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Foam shortage


bunnyman666

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I was chatting with one of my suppliers of repair/modding goods and he informed me that due to the pandemic, foam is becoming difficult to source. This person, who maybe makes 200 sets of gear per year, is finding himself being shut out of foam orders, in particular the HD foams. He, of course, uses premium Zote foams. But I imagine all foam manufacturers are affected right now.

I wonder how this will translate to us, the end user over the next 18 months? I am certain that the big five will have no problem sourcing foam, albeit at a higher price. It makes me wonder if products to make your own foam (pour and mix for all sorts of applications) will become scarce? Will new equipment reach a tipping point for consumers with inflation? Will bunnyman ever get to finish modding his pads?

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I work in the electronics industry. It seems like every material is in short supply, and the consumer has been, and will continue to, pay for the demand. Economies of scale will win, so we'll continue to see smaller manufacturers get squeezed out by or absorbed into larger ones. The cycle of post-industrial life in a capitalist society with an ever-eroding democratic general ideology. 

I recall some big conversation around here in early 2020 about how Lefevre's pricing was much higher than every other manufacturer, and therefore ridiculous. Um... sure... Funny how things keep normalizing regardless of how much bitching humans do.

 

 

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You got it, @dualshowman

I literally buy almost everything on sale. I won’t buy anything full-price unless it is custom. Even then, I am ever so wary about it. I have tweaked almost every pair of pads I have ever owned, just trying to get that “perfect” pad. Factory Mad is the closest, but even the ones I have aren’t perfect. I can’t wear my Vaughn breezers with those as the inseam gets caught; Warrior are perfect with those pads. The ILP is at the NHL max on those.

Sorry for the tangent. What I am trying to say is that I know prices are ridiculous. I also know that rather than pay the money and have the latest, I will use yesterday tech that is proven and costs less. I am not going to crow on about how expensive stuff is, then go and buy it. Hopefully the pendulum swings back where all can play in the market.

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@bunnyman666 Same. I never pay full price/buy new gear. I modify everything. Even my two jocks are modified. Recently bought new pads that were marked down to 1/2 retail, opened the box, and started cutting and sewing. Probably wouldn't feel as good about that had my name been embroidered on them. 

The one great thing about hockey becoming an ever-wealthier sport is that used gear isn't so used up any longer. All of the used stuff that I've bought over the last 5 years is in far better condition and the used stuff I was buying 15 years ago, and the price of used stuff has remained fairly steady. 

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I'm in the medical microelectronics industry and tons of things are in short supply, this including: foams (specifically polypropylene, but others too), semiconductor materials (mostly based on labor, but in particular silica processing and CMP manufacturing, additionally the jump in consumer electronics and more-and-more things using small chips manufactured by companies like Texas Instruments and such, that's in everything now), plastics, PPE (since so much got absorbed up by general consumers instead of specialty consumers like us in a clean room), and more.

It's been a hell of a year, so I can only imagine so equipment manufacturers have had a harder time with their suppliers.

 

Edited by keeperton
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7 hours ago, keeperton said:

I'm in the medical microelectronics industry and tons of things are in short supply, this including: foams (specifically polypropylene, but others too), semiconductor materials (mostly based on labor, but in particular silica processing and CMP manufacturing, additionally the jump in consumer electronics and more-and-more things using small chips manufactured by companies like Texas Instruments and such, that's in everything now), plastics, PPE (since so much got absorbed up by general consumers instead of specialty consumers like us in a clean room), and more.

It's been a hell of a year, so I can only imagine so equipment manufacturers have had a harder time with their suppliers.

 

According to estimates and scuttle butt from industry experts, these shortages could last a couple of YEARS. 

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