J.J. Short Associates, Inc. is a Custom Molded Rubber and Roller Manufacturer that can help you with Custom Molded Rubber Parts, Custom Rubber Covered Rollers, Replacement OEM Rubber Rollers, Laminator Rollers, Rubber Parts, Rubber Rollers, Rubber Caps, and OEM Molded Rubber Parts.
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Custom Molded Masks For Industrial Coaters

Over the years we have helped various industrial coaters—Painting, Powder Coating, E-Coating, Anodizing and Plating---in dealing with difficult masking needs.

In many cases a simple mask is needed and can be accomplished with tape or die cut rubber sheeting with pressure sensitive tape. Our niche is working with our customers to mask more difficult areas of parts where coatings are not wanted and using die cut masks are impractical and using tape is very time-consuming and not consistent. Molding rubber shapes to provide the necessary mask along with tethers or handles allows for easy operator insertion and removal which increases productivity and profitability for your coating job.

The key to deciding when to turn to custom-molded masks is their suitability for a particular application. Coatings deposit on every available surface during application, including places where they’re not wanted. Removing unwanted coatings takes time and labor, and slows production. Any time operators have to do secondary operations after a finishing step, like removing the coating from threaded studs or other surfaces, a custom-molded masking plug or masking cap would make a huge impact on productivity.

Although custom-molded masks aren’t always the best solution because of engineering costs, they can resolve difficult coating issues like poor finish quality, poor consistency, slow mask application and removal, and poor production line productivity. Custom-molded masks make sense when you need to protect unusual surfaces and openings, and they do so while providing excellent results in very hostile finishing environments. They differ from die-cut tape masks in several key ways:

Custom-molded masks protect parts in difficult environments. Custom-molded masks can mask almost any surface, aperture, or combination of the two. No application is really beyond them. Masks can be used for Painting, Plating, Powder Coating, E-Coating and Anodizing. Materials can be selected for the operating environment including high temperature conditions.

  • Masking Caps mask plain or threaded studs, tube ends and slotted holes. They can be used as a parallel plug to mask thru holes. Washer Caps provide a concentric mask around a stud. Terminal Caps are ideal for masking grounding tabs.

  • Masking Plugs mask threaded or non-threaded holes and provide excellent sealing power. Plugs can be solid or hollow, tapered or straight. Hollow Plugs provide more flexibility than solid plus, are easier to insert and are less costly than traditional tapered plugs. Plugs with Handles allow for easier insertion and removal and can be solid or hollow. Dual Purpose Plugs can have different size or shaped ends to accommodate more then one opening. Flanged Pull Plugs masks off chamfer, first thread and last thread in through holes. Washer Pull Plugs make the hole and earthing area or countersink area.

  • Masking Sheeting can be provided in sheet or die cut form and are used for gaskets, pads, strips, washer and seal.


Custom-molded masks can be quickly installed and removed. When operators are forced to manually create a mask from tape, apply multiple masks, or engage in a time-consuming alignment process, it’s probable that a custom-molded mask would speed up the process and quickly pay for itself. Masking plugs can be made with handles and masking caps with tethers to make insertion and removal quicker and easier.

Properly designed molded masks are self-aligning and can mask multiple surfaces with one insertion. Because they're molded in three dimensions, these masks can be ergonomically designed with flanged handles, rings, tethers or other aids. Also masking caps and masking plugs can be color coded for easy identification as to the area they are supposed to mask.

Custom-molded masks can be reused. Advances in rubber compounding allow J.J. Short Associates, Inc. to produce molded masks with precisely the right combination of flexibility and durability. Molded rubber masks can handle applications where flexibility is called for, yet survive multiple trips through the coating cycles.

Operators on production lines can be innovative, producing some pretty ingenuous workarounds for coating problems. The problem with that is, a series of manual steps involving operators and cutting tools can add up, and these things tend to creep up so quietly that companies don't even notice how much time, and therefore money is being wasted.

Working with you and your team we ask for information on how the part hangs on the rack or about the space constraints. A mask that can’t be inserted easily, defeats its own purpose. Because everybody’s process is different, we will gladly will visit your shop to look for areas that are causing problems.

Custom-molded masks can solve production problems and often outperform die-cut tape masks in even simple applications where alignment or insertion and removal speeds are important. In difficult environments, molded masks are often the only reasonable choice.

The downside is the initial tooling costs. Still, given the cost structure driving today’s production environments—in which consistent quality is paramount and productivity an imperative—custom-molded masks can make a huge difference and pay back the initial up-front costs very quickly.

Please feel free to contact J.J. Short Associates, Inc. with your masking needs. We look forward to working with you!

If it’s made from rubber, contact us!