If you’ve worked with cheap industrial fastening components, odds are that stripped screws and weak bolts are two things that come to mind. In order to avoid the wasted time and money spent job-to-job, know the materials and various characteristics of the hardware that you’re looking to purchase. Settling for various materials listed for bulk sale without the proper details can sabotage projects and hinder your long-term needs.
Just because they’re small and often come in bulk doesn’t mean that screws, bolts, threaded rods, and other fasteners shouldn’t be held to high standards. Here are two to consider:
- High Resistance (against chemicals and heat conduction). Fasteners’ strength and durability are enhanced against chemical breakdown and erosion. This is contrasted with ineffective metals that have a “high” thermal conductivity.
- High Intransigence (against vibrations). Maximizing a product’s quality means utilizing desensitized materials that won’t beat up and break down despite corrosion from minor vibration caused by machinery or other use.
So why choose a new fastener partner?
There are any number of reasons to begin to search for a new fastener partner. These are the biggest reasons for a switch to a new fastener supplier.
1. The current fastener supplier has poor execution on delivery.
Anyone in the “fastener industry” can sell you fasteners. But can they deliver on time? Do they give you a delivery schedule and work within your JIT manufacturing needs? Lead time can be critical to your success.
2. The current fastener supplier makes the wrong recommendations.
There’s nothing worse than a fastener supplier that is no more than a call center. Look for staff that has extensive experience in the fastener and component industry, and is looking for more than a quick sale. How can you tell they are qualified? One easy way without having to get technical: ask them for their credentials, and see how they respond. Ask for a few referrals. Or, if you know HOW to get technical, test them. Ask them to help specify a screw or bolt for a component that you already know the right solution.
3. The current fastener supplier sends the wrong fasteners.
This one is an easy out. Poor organizational skills equals a poor organization.
4. The current fastener supplier isn’t cost competitive.
One face value, this one is easy to compare, but watch out. Sometimes the cheapest bolt or washer isn’t the right one for you either. Look to the beginning of this article regarding our quality discussion.
5. The actual fasteners are of poor quality.
What should you look for in a fastener manufacturer or distributor?
There’s a lot of choices out there in the world of fasteners. Here’s a few guidelines that you might consider when selecting. First, be sure to verify that manufacturers are recognized in the design and sales of a wide variety of molded plastic fasteners or machined metal fasteners. When purchasing from quality fastener manufacturers, you’ll find many durable fastener types that are specialized for your various projects. All components should be made with quality materials and be customized to ensure performance, safety, and ample “bang for your buck.”