Threaded and nonthreaded fasteners are, by far, the most popular means of assembling parts. Here’s a look at some of the latest fasteners and the equipment for installing them.


Technology Prevents Cross-Threading

HFC3000II and Micro-Nutrunner from MC Machinery

The HFC3000II and Micro-Nutrunner tools eliminate the need to manually start threaded fasteners to prevent cross-threading.

The tool’s safe-start function actively monitors the fastener as it counter-rotates on the workpiece. With the fastener preloaded into the socket, the tool rotates in the loosening direction. This continues until the tool’s pulse technology detects a consistent and distinct vibration of the screw rolling from the top of the thread down to the thread below on the workpiece.

The pulse detected by the tool must be both consistent and distinct. A distinct pulse indirectly indicates that the tool is aligned with the threads to correct thread misalignment. This prevents side load, a common cause of cross-threading and tool wear. The consistency of the pulse ensures that the exact top of the thread is detected to correct fastener misalignment. Fastening only occurs at the precise angle of thread alignment, another cause of cross-threading.

With this data, the exact depth can be determined, allowing for the detection of missing washers or even the compression of a liquid gasket.

See this company at The ASSEMBLY Show Oct. 22-24 in Rosemont, IL.

MC Machinery


Control Arm Error-Proofs Fastening

Position-control torque arm

Position-control torque arms play a crucial role in actively overseeing and regulating torque levels in assembly operations, along with managing the sequence of fastener application in real-time. The device consists of a control box and an articulated torque arm. It integrates seamlessly with Sumake’s brushless torque screwdrivers and transducer screwdrivers.

The arm offers support, stability and control during the screwdriving process. The arm is equipped with encoders that offer feedback on the screwdriver’s position, enabling real-time monitoring and adjustment of torque levels and fastener order. This ensures screws are tightened to precise specifications in the correct sequence.

Mounted near the workstation or assembly line, the arm secures the screwdriver in place, preventing movement or shaking during operation. This support guarantees the screwdriver remains steady, allowing for accurate and precise fastening.

As the electric screwdriver applies torque to drive the screw, a reactive force may be exerted in the opposite direction. The torque arm absorbs this force, preventing it from affecting the worker or the assembly process. This absorption maintains stability and control, which is crucial when working with delicate or precise components.

The torque arm provides smooth motion control, enabling the user to guide the screwdriver precisely to the desired location. This control is essential for achieving consistent torque levels and avoiding over-tightening or under-tightening of screws.

See this company at The ASSEMBLY Show Oct. 22-24 in Rosemont, IL.

Sumake North America


Clips Secure Side-Curtain Air Bags

clips for securing side-curtain air bag assemblies

These clips secure side-curtain air bag assemblies in automotive interiors. The clips are pre-mounted into the fabric layers of an air bag before being assembled onto a car body. The clips have an ergonomic shape and surface for a quicker, smoother assembly process. The clips overlap in all four directions, which provides increased protection to vehicle passengers. With only two overlaps, there is an increased risk that the connection between the air bag and clip will be lost due to lug pull-overs.

The clip provides proof of assembly, confirmation that all retaining legs are correctly placed. This confirmation can be checked by the OEM. The design of the clips allows for quality control and will not allow assembly to continue until the issue is resolved.



Self-Clinching Stud for Hard Metal

Strux HM self-clinching stud for hard sheet metal

Strux HM is a self-clinching stud for hard sheet metal. The fastener uses the same hole size and installation method as the company’s Strux self-clinching studs, which are designed for softer materials.

Strux HM features a new rib profile, equally spaced around the head, that prevents rotation after being staked into the sheet. A collar displaces metal into a retaining groove, which allows the material to flow inward to secure the stud. A retaining ring provides a barrier for displaced material to prevent push-out. The fastener provides significantly higher torsional resistance in steel vs. competing products. The stud can be installed in-die or using automated equipment.

Acument Global Technologies, a Fontana Gruppo company


Thread-Tapping Screw

Powertite thread-tapping screw

Powertite is a round self-tapping screw with a trilobular tapping zone. Where the forming work takes place, the screw has a slightly triangular cross section (with rounded edges) to reduce the tapping torque. At a length of three times the pitch, the tapping zone is optimized, allowing the forming work during the tapping process to be distributed over several thread flights, and ensuring that the screw is optimally set and centered.

The round load cross-section has a defined overlap; the external diameter of the screw is always greater than the nominal dimension. This enables a greater overlap on the thread flanks of the screw and of the tapped nut thread. By combining this trilobular shape in the tapping zone, and the round cross-section in the bearing zone, tapping torques are low, but the overturn torque and load-bearing capacity of the tapped nut thread are greatly increased.

The fastener is ideal for applications that need maximum clamping force with an over-elastic assembly. The fastener is also suitable for assemblies where the screw-in depth is low, yet high hole tolerances are necessary.

In many cases, it is possible to reduce weight by reducing the length of the screw and optimizing the weight of the screw heads. With Powertite, the load capacity of the tapped nut thread is more than 20 percent greater compared with standard trilobular screws.

It can be used in steel, as well as aluminum and other lightweight metals. It is possible to carry out repeat fastenings, and when service is required, the fastener can be replaced by metric screws.

Arnold Umformtechnik GmbH & Co.


Actuators for Automated Screwdriving

LBR and LDR series of linear rotary actuators

The LBR and LDR series of linear rotary actuators feature “smart driver” technology for inserting and tightening threaded fasteners in automated assembly systems.

The actuators are ideal for applications such as electronics assembly, where small screws and delicate materials pose unique challenges.

Small screws are notoriously difficult to assemble, often leading to issues such as cross-threading and damage to tapped threads. The actuators ensure precise screw insertion by detecting the screw top, verifying the thread match, and monitoring screw movement in real-time.

The LBR and LDR verify a precise thread match every time, eliminating cross-threading. Using a 1-micron encoder, the actuator rotates counterclockwise, recognizes the drop in the first thread pitch, defines the thread, and then begins its clockwise rotation to tighten the screw.

SMAC Moving Coil Actuators


Tool Lubricant Is Environmentally Friendly

Biodegradable Bio-Air Tool Lubricants

Biodegradable Bio-Air Tool Lubricants have better natural lubricity than petroleum-based oils, but are safer for employees and the environment. Because they are bio-based, there is no danger of polluting the air, water, soil or work environment with spilled lubricant. Unlike petroleum-based product, should a leak occur operators can simply wipe it up and throw away the towels or rags. No reporting is required, nor is expensive disposal.

They emulsify water for improved lubricity and corrosion protection in moist conditions. The lubricants can be fed through an airline lubricator or with a squirt directly into the tool through the quick-coupling air connection. Available in 22 and 32 weights, they feature low toxicity and super high viscosity index of the HOBS, making them ideal for rotary and reciprocating air tools, such as chipping hammers, impact wrenches, air motors, grinders, reamers and drills.

The lubricants meet the EPA 2013 vessel general permit guidelines for environmentally acceptable lubricants and should be used where low toxicity, biodegradability and non-bioaccumulation properties are required. They exceed the acute toxicity criteria adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the EPA.

Renewable Lubricants Inc.