Posts Tagged ‘automotive fasteners’

What Makes A Quality Automotive Fastener ?

September 23rd, 2021 | Technical | Comments Off on What Makes A Quality Automotive Fastener ?

In the eye of the casual observer, all automotive fasteners look the same. Automotive fasteners (screws, bolts, nuts, springs, washers and clips) are what holds a vehicle together. The durability and dependability of the whole vehicle depend on the fasteners that are used in production. So, the logical question is, what makes a quality automotive fastener?

Engineering Process

Even though the fastener in question might be a simple piece, it still needs a thorough engineering process to ensure it’s up to the task. Take a single screw, for example. In order to make it perfect, engineers need to determine multiple things, including but not limited to:

  • Where it will be used
  • What kind of forces it will need to endure
  • Whether it will be unbolted regularly (for maintenance purposes) or permanently fixed
  • Which type of screw head is best for the application
  • How accessible it will be in conjunction with other parts
  • The specific length or thread pattern required

Those are just a few of a long list of questions that need to be answered before that particular screw is put in production and installed in a production vehicle. Such an engineering process ensures that the fasteners are engineered up to the highest standards and that they will perform flawlessly.

Quality Materials

Of course, engineering means nothing if the materials used in the production process are substandard. Finding the appropriate material for a specific fastener is, in fact, a balancing act. Fastener manufacturers need to find a material that can endure the stress in a number of working situations and that will still be affordable for production and sustainable in the long run.

Material quality is paramount but affordability is also a huge factor. If a fastener is too expensive then it may not be the right choice for manufacturers. At the same time, if the components are made of substandard materials, the quality of the whole car is compromised.

Extensive Testing

The final piece of the puzzle is, of course, testing. This is the point where thorough engineering and quality materials show their worth. The fasteners are tested for forces they are unlikely to be exposed to in regular use to ensure they will perform in the most extreme conditions. The acquired data is then analysed, and changes are made in the engineering or production part of the process. In the world of quality automotive fasteners, testing never stops, and it is a crucial component in the production process.

Quality at Auto-Fasteners

As an automotive OEM you expect nothing less than 100% zero-defect quality products and services delivered directly to your production lines. Our fully inspected and tested fasteners, engineered small parts and assemblies are delivered in approved customer containers, labelled accurately and delivered just-in-time.

Auto-Fasteners is a highly specialised automotive sourcing, supply chain management, distribution and logistics partner so we have to ensure that quality standards not only apply throughout our own business but also to our network of manufacturing suppliers and service providers. All our manufacturing suppliers work to the automotive ISO TS 16949 standard. In addition, we ourselves undertake annual audit inspections of all our suppliers and actively encourage and support customers to undertake their own quality inspections and audits.

We support both automotive OEM and aftermarket customers across a whole range of segments including car, truck, commercial, motorcycle, construction and defence.

Get in touch today to discuss your specific fastener requirements. Either call us on 01926 814600 or email enquiries@auto-fasteners.com.

Automotive Fasteners Used in Motorsport

July 12th, 2021 | Technical | Comments Off on Automotive Fasteners Used in Motorsport

Over the decades of motorsport, racing cars were always laboratories of four wheels that served to test and develop various components. If a specific part endured repeated torture on the track, it was good enough to use in everyday vehicles in mass production. Just like in civilian cars, fasteners are a small but essential part of the championship-winning formula, and in top-notch racing series, constructors pay much attention to them. Today, we will tell you more about the different fasteners used in motorsport.

fasteners used in motorsport

Racing Approach

Firstly, although the fasteners in road-going vehicles and in racing machines serve the same purpose, there is a significant difference in approach and design. First of all, racing fasteners are either made of higher-strength materials or metal, which is more durable. The reason is simple: race cars achieve incredibly high speeds and generate an insane amount of heat, requiring all fasteners on the vehicle to be up to the task. You don’t want your body panels flying off at 200 mph or hearing a suspicious rattle just when you want to overtake somebody for the chequered flag.

Secondly, fasteners have to have a quick-release function on some vehicles since there is a chance that the pit crew needs to replace a part, body panel, or component. Often in the heat of battle, cars swap paint and bump into each resulting in cracked bumpers or damaged front splitters and spoilers. In that case, the pit crew is ready to take the part off and replace it with a brand new one. Using special “quick release” fasteners, it is possible to replace the whole panel in just a couple of seconds, something that couldn’t be done on a regular vehicle.

Thirdly, although race cars use a more advanced set of fasteners, not all kinds are needed for this application. For example, race cars don’t need plastic fasteners that go in the interior and hold door cards or dashboards. Simply, because race cars don’t have an interior or conventional dashboard.

High-Quality Materials

As we mentioned before, automotive fasteners used in motorsport need to be highly durable and withstand extreme heat and forces. For such purposes, manufacturers use high-strength plastics or metal simply because metal can endure higher temperatures. In some cases, aluminum is also used. This leads us to an exciting point that fasteners in motorsport have more in common with those used in the aerospace industry since the requirements are as high and forces they need to withstand are as strong.

One of the critical points in constructing fasteners for motorsport is their weight. In most cases, the weight of a single bolt, spacer, or spring is not relevant, but when you are constructing an extremely expensive race machine from scratch, and you want to find every single way to have a competitive advantage over the rest of the grid, every gram matters.

Types of Motorsport Fasteners

The most common fasteners used in race cars are springs, quick-release latches, rivets, washers, pins, locks, and clips. Most of those are made of metal. For example, the rubber hooks (for holding the bonnet) are also used due to their ability to soften the vibrations.

Better Connected

AFL exists to connect with its automotive customers as a partner, not just a parts supplier. Our aim is to really understand the problems you are facing, to collaborate with you and to help you solve that problem. AFL supports both automotive OEM and aftermarket customers across a whole range of segments including car, truck, commercial, motorcycle, construction and defence.

The lifecycle of an AFL supplied part

May 24th, 2021 | Uncategorised | Comments Off on The lifecycle of an AFL supplied part

AUTO-FASTENERS is highly specialised in the sourcing, supply and distribution of automotive fasteners and small parts. Our unique relationships with manufacturers spread across a globally connected network, enable OEM and 1st Tier customers to source a large number of ISO TS16949 approved parts made from high quality graded and certified raw materials.

Following the journey of a single stainless-steel washer reveals AUTO-FASTENERS interconnected sourcing expertise, stockholding, quality control and packaging capabilities, exemplifying how each process is enhanced by our high standards and efficient scheduling to add a unique value to every part supplied to our Tier X and OEM customers.

High quality Global Manufacturing and Sourcing.

The journey of a stainless-steel washer begins with our stand-out approach to Global Sourcing due to unique relationships with multiple manufacturers. In particular, AUTO-FASTENERS’ ability to source from high-quality engineering expertise available in the Far East provides a flexible and agile alternative approach to that of the larger incumbent manufacturers. In forming and shaping relationships with these alternative manufacturers, we are able to address issues of speed of response, competitive unit cost and low minimum order quantities, adding value to the automotive aftermarket supply and the parts within it.

Our strong relationships with global manufacturers and suppliers allow for a rapid response to quotation requests, providing a seamless fast-acting service that allows for this steel-washer to be obtained quickly and effectively so its value exceeds that of similar parts available from other suppliers.

Quality Control and Environmental Standards.

Once landed at our UK Hub, a random sample from our steel washer’s batch heads straight for our quality testing and inspection laboratory. Here a range of quality tests are conducted including hardness testing, dimensional tolerance inspection, tensile testing, fault detection, corrosion and fatigue testing and more. If the part fails in any way the batch is pulled. Our on-site testing and inspection capabilities are backed up by ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and VDA 6.3 accreditation, whilst all our manufacturing suppliers operate to the internationally recognised ISO TS 16949:2009 quality standard.

Unique Stock Control and Inventory System.

At AUTO-FASTENERS we carry all stock on a ring fenced individual customer basis, meaning no stock is shared between customers. Therefore, as our steel washer enters stock control, it is immediately allocated to its specific customer.

This enables super accurate and immediate stock management, driven by our bespoke ERP and stock control systems. This gives the customer complete flexibility to either call off the washer to a predetermined schedule, or alternatively for immediate dispatch.

The system also allows for the detailed analysis of re-ordering patterns, guaranteeing a continuous supply of parts to meet fluctuating demand. All the time, every AUTO-FASTENER partner remains super-connected thanks to EDI data interchange technology.

Kit Assembly and Bespoke Customer Packaging.

Our particular steel washer is destined to be assembled into an aftermarket fitting kit. It is manually packed to the highest possible standard, to guarantee the specific requirements of its customer’s packaging are met – both in terms of branding, labelling and instructions; but also including any necessary materials to protect the part either in transit or customer storage.

Delivery Schedules and Meeting Demands.

Getting the right products to the right locations at the right time and in the right condition is one of the core pillars of the AUTO-FASTENERS service. In the case of our washer, aftermarket demand from its large OEM customer means it is loaded for almost immediate dispatch. Whilst our International Distribution Centre in the UK serves a global customer base, this part is destined for a shorter delivery journey, arriving at its destination – a domestic dealership parts department – just hours after we receive the initial order.

The following day the kit containing our washer is booked out to the dealer workshop by a technician fitting a crash replacement front bumper to a customer’s car. The day after a very satisfied customer collects the vehicle. Blissfully unaware that her shiny new bumper is being held together by a whole range of quality automotive fasteners which we have moved halfway around the globe, and taken through a multitude of advanced processes.

Each step of AFL’s unique supply system ensures the highest quality product and service. Our ability to source ISO TS16949 approved materials from a large network sits at the root of the company’s performance whilst the high quality of materials is reflected through the service provided from sourcing right through to Aftermarket support. Stocks are maintained with backups after initial delivery to ensure a continuous JIT supply for repeated and fluctuating demands, reflecting how each step of our supply process produces a kit of the highest value.

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    We globally source, stock and distribute OEM and TS16949 quality fasteners, small parts and engineered components. We can satisfy both OEM production line and aftermarket requirements for both car and commercial vehicles.
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    Auto-Fasteners Ltd (AFL) is a Tier 1 automotive supplier. We globally source, stock and distribute OEM and TS16949 quality fasteners, small parts and engineered components. We can satisfy OEM production line and aftermarket requirements for both car and commercial vehicles.

    Phone: +44 (0) 1926 814600
    Fax: +44 (0) 1926 813575

    Email: enquiries@auto-fasteners.com

    Post:
    Auto Fasteners Ltd
    Global Distribution Centre
    Holywell Business Park
    Northfield Road
    Southam
    Warwickshire
    CV47 0FP
    United Kingdom