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How to Expedite and Improve Fastening Sourcing Results

Fastening

 When it comes to sourcing, fasteners are oftentimes the low priority, “class C” afterthought components. Yet, if not managed properly, they can drive product complexity, inventory waste, and late program cost increases. The global market for industrial fasteners is massive and complicated, and forecasted to reach 109.61 Billion USD by 2025. Fasteners are used in nearly every industrial application, holding everything together – from our homes, cars and cell phones to the chair you may be sitting in right now.

Knowing a few key attributes about the fasteners you are sourcing will expedite and improve sourcing results.

Material

Choosing the right material for fasteners is important when considering cost, strength, brittleness, and corrosion resistance.

Steel and Stainless Steel

  • Both are the most common materials used and account for approximately 90% of all fasteners manufactured.
  • Dominate the automotive industry, along with plastic fasteners.
  • Steel is popular because of its malleable strength and durability.
  • Stainless steel provides corrosion resistance. But, it lacks the ability to be hardened to the same strength of hardened grade 5 and 8 varieties of steel.

Silicon Bronze

  • Primarily used in marine settings.
  • Superior to stainless fasteners for marine engineering due to its high corrosion resistance.
  • Superior to brass due to its strength.
  • Extremely expensive, which explains its limited application.

Brass and Aluminum

  • Highly corrosion resistant, but softer than the ones previously mentioned.
  • Brass is primarily used for its attractive appearance.
  • Aluminum is often used when weight is a vital detail of technical specification.

Coating

Coatings are commonly used to add or increase corrosion resistance or for decorative or appearance purposes.

Zinc Plating

  • Provides better corrosion resistance in most environments.
  • Prone to rust.

Galvanizing

  • Coats the fastener in a thick layer of zinc.
  • Greater corrosion resistance, however galvanized bolts are not compatible with other nuts due to the thickness of the coating.

 Chrome Plating

  • Used for corrosion resistance and as a decorative feature for certain applications.
  • Provides similar corrosion resistance to zinc, but offers a quality-polished finish.

Type

The most common types of fasteners are bolts, screws, nuts, washers, clips, and pins. Within each of these categories are several more variations and each application could require a new fastener to be engineered.

  • When sourcing screws, it’s important to know the type of head that is needed (flat, pan, truss, etc.) as each type has its own distinct purpose.
  • Within each of these different fastener types you have the option of designing your product utilizing standard off-the-shelf components, or engineering your own custom-tailored fastener to best fit your needs.
    -Off-the-shelf components save on cost; however, they may not be a perfect match for your requirements.
    -Engineering a custom fastener ensures that the part meets the desired specifications, but is more expensive.

Size

  • Size determines where you can source your fastener from.
  • Its commonplace for fastener manufacturers to develop capabilities in certain size ranges, like M6 or larger and M5 or smaller.

Source

  • Fasteners may be sourced through multiple channels instead of going directly through a manufacturer.
  • Going through a manufacturer can be beneficial if you have very high volume and low differentiation in parts.
  • If you are in search of a greater variety of fastener types and sizes, in the mid- or low-volume range, a distributor may provide greater value for you.
  • A distributor can be an advantage when sourcing several fasteners from multiple manufacturers. The distributor manages all logistics of obtaining the components from the manufacturers and the customer is only responsible for receiving them from the distributor.

 

Martin Fastening can provide significant value for Customers when sourcing fasteners. We are a global sourcing and supply chain management company specializing in off the shelf class “C” components and per print specials. We’ll work with you to provide a custom-tailored solution in the procurement of these parts to lower your total cost.

 

To learn more, contact Bob Mays at 731-499-3232.