Recently, a customer of ours needed a special part in a hurry – and for good reason.
This closed end rivet nut was going to be used in a blood transfusion centrifuge that is used in the production of the COVID-19 vaccination efforts. If that wasn’t enough to expedite this order, the team in need of this part had a production line down.
Time and efficiency were critical.
The first email was received at Sherex Akron on a Monday at 12:03 p.m. explaining the dire situation. The small batch of products was made and shipped at 3:10 p.m. on Tuesday, ready to be used on the production line for Wednesday, with plenty of more on the way in the coming days and weeks to keep production running smoothly.
This was a fast, day and a half turnaround by the Sherex Akron team knowing how important this part is to hundreds of thousands of people who are suffering from this terrible pandemic.
“Thank you for making this an important situation within your company,” the customer said in an email. “Please extend my thanks to all the people involved with getting some parts ready to ship today.”
When Sherex said back in June that we were prioritizing projects directly impacting the mitigation and vaccination efforts of COVID-19 we weren’t kidding. This is just another example of the speed, competency and care, along with quality parts, the Sherex team delivered for our customer that we know will make a giant impact.
From all of us at Sherex Fastening Solutions, we want to wish you and your families a very happy and healthy holiday season.
This year was challenging for Sherex, but we were able to accomplish so much. Let’s take a look back on some of some of the accomplishments that took place over the past year.
Coronavirus and its Impact
This year was challenging for Sherex and many of our customers. Keeping our employees safe is always our No. 1 goal, and this year it took on a new meaning. With information on the coronavirus changing what seemed like every day, we were able to take the lead from our manufacturing facility in Taiwan that implemented a thorough mitigation strategy.
Our new Sherex Hand Tool Calibration Unit is a “must have” for any engineer and installer. The Sherex Hand Tool Calibration Unit shows the installed force of both spin-spin and spin-pull tools in real time. Our customers are seeing great results. This new product allows installers and operators to easily check the pulling force of their rivet nut tools to improve installation, while reducing installation times, and waste.
3D Model TEC Series available on the site
Have you checked out our 3D models of our TEC Series wedge locking washers? Design engineers are encouraged to use these in their drawings to see how an exact fit would look like. There are over 50 different design programs available to download from. Check it out! Soon to come, 3D models of our rivet nuts!
New Products Coming
In 2021, we are on pace to launch two new products to add to our growing offering. Both of these new products will help improve customers’ installation process and improve their existing products. Stay tuned!
Strong second half of the year and into 2021
As manufacturing facilities began to reopen, business has picked up. Our last half of the year has seen us win a lot of projects as companies are seeing how our fastener innovations and commitment to find engineered solutions for unique fastening problems are separating Sherex from the competitors.
Did you know Sherex Fastening Solutions is a Made in America Fastener Company?
Our manufacturing plant in Akron, Ohio makes millions of American made rivet nuts, compression limiters, and inserts for composites every year. Our parts out of Sherex Akron belong in some of the hottest vehicles on the road today, dozens of commercial and military aircraft, general industrial applications, and department of defense products. In fact, our Made in the USA rivet nuts were relied upon when companies pivoted to make products that helped mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, like hand sanitizer and ventilator stands, along with other critical applications for hospitals.
The CAT style rivet nuts has a low profile flange and can fit into a variety of different material thickness and material. This rivet nut could be a one fit solution if the material you’re looking to fasten has different thickness.
CAT Series Rivet Nuts
All NAS style rivet nuts are also made from our Sherex Akron location. The United States Department of Defense relies on Sherex NAS/MS rivet nuts for a variety of applications.
Our inserts for composite product line is used for structural attachments in plastic applications and are used extensively in the automotive and heavy truck industries as customer drive light weighting initiatives by switching to composite material for their components. In addition, Sherex adds compression limiters to these applications to ensure the mating component is not damaged due to the compressive force of the fastened joint.
NAS Style Rivet Nuts
Also, most custom rivet nuts are made out of Sherex Akron. With our staff of engineers and manufacturing facility, we’re able to see custom, American made rivet nuts from the design and manufacturing process all the way through quality control.
More upgrades are being made to the facility planned in 2020 to help increase capacity as demand as our Made in America rivet nut products continues to grow. More to come from Sherex Akron!
For real and meaningful sales growth to take place, collaboration, cooperation and trust between the supplier and the distributor is extremely important.
This is why line walks and joint sales visits with supply chain partners at the end user are so vital that they are included in distributor rebate and purchase agreements. This allows both the distributor and supplier to get a better understanding of the project, processes, and to solve problems the end users are seeking help for.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen as often as it should. Distributors will often go to their supplier for a solution without providing all of the necessary detail to find the best solution. If suppliers don’t know the end product, that typically means the solution they provide is based on the limited information that has been provided to them.
Understanding that there is confidential information, it is quite common for us to execute non-disclosure agreements to work towards an improved solution that benefits all parties involved.
When working with a distributor at an OEM during a line walk, I witnessed a cumbersome assembly for a rivet nut, with the installer reaching for a machined washer to put under the head of the rivet nut prior to the installation. The washer served to raise the head of the rivet nut up just enough that the gasket which was applied to this outdoor housing would not be crushed during final assembly.
Because of a line walk, over 600,000 of this custom rivet nut have been used to help the end user save time and money.
Looking for a better solutions and explaining the details to the Sherex team, they were able to manufacture a taller profile head that acted as a spacer in the application thereby eliminating the extra machined washer. This saved cost, the need to manage another part number, increased throughput on that assembly line, and reduced worker fatigue. This resulted in over seven years of sales with over over 600,000 parts sold.
Real sales growth occurs for both parties when the supplier and distributor work together to improve an assembly method or fastener joint resulting in the lowest total installed cost and improved performance of the end product. Both the supplier and distributor gains the respect of the end user, more profit, and more opportunities for additional projects. This improves and solidifies the supply channel while elevating sales experience above the “commodity mentality.” Win-Win!
About Steve Urhausen: Steve has 43 years in the fastener industry and 25 years as owner of All American Systems. His work experience with importers, distributors, and manufacturers has helped him understand the “right fit” philosophy when trying to match a supplier to a customer. As a sales manager of two different companies, Steve was exposed to sales reps where he learned to respect and appreciate the value that they brought to suppliers and customers. Over the last 25 years as an independent rep has taught him humility, the value of hard work, and that follow through and communication are critical to success!
Now water will certainly speed up the corrosion process, but that shouldn’t eliminate the use of rivet nuts in wet conditions, or conditions where a rivet nut will spend some of its life submerged in water or fluid.
Our partner Tubtara® has a few different watertight and fluid proof rivet nuts that are designed with seals underneath the flange to keep water and fluids from leaking through the rivet nut. Tubtara’s Watertight HX series feature a O-ring seal mounted underneath the flange, and provides protection against moisture, oil, and dirt under high pressures. Despite the O-ring, it will deliver a metal to metal contact after installation.
Tubtara Watertight HX Rivet Nut. Notice the O-ring seal underneath the flange.
The Watertight (H)DPX Series is a rivet nut that has an applied sealant underneath the head. This non-reactive seal is resistant to many auto oils, antifreeze and other kinds of fluids with a higher viscosity. The seal in the (H)DPX Series can come in a variety of different seal material including NBR, Viton, silicone, epoxy based, acrylate and polyurethane resin.
Non-reactive seal is great for use in high viscosity fluids
Any application where you wouldn’t want water or fluid to leak underneath or through the rivet nut should require a watertight rivet nut. Without using one of the seals, whether it’s an O-ring or sealant, it may not be completely watertight – especially as corrosion begins to develop.
For more information on watertight rivet nuts, or if looking for a solution for fasteners that will perform well under water or fluid, contact us!
Sherex is excited to announce that Spaenaur will be stocking our TEC Series® line of wedge locking washers for fast delivery throughout Canada. Spaenaur has distributed Disc-Lock® products throughout Canada for many years. That alliance has now grown to include in-house stocking of Sherex’s newest wedge locking washer line available for immediate distribution.
“Spaenaur has been a great distributor for us throughout Canada and to see this relationship grow is exciting,” said Adam Pratt, president, Sherex Fastening Solutions.
The addition of TEC Series completes the portfolio of wedge locking washers that eliminate vibrational loosening. TEC Series are designed for applications requiring future application disassembly, while Disc-Lock washers are preferred for fastened joints that do not require future disassembly.
“We are delighted to now represent TEC Series in Canada,” says Product Management Director John Sweeny. “Our customers expect ‘fasteners right now.’ That we can now meet our customers’ urgent needs with a high-quality product at a more attractive price point is the icing on the cake. TEC Series wedge locking washers do that for us. Our partnership with Sherex not only expands our product portfolio, but also adds to the decades of success Spaenaur has already experienced with Disc-Lock.”
Wedge locking washers are used by a variety of different industries and manufacturers, but are also becoming more common around the house for general repair. With TEC Series and Disc-Lock wedge locking washers, you can tighten it, and forget it.
About Spaenaur Spaenaur is recognized as a leading Canadian distributor for industrial fasteners, hardware components and tools serving Distribution, MRO and Production markets. Started in 1936, we are a third generation family-owned company operating out of Kitchener, Ontario. Our 1700-page catalog of standard and hard-to-find parts is regarded as one of the best fastener resource guides in the industry. For more information about Spaenaur’s products and services, visit us online at spaenaur.com or contact customer service at 1-800-265-8772.
About Sherex Fastening Solutions: Sherex Fastening Solutions is a leading manufacturer of fasteners for thin sheet material applications in steel, aluminum, and composite materials. Sherex manufactures rivet nuts, clinch nuts, inserts for composite, stud and nut plates, and through the acquisition of Disc-Lock®, wedge-locking washers and nuts. Sherex has two strategic production facilities: Sherex Taiwan, located in Chungli, Taiwan, is certified to IATF 16949:2016, ISO 14001 and has an ISO 17025 accredited lab, and Sherex Akron, located in Akron, Ohio, is certified to ISO 9001:2015 and AS 9100. Sherex has grown to 200 employees and services a wide-range of industries, including automotive, general manufacturing, energy, agricultural, and aerospace.
There’s always peace of mind knowing that a correctly installed rivet nut is the end of your concerns.
However, there is more to a properly installed rivet nut to ensure its success.
Your rivet nut will be exposed to the outside world of air and moisture, or it may reside in an environment where the piece will be subject to many bumps and scratches throughout its lifetime. While correctly installing the rivet nut is vitally important to its success as a fastener, there’s one more consideration you have to combat when it comes to rivet nut installation — corrosion.
Corrosion protection for rivet nuts is vitally important when it comes to ensuring the rivet nut will be successful, and there are many ways to combat corrosion.
First, what is corrosion? Corrosion is a surface oxidation process that appears, mainly, in two forms: white rust and red rust.
White Rust a white powder composed of zinc oxide, which eventually coats portions of a surface containing zinc such as the protective layer of zinc-based plating that coats many rivet nuts.
This corrosion does not directly harm the structural integrity of a piece, but makes the piece more vulnerable to a more compromising form of corrosion — red rust, referred to by many as simply “rust.”
Red rust is an iron oxide that physically eats away at the base iron that composes your piece.
So how do you ensure optimal corrosion protection?
Look for rivet nut offerings that are stress-tested with a “salt-spray” test, which subjects rivet nuts to heavy abrasion until rust appears. Rivet nuts coated in a zinc plate with trivalent chromate, which must, at minimum, withstand 96 hours in a salt-spray test before white rust appears with red rust not appearing for another 240 hours. Zinc plate with trivalent chromate comes in clear, yellow, or black options.
For higher corrosion protection, zinc-nickel platings can achieve white-rust times of up to 144 hours minimum, as well as red-rust times of up to 1,200 hours.
If you have rivet nuts that only come in a trivalent plating, a strip and re-plate operation is possible to obtain the plating that best suits you.
The very best option when it comes to corrosion resistance is stainless steel. Stainless steel, though, can be difficult to install so make sure you have the proper tooling to ensure your stainless steel rivet nuts can be installed properly.
If you have any questions regarding which plating or material solution fits your application best please contact us! We are more than happy to give you the information necessary to make an informed decision.
The purpose of this blog is to be a source of information and idea gathering for fastener solutions, to keep you up-to-speed with different fastener offerings from Sherex, and relay other musings from the fastener world. Some posts might be long form, explaining the science behind a specific fastener or solutions, others might be little tidbits of information or announcements.
Either way, we hope to keep you informed, entertained, and up-to-date on all things fasteners and Sherex!