With high volume installations of rivet nuts, automation is a best practice method. It’s faster than human installation, installations are perfect (and if they’re not the system will let you know), and it doesn’t need a human to install the rivet nuts. But when using a hexagonal hole to install hex body rivet nuts using automation, this is where things get tricky.
Optisert vs. Hex Body Rivet Nut
The automation feeder needs to be able to line up the points of the hex body rivet nut with the points of the hex body hole, perfectly. It’s not ideal, but possible through more expensive automation equipment. With a round body rivet nut into a round hole, there’s no need to worry about the points lining up… because, well, there’s no points on a round body rivet nut or a round hole!
Oh yeah, but what about performance?
So yes, hex body rivet nuts are recommended. It’s the best rivet nut at resisting spin-out. BUT, Optisert can hold its own. Its performance metrics are greater than a half hex body style rivet nut, and more similar to a full hex body style rivet nut in some base materials (softer materials like plastic, composite, aluminum). Plus, Optiserts are less expensive than full hex body style rivet nuts.
So when deciding between full hex rivet nuts and round body rivet nuts for automation, rivet nut performance might not be the first criteria. Ease of installation for the automation system to run efficiently will be a high priority. With Optisert’s performance similar to a hex body rivet nut, and it being a round body, Optisert might very well be the best rivet nut option for automation on the market today.
It was great getting back to some normalcy. But with getting back to normal and ramping up came with challenges many manufacturers ran into this year: SUPPLY CHAIN. With that said, we feel we navigated supply chain issues better than our competitors and we even made moves that will hopefully mitigate those risks in the future.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from Sherex this year!
Operators LOVE our Calibration Unit and our Process Monitoring Units
Sherex’s Hand Tool Calibration Unit
When we released our Hand Tool Calibration Unit in 2020, we knew this would be a great tool for any installer. And after two years, we keep getting glowing praise. We hate to toot our own horn, but the tool is awesome. There are so many features the tool can provide, like exporting historical data, showing the recommended installation force on Sherex rivet nuts, and even graphing those recommended forces on to calibration unit to make sure the tool is inside of those parameters. By periodically checking the force of any spin-spin or spin-pull tool, you’ll feel confident the tool is operating how you want it, decreasing the guessing game on the pulling force, waste, and rework.
Some of our automotive tiers have had dozens of our FLEX-5 Process Monitoring Tools installed this year. Sherex Process Monitoring Tools let operators know if the rivet nut installation was perfect, instantly. Sherex sets the tool up to determine if the install was correct based on a variety of parameters: hole size, material, material thickness, rivet nut, rivet nut size, pulling force of the tool, etc. When all those parameters qualify, the system reads it as a good installation. This kind of tool combines quality and efficiency, and lets OEMs know, with data, that installations were perfect or not OK. These tools are perfect for high volume installations like on an assembly line and meets the process monitoring requirement many auto manufacturers require.
Our customers have nothing but great things to say on both these quality tools – you must try them if you haven’t already!
Sherex Poland and Sherex UK locations are off and running
We opened Sherex Poland last year and Sherex UK in 2019 and both locations have been building trust and supplying millions of our quality rivet nuts, threaded inserts, clinch nuts, wedge locking products and tools throughout Europe.
These locations serve as engineering, sales, customer support and warehousing for Europe, bringing us closer to our European customers and therefore, decreasing the total length of our supply chain. This year, new customers were pleasantly surprised we had stock AND could ship quickly! Great year by both Sherex Poland and Sherex UK.
Sherex Akron gets big upgrades, improving supply chain
New Part Former Machine at Sherex Akron
Sherex Akron, located in Akron, Ohio, makes all of our aerospace and Department of Defense parts, along with millions of other parts for a variety of other industries, put online two new part formers that as part of Sherex’s global capacity plan. These cold formers have allowed us to diversify the products we make in Akron while decreasing lead times. Akron still is capable of doing many short run jobs, but these part formers will really help with some of the major projects we’ve won throughout the year. Look for lot more product coming out of Akron in the future!
Have a Made in America requirement? Keep Sherex Akron in mind!
Optisert® is coming…
Sherex’s Optisert Rivet Nut
We’ve been talking about it for quite some time, but now it’s ready to be released. Sherex’s new round body rivet nut, Optisert, is set to be released in early 2023. Once released, Optisert will be the best performing round body rivet nut on the market. The combination of knurled body and underhead wedges give it superior strength when installed in softer material — its performance matches and in some cases is greater than a hex body rivet nuts!
This will be the “New Standard” when it comes to round body rivet nut and performance. Stay tuned!!
Look for more industry specific content in the future
Keep a look out for some of that industry specific content to show how Sherex can help make applications in all industries get assembled easier and perform better.
These are some of highlights this year and our strategy going into 2023 and beyond.
Overall, Sherex had a strong year and we’re proud of our team to make that happen. One thing that will never change is our desire to find a solutions to your fastening problem. Customer service is key to our success, and we promise to provide the engineering and customer support you need from design, to manufacture, to assembly!
We wish everyone a happy holiday and best wishes in 2023.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
When most people think of rivet nuts, they think of little, round body fasteners that are easy to install and have a wide variety of uses.
In reality, we should begin to think of them in hexagonal form. Hex body rivet nuts are amongst the strongest, best-performing rivet nuts on the market today.
Hex body rivet nuts come in the same material as round body (aluminum, steel, stainless steel, etc.), they can have a large flange or small flange, and, like their round-body counterparts, can possess special features such as a mechanical lock to keep joints secure in high-vibration environments, or a watertight gasket to keep dirt, water, dust, or other potential corrosives from degrading the joint over time.
Most importantly, hex body rivet nuts out perform their round body brothers in just about every performance metric available. Spin-out, torque out, push out and pull out. Look at the graphic below to see the overwhelming spin-out performance boost offered when switching to a half-hex or full-hex rivet nut body style.The hex body rivet nut is almost 10 times stronger than a typical, knurled round body rivet nut when installed in the same material. Due to their larger cross-sectional areas, full-hex rivet nut body styles also have increased thread performance as well as enhanced pull-out/push-out resistances when compared to their round-body and half-hex counterparts.
Testing hex body rivet nuts in 1/4-inch thick steel for an agriculture equipment manufacturer
Although hex body rivet nuts can be installed in any material, steel or harder materials will provide the best mechanical properties for improved performance. Just keep in mind the potential for galvanic corrosion when choosing certain materials for your rivet nut versus the base material it’s installing in.
The only caveat with hex-body style rivet nuts? You need a hex hole to install them with. For many manufacturers, making hex holes quickly and reliably (or, sometimes, even at all) can be a complicated task and the main barrier of entry, but it’s a process that in the long run will make that manufacturer’s products perform better when using rivet nuts. Many manufacturers are making the switch, knowing the performance will last.
Half-hex body rivet nuts are available as well, but they too need to be installed in hex holes. The prevailing advice is to go with full hex due to the previously-mentioned structural benefits provided by the larger cross sectional area. However, half-hex rivet nuts maintain many of the enhanced spin-out benefits at a lighter weight and at a lower cost.
Sherex’s FHL, FHK Series and large style LRGH Series rivet nuts are becoming more and more popular and used by many manufactures in automotive, heavy truck, and construction and agriculture equipment industries.
It’s really quite simple, if you can produce a hex hole, you should be using a hex body rivet nut. For more information about hex body rivet nuts and using them in your applications, contact us!
Rivet nuts have a wide variety of uses. They are used to assemble furniture, automobiles, refrigerators, exercise equipment and everything in between.
But what about huge pieces of equipment, like large construction and agriculture equipment? Could a little rivet nut handle the rigors of heavy vibration and rigorous use that construction workers and farmers demand out of their large investments? Short answer is yes. The rivet nuts that are used in those pieces of equipment are just bigger and stronger.
Lots of balers, tractors, dump trucks, and other enormous earth movers use large size, high strength rivet nuts in their assemblies. These rivet nuts provide the strength needed to handle the rigors of these giant machines. In our testing, Sherex’s 5/8-11 LRGH Full Hex Rivet Nuts had a pull out strength over 30,000 pounds of force, spin out was greater than 157 ft-lb and torque out greater than 250 ft-lb. To give an example of how strong the torque out is, a Grade 5 bolt recommended assembly torque is 120 ft-lb.
LRGH Series — This Large Size, Full Hex Rivet Nut is amongst the strongest rivet nut available.
Large size rivet nuts come in thread sizes as large as 3/4-inch and M16 and can come in both round body style and hex style. The large size, hex body style rivet nut is amongst the best performing rivet nut on the market today, as the hex body provide superior spin-out performance to any round body rivet nut.
To install these large size, high strength rivet nuts, you need a large size, high strength tool. Sherex’s FLEX-18 delivers up to 18,000 pounds of force to install these rivet nuts on the assembly line.
3D Models of Large Size, High Strength Rivet Nuts Available!
3D Models of Sherex’s Large Size, High Strength rivet nuts are now available for download on Sherex.com and Traceparts.com. For those interested applying large size rivet nuts to your project, please contact us to talk to our engineers.
With an easy to use sort function, find the correct rivet nut based on thread size and material thickness, click on the 3D icon in the table, then download your 3D rivet nut in just seconds.
The 3D widget allows users to use the mouse to drag, turn the model, and zoom in and out using the scroll wheel.
There are over 50 different file type prints are available for download, including including SOLIDWORKS, AutoCAD, and PDFs, with each 3D model. Design engineers are encouraged to download our installed models for better design capabilities in their projects.
This project with ThomasNet and Traceparts integrates the 3D models of installed versions of rivet nuts that are available on TraceParts onto Sherex’s website for a better user experience for those looking for quality rivet nuts.
Find the right style and size of your rivet nut faster. Check it out!