Author Archives: Pier Cipollone

  1. A Unique Sherex Application That You’ve Probably Stepped On

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    Sherex manufactures hundreds of millions of rivet nuts, compression limiters, clinch nuts, wedge locking washers, and other fastening products every year.

    One thing Sherex doesn’t really dabble with is screws. That is unless the right opportunity comes along.

    A local company reached out to see if we can help out with a custom screw product that needed to be easy to install, and durable enough to go into high-traffic environments and withstand extreme weather conditions. Of course we can help! 6-Lobe Socket Screw

    Sherex provides a Tamper-Resistant, 6-Lobe Socket Screw to a company that manufactures truncated dome sidewalks. Truncated dome are essentially ground surface indicators designed to assist and warn pedestrians who are blind or visually impaired. You may see them on sidewalks at intersections, at the bottom or top of stairwells, or on a train platform. These screws are stainless steel and heavy duty, withstanding the elements and all kinds of pressure and vibration.

    Sherex has been providing millions of these countersunk fasteners every year to the Buffalo, NY company which manufactures them. So when you’re on that subway platform waiting for your train, or taking the dogs for a walk, take a look on the ground. Chances are the truncated dome sidewalk you’re stepping on is fastened with a Sherex Tamper-Resistant 6-Lobe Socket Screw!

    Looking for a custom fastening product? Contact us – we have the engineering capacity to come up with a solution that fits your needs.

  2. The Perfect Workstation for Installing Rivet Nuts

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    What do you need to be successful at installing rivet nuts? Depends who you ask.

    For some, it’s just parts and a rivet nut tool. But it really should be more than that.

    Let’s take a look at what every rivet nut installer should have at his or her rivet nut workstation:

    Hand Tool Calibration Unit
    Unless you’re installing parts with a process monitoring tool, you need a Hand Tool Calibration Unit. The Hand Tool Calibration Unit shows the pulling force of the rivet nut installation tool, so users know the exact installation force being used to install the part. A dip in pulling force may set the part improperly, leading to rework and time spent fixing parts the user already installed.

    Calipers
    Every fastener installer needs calipers at their workstation. Calipers are used to measure the dimension and length of an object. This could be the measurement of the hole, or the installed length of the rivet nut. They help ensure the part was installed correctly too.

    Rivet Nut Catalog
    The rivet nut catalog has loads of information the user may need during their installations. Everything from grip range, installation length, hole size, part number nomenclature and more. It’s a valuable reference to make sure you’re installing the correct part.

    Hex Tool
    Hex tool is used to increase or decrease the pressure on your hydro-pneumatic rivet nut tool. By using the Hand Tool Calibration Unit to check the pressure, you’ll know whether to turn the pressure up or down on your rivet nut tool.

    Vice Grips
    Vice Grips are used to install the headset on the Hand Tool Calibration Unit and change the headset on your tooling.

    Rivet Nut Tooling
    It goes without saying, you need rivet nut tools to install rivet nuts. There are a variety of fastener installation systems you can use, but preferably it would be a hydro-pneumatic tool as it offers fast installation with the ability to spin the part onto the mandrel itself.

    Rivet Nuts
    Can’t install rivet nuts without… rivet nuts!

    The last two items are pretty obvious, but the others are really necessary to ensure a perfect installations. The Cal Unit so you know the pulling force, the calipers to make sure measurements are to spec, Rivet Nut Catalog to see specs of the part you’re installing, hex tool to change the pressure of the tool, and vice grips to change the mandrel of the Cal Unit. Oh, and you know, rivet nuts and rivet nut tool.

    All this will make for some successful installations!

     

  3. Rivet Nuts for the Aerospace Industry

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    Sherex makes a variety of NAS/MS round body rivet nuts for the US Aerospace and Department of Defense (DoD) industries out of its Sherex Akron manufacturing facility in Akron Ohio.

    As one could imagine, the Aerospace Industry is highly regulated and guided by a variety of certifications and standards that must be adhered to for performance and safety. Sherex Akron is an ISO 9001:2015, QSLM Class 3 and Class 2 certified through the Defense Logistics Agency, and AS9100 compliant. Sherex’s CAGE Code is 7EK30. What does this mean? Our facility and parts have been qualified and meet a certain criteria required by US aerospace manufactures and the DoD. Manufacturers can be sure the parts they receive live up to the high standards required by these associations.

    Remember, these parts not only have to hold the plane together, they have to do so while under harsh conditions, like gravity, pressure, turbulence, and vibration. They must be have high tensile strength and have high corrosion resistance while typically being lightweight.

    Sherex NAS 1329 and NAS 1330 parts are used in a variety of airplanes and helicopter applications.

    Sherex SX aerospace rivet nuts are made of a variety of materials like steel, stainless steel or aluminum, and they are usually round body style with either a flat head (NAS 1329) or countersunk head (NAS 1330). Most of these parts, especially those made of aluminum, are cold formed, so heat is not needed to produce these pieces. Aluminum is not only lightweight, but is resistant to fatigue and features high tensile strength.

    Sherex NAS 1329 and 1330 rivet nuts are supplied to a variety of aerospace and DoD manufacturers, including helicopter manufactures. Almost all of applications of Sherex NAS/MS style rivet nuts belong in the cabin and are not considered critical components (like holding the wings onto planes, or landing gear), but nonetheless play an extremely important role in the fuselage and cockpit. One specific application went in the floor of a military helicopter keeping armor together on the floor, and another NAS rivet nut went in the overhead compartment of one of the most popular commercial jet liners ever built.

    SX-25A-Aluminum Rivet Nut

    Aluminum NAS1329 Style Rivet Nuts

    Sherex has a number of ongoing projects with the DoD and other Aerospace manufactures and has lots of experience in this industry. To learn more about our Akron capabilities, see our DoD Statement of Capabilities and how we can provide extremely quality, and durable fasteners for any aerospace project.

  4. Sherex’s Jake Glaser Named to the NFDA Board of Directors

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    Jake Glaser

    In 2014, Jake Glaser was starting his career in the fastener industry. Eight years later, he’ll be relied upon for his guidance and leadership on the board of one of the fastener industry’s main associations.

    Jake Glaser, Regional Sales Manager for Sherex Fastening Solutions, has been named to the Board of Directors for the National Fastener Distributors Association (NFDA), the industry’s leading non-profit trade association serving the North American fastener industry.

    Jake, who began his career in the fastener industry with Sherex in 2014 as a Customer Service Representative, has continued to climb the ladder in the Fastener Industry. He eventually moved from an inside sales role to a Technical Sales Representative position, to working his way toward an outside Regional Sales Manager role with responsibilities for developing the West Coast territory and key national/international accounts. His position of helping Sherex’s customers develop fastening solutions and provide in depth technical support is a role he continues in today.

    “It’s a huge point of pride to be recognized and nominated for the board,” said Jake, 32, who resides in Colorado. “It’s very validating for the work that I have done and continue to do, and I am very excited for this next chapter supporting our industry family.”

    In 2019, Jake was elected as the President of the Young Fasteners Professionals (YFP), a group that provides educational and networking opportunities for younger professionals desiring professional growth. Jake is hoping to continue to push developing the industry’s next leaders during his 3-year commitment to the NFDA Board.

    “I’m very excited to preach the good word of the fastener industry, and to focus on development opportunities amongst our industry peers, both personally and professionally,” Jake said. “I love working as a mentor and connecting with folks. I love helping people, and it means so much to me to know I am able to support those who rely on me to get the job done.”

    Sherex President Adam Pratt was on the NFDA board from 2016-2018 and the associate chair of the board in 2017 and 2018, so he knows first hand the board’s importance. Mr. Pratt said he’s very proud of Jake and the time he’s put into not only his job with Sherex, but his effort at YFP, and being part of the Pac-West Fastener Association.

    “This is a great opportunity for Jake and I’m really proud of him,” Adam said. “He’s been an outstanding ambassador for Sherex and the fastener industry. I’m happy Jake’s on our team and he will learn a lot being on the NFDA board.”

    Jake will be formally recognized at the Annual NFDA Meeting, June 21-23 in Minneapolis.

  5. Different Styles of Clinch Nuts

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    A major benefit of rivet nuts are the variety of styles. Well not to be outdone, clinch nuts also come in a few standard styles that each have its own benefits.

    Let’s take a look at different styles of clinch nuts:

    ACN Series – High Strength Clinch Nut

    High Strength Clinch Nut

    ACN Clinch Nut

    On this clinch nut, there are displacement lobes that force the sheet metal to flow into the locking groove when pressed in. This allows sheet metal to remain flat with no indentation and providing the nut with high push out and torque values. The base material remains flush.

    This style of clinch nut is designed for thicker sheet metal applications from 2mm to 10mm thick, and is compatible with Class 8, 9, & 10 hardware depending on application requirements.

    Front and backside of installed ACN and ASN Clinch Nuts. Notice the flush installation on the front side.

    PHOTO: How Clinch Nuts are Installed>>

    VIDEO: Installing a Clinch Nut with a FLEX-18>>

    ASN Series — Serrated Style Clinching Nut Series

    ASN Clinch Nut

    ASN Clinch Nut

    This clinch nut has extensive knurls that push into the material. During installation, sheet metal is formed into an undercut section on the nut collar by the die button and the knurled ring. As a result, the nut has high push out and torque values, and space requirement is minimal due to the small outer diameter and flat installation surface.

    The ASN clinch nut can be used in sheet metal applications from 1.5mm to 10mm thick, and is compatible with Class 8, 9, & 10 hardware depending on application requirements.

    ARN Series – Universal Clinch Nut

    ARN Series Clinch Nut

    ARN Clinch Nut

    The ARN Series clinch nut is a unique style of clinch nut that has locking grooves to dig into the material when pressed in, while the neck part of the clinch nut is crimped over the base material using a special die, making the base material “almost flush.” Locking grooves are the clinch feature of the nut, providing high push out, pull through, and torque values, even in very thin sheet materials. The nut can be installed using several different installation methods depending on the sheet material thickness, hardness, and installation clearance.

    Can be used in sheet metal from 0.4mm to 6mm thick, and is compatible with Class 8, 9, & 10 hardware depending on application requirements.

    Custom Clinch Nuts

    Some projects that require clinch nuts might need a higher tolerance grip range, or something that can bite into the material more, or a different coating. Sherex can design-in and manufacture special clinch nuts for your project. Be sure to look at our post Rivet Nuts vs Clinch Nuts to read the differences and similarities between the two fasteners!

    If considering a clinch nut for your project and want to discuss what the best clinch nut for your project will be, contact us!

  6. To use Rivet Nuts or Clinch Nuts?

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    By Tyler Jones
    Sherex Application Engineer

    When material is too thin to tap threads, clinch nuts and rivet nuts are used to help fasten the application.  Both rivet nuts and clinch nuts allow for additional components to be attached using these threaded fasteners, and both attach mechanically to the base material. But what’s the difference? Which one is better?

    Using a Clinch Nut over a Rivet Nut

    Clinch nuts are great. They are smaller, self-clinching, internally threaded nuts that are pressed into the base material. Some of the advantages of using a clinch nut over a rivet nut are:

    • Can be installed in very thick base material.
    • There can be almost flush installation on the base material with clinch nut installation. Some small flange rivet nuts or countersunk rivet nuts can make near flush installation, but not as flush as clinch nuts.
    • There isn’t a specific installation tool for clinch nuts. They can be installed with something like an arbor press, though automation systems are very popular for clinch nut installation.
    • Can fit different material geometries than rivet nuts.

    Using Rivet Nuts over Clinch Nuts

    Sherex Rivet Nuts

    Rivet nuts are also great. Often referred to blind rivet nuts, they are threaded inserts that install on one side of the application to provide a strong attachment point. Unlike clinch nuts, these are installed by pulling the base of the rivet nut and crimping it to one side of the material, instead of being pressed on. Installation requires specific rivet nut tooling to crimp the rivet nut on to the material. Advantages of rivet nuts of clinch nuts are, generally:

    • Rivet nuts have a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and can even feature floating threads.
    • Very easy to install with proper tooling.
    • Stronger thread. Rivet nuts, generally, and especially with hexagonal body, are more resistance to spin-out than clinch nuts.
    • Cost of standard rivet nuts is similar to the cost of a standard clinch nut.

    Comparing and Contrasting Installation of Clinch Nuts and Rivet Nuts

    When installing Clinch Nuts, access to both sides of the base material is needed. For Rivet Nuts, installation is only needed with having access to one side of the base material or work piece.

    As far as tooling is concerned, Rivet nuts and clinch nuts have the ability to be installed using a Spin-Pull Rivet Nut Tools, but for the most part, clinch nuts need to be pressed into the material.

    For high volume installations, fastener automation systems are the preferred method to install both clinch nuts and rivet nuts, but some rivet nut hand tools can be used for high volume installation of rivet nuts, including for use on an assembly line. For a manual approach to installing clinch nuts, something as simple as an arbor press can provide installation.

    With price between clinch nuts and some standard rivet nuts as fairly similar, factors into determining when to use a clinch nut can be:

    • Is there access to install using the backside of the work piece?
    • How much thread strength and spin out is required for the application?
    • Will installations be performed by an operator or through automation?

    The answer to these questions will help determine if a clinch nut or rivet nut will make the best fastener for your application. For suggestions on the best fastener to use for your project, please contact Sherex Fastening Solutions.

  7. When Fastening Automation Makes Sense

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    There are variety of ways to install fasteners like rivet nuts or clinch nuts into workpieces. Hand tools — manual, hydro-pneumatic, or pneumatic, are popular options and are used in low and high volume assemblies.

    Automation is another option. Fastener automation systems usually consists of a robotic arm or robotic station where fasteners are automatically installed into the workpiece. In some cases, this removes the need for a human to be involved, letting the automation system handle the work itself. Sounds great, but let’s take a look at when using these systems make a lot of sense, and the advantages of having an automated system.

    Large Quantity Installations

    Automated fastening systems are typically used for high volume installations, on an assembly line for example. These systems install fasteners faster than manual assembly, and it might not take much human operation besides initial set up. Some automation systems even have a mobile arm that grabs the work piece and installs the rivet nut or clinch nut. Either way, the cycle time from part installation to part installation on an automated fastening system are faster than installations with spin-pull hand tools, which are also used in high volume installations, by at least a 2 to 3 seconds. Multiply that over the course of an hour and your throughput could increase considerably.

    Automation Fastener System with Mobile Arm

    24/7 Installations

    US manufacturers are BUSY. Demand for everything from cars, to exercise machines, to refrigerators, to furniture is through the roof. Increase in demand means time is money. The quicker things leave the plant, the more money to be made. This is where automation comes in. Automated fastening systems can run 24/7 without the need for humans. Once set up properly, and enough fasteners and materials are in place, the fastening systems can be self-sufficient. As long as there are parts and a conveyor system, the system could run non-stop.

    Quality

    Automated Fastening System

    MDS A240-BI Stationary Robotic Workstation installs rivet nuts

    For as intelligent as mankind is, we’re also clumsy. Robots, on the other hand, are precise. Automated fastening systems install parts to the exact force and at the exact location every time. Some systems also come with process monitoring, which can tell if the part has been installed properly based on a variety of factors, including pulling force of the system and material thickness of the application. If an installation is improper, a stop tool function is an option to ensure no more unsatisfactory installations take place which would avoid rework and material waste. This also prevents potentially dozens or hundreds of unsatisfactory installations from taking place.

    ROI

    This is the most important factor in any decision about automation. What’s the cost? And will I make my money back? It’s no secret that automation is more expensive than a traditional spin-pull, line ready tool like the FLEX-5. But factor in increased quality of installations, increased throughput, and ability for the fastening system to be more efficient and able to run without operators, the return on investment could be substantial over time if you factor in labor costs. Maintenance on automation systems will occur over time, and it might be recommended to have yearly scheduled maintenance on the systems to ensure efficient performance, but during that time there could potentially be no rework, no waste, and outstanding quality at no operator expense.

    Sherex has a wide range of fastening installation systems that can satisfy a wide range of high volume rivet nut and clinch nut installations. The Sherex Engineering Team can help determine the best tooling option at your facility, including if automation is an viable option. Contact us to learn more about fastener automation and how it could be a solution at your location.

  8. Why Process Monitoring Is More Important Than Ever

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    Deciding on what fastener to use on an assembly takes a lot of time and effort.

    First you have to analyze what fastener will provide the proper strength and grip to secure joints, and then combine that with the right tooling to make installations efficient.  These processes take a lot of time and effort from engineering to determine the best fit for your product, and that doesn’t even factor in the investment in purchasing fasteners, tooling and calibration units.

    So when it comes to the actual installation of the fastener on to the assembly, and after putting in all the work to find the correct product and tooling, the installation has to be perfect. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

    Sherex Process Monitoring System analyzes fastener installations

    When installing fasteners at a high volume, anything from human error, tooling issues, improper hole sizes or material thickness variations may occur from time to time. These improper installations could lead to bigger problems down the road. Not only could it lead to safety concerns, but could also lead to material waste, re-work, and other expensive delays that cost manufactures valuable time and money.

    This is why Process Monitoring is so important. Having a Process Monitoring Installation System in place lets the operator/installer know if their fastener installation is satisfactory or not. With a system that’s configured to the specific part that’s being installed, along with the thickness of the base material it’s being installed into, these systems determine the results of an installation instantaneously. Add in the historical analysis of the installations that are occurring, and installations are driven by quantifiable data, not just by user feel. These systems even support a “stop tool” function to allow operators to analyze or reinstall the part if installation wasn’t satisfactory.

    Process Monitoring Systems are required in a number of industries, including automotive manufacturing, and they’re becoming more popular. The ROI on a Process Monitoring System compared to the time and waste of incorrectly installed items, or even potential litigation from an installation that wasn’t perfect, could pay for itself relatively quickly. These systems can be used in low or high volume installations, including on an assembly line.

    With installations being so critical to the assembly of any product, the risk of not knowing if an installation is proper is not worth saving a few bucks, especially if a worse case scenario happens, whatever that may be. Process Monitoring Systems combines quality control and efficiency so installers can feel good when the assemblies keep moving down the line.

  9. Sherex Fastening Solutions Year in Review — 2021

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    From all of us at Sherex, we want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    A strong second half of 2020 turned into a very fine 2021 for Sherex. While an increase in sales and demand had our machines in Akron, Ohio, and Taiwan humming, it wasn’t without some turbulence. Shipping costs, material increases, and currency exchange rates were a big challenge for Sherex this year. We are continuously monitoring shipping costs and delays at Western ports and are doing everything we can to deliver your product on time if coming from overseas (even if that means having Santa help out as shown in the Christmas Card).

    Let’s take a look at other musings from Sherex in 2021.

    Thousands of 3D Rivet Nut Models on Sherex.com

    Earlier this year, thousands more of our Rivet Nut models become available in downloadable 3D format. From our round body CAL, CAK, CA, CPB to our full hex line of FHK, FHL, and half hex CAH Series, over 50 downloadable files available, including CAD and SOLIDWORKS files are available. You can even download from specific thread size and material thickness to insert the model into your engineering models. Very cool feature!

    3D Model Videos – RIV-FLOAT®

    Checkout this sweet 3D Model video of RIV-FLOAT in action. You can see the floating nut inside the rivet nut, which allows some play while putting the through bolt through the RIV-FLOAT. This feature makes it incredibly useful for operators and installers on assembly lines to quickly fasten products. RIV-FLOAT is used in a number of industries including automotive and aerospace. Looks for more of these videos in 2022.

    Fasteners for EV

    Over the next year, Sherex will showcase use cases for different industries and applications that use our products. Sherex is a fastener leader in the EV industry and has products on some of the most popular EV models in the world. We supply millions of fasteners to the EV market and our products are critical for light-weighting and safely discharging electrical current from the vehicle. We’re continuously innovating for EV automakers and we see that being an even more important part of our business in the future.

    Fasteners In Electric VehiclesWhat’s to come in 2022

    More product innovations! We are scheduled for a product launch mid-way through the year and will be showcasing more of our Process Monitoring Tools, which helps to ensure a perfect installation of rivet nuts and fasteners. We will be incorporating more of our global offices too, including our locations in the UK, Poland, and Mexico.

    Have a great holiday season and bring on 2022!

  10. 3D Video of How RIV-FLOAT® Works

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    We all know the advantages of RIV-FLOAT® and what makes it one of the most unique rivet nuts on the market today. But this new video gives greater insight of how it works.

    Take a look at the video below. Notice how the how the floating rivet nut installs like any other rivet nut, but when tightening the bolt to secure the joint, there’s a little play that allows the bolt to be installed “out of perpendicular.”  This is a big advantage and very convenient for assemblers.

    There are also benefits besides speed and convenience of assembly, like knowing there won’t be cross-threading, and spin-out performance is improved since the floating thread helps align the screw angle during assembly.

    Watch the video and see how RIV-FLOAT can make assemblies more efficient and improve the performance of applications.

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