Global Fastener News

1995 FIN – Consensus Standards Reflect Changes

August 05
00:00 2013

June 6, 1995 FIN –With recent proposed changes in the Fastener Quality Act shifting emphasis from government definitions to voluntary consensus standards, a seminar planned earlier took on increased importance. The following are excerpts from a speech by Steven W. Vass, product engineering manager for Lake Erie Screw Corporation, at the International Fastener & Precision Formed Parts Manufacturing Exposition (IFE) May 23, 1995.

“Standards are dynamic documents that must reflect sound technology practices, changes in technology and changes in the marketplace,” Vass said.
“In preparation for the public law, we are trying to ‘clean-up’ the ANSI standards and make changes that bring about a good working compatibility with the law.” Vass said.
For example, “we divorced structural bolts, nuts and washers from their original standards, putting them into their own standard [ASME B18.2.6],” Vass reported. “We did this with the objective of creating a fastener ‘system’ mind-set. Even though all components may not be made by the same manufactures, good practice would dictate that they arrive at the job site purchased from and tested by one source.
Noting government efforts to “cancel their standards and adopt consensus standards wherever possible,” Vass pointed out that ASME has a part identifying number code system standard for externally threaded products in draft status which will be used by government agencies for procurement.
Last fall SAE organized into sub-committees for standards, materials, quality assurance, technology and international harmonization.
Standards work is “carried out by ‘volunteer’ members who have some expertise in their specific field,” Bass explained. The standards organizations try to “achieve a good membership balance between manufacturer, user and independent.”
Currently, user participation is greater than that of manufacturers, Vass said.
Major fastener standards organizations are: ASME/ANSI for dimensions; ASTM for materials/mechanical properties, discontinuities, processes and testing; SAE, covering both; and IFI (Industrial Fastener Institute), which Vass said “has several standards which are less specific but still very pertinent to the product and its performance.”
Because the IFI is an association of manufacturers of fasteners and cold formed parts, and associate members including raw material suppliers, equipment builders, tool manufacturers and service suppliers, it “is probably closer to the technology of our industry than the other standards organizations,” Vass commented.
“It has been my observation that a standard can be generated through IFI in less time than in other organizations,” Vass suggested. “Occasionally, the IFI standard will later be converted to an SAE, ANSI or ASTM document.”
The Automotive Action Group is working on a document that will examine common automotive fastener products and sizes in hopes of enabling domestic producers to supply fasteners to auto transplants, he said.
Vass called for standards for products made from microalloy materials, organic coatings, baseline fatigue dates on standard products, inspection techniques, straightness and thread nicks.
“Standards are a lot like attending a seminar,” Vass concluded. “The more you make your needs and expectations known to the presenter, the better the job he will do for you. The more you are willing to participate, the more you will get out of it.” ©1995/2013 Fastener Industry News.
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