Today enterprises often design and develop custom tools to assist with a specific manufacturing processes. Numerous metal parts producers create their own custom molds to help generate specific commercial products. Companies have also developed custom dies, stamps, drill bits, drivers, saw blades, wrenches, and other tools. Some custom tools will only function with components meeting specific dimensional or constituent requirements, while others can perform operations on a multitude of materials.
Many manufacturers rely upon fasteners to help affix components together within an assembly. These devices may consist of a single, standalone product, such as a pin or a nail, or they may require two coupled parts working together in unison, such as a bolt and a nut.
The remarkable variety and versatility of industrial fasteners has enabled manufacturers to employ many different manufacturing techniques to create these useful devices. Casting remains a very popular means of producing nuts and bolts, screws, clamps, nails, and rivets, for instance. Extrusion and stamping also allow manufacturers to produce many fasteners, too, including nails, grommets, clips, and pins. However, companies sometimes also machine some work pieces to achieve desired fastener specifications. The specific manufacturing technique employed during fastener production may depend upon many factors, including the size of the fastener, its intended uses, the constituent materials, the available budget, production schedules, and customer specifications (if applicable).
TYPES OF FASTENERS
Currently manufacturers employ a wide array of industrial fastening devices to help affix materials together on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. Some of the most widely used types of industrial fasters include items falling into these broad categories:
Nuts And Bolts: Often similar to screws, industrial bolts typically couple a bolt with a ribbed shaft containing male threads to a nut displaying female threading. Bolts will insert easily through pre-drilled holes, making them very useful within mechanical assemblies.
Screws: Screws may (or may not) occur as coupled fasteners. The male helical threading on the shaft of a typical screw will embed directly into materials with the assistance of twisting or driving.
Clips: Fastening devices in a variety of conformations, clips will hook or grasp materials together securely. Product dimensions sometimes vary widely. A paperclip illustrates this category of fastener.
Pins: These fasteners fix items together either by pressing through them, or by providing a support for affixing one item to another.
Nails: A slender pointed fastening device designed for pounding into position within an assembly; nails occur widely within the construction industry, but also contribute to industrial manufacturing.
Rivets: These fasteners contain a preformed head. The shank will pass through holes in two or more materials. Then a manufacturer pounds or presses the rivet into position and secures it in place by pounding the shaft to form a second head.
Staples: Industrial staples generally use a U-shaped configuration. A manufacturer may drive both ends of the staple through permeable material to fix another item in place and then clinch the ends together to secure the assembly.
Grommets: These ring-shaped fasteners may compress material against an eyelet or toothed eyelet; grommets frequently help protect openings used for cables or cords or laces.
Fasteners: Materials And Applications
Metal parts manufacturers utilize an impressive variety of raw materials in developing various fasteners and fastening systems. Numerous applications for these products contribute to their ongoing popularity. Today virtually every economic sector relies upon industrial fasteners.
Many different raw materials contribute to industrial fasteners. Some of the most popular constituents include: steel, stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, titanium, plastic, wood, and composites. The intended purpose of the fastener may cause a manufacturer to prefer one available raw material over another.
The remarkable diversity of industrial fasteners today reflects the manufacturing importance of these devices. Fasteners perform essential roles fixing materials together in virtually every economic sector. From construction and industrial manufacturing, to the creation of products for transportation, consumer, aerospace, telecommunications, and agricultural purposes, fasteners help make mechanical assemblies possible.
Among different categories of industrial fasteners, three popular selections illustrate the widespread utility of these devices:
Custom Fasteners: Manufacturers may opt to design and develop custom fasteners in order to affix specific components or materials together within an assembly. For example, one company may require plastic grommets to join two types of fabrics together for use within a consumer product. Another firm may need more durable metal grommets. By seeking custom grommets, the companies ensure their manufacturing facilities obtain fasteners meeting specific bespoke specifications.
Custom OEM Fasteners: Enterprises which have invested in the creation of brands frequently also develop proprietary custom tools and custom OEM fastener components to ensure the availability of replacement parts and fasteners. In some cases, engineering teams will include features to encourage the use of specific custom OEM fasteners in designated locations during an assembly process. For example, a manufacturer may color code fasteners to facilitate easier identification of parts.
Machined Fasteners: In some situations, a manufacturer may discover a need to machine a fastener in order to use it within an assembly. The firm may machine the head of a bolt to permit easier extraction, or develop a screw with female threads to precisely fit male threaded screws in its inventory. Financial and cost considerations and production schedules may become important factors in deciding whether or not to engage in the labor intensive process of machining available fasteners or whether to simply order substitute fasteners elsewhere.