Dan Whitener — Vice-President and COO, TRIM-LOK, INC.

Q: How would you describe Trim-Lok’s primary business?
A: Trim-Lok is a leader in plastic and rubber profile extrusions. We offer both stock, off-the-shelf parts, and custom engineered product lines of edge trims, trim seals, rubber seals, and gaskets.

Q: In brief, what is your history with the company?
A: I grew up watching my dad working the machines he’d built to extrude the edge trim he’d created. He put everything he had into the business and I’d work in the shop during the summers. After earning a degree in engineering I worked in Aerospace for a few years before coming back to Trim-Lok in 1990. I worked in Engineering, then spent a number of years in sales and marketing, and I am now proudly Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of TRIM-LOK.

Q: How has your company changed through the years?
A: Trim-Lok has evolved right alongside our customers. We can accommodate far more customer requirements than ever before, including shipping and packaging requirements, labeling, specific tolerances, and new materials. We’ve expanded our offering of secondary operations such as cut-to-length, PSA tape and Mylar overlays, drilling, punching, slip coating and mitered corners, just to name a few. We’re focused on innovative solutions that solve customer problems.

Trim-Lok began with one custom co-extruded trim piece using a proprietary process to slit, stamp and coin aluminum, and then co-extruded with flexible PVC plastic. The aluminum clips gripped when attached, thus eliminating the need for gluing. We are now well over 5000 active parts.

Q: What are interesting applications of your products?
A: Currently, one of the more interesting places you’ll find a Trim-Lok product is on ankle bracelets used on defendants placed on house arrest or on parole. The strap on the ankle bracelet is thermoplastic co-extruded with fiber optic cable. The strap allows communication with the attached monitor, ensuring that if the bracelet is removed, tampered with or moves out of range, authorities will be notified.

Q: In what ways can you help your customers overcome today’s manufacturing challenges?
A: Innovation is key to our success. We are always looking for ways to improve existing products or processes. We have an amazing product development team bringing high caliber mechanical design, excellent materials knowledge, and strong manufacturing expertise to provide a full service “solution” to our customers. Trim-Lok provides a personal hands-on approach to every customer that includes engineering design & development using the latest in 3D CAD software and FEA, reverse engineering, state of the art rapid prototyping techniques, internal lab testing, onsite fit trials of first articles, and more.

Q: What are you excited to bring manufacturing professionals in 2019?
A: Trim-Lok has several new products introduced to the market recently, including our All-in-One Screw Cap cover and our Peel & Stick Fender Flare. We are proud that both these parts show our innovation and problem-solving capabilities. Traditional Screw Cap Covers and Fender Flares used in the RV, Heavy Duty and Service/Utility Truck, and other automotive industries are traditionally multi-piece and multi-step installations. We’ve redesigned these parts to provide time, labor and SKU savings, as well as offering a sleeker look.

Our new Screw Cap Cover is one-piece and incorporates our patented “living hinge” design. The need to use the traditional, heavy aluminum rail and separate vinyl trim insert is now unnecessary. Screw Cap Cover is offered a base of standard, stock colors, but we offer color matching to meet the needs of our customers.

Our Peel & Stick Fender Flare incorporates our Trim-Lok Edge Trim and 3M Automotive Grade Tape ensuring secure and permanent adherence, along with a modern designed flare for cooler, more modern look. Installation is quick and easy requiring no drilling and no bolts. Current flares on the market require drilling into and bolting the flare onto the fender. Our part directly saves on the additional cost of those nuts and bolts, time and labor spent drilling and bolting, and eliminates the risk of rust and corrosion.

For more information, visit www.trimlok.com.

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