Operator safety when performing fastening operations is becoming a growing concern in assembly plants such as large automotive plants. Numerous incidents have been reported where an operator’s glove or hair has been caught by rotating tools while driving a fastener, resulting in injuries. The costs due to such accidents can be significant and can include lost time, increase in insurance premiums and potential legal costs.
One approach that assembly plants can adopt to minimize such injuries is to promote the use of covered fastener drive tools. These covers need to allow the drive tool to spin freely inside of them, in order to significantly reduce or, in most cases, eliminate contact from the rotating tool during a fastening operation performed with gloves.
Minimizing In-System Damage during Fastening
In addition to improving operator safety, a covered drive tool will help minimize in-system damage and marring caused during fastening. There is a mounting concern over the considerable expenses that a plant must bear as a result of the damage and marring of sheet metal or painted parts. This is especially pronounced in industries such as automotive, white goods, and aircraft where final products are large and complex. One of the largest contributors to in-system damage is incidental contact between the fastening power tool and the product that is being assembled as it progresses down the line.
Covered Fastener Drive Tools
As the world-leading innovator in industrial bits, sockets, universal wrenches, and U-Guard covered tools Apex provides high-performing drive tools for automotive, appliance, aerospace, transportation, and other industries. Apex tools are made from tool grade steel and then heat treated using our proprietary process. Each core tool is machined for a precision fit that meets, or in most cases, exceeds industry standards. Improper fit can lead to premature fastener failure and fastener drive tool failure. Apex bits and sockets run true with minimal wobble for more efficient fastening cycles, resulting in a significant increase in life and providing our customers with an unmatched return on their investment.
Our µ-Guard line of premium safety and anti-mar fastener tools is revolutionizing the market for covered assembly tools.
Apex µ-Guard Features and Benefits
Apex µ-Guard line of covered drive tools maximizes operator safety and minimizes the damage caused to work parts. Made from a low durometer material that resists dents during incidental impacts, it absorbs side impacts and does not produce raised burrs when impacted. The cover is molded to the tool for reduced envelope dimensions yet still is able to exhibit “free-spinning” capability for improved operator safety and ergonomics. In addition, the covering is non-removable to prevent unwanted tampering on the line.
An Apex covered tool provides a protective barrier between genuine Apex tools and the finished workpiece. It provides the proven Apex performance plus the best protection available against in-system damage.
In addition to covered bits, sockets, and extensions Apex also offers Gap Covers that cover the gaps between the socket and extension, or between the right angle tool and socket (or extension). These new Apex Gap Covers further enhance operator safety by helping minimize fastening tool related injuries on the assembly line. Starting with engineered thermoplastic material that combines low friction and wear resistance with high impact resistance to ensure a long lasting part, these covers are then machined for a form fitting profile keeping the outer envelope size to a minimum for maximum clearance.
Please contact Apex today, and let us work with you to determine the optimum covered drive tool solution for your assembly needs.
Apex Fastening Tools