. Its was great to see you all out and about and we look forward to more events in the future.

Cadillac Plastic is pleased to announce a new polycarbonate film product available from manufacturer Sabic. This provides features and characteristics not previously available in the Sabic portfolio.

NEW Lexan HP01W – One side Hard Coated and Textured

This polycarbonate film is available to order in thicknesses of 250, 375, 500 and 750 microns. It features a highly polished surface ideal for application of clear and sharp graphics with high light transmission for exceptional clarity.

The second surface offers a hard coated, velvet textured finish, with the benefits of good chemical and abrasion resistance. The velvet texture finish also helps to ensure the product is virtually glare free.

Typically, polycarbonate films have lower UV resistance than alternative materials but the textured side of Lexan HP01W would go to the outside of any application. This provides better protection and UV resistance for any printing made to the inside surface.

This combination of features makes this an ideal product for outdoor graphic applications. From warning labels and info graphics to touch panels and outdoor signage. This film is ideal for use in situations such as petrol stations or on industrial plant, for signage, information panels and equipment keypads.

Produced in the US, samples are now available, and can be ordered via the Cadillac Plastic customer support team.

Please download the product information sheets here:

PDF Download Icon NEW Lexan HP01W

Increases

In this post, we highlight some of the reasons behind the recent slew of material price increases and look at some of the things you can do that might help limit their impact.

It will not have escaped your notice that we have recently been experiencing a number of price increases from various suppliers. These have been across a wide range of products.

There are many factors currently affecting prices and most are related to the Covid pandemic. These include raw material shortages, high product demand, reduced shipping capacity, increased delivery costs and even staff shortages leading to reduced production capacity.

These factors have all been covered in the press over the previous weeks, some of which can be found below.

Manufacturers can often absorb some of these costs in the short term, at least partially, but while margins continue to be eroded, it is inevitable that price increases will continue to be introduced.

Packaging

Our Response

Regretfully, in these uncertain times, it is not always possible to predict or mitigate these increases. At the moment we are certainly not dealing with 'annual' or 'inflationary' type increases. If we were, there would be perhaps more room to challenge internal manufacturing costs and efficiencies. Nevertheless, Cadillac Plastic will continue to work with its supplier partners to minimise and delay price increases.

It is also Cadillac Plastic policy to to give advanced notice of price increases to any affected customers, by letter or email. We will continue to give a 30 day notice period of any increases, even where our own prices increase immediately.

What we can all do?

Many of these factors are outside our control, but there are practical steps we can all take to help the situation. Here are our top 5 tips that may help to manage and reduce the impact of price increases and material availability.

1: Plan ahead

Plan ahead

Some of our largest customers plan deliveries up to a year in advance, and while not everyone is able to do this, we recommend that you talk to key customers about extended lead times and demand forecasts. Whilst we pride ourselves on excellent service and short delivery times, we are always happy to work to scheduled deliveries ahead of time.

2: Understand Future Demand

Looking ahead

Understanding and anticipating future demand increases gives confidence to hold working stock of key items. After all, you cannot sell what you don’t have. Increasing your stock holdings and anticipating demand, means you are better placed to manage longer lead times from suppliers.

3: Minimise Wastage

Waste Material

Cadillac Plastic converts many products from master rolls and supplies custom sizes, reducing waste and generating cost savings. We do not charge for this service. Check the sizes you are buying. If you are ordering standard sheet sizes, you may be wasting more than you need to. Speak to us for advice on material yield and wastage. We will check to ensure you are getting the best yield possible for your requirements.

4: Alternative Materials

Choice

We hold stock of hundreds of types of material, from some of the biggest and most trusted manufacturers. Materials are available in a wide range of thicknesses, finishes and material properties. There may be an alternative product available, perhaps better suited to your application. Alternatives may also provide reduced lead times or increase cost savings.

5: Speak to Us

Comminication

We are real people at Cadillac, and our knowledgeable Internal Sales Team are always happy to discuss your requirements. Remember, we are experts in all types of filmic and adhesive materials and will recommend the most suitable materials. We work closely with our suppliers and material manufacturers to provide information and insight about products that would best suit your application.

What Happens if Material Prices Fall?

Finally, we hope and expect that some of the factors leading to price increases will eventually relax and prices will start to come down. It is Cadillac Plastic policy to pass on price reductions in the same way, so as a customer, you can be assured of fair pricing combined with our trademark excellent service.

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On July 17th, Cadillac Plastic invited guests to attend our first corporate event for about 18 Months. If you know Cadillac Plastic well, you may know that Alistair Kennedy, Managing Director, has an interest in classic cars.

What you may not know is that Simon Jones, our (relatively) new General Manager, is also a ‘petrolhead’.  He competes at hill climb and sprint events, including Shelsley Walsh.

Simon Jones taking his Westfield through the "S's" at Shelsley Walsh

It may not come as much of a surprise then that as more events are going ahead, this first event was a car related one.

The Oldest Racing Venue in the World!

Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb is credited as THE oldest motor racing venue in the UK and even the world. It is still staged on the original course were it was first held in 1905.

The event we visited was a Classic Nostalgia Day, with all kinds of cars from the 40’s to the 90’s in attendance. Many of the owners and visitors had dressed in period appropriate clothing, giving the day a festival atmosphere.

Being an outside event, there were not too many restrictions on the day. Racing fans and car enthusiasts could look around the cars and speak with teams in the paddock. Masks had to be worn in this area however.

Cadillac Plastic and 3M had invited several customers.  All guests were able to access the paddock area to view the cars. Guests also had access to Members-only viewing and refreshment areas, placed at strategic points around the site.

A Simple 1000 Yard Course

The venue itself is deep in the Worcestershire countryside, with the track a little under a kilometre in length (or 1000 yards in old money). Competitors must simply drive up the track (12 feet wide) from the start to the finish, in the shortest possible time. With a vertical rise of 100 meters (328 feet), and an average gradient of 1:9.14 (max gradient 1:6.24) that’s no mean feat in a ‘classic’. However many of the drivers will do this at speeds approaching 100mph.

The on-track action started around 9am and 3 wheelers and classic minis tackled the hill one after the other. Other classes included old Formula 5000 cars and even classic WRC rally cars from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s.

The weather was on our side, and ensured plenty of visitors were happy to be at an outside event. Most were happy to sit and watch the action from the viewing areas around the top and bottom “S” bends. These viewing areas benefited from shade provided by the tall trees as temperatures hit the low thirties in the open.

Invited Guests of Cadillac and 3M

We were able to meet up with all of the Cadillac Plastic and 3M guests for a chat throughout the day and would like to thank HOLBOURNE INDUSTRIAL PLASTICS, TT ELECTRONICS, and PTM DESIGN for attending with us.

We hope to make a return trip to Shelsley Walsh later this year and still have a few spaces available for the two events planned for September (Autumn finale and Members day).

If you would like to attend one of these event with us, please drop us a line.

Some of you may know that Liz Laird, here in the Cadillac office, spends a lot of her free time running, swimming and cycling. What you might not know is that Liz is a bit of a human dynamo, and this weekend (16th July) completed her 100th Half Marathon.

Yes you did read that correctly, 100th!

Liz who runs with Chippenham Harriers, did her first half in Bristol in September 2004, and since then has done 87 more in the UK and 12 in Europe.  She has also completed over 70 full marathons or Ultra marathons (typically 30 miles or more). In her time, Liz has also raised money for charities including Dorothy House Hospice, The Institute for Cancer Research and Research into Fibromyalgia

The 100th actually took place in Denbies Vinyard in Surrey and had been deferred from 2020 due to the pandemic. It turned out that this was the hottest weekend this year (up to 31C)and the hottest of the 100 Liz has done, so she was happy with a 2hr 38min time.

On the day, Liz was presented with a “100 Club shirt” for her efforts and a medal so large I’m sure most of us would not be able to carry it, particularly after a half marathon.

She is not taking any time to rest however as this weekend she is continuing with half marathon number 101. This is part the Castle to Coast Event, which involves Swimming, Cycling and Running, from Windsor Castle, to the coast, finishing in Brighton. Find out more here - https://castletocoasttri.com/event-guide-2021/

Good luck Liz, we will be cheering you along.

As the old saying goes, there is “more than one way to skin a cat”… and, if you work in a product development or manufacturing business, you will know that there is more than one way to join things together.

In this article we will see how the Surface Energy of materials can affect an adhesive bond. We will also explore some of the adhesive properties you should consider when sticking two surfaces together.

Unlike the poor old cat, in the manufacturing world, we need to ask questions about what we are trying to achieve. What materials are we using, why we are using them and what sort of properties should the join have?

Why Use Adhesives?

We can of course go for a mechanical type solution. That could be a screw or a bolt, a bracket or a clamp style compression fixing. Depending on what you are trying to achieve any of these methods, or a combination of them, might be absolutely fine.

However, in the sleek, modern, high-tech, apple computer, handheld device type world of today, we often need joins to be a little more “discreet”. In these cases adhesives can provide the ideal solution.

With a huge choice of adhesives tapes and films to choose from, which adhesives are right for your application? This again comes down to asking the right questions and knowing what you are trying to achieve.

Surface Energy

One of the key factors to consider is the “Surface Energy” of the materials you are attempting to join. So, what is Surface Energy?, and how does it affect your application?

Find out more about Surface Energy here...

While you may not have ever heard of Surface Energy, I’m sure you will have seen its effects. Surface Energy refers to the properties of a material and how easily liquids (including adhesives) can spread out over the surface.

Imagine a freshly washed car. Water splashed onto the paintwork spreads easily leaving the surface “wetted”. After an application of a wax finish to make it shine, water will “bead” and run off the paintwork leaving very little residue left behind. In this case the painted surfaces have a higher surface energy that those panels that have had the wax applied.

Low Energy and High Energy surface

In terms of adhesives, if a material has low surface energy, it will tend towards non-stick properties. This can make it more difficult for the adhesive to work effectively. A stronger adhesive or a thicker covering may be required. In some cases even a completely different (LSE) chemical formulation could be required, that will work with your chosen materials. .

Flexibility and Permanence

Aside from the materials themselves, some of the other properties to consider could include flexibility and the level of permanence required. Flexibility would enable a bond to move a fractional amount perhaps to withstand vibrations during normal use, without the bond failing and a permanence level that could allow for a part to be fitted and re-positioned several times before the adhesive is cured sufficiently for a permanent fixed position.

Photo by Kvalifik on Unsplash

Just think about those office notes you get stuck to your screen when someone leaves you a message. You can move these around and stick them to all sorts of surfaces, multiple times, before the adhesive loses its stickiness. Originally developed by 3M, the Post-it-Note revolutionised “leaving a note” for someone.

Find out more about Post-it-Notes here...

Heat Resistance

In many manufactured components, another factor to consider is the heat resistance properties of any adhesive used. If adhesive is in close proximity to heat sources such as lights or electrical components, this may cause it to soften. Similarly if equipment has to operate in low temperature conditions, this may cause adhesives to become brittle. In either case you would not want the adhesive to fail.

Not only is it important that the adhesive remains effective, but the materials you are joining will also need be resistant to extremes of temperature.

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

Whether you are making nameplates, membrane switches, displays or securing automotive parts, Cadillac Plastic has a wide range of adhesive films in stock, designed to tackle these and other requirements.

With tapes and films from major manufacturers, including 3M, Avery, Nitto and Flexcon, we are sure to have the right adhesive for your application.