The technical & engineering assistance Staytite can offer covers a wide gamut of manufacturing and service needs. Starting from straight forward technical advice for general fastener use, all the way up to dedicated managed engineering projects with wide ranging complexity. Our team has a depth of knowledge and experience incorporating departments and disciplines that include: project management, engineering, logistics, bespoke delivery services, purchasing, material control and quality, that when combined can provide a complete one-stop service for all manufacturing and support facilities.
However, if you are still asking yourself why your company would need technical support or just how much value engineering assistance can really add to your business, this page will give a few examples of where Staytite’s technical & engineering team has already reduced costs and saved time for its customers, beginning with one of the smallest components, the humble fastener itself.
Intuitively you may think you’re already using the right fastener. Whilst this is usually the case –an alternative fastener with comparable performance may be available at a lower cost or one that can offer extra engineering benefits…
The job of a fastener is to fasten –so why is there often so much choice? The answer to this question is, that although a common outcome of joining, attaching, or securing is needed, each application has its own unique requirements determined by the type of product, its use or its intended environment. For instance, the choice of fastener could be based on strength, aesthetic, assemble cost, assemble time, serviceability or corrosion resistance to name but a few. As a fastener company we can advise you how to exploit the benefits of what is available.
An example might be the SEM screw. This is a screw with a pre-assembled spring or washer. This simple idea has a number of advantages. Immediately this type of fastener will reduce part count. When assembling with this type of fastener it will save time because its parts are ready-combined for use. For this reason it is a product that is easier to handle, and eliminates the possibility of the sum of parts separating when being fitted. Waste is reduced and productivity increases. This type of solution is not limited to the screw. Staytite also has a range of Barb and Carp nuts, which utilise the same principle of combining fastener and free-spinning washer.
Staytite has also received enquiries where a manufacturer has a need for a fastener that is similar in performance to an existing fastener but must also meet extra operating or servicing criteria. For instance, a nylon insert nut resists loosening by incorporating a friction element in the top of the nut, a nylon insert collar. This is adequate for one-use applications under normal conditions. But what if your application needs to be serviced or operate in extreme environments? In high temperature applications or environments where fasteners are exposed to chemicals the nylon is likely to melt and the locking element will fail. For these reasons we would recommend the Staytite nut.
The Staytite nut replaces the nylon collar with a stainless steel insert which works very differently, the resistance to loosening is achieved by the flexing of the insert against the thread creating closer contact with the screw thread and thus greater resistance to anti-clockwise rotation of the nut body. The all-metal design will resist heat extremes and chemical corrosion, as well as being reusable, ideal for use on any serviceable product.
Materials used can also play a part in the selection of fasteners. One example was an electric junction box manufacturer that required a fastener with high strength but also high corrosion resistance. The idea of A2 Stainless had been explored by the customer but required greater strength to meet their safety requirement. In the event of a failure the box needed to contain everything within it and using A2 grade stainless did not meet those needs. Upgrading to an A4 grade stainless steel solved this problem but increased the costs significantly. Staytite was contacted for a solution...
Staytite proposed a design change to 8.8 Steel which held the required strength, and then added a bespoke zinc nickel finish to give the appearance of Stainless as well as having a high resistance to corrosion. The design went even further including rationalisation to reduce part count. Previously this application had used six parts: a bolt, a spring washer paired with a standard washer applied to either side of the application, finished with a nut to fasten it all together. Staytite’s proposal required only two parts: a flange bolt paired with a flanged nut with the aforementioned grade and finish. This would result in a cost saving of 40% as well as a saving in assembly time whilst also improving the integrity of the joint.
This is just a few examples of how engineering & technical assistance can advise with the choice of fastener to improve the product. The choice of fastener is only part of what Staytite can offer...
Long-term partnerships achieve the best results for both Staytite and the customer. Whilst the technical team is happy to dispense advice to all that make a call, it is better to get to know each other to really understand your business and applications. With a complete view of the manufacturing process the technical team can often find efficiencies beyond what can be offered with fasteners alone.
On-site visits give a better understanding of customer’s needs, but it can also reveal how a company undertakes its manufacturing processes. This on-hand knowledge can lead to insightful ideas to reduce costs that would not have been possible over the phone or by email.
One such site visit included inspection of a production area where the technical team observed a skip full of metal waste. The customer was producing this waste as a result of buying in lengths of studding and then cutting it to size as per their demand. The off-cuts were unusable and thus discarded. Staytite proposed supplying pre-cut versions of the various sizes needed giving the customer a 39% cost reduction which also resulted in man-hours saved not having to cut the individual lengths.
This is a good illustration of the type of solution offered that gives an engineered cost saving i.e. assembly; quality; or process cost savings. Based upon the individual customer’s needs; Staytite can evaluate the total assembled cost, which could include a reduction of part numbers, a change in plating finishes, rationalisation of parts as well as analysing the processes in place to construct the product. These are all different tools to try and save the customer time and money.
Staytite endeavours to offer customers the most up to date technology. A fastener isn’t always the best solution, and has expanded the breadth of products supplied to support this. With an ever-increasing range of over 6000 part numbers, Staytite estimates that at least 70% of those are non-standard parts, designed to improve the quality and integrity of the customer application, they are customer bespoke. Whilst the vast majority are still fastener based products, Staytite also supply tapes, glues, plastic plugs and all manner of fixings that the customer requires.
In Staytite’s experience as a fastener supplier it has found that customers rarely consult about fixing solutions at the initiation of a new design. Typically a customer tends to think of fasteners last because they are the lowest value item and not their area of expertise and tend to assume fasteners come in every length they need, which can be a false economy.
“Manufacturers are more focused on their core competence, which may be the electric drive, or the internal ‘gubbins’ of the hydraulics units of a design and not necessarily the complete assembly which might use a complex and vast range of fasteners, clips, springs, plates and pressings etc., this is where we can come in and help.”
–Andy Giddings, Staytite Technical Manager
Staytite can add value by sharing its knowledge to support better assembled designs which might include fastening technology the customer is not aware of, to provide the most cost effective tailored solution.
“This strategy is not restricted to new design as we are able to take this approach to supporting customers on re-evaluating current design, we often get involved in tear down projects to look at cost of assembly in partnership with our customers.”
Typical applications to support these initiatives incorporate a reduction of fasteners in assembly; part count reduction is something we have achieved with many of our clients. Rationalisation of fasteners reducing part count supplied, specifically to drive out cost as it increases the volume of high running parts and eliminates more costly low volume items. Improved assembly solutions using thread forming fixings to increase production rates and simplify parent part design. Although assembly design strives to remove fixings with snap-fit plastic mouldings etc., we have never found a customer that has completely eliminated fasteners, so we tend to end up changing designs or supporting design changes from a development stage rather that an initial design phase for that reason.
Recent successes in this area have achieved cost benefits of £100,000+ and savings in assembly times amounting to 100’s of hours per annum.
These are just a few examples of how Staytite’s technical & engineering assistance can offer new thinking applied to established practises. Staytite has found that value added engineering is an intrinsic component in maintaining a healthy relationship with its customers. Supporting production needs with experienced engineering know-how, not limited to fasteners, but looking at the whole process, you may be surprised how much your production could benefit from a different perspective.