Global Fastener News

1995 FIN – James: Smaller and Smaller Products Requiring Minuscule Fasteners

May 21
00:00 2009

1995 FIN – James: Smaller and Smaller Products Requiring Minuscule Fasteners

June 26, 1995 FIN – More and more products will be manufactured smaller and smaller, requiring reduction in the size of screws and all other components, Michael James said at a Cold Heading/Precision Forming roundtable at the International Fastener & Precision Formed Parts Manufacturing Exposition (IFE) May 24.

James, president of Cold Header Machine Corp. of Boca Raton, Florida, cited mobile phones, computers, faxes, copiers, cameras, switches, instrumentation and appliances as examples of the trend toward miniaturization.
AT&T recently came out with a pager that is the size of a wristwatch, he pointed out.

“A recent breakthrough in our field of precision forming was the ability to cold head a pin with an .012 (.3mm) shank diameter and an overall length of .162 inch,” James reported. The pin is used in a personal computer.
“Traditionally, such a pin would have been manufactured on a screw machine or cutting process which had a slower production speed and more material waste, and the part became weaker as the grain structure of the metal was interrupted through the cutting process,” James told Fastener Industry News.
That is resulting in a trend toward more small screw machined components being converted to the cold heading process, James said.
“We see many parts and piece part drawings presented to us from OEMs, fastener manufacturers, four slide shops and stamping companies, with goals of converting these parts from screw machined components to miniature formed parts,” James told FIN.
“In many cases it’s a matter of educating companies on design changes to items such as chamfers, radii, angles, raw material, etc., which are necessary to make the part adaptable to miniature cold heading.”

Cold Header recently worked with a German telecommunications firm and a fastener manufacturer in converting a .018 pin from a screw machined part to a formed part.
“The most difficult task in this project was rolling a groove on the shank of this .018 copper pin,” James noted. “By purchasing a formed pin from the fastener manufacturer, the telecommunications company enjoyed a cost savings in excess of 30%.”

Concurrent with the trend toward minuscule forming, fastener manufacturers are “less concerned with production speed and more concerned with the consistency, repeatability and quality of the part coming off the process,” James finds.
“A statement we continually hear from fastener manufacturers is how strict the quality requirements are for the miniature parts they provide to their customers such as Motorola, IBM, Chrysler, AT&T, and Whirlpool, to name a few,” James said. “The goal of six sigma quality and beyond is prevalent now more than ever.” ©1995/2009 Fastener Industry News

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