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Industrial caps & plugs: Flexible closures for every situation

By: Graham Smith
23 May, 2011

Industrial caps and plugs may not be glamorous, but you and thousands of others still need them, and they better be fit for purpose.

Stockcap entered the Australian market in 1993 and since that time has carved out a substantial slice of the industrial protective caps and plugs market.

"We started as quite a small dip-moulding company and we’ve grown to become one of the market leaders. The market in Australia at that time was virtually a monopoly if you like," managing director John Wood said.

Stockcap is part of Sinclair & Rush, which was founded in the United States in the 1950s, and is now the largest manufacturer of flexible closures in the world.

In Australia however, the company was starting from scratch in the early 1990s.

Stockcap has built a huge range of protective caps and plugs that have grown over the years as new applications have emerged – in the case of automotive closures, masking applications and heatshrink products it has literally hundreds of thousands of products to prevent contamination of componentry by dirt, dust, moisture and oil.

"With the automotive market for example, the brake system, the climate control system and the drive train are all made at different factories and they’re shipped off to car the assembly plant, say General Motors," Wood said.

"Before shipping, all of the open ports, protruding threads and anything else that may be exposed during shipping needs to sealed with a cap or plug."

Wood said that in the electrical industry a cable manufacturer like Prysmian Cables uses a heatshrink end cap to seal both ends of the cable before shipping a drum of cable.

"We really sell packaging solutions, not just caps and plugs. For instance, when the customer calls us, our first question is what is the application? We find out what the customer’s trying to do, then we find the best solution whether it’s a stock product or a custom-made part," Wood said.

The company inventories thousands of parts at its Sydney warehouse for immediate delivery all over Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. However, if a custom-made solution is needed the company’s in-house engineers work with the customer from initial part design, through tooling, off-tool samples, and mass-production of approved parts.

So how did the company go about capturing a chunk of the Australian market as a newcomer in the 1990s?

"We’ve really grown up on service; that’s been our angle. The nature of our product is there is a market price, and that’s the price," Wood said.

"So we try to be quick and we try to be friendly. We’re no more technical than our opposition but we think we provide a better sales and service experience."

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